Protests against Vedanta in London, India and Zambia

On Tuesday 28 August, protesters from Foil Vedanta, South Asia Solidarity Group, Save Goa Campaign and other organizations will be picketing the AGM of controversial FTSE 100 mining company Vedanta at the Lincoln Centre, London. In Goa, Tamil Nadu and Orissa in India, and Chingola in Zambia parallel demonstrations involving hundreds of people affected by the company’s activities will take place.

Vedanta have been named the ‘world’s most hated company’ by the Independent newspaper for their long list of environmental and human rights crimes for which they are being opposed all over the world1. Most famously Vedanta’s plan to mine a mountain sacred to the Dongria Kondh tribe in Orissa, India, has led to mass protests and the Bank of England among others pulling out investments.

Protesters in London next week will coordinate with activists at four of Vedanta’s most damaging projects to highlight some of the other major scandals surrounding the company:

  • In Goa villagers affected by Vedanta subsidiary Sesa Goa’s pig iron plant in Amona will stage a large demonstration on 27th August. Houses in the area were swamped with black powder from the plant just last weekend2. Sesa Goa have also caused toxic mine waste floods and are accused of large scale fraud (1). The Goa Foundation will coordinate the demonstration. Their Director Claude Alvares comments;

Vedanta is committed to turning Goa into a graveyard in which it will bury not just the Goans but their environment as well. Almost every mining lease Vedanta is operating violates some environment or mining law, from mining in excess of environment limits to overloading its trucks to distress ordinary folk on Goa’s roads in the mining belt. The company violates its environment clearance conditions with impunity.“(2)


  • In Tamil Nadu activists will draw attention to the major violations of the Tuticorin copper smelter where 16 workers died between 2007 and 2011. The plant has been shut down by the state courts twice for having no permission to operate and for major pollution incidents.

  • In Orissa demonstrations of Dongria Kondh people alongside farmers and villagers will oppose mining of the Niyamgiri hills for the Lanjigarh alumina refinery. They have fought a seven year battle which has so far prevented the mine, leading this week to a major lack of bauxite for Vedanta, who are now being pressured to close the plant in view of their huge losses3.

  • In Zambia residents of Chingola will protest the ongoing contamination of their water supply by Vedanta subsidiary Konkola Copper Mines who were already fined $2 million in 2011 for turning the Kafue river green with copper pollution.Edward Lange of Southern Africa Resource Watch comments:

“The Kafue river in Chingola on many occasions has been heavily polluted by Konkola copper mines (KCM). Today the river has virtually no form of life in  its waters. The boreholes are rarely used by the local Shimulala community because they contain Copper, Iron, Acid and other dangerous minerals. 

Protesters in London will confront Vedanta’s shareholders and its CEO Anil Agarwal with a 30 foot long banner proclaiming ‘Vedanta: Olympic Champion in Murder, Environmental Crime and Corruption’, and placards with slogans such as ‘Anil Agarwal Wanted for Murders and Environmental Crimes!’. They will also draw attention to recent news including:

  • Vedanta’s involvement in a major coal scam currently rocking the Indian government (3).

  • Accusations in the British parliament that Vedanta has given the FTSE 100 a bad name.(4)

  • British Government’s ongoing support for Vedanta through DfID, and even David Cameron, who were recently revealed to have forced through a deal to buy out energy company Cairn India by pressuring the Indian Government4.

  • Resignation of the whole of Cairn India’s senior management since Vedanta’s takeover.5

  • Vedanta’s ten billion dollar debt crisis.(5)

  • Vedanta’s continued donations to India’s two main political parties, the ruling Congress and the right-wing Hindu nationalist BJP6. Under the name Anil Agarwal foundation, it also supports projects such the Krishna Avanti school in London run by the I foundation which has close links to the Hindu supremacist groups.

Amrit Wilson (South Asia Solidarity Group and Foil Vedanta) says:

This year the list of Vedanta’s atrocities is longer than ever before and there are massive popular struggles against it in India and Zambia. Like the notorious Lonmin in South Africa, Vedanta is bringing shame on the London Stock Exchange. Isn’t it time they were deleted from it? We call on the British government to stop backing this lawless and murderous corporate.”


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