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Saturday, January 3, 2015



January 12, 2015 London Public Library 
Central Branch 
251 Dundas St. 
Stevenson and Hunt Room 

Doors open 6:00 pm for set-up

After introductory remarks, the film will start at 7:00 sharp. 

Late comers please enter through the door at the back of the room. 

Everyone is welcome! 
This is a FREE event offered by Cinema Politica in parternership with the London Public Library. 

FRAGRANCE FREE EVENT! Please be respectful of attendees who have serious allergies! 


After Alain Deneault wrote an exposé of corruption and crime in Africa called Noir Canada, he and his publisher were threatened with a defamation suit by the world’s largest gold mining firm, the Canadian company Barrick Gold. Despite the threat, they still believed public debate was possible, so they decided to proceed with publication. Deneault and his collaborators soon found themselves mired in a legal hell that showed them what 21st-century censorship is all about. For four years, Julien Fréchette patiently followed all the twists and turns of the Noir Canada affair and the debate over strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs). This gripping legal thriller sheds light on major issues of concern to us all. (NFB Canada)


January 5, 2015 


In conjunction with the London Public Library (, Cinema Politica London ( presents the documentary film Silence is Gold, about one of Canada’s largest mining companies attempt to silence an exposé of Canadian mining practices in Africa. 

In 2008 Alain Deneault co-wrote Noir Canada: Pillage, corruption et criminalité, a book highly critical of the Canadian mining industry in Africa. Prior its launch, Noir Canada publishers Les Éditions Écosociété Inc. received a letter from Canadian gold mining giant Barrick Gold, threatening legal action for alleged false information and libel. The launch was postponed but not before Écosociété had distributed nearly 2,000 copies of the book. Barrick then filed a libel suit for $6 million against the writers and the publisher.  

The case is considered by many to be a prime example of a “strategic lawsuit against public participation”(SLAPP). In 2011 the Quebec Superior Court ruled that "Barrick seems to be trying to intimidate authors", that the suit was "seemingly abusive", and that Barrick must pay the authors and publisher $143,000 to prepare their defense. Later that year Deneault and his team, exhausted by the court proceedings, reached an out of court settlement with Barrick. 

During the process, however, a coalition of activists began to push for anti-SLAPP legislation and in 2009 Quebec adopted an anti-SLAPP bill, a landmark piece of legislation protecting freedom of speech in Québec. 

For four years film directorJulien Fréchette followed the proceedings, documenting each legal twist and turn, revealing just how far the Canadian mining industry is willing to go to silence criticism of its mining practices. 

Professor Lorraine McNeil admits she is not surprised by Barrick Gold’s tactics: “This is not the first time a Canadian mining company is accused of abusive practices”. In fact, members of the indigenous Mayan Q’eqchi’ from Guatemala have filed three lawsuits in Ontario courts against Canadian mining company HudBay Minerals over the brutal and abusive treatment of several of its members. The abuses are alleged to have been committed by mine company security personnel at HudBay’s former mining project in Guatemala. 

Silence is Gold raises crucial questions about the limits of free speech, public debate, equal access to justice, and ultimately, our democratic institutions. 

Please join us to watch and discuss this important film, which will be screened on Monday, January 12th, 7 pm, at the Central Library, 251 Dundas Street, London, ON. 

For more information, contact: 

Lorraine McNeil: 519-859-4308 
Marie-France Arismendi: 519-851-0122

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