Addameer

Ramallah, Palestine

Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association is a Palestinian non-governmental, civil institution that works to support Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli and Palestinian prisons. Established in 1992 by a group of activists interested in human rights, the centre offers free legal aid to political prisoners, advocates for their rights at the national and international level, and works to end torture and other violations of prisoners' rights through monitoring, legal procedures and solidarity campaigns.

Israel holds thousands of Palestinians as political prisoners. Israel’s system of arrest and detention is an integral part of Israel’s apartheid system, under which Palestinians are governed under a separate set of laws than Israelis. It combines human rights abuses against individuals with a system of discrimination specifically designed to restrict and repress the Palestinian people and their struggle for freedom.

Our relationship with Addameer (which means ‘conscience’ in Arabic), ensures we can bring the latest news and authoritative reports to our UK campaigns seeking justice for Palestinians. The UK government has obligations under international law to ensure that the Fourth Geneva Convention is respected by other signatories, including Israel. The UK also has ‘third state responsibility’ to take action when a state breaches the universally binding principles of international law, such as the prohibition of torture. We support Addameer's work and campaign for the UK government to hold Israel to account for its illegal and unjust policies towards Palestinian political prisoners.

Al Warcha Media Collective

Tunis, Tunisia

The Al Warcha Media Collective is a grassroots group of young people from across Tunisia committed to creating media focused on social justice, popular sovereignty and human rights for the most marginalised Tunisians – supporting social movements and amplifying the voices of the oppressed. The collective also aims to create, train and equip a network of grassroots ‘reporters-citizens-activists’ living in the interior regions and popular neighbourhoods.

The project aims to balance out the lack of attention given by mainstream media outlets to progressive social movements and marginalised communities in Tunisia and throughout the global South facing similar challenges. Their work touches on a range of urgent issues neglected by traditional media such as food sovereignty, exploitation of natural resources,  and labour rights.

War on Want is supporting their innovative media project “Inhiyez,” which will have roots in marginalised neighbourhoods and platform their voices by following community initiatives for social justice and popular sovereignty. We also support Al Warcha’s initiative to create a network of grassroots “reporters-citizens-activists”, to train them in critical journalism and equip them with the proper tools to develop an alternative media source.

Agro-ecology and Green Environment (AGE)

Sfax/Kairouan/Tunis, Tunisia

Agro-ecology and Green Environment (AGE) is an organisation of activists and researchers who focus on issues related to land justice, food sovereignty, and fair access to land and water.

The 2010-2011 Tunisian uprising started in Sidi Bouzid, an impoverished agricultural region, where speculative capital and corporate agriculture flourished. The trigger which set the Arab Uprisings into motion was the self-immolation of a fruit vendor: Mohamed Bouazizi. Tunisia’s local food production has suffered the harsh effects of the liberalisation of the agricultural sector which has resulted in much of its food production falling into the hands of foreign agri-businesses. Their industrial food production methods have causes severe damage to the environment and to natural resources.

War on Want supports AGE's initiative to establish the North African Network for Food Sovereignty. This network strives to unite local struggles over land and food sovereignty across the region, working towards local, continental and international mobilisations.

Latin American Observatory for Environmental Conflicts (OLCA)

Santiago, Chile

The Latin American Observatory for Environmental Conflicts (Observatorio Latinoamerica de conflictos Ambientales – OLCA) advises communities in conflict to enhance their management capacities in favour of their environmental rights. It monitors environmental conflicts, develops management tools for them; investigates and disseminates aspects related to environmental protection and citizen rights; it carries out investigations at sector level, specific research and promotes the methodological training in conflict management.

Chile is the world’s top copper-producing country and the country with the world’s largest lithium reserves. The rising prices for copper and lithium globally means Chile is set to become one of the world’s top destinations for foreign mining investment in these industries. Chile is already the target of more than 30% of the total projected mining investment for Latin America.

The current expansion of these trends is associated with the expansion of social conflict, ecological destruction, pollution and poverty – hallmarks of extractivism.

War on Want’s work with OLCA has primarily focused on supporting the community of Caimanes in the Coquimbo region, who have resisted the expansion of LSE-listed Antofagasta PLC’s ‘Los Pelambres’ copper mine, and the ‘El Mauro’ tailings dam, which have been fraught with social and environmental conflicts and impacts on communities.

However, along with UK-based partner The London Mining Network, we’ve recently set up a UK working group on extractivism in Chile. Its objectives are: to analyse and monitor other UK mining investments in the country – as well as their investors, including pension funds and faith-based investors – and to ensure that operations respect and protect human rights and the environment.

Observatory for Mining Conflicts in Latin America (OCMAL)

Latin American Network (based in Santiago, Chile)

Observatory for Mining Conflicts in Latin America (Observatorio de conflictos mineros en Latinoamerica – OCMAL) is a platform with over 40 organisations, with the aim of defending communities affected by mining. OCMAL is a space for research and exploration of new opportunities to achieve greater effectiveness in joint work, campaigns and actions to exchange information and actions that are part of the activities of community defence and environmental protection, incorporating tasks that seek integration in global action with other actors, politically influencing international forums that influence the decisions that affect our countries.

The last two decades have witnessed the boom and post-boom of commodities around the world, leading to exponential growth in mining. These were spurred by a variety of factors, including China and India’s expanding economies, increased production of consumer electronic products, and the highest military and industrial consumption rates of these materials in history.

This has led to a dramatic increase of the levels of mining and exploration in Latin America: In 2013, the region accounted for 27% of world investment in mineral exploration. A new post-boom era is being spurred on by rising commodity prices, and a shift from fossil fuel mining (though this is still widespread) to hard rock mining for minerals and metals primarily used to produce electronic goods and renewable energy technologies.

War on Want is in the planning stages of work with OCMAL to develop processes to safeguard and protect the rights and livelihoods of communities in Latin America experiencing human rights and environmental abuses because of mining and exploration, supporting them to secure justice for those abuses through judicial and non-judicial mechanisms.

The Interinsitutional Platform of Celendín (PIC)

Celendín, Peru

The Interinsitutional Platform of Celendín (Plataforma Interinistutcional Celendina – PIC) is an organisation that brings together over 20 grassroots social organisations in the provinces of Celendín and Cajamarca in northern Peru. It was formed at the end of 2009, with the aim of defending the rights of the province of Celendín, against mining and hydropower projects that threaten its territory.

Over the past two decades the mining industry in Peru has been growing at breakneck speed. But despite promises of jobs and prosperity, rural communities – who are rarely consulted in the development of mining projects – continue to live in poverty. Mining waste has polluted waterways, affecting local people’s drinking water and irrigation needs.

In the northern Peruvian highlands of Celendín, where almost half the land has been given away in mining concessions, US mining company Newmont and its Peruvian subsidiary, Minera Yanacocha, have proposed a new open-cast mega-mine known as the ‘Conga’. The Conga project is an extension to the Yanacocha mine, Latin America’s largest gold mine.

The Conga project faces significant opposition from the local community. War on Want works with PIC to bring together the community-based groups opposing extraction projects in Peru. PIC is internationally recognised as an example of successful anti-extractivist organising, and is leading the grassroots resistance against the Conga mine. War on Want is helping PIC to build the capacity of communities to speak out against the environmental and human rights abuses they are suffering at the hands of mining companies.

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