FirstWeds Autumn Series 2022 (Part 2): The Struggle for the Earth – The Global is Local

The Struggle for the Earth

First Wednesdays Autumn 2022 Series

PART 2: The Struggle for the Earth – The Global is Local

Date: Wednesday, 2 Nov, 7PM

While many communities around the world are threatened by the impacts of climate change, others face more direct environmental destruction in the form of extractivism. Following the supply chain disruption caused by Covid-19, European countries are increasingly seeking to develop their own mineral supplies, meaning that harmful forms of mining are no longer confined to the Global South.

Mining is coming home, but many of us are unaware of this trend (over 25% of the territory of the island of Ireland is covered by mining concessions) until it arrives on our doorsteps. Around Ireland, ordinary citizens have been transformed into activists by the threat of mining. In doing so, they enter a shared global struggle – the same song played on different instruments. What do their efforts tell us about citizenship and its role in protecting the planet? What are the common contours of these struggles? How do their efforts point to other ways of being with each other, with the land, of organising our economies?

This session is one of three events of the First Wednesdays Autumn 2022 Series, ‘The Struggle for Democracy: Exploring Commonalities in Global Citizenship and Activism’ organised in partnership with the  Maynooth University Department of International Development.

Register now and find out more about the series below.

About First Wednesdays Autumn 2022 Series

Exploring Commonalities in Global Citizenship and Activism 

Join us this Autumn for the new First Wednesdays series, a set of three interlinked conversations with those currently involved in real-world struggles in Ireland and beyond. We will take a closer look at commonalities ‘in struggle’ across campaigning and activism movements, and explore what it would mean to consider these struggles as part of a process of ‘acts of global citizenship’ and ‘democratising democracy’.

We are grateful to the Maynooth University Department of International Development for their partnership in hosting the series, and to Concern Worldwide for their ongoing financial support, which enables us to offer this series to the public.

Join the conversation and register now for the next event of the series!  


Ramon Balcazar Morales

Ramón Balcázar Morales is the founder of Fundación Tantí (Seed), a small non-profit created in San Pedro de Atacama and Co-coordinator of the Plurinational Observatory of Andean Salt Flats OPSAL, a cross-border collective that brings together indigenous leaders, activists and researchers from Chile, Argentina and Bolivia around the protection Andean salt flats and wetlands.

He is currently pursuing a PhD in Rural Development at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana. In his doctoral research, he seeks to describe the relations behind the model of dispossession that emerges with lithium mining in the Salar de Atacama Salt Flat a local impact of a corporate-led energy transition. He edited and co-authored the book “Andean Salt Flats, an Ecology of Knowledge for the Protection of Our Salt Flats and Wetlands (Threatened by Extractivism) in 2021, and produced the documentary “Water is Worth More than Lithium” released in the same year. In Chile, he is currently leading an initiative that seeks to promote the knowledge and protection of the Andean wetlands.

Lynda Sullivan

Lynda Sullivan is an activist with the all-island network Communities Against the Injustice of Mining (CAIM). She previously worked for human rights organisations in Ireland before spending 5 years in Latin America, mainly Peru, accompanying Andean communities in their resistance against mega extractive projects. After returning home and working on the issues of climate justice and extractivism with Friends of the Earth NI for the past 4 years, she is now a freelance consultant for the Environmental Justice Network Ireland and the Yes to Life No to Mining global network. She is also Chair of the Centre for Global Education and Management Committee member of the PPR Project.

Bernadette Hopkins

Bernadette Hopkins is a visual/performance artist and activist with an MA in Social Practice Art and Creative Environments. She lives in Donegal and is part of Save Inishowen from Gold Mining, Communities Against the Injustice of Mining (CAIM) and Rights of Nature Ireland. She practices her art and activism through a feminist and human rights lens.

This session will be moderated by Dr Tom Campbell of the Maynooth University Department of International Development.

You can find out more about the series and book your place for its two other parts here.

For any questions and to find out more, please contact Aga at


#FirstWeds events are organised in partnership with the Maynooth University Department of International Development and with the financial support of Concern Worldwide for which we are most grateful.

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