Speakers Tour Student Event Ku Leuven

Speaker’s Tour Student Event – Citizens Council: Extractivism and KULeuven

Speaker’s Tour Student Event – Citizens Council: Extractivism and KULeuven

We do not eat gold, we do not drink oil.

(Rosas Duran Carrera, KULeuven Student Event)

During this year’s Speaker’s Tour CATAPA organised several events in student campuses across Flanders. On Monday 7th March Rosas travelled to KULeuven to deliver a striking testimony about the impact of several mining projects on his community and their collective resistance. 

In the second half of the event, students were challenged to question the links between extractivism and their university. For example, KULeuven’s SIM2 Institute works on ‘environmentally friendly’ mineral and material extraction and recycling. The institute works with various extractive companies, such as Nyrstar and Umicore, with a history of environmental and human rights violations and ties to Belgian colonialism.

Speakers Tour Student Event Ku Leuven

The enthusiasm in the room was electric. Students brainstormed several strategies around how we could take collective action to force KULeuven to divest from mining and provide greater transparency. We then planned a further meeting to turn these ideas into a concrete  campaign.

This event was part of the Speaker’s Tour 2022.

Written by catapista Connor Cashell.


KULeuven Institute for Sustainable Metals and Minerals (2022) Industrial Sounding Board,
Available at: https://kuleuven.sim2.be/industrial-sounding-board/
[Accessed 22 March 2022]. 
KULeuven Institute for Sustainable Metals and Minerals (2022) Mission and Vision.
Available at: https://kuleuven.sim2.be/mission-vision/
[Accessed 22 March 2022].
Sanderson, Henry (2019) ‘Congo, child labour and your electric car’, Financial Times, July 7 2019.
Available at: https://www.ft.com/content/c6909812-9ce4-11e9-9c06-a4640c9feebb
[Accessed 23 March 2022]. 
Shepherd, Tony (2021) ‘In the shadow of Port Pirie’s lead smelter,
parents fight a losing battle against contamination’, Guardian, 3 September 2021.
Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/sep/04/
[Accessed 23 March 2022].

Speaker’s Tour 2022 – Overview activities

CATAPA’s next Speakers Tour is coming up!

From the 3rd until the 13th of March we have two Peruvian guests visiting us in Belgium: Rosas Duran Carrera, a farmer and activist from the Valle de Condebamba in Cajamarca, and Mirtha Villanueava, director of our partner organisation GRUFIDES. 

Their days will be filled with awareness raising, networking and lobbying events. They are here to share their struggle against large-scale mining in Peru and how standing up for their rights comes with the risk and fear of being intimidated, stigmatized and persecuted. During their visit, they will talk to students, local and European politicians, the press, civil society organizations and interested citizens. 

Here you can find an overview of activities in which you are able to meet them personally:


4.03: Kick-Off Speaker’s Tour + Public Action

4 March 2022, 18h45, Ghent. 

We start with an internal reception to give a warm welcome to our speakers with our movement, as well as a celebration to kick-off the speaker’s tour. Old and new Catapistas and CATAPA’s partners are invited. Didn’t inscribe yet? Fill in this form: https://forms.gle/v1DBtAh72NNGLqFw8

The Kick Off starts at 19h30, but before that (at 18h45) we already gather at Sint-Pietersplein in Ghent for a public action! During this action we will sing Cajamarcan protest songs, play music and call for the protection of our environmental defenders and for the implementation of the Right to Say No! If you register for the kick off, you will receive all the information about the action too. 


06.03: Ontbijt met een Rebel 

6 March 2022, 9h30, Ghent

It has become a tradition, our annual Breakfast with a Rebel! After a coronabreak last year, we are going for it again this year! Come and listen to five rebels on 6 March with inspiring stories from all corners of the world, while you can feast on the vegetarian breakfast buffet.

More information here.


8.03: Round Table: DEFENSORAS. Tierras que resisten en manos de mujeres

8 March 2022, 19h30, Brussels

Being a woman and defending the land is the double threat faced by women environmental defenders all over the world.

On March 8, we will listen to the testimony of defensoras from Peru, Colombia and The Netherlands/Bolivia. They will share stories about climate activism and their experiences and struggles within the defense of their territories, in order to promote solidarity and to connect different struggles for justice. They’ll also talk about the vital role of women in activism.

Join our cozy round table conversation and get strengthened by stories of hope and resistance of these inspiring Defensoras!

More information about the event here.



7, 9 & 10.03: Student events 

Our guests will go to three universities to talk in four events about their experiences with students. All these testimonies will be followed by an interactive session, in which we will determine some links between the universities and issues related to mining. Together we will brainstorm about solutions and think of ways to present these solutions to the rector!

Three of those four events are public! Also non-students are welcome to take part. Here’s an overview: 


12.03: Re-Connect Restart Party

12 March 2022, 14h, Antwerp

Rosas & Mirtha will share their testimonies at the Re-Connect Restart Party on the 12th of March! This is a Repair Café with all kinds of interesting workshops and sessions, which takes place at Circuit in Antwerp. Rosas & Mirtha will explain why the Right to Repair and going towards a more circular way to produce and consume metals is important to reduce our need for newly extracted raw materials. 

More information here


This year CATAPA is collaborating with Gent Fair Trade for the Speaker Tour activities that take place in Ghent.