Who are we?
It would be better to ask: why do we exist? What is the origin of this urgency to protest and fight against the actions of one of the most powerful companies in the world?
If we have joined forces today, it is because we already have first-hand knowledge of what exists behind Vale’s propaganda. If we communicate with each other, share experiences and protest together, it is because we understand that behind the company discourse lie aggression and destructive power. We know, for example, that its propaganda about “sustainability” serves to hide the irreversible damages caused to the environment; that its story of “social responsibility” is told to distance it from its failures to respect for the rights of communities affected by Vale operations; that the promotion of an image of satisfied employees does not erase either Vale’s disrespect for labour laws or the intransigence and arrogance with which it treats unionized workers.
On the flip side of the positive picture sold on TV and journals, behind the image of a company committed to life and the “development” of the country, we find a transnational obsessed with profit and maximum concentration of wealth. We find disrespect, injustice, poverty, suffering and death.
This is why we exist.
We are entire families disrespected, without access to some of the most fundamental rights:
We are workers exploited in iron, coal, nickel and copper mines;
We are trade unionists, environmentalists, feminists, politicians;
We are students, we are professors;
We are Indigenous people, peoples with slave ancestors, river dwellers, fishers and peasants;
We are migrants, refugees, men, women and children, families;
We are citizens – cheated, unemployed, living in slums, marginalized, sick;
We are landless, homeless and jobless;
We are Brazilians, Chileans, Peruvians, Argentineans, Mozambicans, Canadians and Indonesians …
Indignant at the daily robbery of the wealth that belongs to our people.
We are all fighters for social justice in search of a form of development that creates equality encompassed by all of our citizens and genuinely respects the environments, human rights and the will of traditional communities.
And we will work together for common instruments and strategies to expose the true Vale, contest its absolute power and strengthen workers and all of the people affected by its actions.