Chilean Activist Builds Solidarity with Canadian Noranda Workers, Students, and Politicians

MiningWatch Canada, in coordination with the Halifax Initiative, hosted Chilean activist Peter Hartmann from February 22nd to March 7th. Peter comes from Aysén in Chilean Patagonia, and is fighting Noranda’s proposed $2.75 billion Alumysa aluminum smelter.

Peter visited striking Noranda workers in Rouyn-Noranda, representatives from CSN (La Confédération des Syndicats Nationaux) and the Métallos (Steelworkers) in Montréal, and the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) Social Justice Fund and the United Steelworkers of America (USWA) Humanity Fund in Toronto. Representatives from CAW Mine Mill Local 598 (Sudbury) and Local 599 (Timmins) met Peter in Toronto to build solidarity and share Noranda/Falconbridge stories. Peter also presented to groups of students at CERLAC (the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean at York University), Carleton University, Cornell University, and the CÉGEP du Vieux-Montréal.

Along with Chilean Deputy Alejandro Navarro, Peter met with the House of Commons Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development and various other Members of Parliament. He also met with environmental organizations, technical experts, media, and famous Québec singer Richard Desjardins.

It is exciting to see the momentum build on an international No-Alumysa campaign. Peter’s tour sparked a number of North American groups to organize interventions at Noranda’s Annual General Meeting on April 23rd, and also prompted a meeting of Chilean and North American groups in Victoria on May 8th and 9th.

MiningWatch would like to thank the Halifax Initiative and the Steelworker Humanity Fund for sponsoring Peter’s visit, and Gastón Ancelovici for his collaboration.