Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Protesters dig canal through Belo Monte dam in Brazil (Photos)

June 16, 2012
Source: mongabay.com

Belo Monte protest. Photo credit: Atossa Soltani/ Amazon Watch / Spectral Q.
In an symbolic protest of the giant Belo Monte Dam, Friday morning some 300 locals dug a channel in an earthen dam that blocks a portion of the Xingu River and serves as the first step for the controversial hydroelectric project, reports Amazon Watch.

"In the early morning hours, three hundred women and children arrived in the hamlet of Belo Monte on the Transamazon Highway, and marched onto a temporary earthen dam recently built to impede the flow of the Xingu River. Using pick axes and shovels, local people who are being displaced by the project removed a strip of earthen dam to restore the Xingu's natural flow," stated a press release.

The stunt was coordinated to draw attention to the project prior to the opening of the Rio+20 conference to be held next week. Demonstrators have gathered in the town of San Antonio and Altamira, a city that will be partly flooded by the dam, for Xingu+23, a multi-day protect against the dam, which was originally stopped 23 years ago by an uprising by environmentalists and indigenous groups.

"This battle is far from being over," said Antonia Melo, the coordinator of Xingu Vivo Movement against the dam. "This is our cry: we want this river to stay alive. This dam will not be built."

"We, the people who live along the banks of the Xingu, who subsist from the river, who drink from the river, and who are already suffering from of the most irresponsible projects in the history of Brazil are demanding: Stop Belo Monte."

Belo Monte will flood more than 40,000 hectares of rainforest and displace tens of thousands of people. The project will impede the flow of the Xingu, which is one of the Amazon's mightiest tributaries, disrupting fish migrations and potentially affecting nutrient flows in a section of the basin.

Environmentalists say the Brazilian government's support of the project is at odds with the green image it projects in international talks and as host of the upcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. Green groups note that Brazil is planning dozens of dams in the Amazon Basin.

Three hundred indigenous people, small farmers, fisherfolk, and local residents occupied the Belo Monte Dam project, removing a strip of earth to restore the Xingu's natural flow and "freeing the river." Participants gathered in formation spelling out the words "Pare Belo Monte" meaning "Stop Belo Monte" to send a powerful message about the devastating impacts of the dam on the eve of the UN Rio+20 Summit. Their message is that projects that destroys livelihoods and the environment and that violate indigenous rights cannot be called "Clean Energy". They are demanding the cancellation of the $18 billion Belo Monte dam project. Caption courtesy of Amazon Watch. Photo credit: Atossa Soltani/ Amazon Watch / Spectral Q

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3 comments:

men watches said...

Cool!
lovely blog you have! :)

Anonymous said...

that is freaking awesome . but by doing that is the sea endanger specially marine life

narrative essay topics said...

if only we could connect with each other that easily . may be there will be no wars .