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, lentiful 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. 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, anti-Sterlite,
anti-Reliance or anti-dam movement in Lower Sutkel area – everywhere people are in struggles.
In response to all these protests the UPA government in New Delhi and the Orissa Government have renewed their campaign to use brutal force to compel people to vacate their ancestral lands in the proposed POSCO and Vedanta project areas. The Indian government has invited the South Korean President as the Chief Guest for Republic Day celebration on 26 January 2010 and planned his visit to the proposed POSCO plant area.
This is like an open challenge to the people in POSCO site area struggling to save their ancestral lands. With a purpose to create awareness among the people, to involve them and to unite all the movements along the Orissa coastline from Paradip to Puri, a Mass Rally or Padyatra has been planned by the POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samity (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 2009 and culminate at Puri on 5th December 2009 with a massive protest meeting.
Along the Padyatra’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
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 mining and other industries
5. Make necessary regulations to protect and preserve the water, forests, lands, ecology and livelihoods of local people and empower them to own and manage their resources and 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 corporations against people
8. Refrain from all kinds of repression against democratic people’s movements and human rights activists
9. Protect the coast up to 1 kilometer from the sea to prevent any ecologically harmful activities
10. Desist from handing over natural resources into the hands of private companies
11. Promote people-centered, non-exploitative and non-extractive developmental models
The participants in the Padyatra will include villagers from Paradip to Puri, representatives of various people’s movements, left and democratic parties, supporters from various parts of the country, cultural troupes, 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.
APPEAL: 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 First Aid requisites
* Water Tank for 8 days
* Tents for 8 days
* Lunch, dinner and Breakfast for 2000 people for 8 days
* 250 Uniforms/T-Shirts/ Caps/badges for front-line youth volunteers
* Video documentation
* Film shows – equipment and videos
* Accompanying cultural troupes
Chairperson, Posco Prathirodh Sangram Samiti,
Cell No. – 09861501265
Contact Person :
Spokesperson, Posco Prathirodh Sangram Samiti)
Cell – 09437571547