Activists march against ArcelorMittal’s macabre steel as Olympic torch arrives in Toulouse

As the Olympic Torch makes its way through France, civil society organisations are continuing to challenge steelmaker and official sponsor ArcelorMittal over its tarnishing of the eternal flame, calling upon it to respect human rights in actions, not just words.

The Fair Steel Coalition, in partnership with Oxfam Toulouse, Greenpeace Toulouse, ANV-COP21, Attac, Extinction Rebellion Toulouse, and StopTotal, is holding a ‘macabre march’ through the streets of Toulouse today (1), with demonstrators dressed in black and chained together to denounce the dirty tactics ArcelorMittal is accused of. This includes taking people’s land, disrupting livelihoods, polluting communities, and being silent in the face of forced disappearances and death threats against activists speaking out against its dirty operations in Mexico, South Africa, Liberia and elsewhere. (2)

“Steel is in everything, from cars and cutlery, to bridges and spacecraft. But for all ArcelorMittal’s shiny claims about making ‘smarter steels for people and planet’, it’s still focused on producing black steel, made with the dirty flames of coal. The company has to do better. Pollution and human rights violations will continue around its operations until it takes strong action to change,” said Pascal Husting, Shiny Claims, Dirty Flames campaign spokesperson.

“We are here because we want Europeans to know that they are not the only ones suffering from ArcelorMittal’s social and environmental impacts. In Liberia, people are dying prematurely because of pollution from ArcelorMittal’s mines. Their land is being stolen, their water poisoned and their livelihoods destroyed. ArcelorMittal’s steel, which is everywhere, is dirty steel,” said John Nimly Brownell, Programs Coordinator of Green Advocates International.

“Today the ArcelorMittal torch arrives in Toulouse, tarnishing the Olympic flame with its connection to human rights abuses and environmental degradation. From the mines to the mills, ArcelorMittal’s steel remains black so long as it is made with coal and harms communities. Here in France, the cradle of human rights, we reject silence and sacrifice. It’s time to forge a path towards true equality and sustainability,” said Eduardo Mosqueda, Executive Director of Tskini, Mexico.

“ArcelorMittal’s human rights abuses around the world sicken me, especially when I know that in 2022 the company paid its CEO 153 times more than the average wage of its workers, and its shareholders 22 times more than it spent on its so-called ‘smarter steels for people and planet’. I hope that, thanks to this action, the public at the Olympic Games will remember the many lives damaged by ArcelorMittal’s dirty steel,” said Eugénie Bellet, Oxfam Toulouse.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button