The grub-hoes are clattering. Barroso is up and fighting!
We want to invite you to the third edition of the Camp in Defense of Barroso.
Since last summer, resistance against the mining plans has remained active: many struggles were raised and many alliances have been woven. This summer, we join forces again to share strategies of resistance against the economic and political interests that want to destroy the mountains in search of easy profit.
Between August 10th and 15th of 2023, the doors of Quinta do Cruzeiro will open again. Like the waters that flow in our village channels, this year we want to flood the streets with our joy, energy, and vivacity. We promise you five days of connection with the mountains, the waters, the hills, and with the life we want to protect.
In Barroso, for the past five years, we have been fighting against the largest open-pit lithium mine in Europe. This year, the Portuguese government approved the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of this mining project. Although this decision represents an important bureaucratic step for the company, they remain with no right of access to the land and they have no social legitimacy to move forward with the project. We, the guardians of the territory, will not accept that those in power try to dictate their unfair rules. Now is the time to unite to stop this ecocide, which represents an attack on the rural way of life.
The government has approved the EIA, despite recognizing significant negative impacts on the populations, on the biodiversity of these mountains, and on the quality of the water. And it did so by imposing a narrative about the inevitability of lithium extraction.
This narrative — which paints mining green and presents it as the only solution to decarbonization — is a fallacy. In reality, what the European Union and the national governments want to do— first, in Barroso, and later in many other territories — is to ensure a decarbonization process which does not jeopardize the interests of the powerful automobile industry and does not jeopardize infinite economic growth. The promise of profit for some, and of less carbon-emitting cities, hides the sacrifice of entire territories and the continued violence associated with mobility policies based on individual cars.
In Barroso, nobody forces us to say that gray is green, that mines are sustainable, or that mining companies are the angels of development. Nobody forces us to give up the mountains, the rivers, and the history that we are guardians of. It is here, where they want to destroy the green world of Barroso to save the world of infinite growth, that we want to deconstruct the idea that the energy transition has to depend on unbridled extractivism, on the transformation of the web of life into mere raw materials, the dispossession of rural territories, and the incessant search for profits.
Those who want the project to go forward try to convince us that the government's decision marks the end of a struggle. But we know that the war starts now.
Barroso will not remain silent in the face of extractivist violence, and the people of Barroso will not accept the auctioning of their territories to mining companies. Barroso is — and will be — the frontline where we will stop the destruction of life in the name of the thirst for profit.
This local struggle is an echo of the global resistance. If we succeed in stopping what would be the largest lithium mine in Europe, we will set brutal precedents for future struggles. We know this, just as much as multinationals and governments know it. That's why this struggle is so central. And that's why we fight. And why you should join.
At the Camp, not only will we have activities to inform and raise awareness, but also to strengthen our network of resistance. We want to tell you our story, introduce you to our people and ecosystems, and show you the immense historical and natural heritage that we have inherited — and that we are fighting to protect.
We feel a scream of revolt hovering over the territory: ours and yours. The time to fight is now. As our beekeeper sings, Junta-te à luta, vamos vencer. Esta é a hora, não há tempo a perder! (Join the fight, we will win. This is the hour, there's no time to lose!)
Yes to LIFE. No to MINES.