In recent years mining has become a matter of urgent concern for many communities in Northeast Thailand. In the province of Loei gold mining is destroying local livelihoods, poisoning people and underground water supplies, and violence and death threats have become regular occurrences. Under military rule since May 2014, human rights, democracy, justice, and human lives in these communities are even less protected than before. With a recent brutal crackdown in Loei now slipping from news headlines, it is crucial to act quickly; to stand in solidarity with Thailand’s mine affected peoples’ movement; to demand that people, communities and the environment are put before commodities.
Our project is to organize a grassroots tour for people who are negatively affected by mines and who fight everyday to better their lives and the environment. ENGAGE will send Thai mine affected villagers and student activists to meet with Mexican mine affected villagers in Oaxaca on a 12 day tour. The tour will conclude with an international conference on anti-mining efforts and trans-network solidarity with participants from Guatemala, El Salvador, Philippines, Thailand and Mexico. These meetings will result in an exchange of knowledge and resources, while enabling the Thai anti-mining movement which has largely been contained as a regional issue to join the global anti-mining community and its networks. Delegates will learn from each other organizing and resistance methods, share experience from their communities, and join the coalition of community members, NGO's, local organizers, and other anti-mining organizations in the continued fight against mines that flagrantly violate human and environmental rights.
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