‘Dirty’ hands on front wall of Microsoft headquarter; activists arrested

On July 7, 24 activists from Milieudefensie, the Dutch chapter of Friends of the Earth International, left their handprints on the front wall of Microsofts headquarter in the Netherlands. Microsoft refuses to engage in fair mining of tin, used in their electronics. The activists got arrested, but were released after a few hours.

‘Dirty’ hands on front wall of Microsoft headquarter; activists arrested

On July 7, 24 activists from Milieudefensie, the Dutch chapter of Friends of the Earth International, left their handprints on the front wall of Microsofts headquarter in the Netherlands. Microsoft refuses to engage in fair mining of tin, used in their electronics. The activists got arrested, but were released after a few hours.

Early July, two miners died during a landslide while mining tin in Bangka, Indonesia. Every year, tens of people lose their lives while mining tin that ends up in the products of Microsoft and other electronic brands. The activists from Milieudefensie demanded a public commitment from Microsoft to cooperate in making tin mining more sustainable, taking into account people and planet.

The Microsoft-Milieudefensie ‘dialogue’

A spokesperson of Microsoft spoke to the activists and stated that the company is open for dialogue. This dialogue, however, has been going on for a year, without any concrete results. Different from Philips, Samsung and Apple, Microsoft refuses to publicly declare its will to switch to sustainable tin from Indonesia.

“We have been talking to Microsoft for a long time, but the company is hiding behind empty phrases. In no way, Microsoft has shown how it is changing to sustainable tin while producing, for example, the Surface or Xbox. Furthermore, the company is hiding behind its acquisition of Nokia, that was part of the tin working group of the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) prior to the acquisition. This is an initiative that we support and for which we invited Microsoft multiple times.” – Campaign leader Evert Hassink.