People Before Profit Cllr Shaun Harkin said,
“People power has forced SDLP Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon to formally call for a public inquiry into Dalradian Gold’s application to mine the Sperrins. Tens of thousands of people have petitioned the DfI to stop toxic mining of the Sperrins.
The Sperrins is an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ but faces a major threat that will impact people and our ecosystem for generations to come.
We commend all the efforts demanding a public inquiry but we share the same concerns raised by others about its impartiality.
Despite the fact Dalradian planned to use cyanide in the Sperrins, government officials and the Stormont Executive appear to have been bending over backwards to facilitate the passage of the company’s application. The Minister has already greenlighted the abandonment of Crockanboy Road to allow Dalradian to advance its project through ‘project-splitting’ before officially calling for a public inquiry.
At the same time, campaigners opposing toxic mining of the Sperrins have faced increased levels of harassment by the PSNI.
Corporations and developers have deep pockets to pay for expensive lawyers and consultants in order to predetermine the outcome of a public inquiry. We need to keep up the pressure on decision makers to ensure this inquiry isn’t a predetermined whitewash.
People power will continue to be the key to protecting the Sperrins and stopping environmental destruction.
Stormont Executive parties are backing a new Climate Bill but it will mean very little if toxic mining gets the go-ahead in the Sperrins. Continued corporate gouging of Lough Neagh was recently rammed through by the DfI Minister despite opposition by climate experts.
Corporations like Dalradian are addicted to profit no matter the cost to people and place. The Stormont Executive is addicted to capitalism despite the way it drives forward inequality and climate destruction. The IPCC ‘code red for humanity’ makes it clear why grassroots people power is needed for urgent radical action on climate and to create an alternative to destructive capitalism.
We urge everyone to get involved in local campaigns and the global day of climate action on November 6.”