Glencore – Proud Sponsors Of The Garden Bridge

24 Jul 2016

Recently A Bridge Too Far wrote about the use of children as soft PR by the Garden Bridge Trust. This use of participation projects to cover up something more dubious can be called “artwashing

In a similar vein, ‘greenwashing‘ is when a corporation attempts to cover up its less than savoury activities by funding or supporting a project which appears to be environmentally good.

Even though the Garden Bridge is in no way an ecologically good project, it’s false facade of greenery offers a suitable image for some companies to get some cheap Greenwash – international mining company Glencore for example. Glencore are donating £10m of their metals to clad the Garden Bridge. So let’s learn a little about their business in a post contributed by SouthBankTales.

 

Glencore, bringing the Garden Bridge and child labour together

Founding Garden Bridge sponsor Glencore are often described as “controversial“. After a quick search, knee deep in PR, their activities read like a blueprint for the heartless incorporated pursuit of profit:

Bribe and/or cut a deal with powerful

Steal assets

Use the local police and death squads

Use child labour

Poison water

Trade stolen commodities

Speculate on hunger

Evade taxes

Glencore are a commodity traders and mining corporation who operate in “frontier regions” and “challenging political jurisdictions“. Glencore

Glencore “continues to place the maximisation of profits and the minimisation of its tax payments above respect for human rights and the environment“. SwissInfo

 

BRIBE AND/OR CUT A DEAL

Partner with a local fixer ForeignPolicy

In Democratic Republic Congo, Glencore partner Dan Gertler is close to President Joseph Kabila. Gertler has negotiated with US on behalf of Congo. Kabila was a military dictator who now wins elections, sometimes with 100% of the vote. Bloomberg | NYTimes

In Russia, Glencore partner right-wing nationalist oligarch Mikhail Gutseriev, who seems to hire “busloads of armed guardsForeignPolicy

Glencore bribed Saddam Hussein for a big cut of the UN oil for food programme NYTimes | BusinessInsider

Secret payments to Australian political parties were “donation errors” not bribes Guardian | CommissionWatch

Fined for bribing EU official. Reuters | Bloomberg

Glencore founder Mark Rich was a fugitive for corporate crimes. In his last hours as president Bill Clinton pardoned Rich. Rich’s wife paid millions over to the Clintons and payback support for Hilary still rolls in. NYTimes | NYPost

Glencore pay Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson vast amounts of money for little work ThisIsMoney | DailyMail

 

STEAL ASSETS

In Congo Dan Gertler secretly buys state assets at knock down prices, sells them offshore to Glencore, making huge profits for all involved. Bloomberg | Guardian | GlobalWitness | Reuters

 

POLICE & PARAMILITARY

Glencore’s South African partner is Cyril Ramaphosa. Ramaphosa was the Mining Union General-Secretary as it negotiated with a mining company he part owned in a country where he was to become vice president. Xstrata/Glencore held a 30% share of the mine. The Police shot 120 striking miners killing 34. Guardian | Wikipedia

In Congo Police kill with impunity and arrest arbitrarily to protect Glencore interests RAID | Update

In Colombia Glencore hired known paramilitary killers to drive farmers off land wanted for open cast mine BBC | ColombiaReports PAX

In Peru Glencore co-opted state forces to repress resistance Ecologist

 

LABOUR

Panorama found child labour at a Glencore copper mine BBC | Telegraph

Labour rights in Congo are “constantly violatedFacingFinance

 

POLLUTION

Acid from their mines contaminates drinking water in Congo RAID |ECCHR

And Peru FacingFinance

Australia Guardian

And sulphur poisons air in Zambia ThisIsMoney | Independent

 

TRADE STOLEN COMMODITIES

Exposed in court as trading stolen West African oil. Guardian

 

SPECULATE ON HUNGER

Glencore bet that food prices would rise and then called on drought struck Russia to ban wheat export, putting global prices through the roof. Guardian | AlJazeera

 

EVADE TAXES

Systematically ripped off one of Africa’s poorest countries, Zambia Crikey | WarOnWant | ActionAid

Trade mispricing: offshore companies ensure taxes are paid in havens not the country mined GFI

Trade mispricing: £367.6bn shifted from developing countries. TaxResearch

Tax dodging in UK Guardian and Italy Independent

HQ in Zug (secrecy) Time, registered in Jersey (0% tax) TaxResearch, listed in London and Hong Kong NewInternationalist

 

OCCUPIED TERRITORIES

With multiple interests Glencore are complicit in the violent 40 year Moroccan military occupation of Western Sahara, in defiance of the UN, the ICJ and the African Union. WarOnWant

 

INVESTIGATIONS

IMF accuses Glencore of secret deals with Congo Government Reuters

UN report concluded Glencore bribed Iraq Oil For Food programme Fox

Serious Fraud Office investigated Congo bribes ThisIsMoney

Zambia tax rip off report suppressed by EIB Bank Guardian | TaxJustice

 

 

This post was written and illustrated by SouthBankTales and originally published on the website Tales From The South Bank. Reproduced here with thanks.

 


 

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