Saturday, November 7, 2009

Invitation to National Convention / Demonstration

[Circulate Widely !]
Invitation to National Convention / Demonstration
Displacement and Development in the context of proposed
Land Acquisition (Amendment) and Resettlement and Rehabilitation Bills
November 18th – 21st, New Delhi

November 1 2009

Since March 2007, NAPM, NFFPFW, National Hawkers Federation, Nadi Ghati Morcha, Him Niti Abhiyan and many other mass organisations of the country came together under the banner of Sangharsh, and resisted the government’s machinations of enacting a faulty Resettlement and Rehabilitation Act and introducing amendments to the Land Acquisition Act, promoting private and corporate interests over public good. We gathered recently in Delhi in July 2009 and our struggle gained a significant boost when the Acts could not be passed in the Budget session of the Parliament.

The land related conflicts and ensuing violence and divide across the country today has brought the issue of displacement and resettlement onto the front pages of news papers once again. There have been numerous demonstrations against displacement in Orissa, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh in recent months. All across, there is a simmering discontent in the country side and unrest in the urban areas as well. Continuing with our past efforts and series of ongoing actions across the country and our resolve to struggle for a people-friendly, democratic Act on R&R and least displacing development model, we invite you all to a four day programme in Delhi from November 18th -21st .

On 18th November , comrades from different regions of the country will gather in Kanjhawala, the hotspot of farmer’s resistance, on the outskirts of Delhi to discuss the current paradigm of anti-people displacement and our action plan for pro-people development, . On 19-20th November we will gather at Jantar Mantar for a two day national convention / demonstration where people from different states would particpate in large numbers. On 21st November we propose to organise a 3-4 hour meeting at Constitution Club between Secretaries of the concerned departments, academics and representatives of social movement ,working on these issues. We request you to kindly attend all the programmes and also mobilise people in significant numbers .

The idea is not only to demonstrate, but also to capture the civil and democratic space in this charged time of undeclared emergency, when the government is planning major offensive apparantly against armed resistance by Maoists, but in the process is also clamping down on peaceful mass struggles that are challenging dispossession and inequity. In such difficult times of state-sponsored militarisation, it is important to remind the government and the society at large that there is a large mass of people in the country who have been struggling democratically, for decades, to retain community control over natural resources and resist any attempt at displacing them from their land and livelihood . We wish to make it clear to the government and send out a loud message that these Bills, in their current form, far from providing justice to the millions of displaced people across the country, will only accentuate their misery and anger.

We demand the UPA government to desist from passing these two Bills in the existing form in the Parliament in the forthcoming Winter session. The UPA must:
1. Repeal the colonial Land Acquisition Act and bring back the National Advisory Council Draft Development Policy in public debate which must be the basis for a comprehensive enactment .
2. Constitite a Joint parliamentary Committee (JPC) , since matters in these two Bills deal with various Ministries (Rural Development, Urban Development, Environment and Forests, Industry and Commerce, Tribal Affairs, Social Justice and Empowerment, Panchayati Raj and Agriculture Ministries).

We do hope that you will be able to join all of us in this national endeavour to bring out long-lasting legal and political change in favour of the struggling millions. Important dates are :

November 18 – Convention at Kanjhawala, Rohini, Delhi
November 19 – 20 – Massive demonstration at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi
November 21 – Meeting at Constitution Club, New Delhi. (exact time to be finalised)

We will be sending posters and leaflets for the programme in coming days, but in the meanwhile, please do spread the word around and make adequate provision for the travel.

In Solidarity,

Medha Patkar, Narmada Bachao Andolan & NAPM
Ashok Chowdhury / Pushpa, National Federation of Forest People and Forest Workers (NFFPFW)
Gautam Bandopadhyay, Nadi Ghati Morcha , Chattisgarh
Dayamani Barla, Adivasi Mulnivasi Astitva Raksha Manch, Jharkhand, INSAF
Roma, Kaimur Kshetra Mahila Mazdoor Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, NFFPFW (Sonbhadra)
Dr. Sunilam, Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, Betul
Guman Singh, Himalaya Niti Abhiyan, Himachal Pradesh
Sandhya Devi, Kalahandi Mahila Mahasangh, Orissa
Shaktiman Ghosh, National Hawkers Federation, West Bengal
Advocate Aradhana Bhargav, Pench Sangharsh Samiti, Madhya Pradesh
Niketan Palkar, Tata Dharangrast Sangharsh Samiti and Sahyadri Bachao Andolan, Maharashtra

Akhil Gogoi, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, NAPM Assam
Anand Mazgaonkar, Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, NAPM Gujarat
Aruna Roy, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan, NAPM
Bhupinder Singh Rawat, Jan Sangharsh Vahini, NAPM Delhi
Debjit Dutt and Murad Hussain, NAPM West Bengal
Faisal, NAPM Haryana
Gabriele / Geeta Ramakrishnan NAPM, Tamilnadu
Geo Jose / Hussain Master, NAPM, Kerala
Mukta Srivastava, NAPM Maharashtra
P Chennaiah, Andhra Pradesh Vyavasaya Vruthidarula Union (APVVU), NAPM
Rajendra Ravi, NAPM, Delhi
Ramakrishnam Raju, United Forum for RTI, Andhra Pradesh
Praffula Samantray, NAPM Orissa
Sandeep Pandey, Aasha Parivaar (U.P.) NAPM
Sanjay M G, NAPM Maharashtra
Simpreet Singh, Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan, Mumbai, NAPM
Suniti S R, Visthapan Virodhi Sangharsh Samiti, NAPM Maharashtra
Ulka Mahajan, SEZ-Virodhi Sangharsh Samiti, NAPM Maharashtra
Venkatesh, Sister Celia and Sudhir Vombatkare, NAPM, Karnataka
Vimalbhai, Matu Jan Sangathan, NAPM Uttarakhand

And many other mass organisations and individuals from different states…

For any further queries Contact:
Rajendra Ravi – 9868200316 Madhuresh – 9818905316
Or write to or

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