A seminar at McGill on cement production was interrupted last Wednesday, when 15 protestors staged a die-in.
The seminar was organized by the McGill Stochastic Mine Planning Laboratory (Cosmo) inconjunction with the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM).
Wednesday’s speaker, Julio Villon, the chief of Raw Materials for the Peruvian cement corporation Cementos Lima,had been invited to present on cement production in Peru.
Kevin Paul, a McGill student protesting at the seminar, said the action lasted thirty minutes.
“We wanted to express our opposition bothto McGill’s complicity in the environmental exploitation that results from the mining industry and the mining industry in Peru specifically,” he said.
Peruvian President Ollanta Humala declared astate of emergency in a northern region of the country on December 4. This declaration followed over a week of increasingly violent protests against a $4.8 billion gold and copper mining project thatlocals say endangers their water supply. The declaration restricts civil liberties, such as the right to free assembly, and allows arrests without warrants in four provinces of the northern Cajamarcastate.
Cosmo lab administrator, Deborah Frankland, asked protestors for their names as they filed into the classroom in the Frank Dawson Adams building. She said Cosmo asks people to confirm theirattendance at seminars in order to provide catering.
“They completely ignored me. They were very rude. They must have their reasons for their anger as well but, on my side, I couldn’t communicatewith them,” Frankland said.
Ethan Feldman, a McGill student and Daily staffer who participated in the die-in, said some protestors were “hassled immediately” upon their entrance with snide commentsthat they ignored.
David Francisco Machuca Mory, a research associate at Cosmo originally from Peru, attended the seminar and said, “The protest to me seemed a little bit out of place because...
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