National Alliance of People's Movements To Launch Indefinite Dharna Against Coca-Cola

May 10, 2005

Under the banner of the National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), the ANTI-Coca-Cola Plachimada Plant Agitation will begin in Trivandrum, Kerala from 17th May onwards. The agitation will start with a Mass Rally at 11 am and an indefinite Dharna in front of the Government Secretariat. It will be inaugurated by the NAPM National Coordinator Srimathi Medha Patkar.

The demand of the Indefinite Dharna is to close down the Coca-Cola plant at Plachimada permanently. The three year long struggle in front of the plant will continue. The case is now in the Supreme Court. The issue whether a village panchayat (council) has the right to refuse ground water being extracted by a private company, landed at the door of the Supreme Court. The apex court is hearing a petition filed by the Perumatty village panchayat against a high court order allowing a bottling plant of Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Ltd. in the village to draw 500,000 litres of ground water per day. The apex court will hear the matter in detail. The High Court had asked the panchayat to grant license to the company within two weeks provided the company had required clearances from the Factories Act and the state pollution control board. The pollution control board already refused to give the clearance. It was decided that the NAPM agitation request the Pollution control board to keep up the stand.

An action committee was formed under the leadership of Eesabin Abdul Karim as Coordinator, and Thomas Kocherry, Velayodi Venugopal, R.Ajayan, T. Peter, Suresh George, and Althar are the members of the same. A team of Tribals from Plachimada will be present right through the agitation. Though the agitation is under the banner of NAPM, all the organizations are expected to join the agitation. The following are the commitments of different groups who are expected to be there at the Dharna shed along with others.

17 May to May 24 - KSMTF/NAPM Trivandrum
24 May to May 31 -Karnataka NAPM/ NAPM Kollam
31 May to June 6 - NBA/NAPM Ernakulam/Ernakulam SEWA
June 6 to June 13 - Ramnad NFF/Tamilnadu NAPM Gabriela/Karnataka NFF
June 13 to June 20 - Deep Sea NFF Tamilnadu/ NAPM Kottayam
June 20 to June 27 - UP NAPM/ NFF ONGOLE
June 27 to July 3 - Maharashtra NAPM/ Calicut NAPM
July 3 to July 10 - Gujarat NAPM/ NFF Vishakapattinam
July 10 to July 17 - NAPM AP/NFF Orissa
July 17 to July 24 - Maharashtra NFF/Ummergam NFF
July 24 to August 1 - West Bengal NFF/KSMTF/NAPM KERALA

Once the agitation starts, a lot of expenses are expected. We expect friends from all over India contribute towards meeting the expenses. Please send your cheque or DD in Indian Rupees in favour of NATIONAL FISHWORKERS FORUM (NFF) to Philomin Mary, Office Secretary, National Fishworkers Forum, Valiathura, Thiruvananthapuram-695008, India.

Thomas Kocherry
Medha Patkar
Sanjay M.G.

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