In memory of three activists

There’s a demonstration scheduled for tomorrow at 5:30 PM at the Toronto Stock Exchange in honour of three community organizers in Latin America who have recently been killed in connection to their opposition to Canadian mining companies. The vigil has been organized by Community Solidarity Response Toronto in partnership with Amnesty International. The Facebook listing is here.

From the listing: “The most recently killed activist is Mariano Abarca Roberlo… who was shot by a masked man on a motorcycle on Nov. 27th. Mariano had been a public opponent of the Canadian company Blackfire. Three men linked to Blackfire, including an employee, have been arrested in connection with this crime. In Guatemala On Sept 27th, after illegal evictions of Maya Q’eqchi’ conducted by HudBay minerals, a Canadian company, reports from the community narrate that Adolfo Ich Xaman, a schoolteacher and community leader, went to check if any children were being left behind: he was then beaten by security guards from the mining and taken away into the mining company area where he was shot in the head. In El Salvador, Marcelo Rivera was disappeared on June 18th. Marcelo had been a leading figure in the movement against metal mining in El Salvador, which had succeeded in getting the Salvadorian government not to grant final exploitation licenses to Canadian company Pacific Rim because of the devastating environmental and economic effects (especially on the agricultural sector) that would ensue if mining was permitted . Less than two weeks later his body was found in a 60 foot deep well with clear signs of torture.

“These escalating attacks against defenders of human rights and environmental justice must stop, and they demand a response here in Toronto, the location of the companies that benefit from the violent silencing of their critics.” If you want to be a part of the call for that response, head to the vigil tomorrow, or check out the listing to learn more.

Speaking of local campaigns, have you heard about what’s happening with the Toronto Women’s Bookstore? Also, can you believe that there are only four women’s bookstores in all of Canada? That doesn’t sound right at all.

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2 Responses to “In memory of three activists”

  1. Not Michael Richards says:

    Unfortunately that’s what happens when you open a bookstore with such a rigid agenda. A lot of people, myself included, would shell out at a place like that if they stocked works outside the canon of feminist and anti-oppression Lit. I’m not disparaging these great movements, but most people who like to read often also like to read widely, which means they look for other literary genres. I don’t think it would diminish the store’s admirable ideology by carrying some light fiction or selling used paperbacks. I know a lot of people who hit every bookstore in town on payday looking for cheap classics and unknown surprises. I think that could save them. I’ve never owned a business though, so I might be wrong. Either way I should head over there before xmas and grab a tome or two. A bookstore closing is never a good thing.

  2. Matt says:

    Hey, NMR! I didn’t even know you were in the Toronto area. I haven’t spent much time down at the Toronto Women’s Bookstore, so I can’t say for sure how much of their material is focused and how much is general. Without knowing how much of a balance they’re striking between the two, I’d hesitate to say they’ve got a rigid agenda. Finding out is all the more reason to drop in, I’d say.