A protest was held at the Town Hall in Bangalore against the forced land acquisition by Posco in Orissa and the burtal violence by corporate goons and the state upon children and women.
Kaveri Rajaraman, an activist from Bangalore, spoke about Posco’s demand for a captive port in Orissa and how the forced land acquisition would affect the livelihood of the people earning through beetle vineyard and cashew plantation within that region. She spoke about the protesters from the villages of Jagatsinghpur district who are carrying out their struggle, about their methods of involving their children and creating a protective circle around the women and men at the core. She also talked about how well organised the protesters are and how well educated everyone is about the issues that concern them.
She said that those protesters are happy people and their struggle is to protect their livelihood which has been the source of their happiness and that it is imperative for all of us to support them in their struggle. She drew attention towards the recent eviction at the Ejipura EWS quarters and how this land grab is no different from the land grab taking place all across the country. She said that the need of hour is to build a mass movement which includes all these struggles against land grab throughout the country as that is the only way one could win this struggle.
Jagadish G Chandra of the New Socialist Alternative (CWI-India) spoke about the effectiveness of the kind of peaceful protests which are taking place all across the country and how they could have an impact if their numbers swell. He talked about the mass student protests happening in Tamil Nadu and how the increasing numbers of student protesters have forced the DMK party to withdraw their support to the UPA government at the centre.
He reminded the protesters about the failed attempt by Posco to enter Karnataka through their project in Gadag and how other states are not far away from it’s reach for exploitation. He appealed all groups who are against the neo-liberal policies to shun their minor differences and come together in this struggle against land grab.
Two women, the evicted residents of Ejipura, addressed the protesters and talked about the callous and brutal nature of their eviction and how helpless they feel living in the streets. They appealed to the government to provide rehabilitation as they do not posses the money to rent a house.