Indian police stop mass protest against land grabs
Police have suppressed a mass protest against Indian government plans to legalize corporate land grabs. The protest was planned for January 11, the opening day of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit, where representatives of governments and over 500 transnational corporations are gathering to discuss "investment" in Gujarat. Small farmers and agricultural workers are worried that the Summit is a platform to encourage land grabbing.
Authorities deployed police in rural districts to stop thousands of farmers and workers reaching the venue. Over 200 people were detained including Indukumar Jani, General Secretary of the IUF- affiliated Gujarat Agricultural Labour Union. Jani was later released.
In December 2014, the Central Government amended the Land Acquisition Act to eliminate clauses requiring both farmers to consent to land sales and a mandatory social impact assessment thus removing any possibility for small farmers to reject the acquisition of their land by corporations or government.
Below - the day before the mass protest Paulomee Mistry, Vice President of GALU,
explains to a meeting of women agricultural workers how corporate land grabs
threaten rural livelihoods. Hidayat Greenfield, IUF Asia Pacific regional secretary also attended the meeting. Read more here.