This Friday (15 June) the Carnival of Dirt will hit London, organised by a 30-strong activist group coalition from around the world – including several well known UK activist groups alongside pressure groups and NGOs from D.R. Congo, Nigeria, West Papua, Peru, Colombia, the Philippines, Canada, Mexico, Tanzania and Somalia. [1] Highlighting and challenging the complicity of western countries in corporate abuses in the majority world, such as the links between UK pension funds and illicit activities of mining and extraction companies globally, carnival freaks include Xstrata, Glencore International, Rio Tinto, Vedanta, Anglo American, BHP Billiton, BP and Shell.1

Bringing together people across generations and causes, political ideals and continents in solidarity with those who have had their lands stolen, their governments corrupted, their people turned against each other, their environments poisoned, a carnival like no other, is promised:

  • 11am – ‘Breakfast’ – Meet by St Paul’s Cathedral –  The day begins with a ceremony to celebrate those who stand up against the mining and extraction corporations and to remember those who have died for doing so.2 The full funeral cortege – with Congolese choir and New Orleans funeral jazz band – will bring their message to one of the institutions most responsible for these practices, the London Stock Exchange. Come dressed in black to remember the dead
  • 2pm – ‘Lunch’ – Venue will be announced on the day – A picnic and teach-out will be held where people can share food and listen to academics, indigenous people and others describing the effects of these industries and their impact on global inequality. Bring food to share
  • 6pm sharp – ‘Dinner’ – Assemble at The Embankment – A party in the legendary style of Reclaim the Streets, to celebrate the global movement that is moving to end corporatocracy, end a global economic system that is unjust, unsustainable and undemocratic, end the unnecessary and failing austerity measures and bring about a fairer, more equal and sustainable world for all. Wear dancing shoes.

From executive greed in London to global corporate criminality

“On 30 November last year, 21 Occupy London activists were arrested for dropping a banner from Xstrata’s London office, base of Mick Davis – the highest paid director of any FTSE 100 company. We wanted to challenge the one per cent and Davis was a perfect example,” said Jack Dean, a member of Occupy London’s Corporations Working Group, which went on to investigate the activities of Xstrata, initially to support the arrestees for their court case on June 27.3

“That investigation expanded in focus when the potential merger of Xstrata and Glencore International was announced,” added Jack. “Both of those companies are popular with UK pension funds, but we barely had to scratch the surface to discover they are regularly implicated in labour and human rights abuses, as well as environmental and financial scandals globally.”

Seven months later, more than 30 activist groups from London and around the world – including majority world countries where the deeds of corporations like Xstrata and Glencore, their prioritisation of profit over people, are felt most acutely – have come together to make the activities of Xstrata and other mining and extraction companies visible.4

Sylvestre Mido from the Congolese Action Youth Platform (CAYP), said: “It is outrageous that in this modern day and age, practices such as slavery, murder and rape are not only tolerated by those multinationals but also supported by the British government amongst others. We will no longer stand by when millions are silently killed across the globe for trivial things such as our mobile phones.”

Rafael Joseph Maramag, Secretary of the Campaign for Human Rights in the Philippines, a UK-based pressure group and another active member of the Carnival of Dirt coalition, added: “The Filipino migrant community actively supports the Carnival of Dirt action on 15 June. Issues on human rights abuses brought about by these mining corporations from our countries of origin should come to the fore, especially within the international community. Both corporations and local governments should be held responsible for human rights violations against ordinary people. Impunity in the name of profit must stop!”

Expect surprises from the Carnival family. Get involved at the