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Home > National Interest vs People’s Interest > India: Citizens March Against Predatory Corporations in Orissa

India: Citizens March Against Predatory Corporations in Orissa

29th November to 5th December 2009

by sacw.net, 16 November 2009

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An Appeal For Solidarity

Paradeep To Puri : The Padayatra Against Predatory Corporations

Orissa, the ancient land of Kalinga, has been under attack in recent years in a way not seen since over two thousand years ago when King Ashoka’s army laid waste to the region. This time the marauders are large corporations, both domestic and foreign, preying upon the province’s vast natural resources, among them - iron ore, bauxite, plentiful water, fertile agricultural lands and marine wealth.

The net impact of this capitalist assault, promoted in the name of ‘development’ by both the Central and Orissa Governments, is obvious.

Investments in the mining industry, steel plants, captive power stations and ports are meant to give huge profits to corporations and some corrupt politicians/parties while displacing thousands and thousands of people from their land, houses, livelihoods and destroying their culture and environment.

The resistance to all this planned plunder has also been very strong - be it the anti-POSCO movement in Erasama, anti-Vedanta movement in Puri and Lanjigarh, the anti-Tata movement in Kalinganagar and Naraj, the farmers’ movement in Hirakud, anti-UAIL movement in Kashipur, anti-Mittal movement in Keonjhar, anti-Bhusan movement, anti-Sterlite, anti-Reliance or anti-dam movement in lower Suktel area everywhere people are in struggles.

In response to all these protests the UPA government at the Centre and Orissa Government have renewed their campaign to use brutal force to compel people to vacate their ancestral lands in proposed POSCO and Vedanta project areas. They have already started preparing the guns and accelerating media campaign. The Indian government has invited the South Korean President as the Chief Guest for Republic Day celebration and planned to arrange his visit to the proposed Plant site.

This is like an open challenge to the people in POSCO site area struggling to save their ancestral lands. The PPSS decides to democratically resist all such moves designed to suppress the people’s voice. With a purpose to create awareness among the people, to involve them and to unite all the movements continuing throughout coastline from Paradip to Puri, a Mass Rally or Padayatra has been planned by the POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) along with various movements and people.

The Mass Rally, of over 2000 people will walk through 120 villages of seven blocks namely Erasama, Balikuda in Jagatsinghpur District and Astaranga, Kaktpur, Gop, Puri Sadar, Puri covering 150 kilometres. The Rally will start from Dhinkia village on 29th November and culminate at Puri on 5th December with a massive protest meeting.

Along the Padayatra’s route, public meetings will be organized as follows:-

  1. 29th November at 4 PM at Erasama
  2. 30th November at 4 PM at naharana
  3. 1st December at 4 PM at Kakatpur
  4. 2nd December at 4 PM at Astaranga
  5. 3rd December at 4 PM at Gop
  6. 4th December at 4 PM at Puri Sadar
  7. 5th December at 2 PM at Puri

=Demands: =

1. Scrap all plans and projects meant for capitalistic investments and exploitations in coastal zones

2. Stop anti-people and involuntary displacements

3. Stop industrialization at the cost of agriculture and food security of millions of people

4. Promote people centered and agro-based industries in place of corporate friendly minings and industries

5. Make necessary regulations to protect and preserve the water, forests, lands, ecology and livelihoods of local people and empower the local people to own, regulate and manage the local resources and their livelihoods

6. Scrap the special economic zones and withdraw the corresponding acts and orders

7. Stop all kinds of violence committed directly or indirectly by corporates against people

8. Refrain from all kinds of repressions and oppressions against democratic people’s movements and human rights activists

9. Protect sea-coast upto 1 kilometre from sea from any ecologically harmful activities

10. Desist from handing over natural resources in to the hands of private companies

11. Promote people centered, non-exploitative and non-extractive developmental models

=Participants: =

The participants will include the People from the coastal villages from Paradip to Puri, representatives of various people’s movements going on at different parts of Orissa, Representatives of Left and Democratic Parties, Supporters and Supporters from various parts of the Country, Cultural Troupes from different movements, intellectuals, writers, artists and activists.

=How to Get There: =

Interested Participants should arrive at Dhinkia village by 28th evening. One can travel by Train from Cuttack or Bhubaneswar via Trains running to Paradip and get down at Badabandha Station. From here Dhinkia is 6 kilometres. Auto rickshaws are available here. By Bus one can come from Bhubaneswar/Cuttack running towards Paradip and get down at Balitutha.

APEEAL: We appeal you to participate in the Rally and contribute whatever you can against the requirements mentioned below:-

  • 10000 Posters
  • 20000 Leaflets
  • 500 Banners/Festoons
  • 500 Placards
  • 8 Vehicles (for 8-days)
  • 5 Mikes with generators (for 8-days)
  • Medical Team with Fast Aid requisites
  • Water Tank (for 8-days)
  • Tents (for 8-days)
  • Lunch, Dinner and Breakfasts for 2000 people for 8 days
  • 250 Uniform Dress /Tea Shirts/ Caps/badges for front-line youth volunteers
  • Video shootings
  • Film shows – equipments and films
  • Accompanying Cultural Troupes - supports

Abhay Sahu

Chairperson, Posco Prathirodh Sangram Samiti,

Cell No. – 09861501265

Contact Person:-

Prasant Paikray

Spokesperson, Posco Prathirodh Sangram Samiti)

Cell - 09437571547

Email: prashantpaikray(at)gmail.com