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Rosia Montana: The Corporation Never Quits

June 20, 2009

The background story: Canadian company Gold Corporation wants to build a cyanide-based gold exploitation in a village in Apuseni Mountains, Western Romania. The cyanide pool would replace the whole village, cemetery included. Villagers are relocated a few km away. The gold reserves remaining are exploited in about 10 years, after which the corporation will go away with the profits, leaving just the environmental damage and the destruction of a community behind. Romanian politicians say yes, this is a great idea, it is a foreign investment, it will create jobs, generate income through taxes, etc. Half of the villagers accept jobs from the corporation and sell their houses to Gold. But the other half resists. They want to live in the same place where their parents and grandparents lived, where their families are buried, where they can breathe fresh air. So they put up a fight. In ten years, “Save Rosia Montana” gathered considerable support from Romanians, from regular people, to NGOs and politicians. They started court actions and they achieved success: a law to prohibit cyanide-exploitation has been discussed by the parliament and agreed upon, courts have rejected urbanism plans proposed by Gold, and the Ministry of Culture has rejected the destruction of the village on account of its great archeological richness (Roman ruins).

The stake holders of Gold had reached a point where some of them had given up the project. But a new wave of energetic attacks and lobbying evident lately shows they have changed their mind. They invested too much in buying houses and land, promoting their investment, lobbying politicians, hiring lawyers to fight the many lawsuits against them.

A new media campaign launched by Gold about the benefits of their investment monopolizes Romanian media these days. And the company is asking from the Ministry of Culture to give up the protection of the archeological heritage in the Rosia Montana area (i.e., to reverse a previous ruling it had made to the contrary). More will follow, so this case cannot escape public scrutiny. A campaign has been launched to ask for the Ministry of Culture to stick to its older decisisons. 10 years of struggle by Rosia Montana villagers cannot disappear overnight, while no one is paying attention or while we buy into the expensive ad campaign of Gold.

Petitia adresata Ministrului Culturii o gasesti pe pagina web a campaniei www.rosiamontana.org sau direct la linkul de mai jos.
http://www.ngo.ro/date/4ef160f5484c05ea6c665d19f7a161d3/AM_scrisDes150609_MCCTPaleologu_RMCarnic.doc
Nu uita ca inainte de a trimite petitia la adresa indicata in antetul scrisorii, sa o personalizezi cu datele tale.

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6 comments

  1. You are dissinforming. Severely! go inform yourself first and see what the community wants


  2. I don’t think I am. I know the village is divided, and many villagers sold their houses to Gold or took jobs with the company–and maybe others hope that the benefits from a Gold investment will reach them somehow, eventually. But I know many, many think the village should stay as it is. I know it from speaking to them direcltly, in Rosia Montana. From seeing notices on their houses and apartments which said “this property does NOT belong to Rosia Montana”. And from the fact that they have been fighting for 10 years against Gold! This is a highly controversial issue. I am taking a stance, this little piece has no claim for objectivity. But it is my stance on what we should do in this country. I doubt investments of this type are going to help the country. They might increase the GDP for a few years, and then what? Interrupting lifestyles, displacing people, and severely polluting the environment is not the solution. We’ve been doing that on a global scale for more than a century now. More of us are poor and hungry, and the environment is degraded to an unmanageable extent. It’s my reading of what’s happening, in Rosia, and in the world.


  3. Those opposed should team up with all the people in Peru and Guatemala doing their best to fight shitty Canadian mining companies bent on screwing with the rest of the world and avoiding the environmental protection laws they would face at home.

    The great majority of Canadians are, despite these numerous campaigns, mostly unaware of what their corporations are doing abroad.


    • yes, they should. you are absolutely right. but the trouble is that the romanian greens do not yet put these local struggles in the same framework with those in latin america or elsewhere in the world. so, lately, i am thinking it is time to make a proper green party in romania, and i was searching for starting points for that, but they still keep the discussion very fragmented. ah, i don’t know, maybe i should get this phd done and start the party myself…hahaha!


  4. Good, good.. Im already thinking about an interview 🙂


  5. CNA opreste de la difuzare spoturile Rosia Montana – 4 miliarde de dolari

    Rosia Montana – 25 Iunie 2009 – Intruniti in sedinta publica din data de
    23.06.2009, membrii Consiliului National al Audiovizualului (CNA) au decis
    sa opreasca difuzarea spoturilor publicitare ce apartin companiei Gabriel
    Resources intitulate Rosia Montana – 4 miliarde de dolari. Conform CNA,
    spotul publicitar încalca legislatia audiovizuala respectiv articolul 107
    din HG nr. 187/2006 care prevede faptul ca Publicitatea si teleshoppingul
    trebuie sa serveasca interesul public prin respectarea regulilor
    informarii si ale unei competitii corecte.. Decizia CNA vine într-un
    context în care neîncrederea publicului si reactiile la campania de
    imagine a Gabriel Resources sunt în continua crestere.

    In mai 2009 Gabriel Resources (‘Gabriel’), compania de minerit lipsita de
    experienta care doreste sa exploateze resursele de aur si argint de la
    Rosia Montana si sa dezradacineze localnicii care îi stau în cale, a
    lansat un spot publicitar în care intreba cateva persoane in ce domenii
    in Romania ar trebui investite 4 miliarde de dolari. O mai buna educatie,
    sanatate etc. au fost raspunsurile adresate în fata camerei. Clipul se
    termina cu îndrazneata promisiune ca Gabriel va investi în Romania suma de
    4 miliarde de dolari; toate acestea fara a mentiona în ce fel va face
    acest lucru si care este obiectul de activitate al Gabriel.

    Campania publicitara a provocat o reactie vehementa din partea a catorva
    grupuri ale societatii civile din Romania, prin crearea de spoturi spoof,
    materiale video pamflet, blog-uri si postere. ÃŽn iunie 2009 Gheorghe
    Funar, fost senator de Cluj, a transmis o sesizare oficiala catre CNA,
    solicitand oprirea difuzarii spotului publicitar. Ca urmare a acestei
    sesizari, precum si în urma consultarii Consiliului Roman pentru
    Publicitate (RAC), CNA a luat prezenta decizie.

    Conform declaratiei citate de HotNews vicepresedintele CNA, Ioan Onisei,
    a apreciat ca seria de spoturi dezinformeaza si manipuleaza, spune mari
    neadevaruri, deoarece ceea ce se spune în spot nu are legatura cu
    mecanismele reale de cheltuire a banilor în economie.

    RMGC a initiat aceasta campanie sustinand ca proiectul lor va începe pur
    si simplu, ca si cum oamenii si legea nu conteaza. Ei considera ca
    singurul lucru care conteaza este un ‚ambalaj’ dragut si ‚comunicarea.’
    Din fericire, romanii sunt mult mai la curent cu aceste tehnici de
    manipulare si reclama lui Gabriel a ajuns sa fie cunoscuta ca si
    ‚badvertising’ (termen în engleza care defineste reclama mincinoasa), a
    declarat Luminita Dejeu, designer grafician si membra a campaniei Salvati
    Rosia Montana.

    Promisiunile Gabriel din clipul publicitar sunt la fel de false precum
    tot ceea ce înseamna proiectul lor de minerit. Cred ca oamenii au înteles
    asta mai bine ca niciodata, multumita tocmai acestui clip. Sunt cu
    adevarat impresionat de reactia creativa pe care a provocat-o Gabriel si
    nu ma pot opri din vizionarea spoof-urilor care comenteaza mesajul
    companiei. Sper ca urmatoarea încercare a lui Gabriel de a îsi îmbunatati
    imaginea sa provoace o reactie la fel de inventiva!, concluzioneaza Eugen
    David, presedintele Alburnus Maior.

    http://www.rosiamontana.org

    Va invitam de asemenea sa vizionati si filmuletele de mai jos puse la
    dispozitie de EcoJurnal
    http://ecojurnal.ecosapiens.ro/

    Fallen Angel – Ingerul cazut de la Rosia Montana

    CNA a oprit difuzarea clipurilor RMGC

    Am fentat poporul cu tembelizorul

    Guvernul, dolarii si canadienii



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