National Alliance of People's Movements
Press Release

Date: 28 January 2003
C/o. Chemical Mazdoor Sabha,
Haji Habib Bldg, 1st Floor,
Naigaon Cross Road, Dadar (East), Mumbai 400014
Tel: (022)24150529/25369724
Email: sansahil@vsnl.net

FARMERS, WORKERS AND STUDENTS IN NORTH, CENTRAL KERALA RESOLVE TO RESIST UNSUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, PRIVATIZATION AND COMMUNALISM

On the second and third leg (January 27-28) of the campaign team of National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) made a common cause with the thousands of farmers, students and those struggling against the industrial pollution in north Kerala. The Campaign – desh bachao-desh banao ( protect the nation-build the nation) was launched from Palakkad district of Kerala on republic Day, with the veteran Gandhian activist-thinker Siddharaj Dhadda returned his civilian honour, Padma Bhushan.

On Monday and Tuesday, hundreds of people turned up in Manjery and Thiruvambadi in Malappuram District, to greet the team of the activists and to sign-up their solidarity. As a part of the campaign the activists participated in the Student’s Parliament in the National Institute of Technology, Kozhikodu. Medha Patkar and Sanjay Mangala Gopal appealed the students to take their responsibility towards society more seriously. A large public meeting was organized by the Farmers’ Relief Forum which stressed the necessity for a wider alliance between various socio-political organizations who find common ground in the fight against globalisation and communalism. The Kozhikodu leg of the meeting concluded with a serene and meaningful meeting held in the green village.

On the third day ( Jan 28), a meeting of trade unions and environmental activists was held at the premises of FACT in Eloor. The activists exposed the realities behind the indiscriminate disinvestment of public sector undertakings (PSU) and a call was given for raising the level of the local struggles by linking them up with various other struggles all over the country. In the afternoon, a meeting of the Students of Ernakulam was held in Maharaja’s College in Ernakulam. This meeting was organized by all the students unions in Ernakulam, including non-political unions from Girls’ colleges. The NAPM campaign expressed solidarity with the struggle against the Phillips Carbon Company at Karimugal. The Carbon Viruddha Samrakshana Samiti has raised the issue of illegal and deadly industrial pollution which affects the sustainability of basic resources like water land and fresh air. On January 29, the Campaign team will move South, to Arthumkal in Alapuzha District. The issues of Fish-workers and sand mining will be the focuss. The next meeting is at Arattupuzha where Sea sand mining and other issues of the fisher communities will be addressed. In the afternoon, the team will reach Thiruvanandapuram where the Kisans’ Dharna will take a pledge to protect natural resources. The Kerala leg of the National Campaign will conclude with a Public Meeting at Bank Employers’ Hall at 4.00 p.m.

The People of Kerala has given a rousing welcome to the Campaign to Build a New India, and it is especially relevant in the context of global capitalist and local communal powers spreading their vicious and deadly hold on the Secular and non-violent peoples’ polity.

Geo Jose
Sanjay Mangala Gopal
Philip Mathew