The protestors included members of international and British environmental and social-rights groups, including the Gaia Foundation, London Mining Network, War on Want, Divest London, Global Justice Now, and Stop Mad Mining, among others.
In addition to disrupting the proceedings, the protestors presented to the conference organizers a letter signed by 56 different environmental and social organizations (including ALERT) that underscored their many concerns.
They also distributed a list of ten case studies in which foreign-funded mining operations have had disastrous consequences for African nations.
Each year, hundreds of billions of dollars are pouring into African nations for mining projects. China alone is investing over $120 billion annually, with India, Brazil, Russia, Canada, and Australia also making huge private investments there.
These investments are having many impacts. For one thing, they are providing an economic impetus for a stampede of road and infrastructure expansion. At present, there are plans for 29 massive "development corridors" -- almost all prompted by mining investments -- that will open up huge swaths of wild and semi-wild areas to a range of new human pressures, such as poaching, logging, and habitat destruction.