Wednesday, January 31, 2007



It is sad that as Romanians celebrate their entry into the European Union and all the democratic and human rights that come with their membership Greenpeace and other international environmental organizations are trying to re-impose censorship and totalitarianism.

The current campaign by Greenpeace and 80 other international NGOs to ban the screening of our documentary Mine Your Own Business is a sad indication of these group’s attitudes towards the people they claim they want to protect.

Seventeen years after the Romanian people overthrew communism in a revolution that cost over 1000 lives Romanians are once again being ordered how to live and work by Greenpeace and other environmental organizations.

And just like the communists of old Greenpeace now wants to control what the Romanian people see in the cinema and are even trying to stop our documentary being shown in Washington.

Their campaign to have the premiere of our documentary banned in Washington by calling on the National Geographic Society, which is providing the venue, to cancel the booking is shocking and a chilling reminder that totalitarianism and intolerance takes many forms.

We are saddened by the actions of Greenpeace and the other international organizations. If the National Geographic cancels the booking we pledge to screen the documentary regardless.

A cancellation would be sad for us as filmmakers but it would be tragic for the communities we have visited in Rosia Montana, Madagascar and Chile. These impoverished communities know that the proposed mines are their only chance for a clean environment and a prosperous future for them and their children.

A series of statements have been released today in the campaign to ban our documentary. They contain so many lies and exaggerations that it would be impossible to correct them all. Below we will refute just some of the misleading claims.

There is no widespread local opposition to the mine at Rosia Montana. In the most recent local elections pro mining candidates received 90 per cent of the vote.
Alburnus Maior, the group which is leading the campaign against the mine, is dominated by foreigners.
The role of foreigners in opposing the project was recognized by the Goldman foundation who awarded Swiss environmentalist Stefanie Roth the Goldman Prize in 2005.

It is often claimed the Goldman Prize is the “Nobel Prize of the environmental world. “According to the Goldman Foundation Ms Roth was awarded the prize because of her leading role in opposing the proposed goldmine at Rosia Montana.

In addition there is no truth to the claim by Mr David that the any footage in Mine Your Own Business was stolen.

For those people interested in lies being told about Rosia Montana we invite you to go to the Alburnus Maior website On the front page it is announced: “the illegal process of forced resettlement has already begun.” This is a lie. No one has been forced from their home. We now call on to produce documentary evidence of illegal forced resettlements or to apologise and remove this claim from their website.

Rosia Montana is heavily polluted from historic mining. The river running through the village is a bright orange. The proposed mine by Gabriel Resources has a plan to clean it up. Greenpeace or Alburnus Maior have no such plan. They want to preserve the people of Rosia Montana in poverty because they believe it is part of their culture.

Those who have seen Mine Your Own Business will have seen Francioise Heidebroek, a Belgian citizen and leading member of Alburnus Maior, state in all seriousness that the people of Rosia Montana prefer to ride a horse and cart rather than drive a car because it is part of their lifestyle.

We asked the people of Rosia Montana if this was correct but our questions were greeted with disbelief from puzzled villagers.

Greenpeace, Albrunus Maior and 80 international NGO’s do not want the people of Washington or Romania to see Mine Your Own Business. They believe in censorship and closing down the voices of people who are so seldom heard.

Our documentary tells the truth about the lives of the people of Rosia Montana. We welcome a debate about the project.

We now challenge Mr Eugen David and Stefanie Roth to a public debate in Rosia Montana on the project. We are confident that such a debate free from the censorship that Greenpeace and its allies wish to impose would show the truth about the lives of the people of Rosia Montana.

Phelim McAleer
Ann McElhinney