Rosia Montana Activist Social Forum (#RMForum)

21/08/2014 3094 views

The Rosia Montana Activist Social Forum took place during FânFest, the hay festival of Roșia Montană, the biggest multi-art activist festival in Romania. 2014 marks the 3rd edition of the RMForum, from the 12 to the 16th of August, and the 9th edition of the festival.

The fight against cyanide based gold mining and corruption often touches upon other initiatives, campaigns and struggles around Europe. The #RMForum unites these energies, discussions and calls for action in a social gathering open to the wide public. With more than 30 workshops, three plenaries and speakers from 10 countries, the Rosia Montana social forum is the biggest of its kind in Romania.

The ‘Romanian Autumn’ has seen an unprecedented mobilization of thousands of concerned citizens around the country, acting for true democracy and taking the streets for saving Rosia Montana. People from Romania and beyond who took the streets on a daily and weekly basis, turned the Romanian campaign, overnight, into an well-known global movement. The direct, street actions and the sit-ins were the spark needed to revive and build a strong civil society across the country. They managed to halt the immediate threat to Rosia Montana. The dynamism of these days has thus slowed down, but the euphoria and experiences that brought so many people together continues to be very vivid. More so, the need for debate, exchange of experiences and ideas became clearer in the context of the new social movements on the rise: the anti-fracking initiatives being just one example. Taking into account the importance of such moments and the responsibility of being one of the most important promoters of activism in Romania, the Save Rosia Montana campaign organizes the third edition of the social activism forum to bring together activists and concerned citizens across the country and from abroad.

This year’s edition of RMForum focuses on five main themes: 1. struggles against dirty mining and the ban cyanide European coalition launch, 2. campaigns and social movements, 3. citizen journalism, 4. heritage restoration and sustainable development, and 5. campaigning boot-camp. Alongside the forum, Rosia Montana volunteers from across the world who have organised global protests and events last autumn will hold a “Diaspora forum”. The meeting will aim to strengthen this international support network as well as propose joint initiatives for the future.

Here are some highlights of the program:

Ban cyanide & mining

No justice without struggle – Experiences from Finnish mining conflicts / London Mining Network (Struggles against mining in Latin America) / Plataforma pola defensa de Corcoesto e Bergantiños (The fight against Corcoesto’s golden mine. For the defense of our land) / The Save Rosia Montana campaign / Gaia Foundation (capacity building and community empowerment) / Mining Watch România / Solidarity for Taksim

Citizen journalism

Casa Jurnalistului (Multimedia reports and social events reviews) / Rise Project (Visualising information for social activism and advocacy)

Campaigns and social movements

Dialogue platform on forests (Pădurea, mai prețioasă decât cheresteaua) / Shale gas – initiative groups in Romania / The European Citizen Initiative against TTIP / Pacha Mama România / NDDL (The struggle against the Notre-Dames-des-Landes airport) / WWF (The paradoxes of micro hydropower stations) / Bankwatch România (The impact of coal mining on human lives) / Ceata – Patents, licenses and royalty fees / Ecoruralis (land-grabbing and peasants’ rights)

Campaign boot-camp

World Development Movement (useful online tools to win campaigns) / Crowd-funding / (How to create a social poster) / The Rațiu Centre for Democracy / Salvați Bucureștiul (Basis of access to justice for NGOs and other stakeholders)

Heritage conservation and alternatives for sustainable development

The Rosia Montana touristic product / The sweet health of Valea Barcăului / Workshop on Social Economy / Slow Food Turda / Architecture.Restoration. Archeology / The economic impact of heritage investements / The Old Mill / Stanciova

The RMForum, as well as FânFest is organized entirely through the work of volunteers. The whole infrastructure of the event is set on private land with venues and workshops put up specially for the forum. The entire festival is organized with the help of individual donations and the access for the public is free of charge.

The complete program of the festival can be consulted on www.fanfest.ro. The website provides all the information needed to plan your six days holiday in the Apuseni Mountains. Theatre, documentaries, music, leisure activities and the activist forum, all are presented on the program section of the website.

FânFest is the biggest multi-art activist festival in Romania which started with a community’s struggle to protect their land and inspired a generation. Please support FânFest and donate!

For more information on the Save Rosia Montana please see the campaign’s website.

The RMForum facebook event. More information here.