13Aug/11

Strange Bedfellows for Action Aid:

International NGO Action Aid appeared to be campaigning vigorously against Vedanta only to apparently change course from time to time:  on August 14th 2010, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility project ‘Partners in Change’ it was part of a jury which awarded Vedanta the “Best Community Development”  for its ‘good work’ around the Lanjigarh refinery at Niyamgiri hills, as advertised proudly on Vedanta’s website (accessed 25/7/11). Continue reading

04Aug/11

Bradford 12: lessons for organising by IRR News Team

An event in London marking the Bradford 12 thirtieth anniversary was a celebration and an education for resistance.

Thirty years ago, on 10 July 1981, twelve young Asians were arrested and charged with conspiracy to cause explosions and to endanger life, after a crate of home-made milk-bottle petrol bombs was found. (In fact thirteen were arrested, but the thirteenth, the only woman, Shanaaz Ali, was released without charge.) A defence campaign was formed; thousands marched in Bradford and Leeds under the slogan ‘Whose conspiracy? Police conspiracy!’ and hundreds attended the trial each day. But the defence to the charges, not disclosed in advance of the trial so as to surprise the prosecution, was community self-defence. Yes, we made these petrol bombs, the young men said. We were forced to, to defend our communities from the threat of an invasion by the far-right National Front, against which we knew from previous experience there would be no police protection. The twelve and their legal team set out to educate the jury about the realities of racist violence for them, their families and for black people in Britain. The jury responded by acquitting them. Continue reading

04Aug/11

Workers in India battle corporate car parts firm Pricol

Kalpana Wilson  September 2008

More than 3,000 workers, many of them women, employed by Indian car parts manufacturer Pricol in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu are waging a militant and sustained struggle for basic rights and decent wages and conditions, confronting a virulently anti-union corporate employer. Since early 2007 when permanent, ancilliary and contract workers formed a union affiliated to revolutionary left trade union federation AICCTU which the majority of the workforce joined, the Pricol workers have faced victimisation of union activists, violence from the police and management, and daily harassment at work. But their dynamic and determined resistance has galvanised other workers and the entire local community and sent a clear signal to other employers in the area. Last week hundreds of workers blockaded the factory gates for four days in protest at the ‘lockout’ of 171 workers. This succeeded in forcing the management to reduce the number of workers to be locked out and give an undertaking that more workers would not be victimised. However, the basic demands of the Pricol workers are still to be met and the struggle continues. Continue reading