UK Bangladeshi citizens picket London miner's AGM
Braving the cold, a large group of UK resident Bangaldeshis turned out last week, to picket the annual shareholders' meeting of Gobal Coal Management (GCM).
This followed an October "long march" by thousands of their fellow citizens in Bangladesh itself from the capital, Dhaka, to GCM's Phulbari project in the north. See: Bangladeshi Citizens March against Coal
Protest in London against move for open-pit mining in Phulbari
7 December 2010
It is feared that the project could displace up to 120,000 people, including at least 2,200 ethnic households, mainly santals, destroy a vital food-producing region.
London protest at Global Coal Management AGM December 2010 - Photo: Arif Rahman
The protesters gathered in front of Sceptre Court and barred the participants of the annual general meeting of GCM from entering the building.
The demonstration was organised by Bangladeshi community in UK backed by the Socialist Party of UK, the UK branch of National Committee for Oil, Gas, Power, Port and Mineral Resources in Bangladesh, London Mining Network, Mines and Communities and International Accountability Project.
In a release, the organisers said the Phulbari campaign was at a critical juncture with the project's UK-based financier, Global Coal Management Plc (GCM) aggressively pushing for open-pit mining.
It is feared that the project could displace up to 120,000 people, including at least 2,200 ethnic households, mainly santals, destroy a vital food-producing region in a country with widespread hunger, reduce access to water for tens of thousands of people, and contribute to global warming by generating massive greenhouse gases for years to come.
‘The Global Coal Management Plc Resources has recently endorsed new shares in the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in London proclaiming that they would continue with their plan in Phulbari,' the release said.
‘While Bangladesh government is yet to take a decision on open-pit mining, we consider the endorsement of GCM's shares at AIM as extremely unlawful,' it said.
Expressing solidarity with the London protesters, professor Anu Mohammad, member-secretary of the central committee of the National Committee for Oil, Gas, Power, Port and Mineral Resources, told New Age that the government of Bangladesh should take steps immediately against the 'illegal' fund raising by GCM Plc.