The following protest has been sent to Orissa state authorities and to the anti-POSCO campaign.
We strongly condemn the bloody Orissa state police attacks taking place against the unarmed and peaceful mass protest in Jagatsingpur district. Since January this year thousands of people have been opposing the massive land grab by the South Korean-based steal multinational, POSCO. Thousands of farmers, Adivasis (indigenous people), and fisherpeople have lived in these areas for centuries. The state has no right to force them off their land to make way for this multinational. This action is being taken to allow a giant company to exploit the land and make massive profits. It will not only devastate the lives of thousands of people but will also be responsible for another major environmental disaster in India.
Orissa state has been collaborating with POSCO to attack the people. It was immediately after the principal secretary to Orissa’s Chief Minister returned from a 15 day visit to South Korea that the onslaught was begun. More than a thousand armed police have been mobilised to push through this mass eviction. More than hundred people have been badly injured and almost no medical aid has been available. The national government must take direct responsibility for this horrific attack and order it to be stopped.
We support the workers, farmers and poor people struggling to defend their land, their homes and their livelihoods against this violent and brutal assault being carried out by a big capitalist conglomerate in league with the state and national government.
We will publicise around the world the criminal nature of what is being done in Orissa by the government on behalf of its collaborator, POSCO.
We join in solidarity with all the protesters and demand the following:
· An immediate end to the attack on innocent civilians, fisherpeople and poor farmers.
· Immediately allow the supply of food and medicine to the villagers.
· Withdraw the police forces from the village area immediately.
· All those arrested must be released immediately without any charges or conditions.
· Unfair charges brought forward on more than 800 people by the state police must be dropped immediately.
· Arrange emergency aid and care for more than 100 people injured in the attack.
· Rebuild and compensate those who have lost their homes and had their shops burned down by the state police.
· Immediate dismissal of those who ordered this attack and also those who carried out this attack.
Committee for a Worker’s International (which represents socialist Parties and groups in more than forty countries)
New Socialist Alternative, India
United Socialist party, Sri Lanka
Tamil Solidarity Campaign: For the rights of all workers and oppressed in Sri Lanka
Socialist Movement, Pakistan
Trade Union Rights Campaign-Pakistan
Campaign for Democratic and Workers Rights in Nigeria
Youth against Racism in Europe
International Socialist Resistance
Socialist students UK