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On Thursday, March 19, Friends of the Earth will join the Institute for Policy Studies and the Salvadoran community for a demonstration to say “yes” to life, “no” to mining! We will raise our voices in protest against a biased World Bank tribunal that could allow a multinational mining corporation to gamble with the money, the health, and the lives of the Salvadoran people! We will protest free trade agreements like the Trans Pacific Partnership! We will rally from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm in front of the World Bank in the Edward R Murrow Park on H Street, between 18th and 19th Streets, NW, in Washington D.C.
The issue at stake is whether the people of El Salvador should be punished for not encouraging a foreign corporation to operate a gold mine that threatens to poison the country’s drinking water supply. The OceanaGold/Pacific Rim mining corporation is suing El Salvador for $301 million in World Bank proceedings. Lives are at stake. Anti-mining community members have been murdered.
Because of trade and investment deals and domestic laws that the U.S. has championed in the developing world over recent decades, transnational corporations have been handed mega-powers that trump the legitimate authority of democratic governments. Ruthless corporations can sue governments before World Bank tribunals when they fear their future profits from get-rich-quick schemes are threatened by governments responding to the will of the people.