Tag Archives: 2012 AGM

Obituary: Keith Robin Fassenfelt

On Wednesday 24th November Foil Vedanta’s friend Keith passed away following a seizure which occurred in his sleep several years after he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. He was 56 years old. Keith was a committed activist and played a major role in the Vedanta AGM demonstrations in 2011 and 2012, including taking part in an early morning noise demonstration outside Anil Agarwal’s house.

Keith was a deeply compassionate man, who gave his time and energy to a variety of struggles from the squatters movement to anti-aviation both day and night. His warm, cheeky presence was always appreciated and noticed at meetings and demonstrations. He was also a colourful character, a self admitted ex-bank robber and a portrait painter who would leave a demo to spend a few hours at the Victoria and Albert museum and eat a fancy lunch ‘free of charge’ before returning to the front line. Keith was courageous, compassionate, loving and had deep integrity and he will be sorely missed by many, including his friends at Foil Vedanta.

Stop the 2012 AGM!

Stop Vedanta’s Profit from Death and Destruction!

Join us at the eighth annual AGM protest:
28 August 2012 2.00 pm
Lincoln Centre, 18 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3ED

Nearest tube Holborn (Piccadilly & Central lines) or Chancery Lane (Central).

British Government’s special relationship with Vedanta

  • • The UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) and Department of Tradeand Industry (DTI) helped launch Vedanta on the London Stock Exchange andcontinues to support the company.
  • • Through the World Bank funded NGO Business Partners for Development, it hashelped Vedanta take over copper mines in Zambia . Although Vedanta has been finedfor poisoning the Kafue river and faced workers protests, the UK is helpingestablish it in Zambia by securing in the words of local NGOs “ a ‘champion’ withincentral government to further the ‘enabling environment’”.
  • • Meanwhile in Liberia in what has been described as one of the worst recordedconcession agreements in the country’s history Sesa Goa is accused of breach ofcontract and may have to pay damages of US$10 billion.
  • • Most recently when the Indian government held up Vedanta’s deal with EdinburghbasedCairn Energy by investigating Vedanta’s ability to manage strategic oil fields, UKgovernment officials, briefed “over dinner” by Cairn Energy, offered to “polish” and senda letter drafted by the company to the Indian Prime Minister to force the deal through.David Cameron even personally intervened, urging India to speed up’unnecessary delays’. As a result the Indian government caved in and allowed a dealwhich handed some 30% of India’s crude oil for a fraction of its worth to this notoriouscorporate.
  • • Vedanta’s Cairn India is now drilling for oil in the ecologically fragile off-shoreregion around Mannar in Sri Lanka – an area controlled by the Sri Lankan military.
Vedanta is funded by more than 30 major banks and financial agencies including HSBC,Deutsche Bank, Axa, Royal Bank of Canada, Credit Suisse, J P Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs,Llyods Banking Group,Nordea Bank, HSBC, ICICI, Citigroup, National Bank of Kuwait, ANZ andMerrill Lynch. The University Superannuations Scheme (USS) pension fund, the Royal Bank ofScotland (RBS) and Cheshire, Suffolk, Wolverhampton and Leicestershire county council’s pensionschemes hold large investments. But the Norwegian Government Pension Fund, Martin CurrieInvestments, the Church of England, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and the Dutch PensionFund PGGM have divested because of Vedanta’s ecological, and human rights crimes.PEOPLE’S MOVEMENTS AND INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY ARE A POWERFULCOMBINATION! People are fighting Vedanta in Asia and Africa. They have succeeded inweakening Vedanta. Join us in fighting them in London!

BRING MULTI-BILLIONAIRE CEO ANIL AGARWAL TO JUSTICE

Vedanta’s CEO, Anil Agarwal one of the richest people in Britain, whose personal wealth hasgrown even in the recession by 583%. Agarwal and Vedanta have close links with the SanghParivar, the umbrella group of Hindu right-wing organizations in India responsible forgenocidal attacks on India’s minority Muslim and Christian communities, in Orissa, Gujaratand elsewhere.

Why Peoples’ Movements are Fighting Vedanta:

Vedanta plc is a London listed FTSE100 company which has brought death and destruction to thousands. It is owned by billionaireAnil Agarwal and his family through companies in various tax havens. It has been consistentlyfought by people’s movements but it is being helped by the British government to evolve intoa multi-headed monster and spread across India and round the world, diversifying into iron inGoa, Karnataka and Liberia, Zinc in Rajasthan, Namibia, South Africa and Ireland, copper inZambia and most recently oil in the ecologically fragile Mannar region in Sri Lanka.

Vedanta’s Record in India:

In Odisha, India:

Vedanta’s bauxite mining and aluminium smelters have left more than tenthousand displaced people landless, contaminated drinking water sources with ‘red mud’ and fly ash,and devastated vast tracts of fertile land in an area which has seen famine every year since 2007.Vedanta’s mine on the sacred Niyamgiri hills has been fought by Adivasi (indigenous)-led people’smovements for seven long years and has so far been stopped. This has rendered their subsidiaryVedanta Aluminium (VAL) a loss making company, starving it’s refineries at Jharsuguda and Lanjigarhof local bauxite.

In Goa:

Vedanta’s Sesa Goa subsidiary has been accused of large scale fraud and illegal mining.In June 2009 following a pit wall collapse which drowned Advalpal village in toxic mine waste, a 9year old local boy Akaash Naik filed a petition to stop the mine and mass protests later that yearhalted mining at one of Sesa Goa’s sites. In 2011 there were more major mine waste floods. In SouthGoa a 90 day road blockade by 400 villagers succeeded in stopping another iron ore mine. Sesa Goaare paying ‘silence funds’ to try and prevent similar action at their South Goa mine.

In Tamil Nadu, Tuticorin:

Vedanta subsidiary Sterlite has flouted laws without remorse, operatingand expanding without consent, violating environmental conditions, and illegally dumping toxiceffluents and waste. In 1997 a toxic gas leak hospitalised 100 people sparking an indefinite hungerstrike by a local politician and a ‘siege on Sterlite’ that led to 1643 arrests. Later that year a kilnexplosion killed two. An estimated 16 workers died between 2007 and 2011. Police recorded mostworkers deaths as suicides. Pollution Control Boards, judges and expert teams have on severaloccasions reversed damning judgements of the company, demonstrating large scale corruption andbribery. Activists are waging a court battle which has stopped operations for several short periods.

In Tamil Nadu, Mettur:

Vedanta bought MALCO ‘s aluminium complex at Mettur 2 yearsbefore permission for their Kolli Hills bauxite mines expired but continued to mine illegally for 10years. Five adivasi villages were disturbed and a sacred grove destroyed before activist’s petitionsstopped mining in 2008. Without local bauxite and with protests preventing bauxite coming fromNiyamgiri in Orissa the factory at Mettur was also forced to close. However, the abandoned andunreclaimed mines continue to pollute the mountains and a huge red mud dump by the Stanleyreservoir pollutes drinking water and blows toxic dust into the village.

In Chhattisgarh, Korba:

Vedanta bought the state owned BALCO’s alumina refinery, smelter andbauxite mines for ten times less than its estimated value in 2001 despite a landmark 61 day strike byworkers. Since then wages have been slashed and unionised workers are losing jobs. In 2009 afactory chimney collapsed, BALCO claimed 42 were killed, but in fact 60 – 100 people are stillmissing. Witnesses claim these workers from poor families in neighbouring states are buriedunderground in the rubble, which was bulldozed over immediately after the collapse.

DOWNLOAD, PRINT AND DISTRIBUTE THE FLIER


Vedanta 2012 AGM
28 August 2012 2.00 pm
Lincoln Centre, 18 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3ED

Links:
Foil Vedanta and the Carnival of Dirt 2012
Globalise Resistance 2012 AGM Call-out