A guest blog by our friends at Foil Vedanta.
Vedanta Resources is a FTSE 100 British-Indian mining company. In Odisha, India they are trying to mine a mountain inhabited by an ancient tribe – the Dongria Kond – who have successfully fought them off for more than 10 years. Their fight is in its final stages, and Foil Vedanta are calling on us all to mobilise to ensure Vedanta is kicked out of the Niyamgiri mountains forever.
Vedanta’s top shareholders include our very own banks, pension funds and financial institutions. The usual suspects are amongst their shareholders; Standard Life, Blackrock inc., Legal and General and HSBC Asset Management. Vedanta is now diversifying into oil and gas, and expanding into Africa, Sri Lanka and possibly even the Arctic. If this diversification continues Vedanta will be responsible for even more carbon emissions bringing us closer to catastrophic climate change and it is likely to ensure the destruction of even more communities across the world.
Since last year’s AGM Vedanta are guilty of a major toxic gas leak affecting thousands of people at their Sterlite subsidiary copper smelter in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu. At their Jharsuguda Aluminium complex they released fly ash over farmland polluting rivers and villages. In Zambia they tried to fire 2000 workers from their Konkola Copper mines and smelter before being stopped by the Zambian Government. One Zambian employee was shot dead at the plant.
At Niyamgiri, Odisha, Vedanta with it’s cronies in the Odisha state government are trying to force their mega bauxite mine through at any cost. They are using police harassment,manipulation, threats and distortion of the legal system to prevent the Dongria Kond from voting against the project in the coming weeks. Forces have even opened fire on women and children threatening them not to oppose the mine. But the Dongria are stronger than ever and prepared to fight tooth and nail to save their mountain in these final stages.
Join the grassroots solidarity movement to stop Vedanta at their major annual demonstration at Vedanta’s AGM.
1st August, 2pm. The London Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square, W1K 6JP.
Parallel demonstrations are already planned in Odisha and Delhi in India on this international day of action.
Bring drums, placards, banners and lots of energy!