This Earth Hour is going to be special for Dr Jim Kim and The World Bank!
On 29th March 2014, people around the world be Tweeting to The World Bank asking them to withdraw funds from 4000MW coal based Power Plant in
Mundra Town of Kutch District,
So please TWEET to join us this Earth hour and tell Dr Kim to “SWITCH OFF TATA MUNDRA”
Here are some sample Tweets you can send
Hope to see hundreds of Tweets on 29th!!
South Asia Coal Organizer
Long live the victory of working peoples’ movements!
March 28, 2014
Movements and Trade Unions to Corner Modi in Benares;
Shaheed Diwas gathering declare demands for endorsement by candidates
in Lok Sabha elections across the country
General Elections 2014 poses a plethora of possibilities as well as challenges. While it holds the fortunes of the people of the country with regard to who could become the next Prime Minister and under what rule you might have to spend the next five years of your life, it equally holds forth the threat of a ‘Modi regime’, which could unsettle and dismantle a lot of achievements of progressive politics and movements in the country – and push the country back by several decades, in our battles against global capitalism/ imperialism, feudalism, communalism, caste discrimination, patriarchy, jingoistic nationalism and Brahmanism. This is indeed the most challenging elections for these very reasons for all those progressive forces, which have mobilised people in the country under the Red, Blue and Green flags!
Keeping in mind the artificial ‘Modi factor’ and attempted ‘Rahul factor’, the movements and independent trade unions decided to denounce the pro-corporate parties, whose similar economic policies have led to widespread starvation in rural India, unemployment and increasing impoverishment of the masses. Looking at the increasing caste and communal violence and the attacks on working class across the country by capitalist, feudal and communal forces, it was decided to forge a united front to continue and strengthen the diverse people’s struggles. SANGHARSH 2014 was decided as the common umbrella platform for this political process.
The meeting decided on a three-pronged political strategy programme aimed at the General Elections 2014:
1. People’s Charter-based campaign
2. Support to candidates fighting from people’s movements
3. Benares counter-strategy
Mass movements and Trade Unions, bringing together the diversity of political history, come together under one banner which includes dalits, adivasis, forest working people, agricultural workers, fishworkers, handloom weavers, domestic workers, street vendors and hawkers, women’s groups and organisations that have been working in the country for social and political change.
A meeting of social movements and trade unions was held in Delhi on the 23rd and 24th March, on the occasion of commemorating the martyrdom of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev. The rally on Shaheed Diwas, attended by close to 3000 people from 12 different states, was followed by a day of political meeting in which 250 people participated from the states Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Kerala, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Gujarat, Ghorkhaland and Delhi.
Through consecutive political strategy meetings in the last few months social movements and trade unions have decided to make key political interventions that will begin now, at the time of the crucial General Elections 2014.
1) A set of concrete justiciable parliamentary demands have been decided on from the community based struggles that have been declared and will be effectively used for direct collective negotiations with political parties and electoral candidates. These demands include:
· Implementation of socio-economic rights guaranteed by the Constitution of India;
· Protection of traditional rights of natural-resource based communities;
· Abolition of contractual labour and effective implementation of labour laws;
· Revise minimum wages to bring it at par with the 7th Pay Commission;
· Equal opportunities and equal access for all to education and healthcare;
· Universal Social Security and allocation of 5% of GDP for creating Social Security Fund;
· Traditional community rights of fishworkers to be legislated by the Parliament;
· Separate Fisheries Ministry and strict implementation of CRZ Notification;
· Effective implementation of community rights as enshrined in the Forest Rights Act ;
· Replacement of Forest Department with a community-based forest governance;
· Moratorium on conversion of irrigated agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes;
· Implementation of ‘Land to the tiller’ and abolition of absentee landlords;
· Moratorium on displacement of communities;
· Inclusion of Caste Discrimination in the SC / ST Prevention of Atrocities Act;
· 50% reservation for women in all elected and non elected bodies;
· Moratorium on new greenfield mining;
· Nationalisation of electricity generation, distribution and transmission ;
· Revival of PDS system and abandon all cash programmes;
· Banking to be made a fundamental right of all citizens;
· Review of loans to private corporations by Public Sector Financial Institutions and initiate strict measures to recover the unpaid loans from corporations;
· Stop privatisation of public sector undertakings & strengthen public sector institutions;
· Withdraw Public Private Partnership model from all economic activities;
· Abandon civil and military nuclear programmes
[Please find the complete Charter of Demands attached]
Social movements and trade unions will present the demands to political parties and to the candidates in the respective constituencies. Candidates in different constituencies will be asked to be endorse and sign on to the people’s charter of demands. To ensure that this process does not remain symbolic candidates will be required to substantiate their commitment and also provide reasons for disagreement (if any)’. Over the next five years, this endorsement will be used as a base for concrete, structured and consistent monitoring of all steps being taken with regard to these demands.These demands will also be put forth during every parliament session post the General Elections 2014.
2) We declare complete support for those candidates standing in the upcoming elections whose candidature is assigned and endorsed by the various people’s movements that they have been associated with. We believe that these people will be able to take forward the kind of politics that this country truly needs and that the movements have stood for. The candidates we will support in the different Lok Sabha constituencies include:
Kailash Awasiya in Khargaon (Narmada Bachao Andolan), Soni Sori in Bastar, Mayappa in Tirunelveli (Peoples Movement Against Nuclear Energy-PMANE), Pushparayan in Tuticorin (PMANE), S. P. Udaykumar in Kanyakumari (PMANE), Medha Patkar in North-East Mumbai (Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan & National Alliance of Peoples Movements-NAPM), Alok Agrawal in Khandwa (Narmada Bachao Andolan), Lingaraj Pradhan in Bargarh (Gandhamardan Andolan), Dayamani Barla in Khunti (Adivasi Moolniwaasi Raksha Manch), Babu Mathew in North Bangalore (National Centre for Labour), Santhosh Kumar in Pathanamthitta (Kalanjoor Janakeeya Prathirodha Samiti), Ruth Manorama in South Bangalore (Bangalore Domestic Workers Union, National Federation of Dalit Women), Rachna Dhingra in Bhopal (Bhopal tragedy victims’ organisations), Pankaj Singh in Sidhi Rewa (Mahan Sangharsh Samiti).
Those standing for the Vidhan Sabha Elections in Odisha inclide Lingaraj Azad and Rajkumar from the Gandhamardan People’s Movement.
3) It has been decided that Benares, Uttar Pradesh will be the focus point for a campaign against communal and divisive forces in order to strengthen the secular and democratic foundations that the people of this country need to stand up for.This campaign is primarily being led by the Social Movements and independent Trade Unions with their large base in the ten constituencies surrounding Varanasi- Chandauli, Machlisheher, Jaunpur, Mirzapur, Palamu, Sasaram, Varanasi, Robertsganj, Azamgarh, Lalganj.
We aim at strengthening the roots of new political formations, which will be able to take forward the struggles of the historically oppressed majority.
The speakers at the 24 March 2014 meeting in New Delhi include Com. D. Thankappan & Gautam Mody [New Trade Union Initiative – NTUI], Ashok Choudhury, Munnilal, Roma, Matadayal, Nabada, Shri Rampal, Behena, Phoolwasi [All India Union of Forest Working People – AIUFWP], T. Peter [National Fishworkers’ Forum – NFF], Anil Sadgopal [All India Forum for Right to Education, Bhopal], Ambarish Rai [Right to Education Forum], Biranchi Bariha [Shramik Adhikar Manch & Zameen Jangal Adhikar Sangharsh Vahini, Bargarh] Prof. Chaman Lal [Political Science Professor], Sanjay Garg [Former Minister, Uttar Pradesh Government], Sadre Alam [Delhi Young Artists Forum – DYAF], Jairam [Adivasi Van Jan Shramjeevi Union] & Ahmed Khaka [Machimar Adhikar Sangharsh Sangathan MASS].
For more details contact 9958797409 | 8527830687
All India Union of Forest Working People (AIUFWP); New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI); National Fishworkers’ Forum (NFF); National Hawkers’ Federation (NHF); National Handloom Weavers’ Federation; Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), Assam;Adivasi Van Jan Shramjeevi Union, Gujarat; All India Tribal Youth Movement, Gujarat; Voices of Youth, Gujarat; Delhi Solidarity Group (DSG); Delhi Young Artists Forum; All India Forum for Right to Education, Bhopal; Right to Education Forum; Dalit Shakti Sangathan, Bihar; Shramik Adhikar Manch, Odisha; Zameen Jangal Adhikar Sangharsh Vahini, Odisha; All India Kabaadi Mazdoor Mahasangh.
Jameen Adhikar Andolan – Gujarat (JAAG)
A-302, Sharan Residency-1, Near Lohana Chhatralaya, Vasna, Ahmedabad
Date: 27th March 2014
DSIR: Arrest of farmer-leader of anti-DSIR struggle: Political pressure to suppress a non-political movement
As you are aware, the farmers of Dholera area have been agitating against the SIR. Shri Rajbha Chudasma has been a prominent leader of this agitation. In a complete non-issue (described in the box below) the police has acted to arrest him. Since the matter was resolved and he was arrested after this on false charges, we are led to believe that this is being done at the behest of political masters who are threatened by the agitation. We are of the firm conviction that this is being done to threaten the movement and the farmers before the sammelan of the 29th, proving that the claims of the government are hollow and that a mere gathering of the farmers and dissenters can throw the government off-balance and scared.
We have sent the following letter to the Chief Electoral Officer of Gujarat Ms. Anita Karwal demanding an independent inquiry into the incident to ascertain the truth of the matter. We request you or your organisation to do as well which will help to lend added pressure for the inquiry.
Pradhyumansinh Chudasma Sagar Rabari
Jameen Adhikar Aandolan – Gujarat (JAAG)
Ms. Anita Karwal,
Chief Electoral Officer, Gujarat,
Office of the Chief Electoral Officer, Gujarat State,
General Administration Department,
Block No. 7, Second Floor, Sachivalaya, Gandhinagar
Re.: Arrest of farmer-leader of anti-DSIR struggle: Political pressure to suppress a non-political movement
Dear Ms. Karwal,
We the leaders of JAAG wish to bring to your attention a serious electoral malpractice. Shri Rajbha Chudasma is a farmer-leader spearheading the farmers’ struggle against the Dholera SIR. On 25th March 2014 there was a minor altercation following a misunderstanding between two or three local communities. Shri Rajbha Chudasma, being a respected leader of the area, intervened in the matter and effected a compromise and the matter was amicably resolved. However, on the morning of 26th March 2014, around 3 a.m. the police arrived at this house and arrested him on false charges and took him to the Dhandhuka Police Station. He has since been kept there.
This is a non-political struggle that Shri Chudasma is part of and we suspect that he has been implicated by the police who is acting on orders of some political leaders. Otherwise there was no reason to arrest him at all. We suspect this to be a political ploy to intimidate and threaten Shri Chudasma and the farmers of the area and to suppress the farmers’ movement.
We are writing this to you to acquaint you of the matter and demand an independent inquiry into the incident and to find out where, why and from whom the orders for the arrest were given.
We request your urgent attention in this matter. Looking forward to your prompt action,
Pradhyumansinh Chudasma Sagar Rabari
Jameen Adhikar Aandolan – Gujarat (JAAG)
Shri Ashwini Kumar (IAS)
Special Chief Electoral Officer
Shri. A. H. Manek
Additional Chief Electoral Officer
Shri. Lalit Padalia (IAS)
Additional Chief Electoral Officer
Smt. Ardra Agrawal (IAS)
Joint Chief Electoral Officer
Shri. Jaydeep Dvivedi
Joint Chief Electoral Officer
Shri. M Goriya
Shri. Ronak Mehta
Shri. Hashmukh Thakker
Shri. Himanshu Parekh
Shri.R M Pandya
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 26, 2014
US Congress Fails to Pass IMF Reform, Again
Major Blow for Global Economic Governance and Credibility of US Leadership
Washington, DC – Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced that the US Senate will remove the IMF reform legislation from its Ukraine assistance bill. This is a major setback for global economic governance and the credibility of US leadership. In 2010, the United States – in cooperation with emerging economies –spearheaded the IMF reforms. Since then, every country has ratified the reforms except for the US, whose approval is required in order for the reforms to become effective. Congress has had several opportunities to approve the IMF reforms, including January of this year.
“We are astonished that Congress failed, again, to pass the 2010 IMF reforms. This not only undermines the credibility of the US as a trusted leader and partner, it fragments global economic governance. US inaction weakens the prospects for international cooperation, especially with emerging powers. While these reforms are not perfect, they are a step toward bringing emerging powers to the table, instead of isolating and pushing them away” said Jo Marie Griesgraber, Executive Director of New Rules for Global Finance.
There was disagreement in Congress about the relevance of the IMF reforms to providing financial assistance to Ukraine, as well as misunderstanding of the IMF and the changes that the 2010 reforms would impose. The IMF reforms –which would provide a modest increase in voting power to emerging economies and reduce overrepresentation of European countries – would not require any new financial commitments from the US.
“This was a win-win for members of Congress who would like to strengthen US global leadership, specifically its position on Ukraine vis-à-vis Russia, without additional costs to US taxpayers” stated Ms. Griesgraber. “It is disheartening that political brinkmanship has spoiled another opportunity to approve the 2010 IMF reforms.
We stand with former Cabinet members and government officials from both parties, as well as policy experts and civil society, who agree that the US Congress cannot wait any longer to approve the 2010 IMF reforms.”
New Rules for Global Finance is a 501(3)c non-profit organization that promotes reforms in the rules and institutions that govern international finance; in order to support just, inclusive and sustainable economic development.
For more information, please visit www.new-rules.org.
GurgaonWorkersNews no.62 – March 2014
(Full version: www.gurgaonworkersnews.wordpress.com)
Gurgaon in Haryana is presented as the shining India, a symbol of capitalist success promising a better life for everyone behind the gateway of development. At first glance the office towers and shopping malls reflect this chimera and even the facades of the garment factories look like three star hotels. Behind the facade, behind the factory walls and in the side streets of the industrial areas thousands of workers keep the rat-race going, producing cars and scooters for the middle-classes which end up in the traffic jam on the new highway between Delhi and Gurgaon. Thousands of young proletarianised middle class people lose time, energy and academic aspirations on night-shifts in call centres, selling loan schemes to working-class people in the US or pre-paid electricity schemes to the poor in the UK. Next door, thousands of rural-migrant workers up-rooted by the rural crisis stitch and sew for export, competing with their angry brothers and sisters in Bangladesh or Vietnam. And the rat-race will not stop; on the outskirts of Gurgaon, new industrial zones turn soil into over-capacities. The following newsletter documents some of the developments in and around this miserable boom region. It aims at an exchange of workers’ collectives to forge trajectories beyond state and capital. If you want to know more about working and struggling in Gurgaon, if you want more info about or even contribute to this project, please do so via: