Join Indigenous and Low-Caste Peoples' Movement in their struggle with ALCAN with mass global actionPublished by MAC on 2003-12-16
Join Indigenous and Low-Caste Peoples' Movement in their struggle with ALCAN with mass global action - December 16, 2003 12-1 PM (EST)
If in Montreal meet at 12 PM at 1188 Sherbrooke Street West (corner Stanley).
If elsewhere, call ALCAN executive Jeremy Jonas at 514-848-8000 between 12-1PM (EST).
Please find included in this message:
1) Press Release for North America solidarity event, December 16th 2003
2) Suggested talking points and contact information for solidarity callers
3) Background articles
1) Press Release
ALCAN juggling with the futures of marginalized peoples living in India Three villagers already killed by violent repression
On December 16, 2003 from 12-1 PM (EST) Montrealers will be gathering at ALCAN headquarters and supporters from across North America will be calling in at 1188 Sherbrooke Street West to creatively challenge ALCAN's presence in India.
On December 16, 2000 Damodar Jhodia, Abhilash Jhodia and Raghunath Jhodia were murdered by police in a police-instigated firing at Maikanch village, of the Kashipur region in the east Indian state of Orissa. These three men were targeted for being some of the thousands who stand staunchly against a proposed bauxite mine and refinery on their land. The mine and refinery could displace up to 60 000 people from their ancestral homes, destroying their livelihoods and culture, contaminating their food and water sources and obliterating their spiritual sites. ALCAN has a 45% share in this proposal which it quietly increased from 35% when Norwegian giant multinational Norsk Hydro pulled out because of the projectís clear disregard for the rights and visions of these indigenous and low-caste people.
After this firing in December, 10 000 Kashipur residents gathered weeks later to resolve, "We are not afraid to die, we will not leave our land." Likewise, every year since the murders, December 16th has been marked in Kashipur as a day to commemorate the murders of these three fellow people and to renew the movement for self-determination.
This year, for the first time, Montrealers will stand in solidarity with these people by creatively re-enacting the significant aspects of the movement and particularly by honouring the slain spirits of Damodar, Abhilash and Raghunath. This will be done in concert with people from across North America who will simultaneously be calling into ALCAN's headquarters to express their concern about the corporationís complicity in violent repression and to remind ALCAN of the clearly stated vision of the peoples of Kashipur. They will be encouraging ALCAN to respect the demands of the peoples' movement for:
- the cancellation of all treaties [contracts] signed with various mining companies - access to a medical facility and education in harmony with their cultural values - local agricultural development through small-scale irrigation projects
The North America event will be happening on December 16th, 2003 at 12-1 PM (EST) in front amd over the phone-lines of of Maison Alcan at 1188 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal. All who are concerned about this situation are invited to participate in this creative and powerful event, which will include juggling, drumming and aluminum costumes.
For more information about the solidarity movement in Montreal and North America, contact:
For more information about the proposed mine and the people's movement, visit www.saanet.org/kashipur.
2) Talking Points and Contact Information
Solidarity callers should call ALCAN's main switchboard at 514-848-8000 and ask to speak to Jeremy Jonas, who is the ALCAN executive supposed to be responsible for the Kashipur project. The call should be made anytime between 12-1 PM Eastern Standard Time on December 16, 2003 to ensure that your call will be coordinated with the Montreal event and so that the ALCAN's phone lines will be effectively jammed at this time.
Some suggested talking points (speak to what you think is most important and relevant to why you are concerned):
- calling in to honour the memory of Abhilash, Raghunath and Damodar who were killed in police-riot for resisting an ALCAN-supported project - concerned that your project is clearly propogating a system that oppresses indigenous and other marginalized peoples - you can honour these murders too by respecting the demands of the peoples' movement for self-determined development - the major demands from the movement: - the cancellation of all treaties signed with various mining companies - access to a medical facility and education in harmony with their cultural values - local agricultural development through small-scale irrigation projects
-why have you increased your share in the project when other corporations like Norsk Hydro have pulled out? - who is getting your information on the ground in India? (i.e. ALCAN has sometimes claimed that the land is uninhabited) - which ALCAN employees/executives have visited the area? - what are the names of the local elected officials who "support" the company? When were they spoken with? - will ALCAN commit to send a representative to the area under public / press scrutiny?
- anything else you would like to express given your knowledge of the situation or as given in the background information
It is difficult to tell how the people at the headquarters will deal with these calls. Do your best to get your message across. If they refuse to let you speak to Jeremy Jonas, you may also ask to speak to CEO Travis Engen.