01 November 2017
Environmental activism has increasingly become a dangerous pursuit, with activists often in the line of fire from police officials, local business interests, and monster corporations with big pockets.
<p>This latest article from the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/oct/31/uk-mining-firm-in-court-over-claims-it-mistreated-environmental-activists" target="_blank">Guardian</a> describes a Peruvian lawsuit claiming the mining firm Xstrata is responsible for alleged police violence against demonstrators near a mine. </p><p>In the Xstrata case, two protesters died, and several others were injured. This is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg, however. </p><p>Worldwide, hundreds of activists have disappeared or been killed for their defense of the environment: </p><ul class="ee-ul"><ul class="ee-ul"><li>2017 is on course to set a record for the number of '<a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/11/2017-deadliest-on-record-for-land-defenders-mining-logging" target="_blank">land defenders' killed</a>, according to Matthew Taylor of the Guardian. </li><li>Land rights activist Bill Kayong was shot and killed last year in Malaysia; representatives of a palm oil plantation company were charged with the murder - and later acquitted. Is <a href="https://news.mongabay.com/2017/08/international-investment-blamed-for-violence-and-oppression-in-sarawak/" target="_blank">international investment</a> to blame for increased deaths?</li><li>A proposed reduction in forest protections may be linked to attacks on inspectors and campaigners, environmental groups said after two <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/09/brazil-land-rights-murders-amazon-temer" target="_blank">land rights activists</a> were murdered in Brazil in July. </li><li>In September, groups from 29 countries across Africa, Latin America and Asia told the UN that the fight to protect natural resources has become <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/21/land-defenders-call-on-un-to-act-against-violence-by-state-funded-and-corporate-groups" target="_blank">too dangerous </a>in the face of violence from state forces, private security groups and state-sponsored vigilantes.</li><li>Meanwhile, industry forces are using the court system to <a href="https://insideclimatenews.org/news/04102017/greenpeace-rico-racketeering-lawsuit-environmental-activism-resolute-dakota-access-" target="_blank">paint activists as criminals</a> engaging in illegal conspiracy. These million-dollar cases are having a chilling effect on the activist community. <em></em></li></ul></ul>
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