Protest at the auction of Karnataka’s resources

June 4, 2010

Protestors gathered outside  Bangalore Town Hall yesterday to voice their opposition to the plans that have been drawn up in the Global Investors Meet (GIM).

The GIM plans claim to create new jobs and add investment into Karnataka state. However, the protestors have calculated that their proposals will result in unemployment, the loss of agricultural land and loss of capital.

The GIM plans will also disproportionately affect the poorest members of society, with Dalits, Adivasis and farmers set to suffer the most.

It seems that the GIM are rushing through their proposals without adequate public or political consultations. We ask for their plans to be carefully scrutinised with the impact they will have on communities in Karnataka thoroughly assessed.


Move or we will shoot: forcible displacement and police brutality in Orissa.

May 20, 2010

On May 12, 2010, police lathi charged and fired on 300 villagers who refused to be evicted from their homes in Chandia, Kalinganagar. One person was killed and about thirty were injured-some critically. The purpose of the police operation was to clear land for the proposed Tata Iron and Steel project. This project will displace upto 20,000 people and effect upto 1 lakh more.

On May 15, 2010, police lathi charged, tear gassed and fired on protestors who refused to be forcefully evicted by the State in Balithutta, Jagatsinghpur. Again this was motivated by commercial considerations. This time it was the POSCO steel plant project which will displace at least 40,000 people, largely from the forest lands that the State Government is trying to illegally clear for this development project.

OUR QUESTIONS:

· Whose interests does the State represent?
· What/who endows the State the power to carry out horrific acts of violence against the people it is supposed to protect?

OUR DEMANDS:

· Withdraw all police forces from the areas of civil occupancy
· Give immediate medical attention for the injured
· Give financial compensation to those killed and injured
· Initiate a judicial inquiry into these two incidences
· File criminal charges against the authorities that ordered these police attacks and ensure their immediate removal from official responsibilities.
· The withdrawal of TATA and POSCO projects from Orissa and any other areas of the country where the costs of a project have become indefensible in terms of the loss of lives, freedom and democratic choice.

NO LONGER must we tolerate the criminal behaviour of the State machinery who act in the interests of major corporations while trampling on citizens civil liberties.

Protestors, organised by the Campaign for Justice and Peace (Karnataka), show opposition to the proposed POSCO project


Environmental Governance in India

March 23, 2010

Environment Support Group, an independent not-for-profit NGO concerned with a variety of environmental and social justice issues around India and based in Banashankari, Bangalore, hosted a three day workshop on “Environmental Governance in India” last week.

Attendees from a variety of backgrounds came from all over the country to discuss and debate a very wide range of inter-related topics, which included: Private Public Partnerships, solid waste management, Bangalore’s increasing road congestion, Bt Brinjal, National Environmental Protection Authority and the coastal regulation zone (CRZ) notification.

The catalyst for holding the workshop was for people to meet and collectively review the current environmental governance situations in India and consider what should be collective strategic actions to advance human rights and environmental and social justice.

Group shot taken on the last day (unfortunately not everyone was able to make the full three days so this is not the full group of attendees).

One of the attendees, Rajesh Rangarajan, an environmental professional working at the Centre for Development Finance showed us his current project here – a pollution map which tracks environmental change by creating a repository on pollution monitoring to capture and disseminate data to civil society in a systematic and user-friendly manner.  Do check it out!