JiscMail Logo
Email discussion lists for the UK Education and Research communities

Help for CRIT-GEOG-FORUM Archives


CRIT-GEOG-FORUM Archives

CRIT-GEOG-FORUM Archives


CRIT-GEOG-FORUM@JISCMAIL.AC.UK


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

CRIT-GEOG-FORUM Home

CRIT-GEOG-FORUM Home

CRIT-GEOG-FORUM  December 1999

CRIT-GEOG-FORUM December 1999

Options

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password

Subject:

Indian Movements vs. WTO - Part 1 <fwd>

From:

David McKnight <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

David McKnight <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 6 Dec 1999 13:33:28 +0000 (GMT)

Content-Type:

TEXT/PLAIN

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

TEXT/PLAIN (414 lines)

--- Begin Forwarded Message ---
Date: Mon, 6 Dec 1999 14:13:36 +0100
From: el desaparecido <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Indian Movements vs. WTO - Part 1
Sender: el desaparecido <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]

Reply-To: November 30 International Day of Action 
<[log in to unmask]>
Message-ID: <[log in to unmask]>


November 30 International Day of Action - http://www.n30.org

From:           	Sergio Oceransky <[log in to unmask]>
Date sent:      	Thu, 2 Dec 1999 19:16:06 +0000
Subject:        	[caravan99] Indian Movements vs. WTO - Part 1

             *** please distribute widely! ***

  Preliminary report from actions against the WTO in India
  ########################################################

The Global Day of Action against Capitalism and the WTO was celebrated by
diverse Indian movements with actions and demonstrations throughout the
country. Mass-based movements representing Adivasis [indigenous peoples],
farmers, slum dwellers, women, victims of the greed of corporations such as
Union Carbide, workers, students and other social sectors directly affected
by the destructive process of capitalist globalisation took the streets in
several states to express their rejection of the WTO regime and demand
India's withdrawal from it.

This message contains only an incomplete report of the N30 and related
actions in India. Below you will find reports of the demonstrations in
Bangalore, the Narmada valley and New Delhi. Detailed reports of other
actions will follow in the next days. We know know that the diverse
farmers', adivasis' and workers' movements that compose JAFIP (Joint Action
Forum of Indian People Against the WTO and Anti-Human Policies) and AIPRF
(All-India Peoples' Resistance Forum) organised a number of decentralised
actions on November 30: protests took place in 10 different districts of
Punjab, as well as in the states of Bihar (Patna and other places), West
Bengal (Calcutta), Andhra Pradesh (Hyderabad, Guntur, Shakrapatnam), and
other locations. We will send more information as soon as it is available.
Besides these actions on November 30, the protests to commemorate the 15th
anniversary of the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal, stretching from the 1st
to the 3rd of December, also form part of the Day of Action.

There are already plans for follow-up actions in the region. The diverse
movements that form JAFIP have recently discussed a plan of action to
build-up momentum and continue building up the movement against the WTO in
the next months. A massive national rally will take place in New Delhi on
December 29th, at which all major Indian movements will greet a new WTO-free
millennium, and regular decentralised programmes of awareness-raising and
mobilisation will take place in most Indian states. For more information
contact JAFIP at <[log in to unmask]> and AIPFR at <[log in to unmask]> and
<[log in to unmask]>

An impressive programme called 'Land Entitlement Satyagraha' [Satyagraha is
a Gandhian term that means Strugge for Truth] will be lauched on the 10th of
December, spearheaded by Ekta Parishad [Unity Conference], a mass-based
Adivasi movement from Madhya Pradesh and one of the most important movements
of indigenous peoples in Asia. The Satyagraha will consist of a
3.000-kilometer march on foot, stretching from the 10th of December 1999 to
the 20th of June of the year 2000. The aim of this march is to launch a
massive movement of non-violent direct action and civil disobedience on land
issues. The march will promote the occupation of governmental land, thus
implementing land reform by means of direct action, and urge rural
communities to reclaim the control over their resources and livelihood,
which is being increasingly taken away from them by the destructive process
of capitalist globalisation. This process, driven by global forces and
institutions like the WTO, with the direct support of the national and local
elites, is depriving people of their rights and means of livelihood. The
march, which will pass through 1.500 villages and mobilise opinion in over
10.000 villages, will create awareness about the destructive role of the WTO
regime, transnational corporations and financial institutions, in complicity
with national and state governments, calling for direct action to restore
the rights of people. Due to the emphasis on direct action and to the
occupations of governmental land that will form part of the programme, the
organisers are counting on a heavy dosis of police repression. Hence,
international solidarity will be very important; in the future we will
continue sending information about this Satyagraha, including calls for
action whenever this is necessary. For more information please contact Ekta
Parishad, Gandhi Bhavan, Bhopal, India, tel. +91-755-543800 [in the next
report of Indian actions against the WTO we will send the email address as
well].

In Sri Lanka various organisations representing people affected by the World
Bank policies (farmers, retrenched workers, traditional fishermen, victims
of the mega-projects etc.) are organising a rally against the WTO and the
World Bank in Colombo, capital of Sri Lanka, on the 15th of December. A
group of people from these organisations has been going around the country
awakening people on the ill effects of capitalist globalisation. For more
information please contact Srath Iddamalgoda at <[log in to unmask]>.

Below you will find reports of the actions that took place in the following
locations:

1. Bangalore: KRRS Demonstrates against the WTO and Monsanto
2. Narmada Valley: Bullock-carts Rally against the WTO 
3. New Delhi: Adivasis occupy World Bank Premises
4. New Delhi: Actions against the WTO and the Maheshwar dam

Hopefully there will be pictures of all these events in the www.agp.org page
very soon (in case power failures and erratic servers allow, they have made
life very difficult in the last couple of days)


   1. KRRS Demonstrates against the WTO and Monsanto
   *************************************************

Protest Forms Part of the N30 Global Day of Action Against Capitalism

Bangalore (India), 30 November 1999 - Several thousand farmers from all the
districts of Karnataka gathered today in Bangalore to protest against the
Third Ministerial conference of WTO which is now starting in Seattle. They
were joined by activists from several leftist organisations and unions. At
the end of the demonstration they issued a 'Quit India' notice to Monsanto,
urging the company to leave the country or face non-violent direct action
against its activities and installations. Another notice was issued to the
Indian Institute of Science (IISc), which has permitted Monsanto to do its
research work in its premises, to expel the transnational corporation from
the campus.

The demonstration started at the central train station at 10:30 and headed
towards the Mahatma Gandhi's statue to hold a public meeting. The police
tried to stop the demonstrators from entering the park where Gandhi's statue
is situated, but the KRRS farmers went into the park telling the police that
they don't need anyone's permission to visit this statue and shouting
slogans against the WTO, 'free' trade, Monsanto etc. They sat down in front
of the statue with big banners and placards stating "We Don't Want
Monsanto's Bullshit", "Keep Organic Free from Genetic Engineering", etc. 

The police also tried to stop KRRS farmers from installing a microphone for
the public meeting, but gave up after the farmer activists warned them that
if the sound system was not allowed into the park, they would hold the
meeting on the street, blocking the traffic. This was the first time that a
sound system was allowed inside Gandhi Park. 

Representatives of all the districts of KRRS, of trade unions and other
leftist organisations addressed the public meeting. Mr. Kodihally
Chandrashekhar, General Secretary of KRRS, stated: "We have already
experienced the impact of 'free' trade on our lives, this is why we demand
the Indian Government to reject the WTO regime and withdraw from it."

Mr. Veeranna, president of KRRS in the Bellary district, where more than 18
tonnes of Monsanto's sorghum seeds of were recently destroyed, said "Farmers
who used Monsanto's seeds are suffering a lot. This year the entire crop of
Monsanto's sorghum failed in the 30.000 acres where it was planted, ruining
more than 1.000 families. We already warned agribusiness when we destroyed
the Cargill office in Bangalore in 1993. Remember that if you don't leave
India soon we will kick you out physically." Mr. Kalmath, representative of
KRRS in the Raichur district, declared "In November 98, when we came to know
that Monsanto was holding field trials in Karnataka, in my own district, we
decided to burn the crops in the action 'Cremation Monsanto'. We will
continue taking direct action until these TNCs go away."

Mr.Shankarappa, KRRS president in Mandya district, stated: "We were under
British for more than 200 years. Then we started living under the rule of
our own corrupted politicians and capitalists. We know that neither Prime
Ministers nor Chief Ministers are concerned about farmers. But we would like
to remind you that if you are alive today, it is only because of us. You
have money, machines, a lot of property, but you cannot eat them. My message
to you is that 'Kill WTO - otherwise it kills you'."

Mr. K.T. Gangadhar, representative of KRRS in the district of Shimoga,
addressed the police: "We can judge the concern of the police and the
Government about us by seeing the large number of police officials in our
symbolic demonstration. We have not come here to steal anything from
anybody. As farmers, we have the big responsibility on our shoulders of
feeding everybody, and that is not a joke. We don't want to grow and feed
poisonous food by using the genetically modified seeds of Monsanto. It is
our responsibility to protect our natural resources. I would like to tell to
the police to be prepared! We will attack Monsanto unless it quits India."

Mr. Jagadish, representative of the leftist organisation 'Secular India
Fauz', declared: "We know what will be the effect of increased import of
agricultural and other products on countries like India where the majority
of the population are small and landless farmers. We are with you. We will
fight together against our common enemy."

Mr. G.R. Shivashankar, president of the Karnataka Trade Union, asserted:
"Because of multinational corporations, 7.000 Indian industries are closed
today. If we keep quiet the whole country will be in the hands of
transnational investors. This is the time for farmers and industrial workers
to come closer and fight with unity."

Mr. V. Sheshareddy, vicepresident of KRRS, closed the public meeting. "The
WTO is trying to deliver countries like ours into the hands of transnational
monopolies. But we will not allow them to interfere in our lives. We don't
want multinational seed companies, we don't want genetically modified seeds.
We have our own technologies and we are very happy with them."

After the public meeting, a delegation of KRRS activists went to the Indian
Institute of Science (IISc) and to the Monsanto office in Bangalore to issue
notices. The notice given to the IISc said that this institution was
"created at the time of freedom movement to help the development of country
with regard to science and technology. Instead of fulfilling your
objectives, you have given space to the multinational corporation Monsanto,
which is trying to build up a monopoly on agriculture with the help of
biotechnology. You will have to withdraw the permission given to Monsanto to
do research work in your campus."

The notice given to Monsanto said "you should quit India otherwise we will
have to throw you out from here". Monsanto staff asked the farmers'
delegation not to shout slogans inside the building, but they must have been
quite disappointed when the result of their request was exactly the opposite
of what they intended. When the delegation was invited to negotiate by
Monsanto's regional director, Mr. Manjunath, they replied that they had
nothing to negotiate with Monsanto, and told the director to get the company
out of the country.

Women from all Karnataka districts attended the demonstration and used the
opportunity to discuss new plans to strengthen the gender work within KRRS.

For more information please contact <[log in to unmask]>


   2. Bullock-cart rally in Narmada valley against the WTO
   *******************************************************

Anjar (Narmada valley), 30 November 1999 - An anti-WTO demonstration with
bullock-carts was organised today in the village of Anjar by Rewa Ke Yuva
(Youths for Narmada), the recently formed youth branch of the Narmada Bachao
Andolan (NBA, Save the Narmada Movement). More than 1000 people from around
60 villages participated in the colorful procession, protesting against the
anti-human agreements and institutions that are pushing India and the rest
of the world into the destructive process of capitalist globalisation.

"Countries of the Third World will have to fight against global capitalist
powers for their own survival", asserted Medha Patkar, one of the most
prominent social activists in Asia and main activist of NBA, in her speech
at the end of rally, adding "NBA has presented an example by ousting the
World Bank from the Narmada valley".

The main slogan chosen by the organisers of the rally, "We the youths of
Narmada have awaken - the WTO will run away!", reflected this sense of
optimism, this confidence that people can take control of their destiny if
they organise in grassroots movements against the policies that are killing
them.

In their speeches at the end of the rally, the farmers of the valley spoke
about the plummeting prices of agricultural products due to imports. The
also announced that they will not pay their electricity bills as long as the
power supply to rural areas continues being erratic and unreliable due to
the preference given to the industries and cities by the power corporations
- another example of the discrimination of the countryside brought about by
capitalist development.

Dr. Sagan introduced the programme talking about the increased economic
disparities caused by the policies forced by the WTO regime. Mr. Vitthal
Pattidar, president of the municipality where the demonstration took place,
stated that the WTO is taking away India's sovereignty. Mr. Mansaran Jat, a
local farmers' leader, said that while 80% of the Indian population depend
on agriculture, all the policies imposed by the government and by global
institutions and agreements are anti-farmer. 

For more information please contact Narmada Bachao Andolan at
<[log in to unmask]>


   3. Action against the WTO and the Maheshwar dam in New Delhi
   ************************************************************

500 women and men from the Maheshwar area of the Narmada valley arrived on
the 29th of November to New Delhi in order to participate in a 3-days Dharna
(sit-in) at Raj Ghat, the place where the ashes of Mahatma Ghandi are
buried. They went to New Delhi in order to protest against the destructive
capitalist model of so-called 'development'. Their actions had two specific
targets: the collusion of Indian industrial interests, diverse multinational
corporations and the German state to build up a dam in Maheshwar, which
would have devastating local impacts, and the WTO regime, for the equally
vandalistic and insidious dispossession that it creates globally.

They staged two different actions on November 30th. The first one took place
outside the German embassy, under the strong surveillance of the police. The
German government is now considering the approval of a Hermes guarantee for
the Maheshwar dam, the first privatised hydro-electric project in the
history of independent India. The approval of such a guarantee would take
all the risk away from the foreign corporations (such as Siemens, ABB, etc)
which are investing in its construction; hence, if this mega-dam, besides
being a human, cultural and environmental tragedy, would as expected end up
being a financial disaster (like so many other mega-dams), the losses would
be paid with German taxpayers' money. If the guarantee is approved, the
Indian and foreign corporations involved will undoubtedly go ahead with this
dreadful project, despite the strong grassroots resistance to it, despite
the fact that its terrible social and ecological consequences have been
acknowledged even by the Indian Environmental Ministry's recent report on
the project. 

A group of 10 representatives of Narmada Bachao Andolan (Save the Narmada
Movement, NBA) and supporters (including the internationally acclaimed
writer Arundhati Roy, winner of the Booker Prize) went into the German
embassy in the morning to deliver the more than 11.000 protest postcards
written by people from the Maheshwar area. They were arrested for 2 hours
due to a foolish regulation according to which 10 persons are too many
people to enter the embassy, while 100 other NBA activists protested outside
the embassy, holding banners and placards with slogans against the dam and
the WTO, such as "WTO Regime: killer of people, nature and culture".

The same day at 15:00 the complete group of 500 representatives of NBA from
the Maheshwar area, along with scores of activists from Jagerti Mahila
Samiti (Committee for the Awakening of Women, a local grassroots movement
organising in the slums of Delhi), Prawaha (a students' organisation), the
National Alliance of Peoples' Movements and several local organisations,
held a symbolic protest against the WTO near Raj Ghat, the place where the
ashes of Mahatma Ghandi are buried and where NBA's 3-days sit-in took place.
The women burned a statue symbolising the WTO and several speeches were
held. The speakers, representing different organisations, stated their
commitment to Gandhi's vision of a self-reliant, sustainable,
solidarity-based India composed of village republics, which is worlds away
>from the destructive, centralising and anti-human process of capitalist
globalisation regulated and furthered by the WTO. They made clear that they
will not allow any transnational corporation in their land and forests, and
that they will resist the destructive and exploitative policies imposed by
rotten capitalists, political parties and bureaucrats for the benefit of the
elites.

For more information please contact Narmada Bachao Andolan at
<[log in to unmask]> and the National Alliance of Peoples Movements at
<[log in to unmask]>


   4. Adivasis Occupy World Bank Premises in New Delhi 
   **********************************************************
Protest against the Destruction of Livelihoods and the Environment 
           by the World Bank and the WTO 

More than 300 Adivasis [i.e. indigenous peoples] from the Indian state of
Madya Pradesh, representing all mass-based Adivasi movements, jumped over
the fence of the World Bank building on the 24th of November at 12:00. They
blocked the building, covering it with posters, grafitti, cow shit and mud,
sang slogans and traditional songs at the gate, and went back only after Mr.
Lim, country director of the World Bank in India, went out to receive an
open letter signed by all their movements. 

The letter denounces the destructive impact of World Bank investments in
forestry and of the liberalisation in timber products enshrined in the WTO
system, which range from the commodification and destruction of the forests
to increasing violence, rape and assassinations. The letter also clearly
states their stand in relation to these institutions: "We fought against the
British and we will fight against the new form of colonialism that you
represent with all our might."

The attempts of the country director of the World Bank to deliver a speech
were refused by the Adivasis, who said that after talking with World Bank
officials for the last 5 years they had concluded that such 'dialogues' had
the only objective of betraying, misleading and deceiving the Adivasis while
pushing through commercial and industrial interests.

Adivasi organisations in Madhya Pradesh have repeatedly denounced the highly
destructive, so-called 'eco-development' programmes that the World Bank has
been funding for the last five years in their forests. Those programmes
involve the violent forced eviction of Adivasis from their lands (where all
means of force were used, including several killings), which as so many
other aspects of the 'eco-development' programmes of the WB goes against the
Operational Directives of the Bank, as well as a remarkably awkward
combination of bans on the activities on which Adivasis have based their
livelihoods since milennia (shifting cultivation, fishing, extraction of
forest produce, etc.) on 'environmental grounds', combined with the
liberalisation of commercial activities to 'make conservation a good
business'. A great business not for the Adivasis, but for the corrupt
administrative system exploiting the forest and the commercial and
industrial interests behind this sort of 'eco-development'. Hence, the
Adivasi communities see themselves forced to buy in the market the products
that they are not anymore allowed to extract from their forests. 

The other target of the action was the WTO regime, an increasingly important
tool for the interests that are destroying the lives of indigenous peoples
all over the world. The attempts to include in the WTO system a new
agreement aimed at boosting timber extraction and trade were highlighted,
and the Adivasis expressed their determination to fight against it.

The open letter to the President of the World Bank concludes:

"For the World Bank and the WTO, our forests are a marketable commodity. But
for us, the forests are a home, our source of livelihood, the dwelling of
our gods, the burial grounds of our ancestors, the inspiration of our
culture. We do not need you to save our forests. We will not let you sell
our forests. So go back from our forests and our country."

Pictures and more information about the action will soon be available at the
PGA website (http://www.agp.org). In the next months more background
information on this issue will be slowly added to that webpage.

PLEASE WRITE TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE WORLD BANK DEMANDING AN IMMEDIATE END
TO ALL THE SO-CALLED 'ECO-DEVELOPMENT' PROGRAMMES IN THE FORESTRY AREA IN
INDIA. REMIND HIM THAT THE OPERATIONAL DIRECTIVES OF THE WORLD BANK HAVE
BEEN GROSSLY VIOLATED AND COUNTLESS ATROCITIES HAVE BEEN LINKED TO THE
IMPLEMENTATION OF THESE PROJECTS, WHICH ONLY LEAD TO THE DESTRUCTION OF THE
FORESTS THAT THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO PROTECT AND OF THE INDIGENOUS CULTURES
THAT HAVE SINCE MILENNIA LIVED IN COMPLETE BALANCE WITH THEIR ENVIRONMENT.
The name of the World Bank President is James D. Wolfensohn and his address
is The World Bank, 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433 U.S.A. Please
send copies of the letters to <[log in to unmask]>


"someone said that fighting neoliberalism was like fighting 
the law of gravity. Well then, down with the law of gravity !"
Subcomandante Marcos.


______________________________________________________________________
To unsubscribe, write to [log in to unmask]
Start Your Own FREE Email List at http://www.listbot.com/links/joinlb
--- End Forwarded Message ---


----------------------
[log in to unmask]



%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

JiscMail Tools


RSS Feeds and Sharing


Advanced Options


Archives

May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001
March 2001
February 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
June 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
December 1998
November 1998
October 1998
September 1998
August 1998
July 1998
June 1998
May 1998
April 1998
March 1998
February 1998
January 1998
December 1997
November 1997
October 1997
September 1997
August 1997
July 1997
June 1997
May 1997
April 1997
March 1997
February 1997
January 1997
December 1996
November 1996
October 1996
September 1996
August 1996
July 1996
June 1996
May 1996
April 1996
March 1996


JiscMail is a Jisc service.

View our service policies at https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/policyandsecurity/ and Jisc's privacy policy at https://www.jisc.ac.uk/website/privacy-notice

Secured by F-Secure Anti-Virus CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager