India: Solidarity Actions Held in Support of World Bank/IMF Protesters in Prague
Representatives of various organisations participated in symbolic, but
effective protest against the World Bank (WB) and International Monetary
Fund (IMF) in Bombay and Delhi on Sep. 26th. This was held in the wake of
the 55th Summit of WB and IMF at Prague. This was also to extent support
and solidarity to over 15,000 activists from all over the world, protesting
against the Summit at Prague, inspite of heavy police deployment and terror
tactics by the Czech Government.
The day of action was endorsed and supported by various organisations,
including the environmental groups, exploited people's movements, national
youth groups, labor groups and human rights groups. They included - NAPM,
Shoshit Jan Andolan, YUVA, Girni Kamgar Sangarsh Samiti, Manav Mukti
Morcha, Rashtriya Yuva Sangathan, Rashtriya Macchimar Sangathan, Narmada
Bachao Andolan, Sarvoday Mandal, India Centre for Human Rights and Law,
Sachetan Bahujan Sena, Maharashtra Macchimar Kruti Samiti and Samajwadi Jan
The activists had a dynamic interaction with the curious public who not
only supported but also joined in the protest. There were even (unofficial)
words of support from the local police who were taken unawares by the
spontaneity of the event. School children were quite excited by the pouha
(home made puffed-rice snack) being served in front of the McDonald's and
agreed to take the messages back to their schools.
In Delhi, organisations like Jagrati Mahila Samiti, Kislay, Nirman Majdoor
Panchayat Sangam, JOHAR and others associated with the National Alliance of
Peoples Movements staged protest in front of the World Bank office in
Delhi. All the members present assembled there from different directions on
the World Bank gates and blocked the entrance for more than two hours.
NAPM addressing the demonstrators that today in the process of
privatisation the World Bank has become an agent of the western countries.
He reiterated the assertion that only peoples movements can stop
privatisation. Alok Aggarwal from Narmada Bachao Andolan condemned the
World Banks move towards encouraging free trade and venturing into
The speakers also reminded that when the British came to India in 1770
they came with only one company for trade, The East India Company. But
today there are hundreds and hundreds of foreign companies are invited for
investments to the country. It was also said the Adivasi who fought against
British for the protection of their traditional land rights, thus the
Chotanagpur Tenancy Act and Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act were made, today
they are being amended for enabling the foreign and private companies to
make investments in the Adivasi lands said Bineet Mundu, the representative
from Jharkhandis Organisation for Human Rights (JOHAR).
The first ever WB/IMF summit in Central and Eastern Europe has began
yesterday. The delegates are meeting to propose a scheme of further
liberalisation of the world economy by defining new loan priorities and
structural adjustment conditions.
The megalomaniac project of the World Bank result in the destruction of
local ecosystems as well as in the forced displacement of millions of people.
NAPM is represented by Medha Patkar and Rehmat Mansoorie in Prague for the
protests. NAPM and all other organisations involved in this protest condemn
the actions of the Czech government, who tried to supress the voices of
dissent in Prague, by brute force and terror tactics. Highlighting stray
incidences of violence and dismissing over 15,000 people as rioters will
never be the way to address the grave issues they have raised. We join all
comrades, world over, to warn that the days ahead for WB and IMF will not
be the same and we will not allow this vulgar display of economic power and
capitalist hegemony to prevail.
National Alliance of People's Movements
A/29-30, Haji Habib Bldg, First Floor, 182 Naigaon Cross Road
Dadar (E) Mumbai - 400 014
- 194 World Financial Institutions