We urge all friends to join us in a protest outside the Indian Consulate (3 E 64th bet 5th and Madison) on Friday, March 15th @ 3:45pm Against the Brutal Murder of 3 Anti-Displacement Activists
For the past seven years, villages in the Jagatsinghpur district of Orissa, India have been resisting the forcible acquisition of their land in what would be the largest foreign direct investment project in the country’s history. The Indian state has ignored or circumvented both national laws and local democratic process to clear land supportive of sustainable economies for the sake of the Korean steel giant POSCO to build resource-extracting facilities.
In recent weeks, state and extralegal violence has reached extreme levels. On February 3rd, a police force of twelve platoons, along with senior government officials and POSCO representatives, entered Gobindpur village under the cover of darkness to resume forcible land acquisition. They confronted a human barricade composed of women and children with a prolonged lathi attack that injured over 50 people. On March 2nd, after weeks of tense inactivity, the process resumed when a handmade bomb was hurled at the senior leadership of the local resistance movement, POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti. The bomb killed Narahari Sahu, Manas Jena, and Tapas Mandal, and seriously injured Lakshman Mandal, who continues to battle for his life in a Cuttack hospital. Gobindpur has turned into a de facto police camp, with constant intimidation of those resisting the land acquisition process and limited mobility for those requiring medical attention. These developments point to a moment of truth in the campaign on the ground and a call for international solidarity on behalf of all of those affected.
Within 72 hours of the bombing, an independent fact-finding team of civil rights activists and academics visited the village and released a short statement demanding the immediate announcement of judicial inquiry, withdrawal of police from the village, cessation of land acquisition, and compensation for the families of the victims. We are gathering outside the Indian Consulate to lend our support to these demands and to honor the three activists who worked tirelessly against global capital to save their land from corporate acquisition.