Watch this 5 minute video of the highlights of the launch
or click here for the full broadcast (1:32).
Our fall action campaign is officially off and running! This past Monday, September 30th, we launched the campaign in Montreal. In an atmosphere of warmth and solidarity, one hundred or so people gathered to speak out and create A Voice for Justice. Numerous members, donors, partners, allies, supporters, and employees of the organization expressed the urgent need to align themselves with populations from the Global South who have been hard hit by the mining activities of Canadian companies.
The launch featured various events, including a gumboot performance, which was appreciated by young and old alike, followed by a press conference and a discussion dinner with the participation of visiting bishops from the Global South. The Most Rev. Pedro Barreto, Bishop of Huancayo, Peru and member of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace at the Vatican, the Most Rev. José Bantolo, Bishop of Masbate, the Philippines, and the Most Rev. Nicolas Djomo Lola, Bishop of Tshumbe and President of the Episcopal Conference of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, transmitted – loud and clear – the voices of their respective communities, victims of numerous injustices due to the presence of mining companies.
The Most Rev. Paul-André Durocher, Archbishop of Gatineau and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), and the Most Rev. Donald Bolen, Bishop of Saskatoon and member of the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace of the CCCB, both gave speeches in support of the campaign and signed action cards. An exhibit of photographs of communities in Honduras, Madagascar, Peru and the Philippines that have been affected by the presence of mining companies was also unveiled. The exhibit will travel to various provinces in the coming months.
The day would not have been the same without those of you from across the country who joined us via the Internet. Inspired by our experience with the national launch of our Share Lent campaign, we broadcast the event live by webstream. This use of technology makes us more effective, allows us to extend our reach from coast to coast, makes us feel united in our shared goals and strengthens our bonds of solidarity. Through our webcast, numerous people from across the country could listen to the live testimonies of the bishops from the Global South, some of whom are now touring different regions of Canada. A great many of you sent messages of encouragement, and we thank you for your kind support.
We invite you to act without delay by writing your Member of Parliament to tell them that Canada needs an ombudsman for responsible mining.
Here are pictures of the day’s events.