Defenders of Mother Earth.
Stopping fossil fuel extraction is essential to avoid climate chaos, and assure a good quality future for all of us.
Luckily, brave people all around the world are fighting the expansion of fossil fuel extraction.
Here is one example of our Defenders of Mother Earth:
Mahan, Madhya Pradesh is one of the oldest forests of Asia, that faced the threatens of giant corporations – Hindalco and Essar- going after the coal reserves below it
“Over 14,190 lives and livelihoods are dependent on the Mahan forests, Madhya Pradesh. Their culture, community and lives are intertwined with the forests that the corporations threaten to destroy. Displacement from their natural habitat is going to be devastating for the indigenous community.” – Greenpeace article
Local villagers joined forces against the clear-cut of hundreds of trees and formed the Mahan Sangharsh Samiti (MSS) in 2013, and in March 2015, the villagers celebrated a great victory as the government stopped the auction of the Mahan coal block due to continuous protests by MSS supported by Greenpeace India.
Here are some of their inspiring stories during this 2 years long fight:
- Women's Protest
- Kamla Prasad Panika and Family
- 1,000 against Essar
- 40 hours in Jail for Mahan's Forests.
Local women from Bandhoura village in Singrauli organized a “dharna” (sit in protest) for over a month against the Essar coal power plant’s fly-ash dump invading their homes and agricultural fields.
Kamla Prasad of Sidhi Khurd village is from the Panika tribe and has 5 acres of farm land that Reliance Sasan forcefully tried to acquire with active help from district & state governments. He refused, as the rehabilitation promised was not given to any other displaced.
His elder son was brutally beaten, his daughters regularly harassed, both his sons thrown out of the school (DAV School Surya Vihar) run with help of Reliance as part of their obligation for displaced people.
Even today, after 5 years of massive harassment, torture, regular threats from district police & administration he refuses to hand over his land and keeps cultivating it, right next to the huge cooling towers inside the plant boundary. He might be eliminated by Reliance appointed goons.
A fight between forest rights and coal mining. When unearthing of the coal scam – the biggest scam in India- didn’t save these forests, when their signatures were forged to take away rights to their land, these villagers had to get together and fight for what’s theirs.
At a public meeting organized by Mahan Sangharsh Samiti, 1000 people from 11 villages came together to protest against Mahan Coal Limited(a joint venture between Essar and Hindalco).
Akshay Gupta is 28 years old and working as a climate campaigner with Greenpeace India. He was arrested with three other activists for peacefully protesting against Essar’s plans for Mahan on May 8th 2014.
He has been charged with four offences including obstructing a public servant in discharge of public functions and punishment for robbery. He was released on bail on May 10th 2014.
Listen to his account.
Thank You Defenders!
People around the world are supporting in many ways to this global Fossil Fuels Resistance movements!
Here is a very good way to not only support them but to share their fights! Let’s tell the world to #KeepItInTheGround
Join the Climate Strike‘s #ThankYou campaign!
And say Thank You in very own and creative way to the people that are risking their lives,
giving their time and energy – and sometimes even their freedom – for defending our Mother Earth!