24 April 2016 -- Munich’s Philharmonic Hall was the scene of an unusual protest yesterday against Chinese banks’ support for companies involved in the controversial Mirador mining project in Ecuador.
Demonstrators from the Yasunidos group, together with representatives of Acción Ecológica and the Latin American Network of Women Defenders of Social and Environmental Rights, silently occupied the lobby of the main hall of Gasteig München in southern Germany during an intermission of a concert featuring the prominent Chinese pianist Lang Lang, displaying posters and leafletting concertgoers.
The protesters, with the support of German environmental organizations, were calling on Lang Lang to demand that the banks stop funding the Chinese companies that own Ecuacorriente SA, blamed for environmental and social destruction in the Cordillera del Cóndor in southern Ecuador.
After attracting considerable interest from the concertgoers, the demonstrators were ejected from the concert hall by security personnel.
Lang Lang himself is sponsored by the two banks in question, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and the China Merchants Bank. He is the the Global Brand Ambassador for the later.
Protesters had delivered a letter to Lang Lang personally the previous day, 22 April, at a promotional event held in a Munich shopping mall. They had also delivered letters to the banks’ Munich offices and the local Chinese consulate.
The demonstrators, who are working in support of the efforts of the indigenous Shuar people to defend their territory, said they would continue the Chinese banks and Lang Lang campaign on social networks and during future concerts.
In Germany: Josephine KOCH, Yasunidos (+49) 1512 2777868 (De)
For more information on the Mirador mining project and the campaign on Chinese banks: http://www.accionecologica.org/mineria/160-boletines/1930-2016-04-21-17-07-25