Groups mark IP month with stories of women against mining
Features women’s actions in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao
Quezon City – Women in various communities around the country have broken their silence on their struggles against mining. Their sacrifices and perseverance are captured in the book, Stories from mines… of struggle, sisterhood and solidarity, released by Alyansa Tigil Mina and LILAK (Purple action for Indigenous Women’s right) in line with the celebration of the International Indigenous Peoples’ Month.
The book contains 50 stories of women describing the adverse impacts of mining in their lives– the loss of their food sources, economic displacement, the violence it causes to their communities, are some of the common experiences. Indigenous women featured in the book also narrated how mining caused division in their tribe and threatens to undermine their customs and practices.
“But this collection of stories is not just about women being victims of mining and the mining companies. What is also being shown here, and celebrated, is the courage of women to speak out, and fight for their communities’ rights, amidst hunger, poverty, and danger,” said Judy A. Pasimio, a women’s rights advocate and coordinator of LILAK.
“This book is a tribute to the rural and indigenous women who keep on the struggle against these powerful mining companies, and to the women advocates from different sector who support them through different ways – as a lawyer, mayor, congresswoman, media, religious and as human rights activists,” Pasimio added.
At the launching in Quezon City Hall yesterday, Jaybee Garganera, national coordinator of ATM said that the book reflected that the anti-mining campaign in the country is more than just the issue of minerals being extracted in our forest, coastal areas and even rice fields. “We say no to mining for many reasons; mothers and young women in the country are saying that mining had never been good for them or for their families,” Garganera added.
The book contains stories of women in Cagayan Valley campaigning against black sand mining while two mothers in Marinduque recall their bad experiences with the Marcopper mining operation. Women in Sibuyan, Romblon tell their actions against Sibuyan Nickel project and remember the death of an environmental martyr.
The selection of stories from Visayas region cover the strains of mothers over the fish kill in Lake Bito and the more than a decade of resistance to mining of women in Homonhon and Manicani islands in Samar. IP women in Mindanao narrate the intrusion of mining in their ancestral domains. Wilma Tero, a Subanen from Midsalip, Zamboanga del Sur, said in her article, “Para sa aming mga Subanen, ang mina ay hindi buhay.” (For us Subanens, mining is not life.)
The book launch is also part of the four-day national gathering of indigenous women organized by LILAK.
Alyansa Tigil Mina is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of NGOs/POs and other civil society organizations who are opposing the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines. The alliance is currently pushing for a moratorium on mining, revocation of Executive Order 270-A, repeal of the Mining Act of 1995 and passage of the AMMB. (30)
For more information:
Judy A. Pasimio, LILAK coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org, 09175268341
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, email@example.com, 09277617602
Edel S. Garingan, Media and Communications Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org, 09228918972
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