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A message of Solidarity to the People’s Resistance Against Large-Scale Industrial Development in Orissa, India : South Korean Activists

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With this letter, activists in South Korea send heartfelt solidarity and support to the Orissa villagers who are confronting the corporate exploitation and government repression through an autonomous movement to protect their land and livelihoods from harmful industrial development. Korean activists demand that appropriate countermeasures be arranged to address the assault, sexual harassment, and violence that villagers have experienced thus far in the Jagatsinghpur district of Orissa, India.

According to local social organizations and Amnesty International, the local government in Orissa has forced people from their homes and land to make way for the construction of a POSCO steel plant (a $12 billion joint investment). During this process of dispossession and forced migration, the villagers fiercely resisted. Local authorities ignored villagers’ and activists’ demands for recognition of their right to the land. Instead, equipped forced were hired to silence their voices. The armed men went as far as throwing bombs at the villagers, shocking those of us in South Korea who have been watching and supporting the Orissa people’s opposition. Approximately 50 people were wounded, 15 of whom were seriously injured. However, police officers stationed just 5 km away stood idle and simply watched the violence take place. Local authorities cut off food supplies after the village was blockaded, sanctioning the repression and human rights violations.

While we received news of these events, human rights violations continued to occur in South Korea. To make way for the expansion of a U.S. military base in Pyeongtaek, the government forcefully expropriated land from Daechuri villagers, destroyed the local school, and restricted public access to the area. In addition, extreme police forces were used against poscoenc(Pohang Construction) labor union members. Pohang workers simply requested a suitable place to eat lunch and a dressingroom to change out of their work clothes, while Daechuri farmers simply wanted to remain on their land, inherited from their ancestors, and continue producing their crops. However, the Defense Ministry, police, and poscoenc(Pohang Construction) took no notice of these demands, consistently using repressive force.

Through the Orissa villagers’ resistance against harmful industrial development, we are given yet another example of the day-to-day struggles of poor and politically weak populations, whose security and basic needs are threatened, rather than ensured, by the process of so-called development.Presently, South Korea is also suffering from the brutal illness wrought by exploitative, opportunistic, corporate-friendly development. The increase of forced evictions in the name of re-development, beautification, and profit, leaves many evictees with no place to go; only 20% of those evicted can return to the same home or neighborhood.

We oppose the enterprises of foreign investment companies that fatten themselves by trampling on the livelihoods and existence of poor/working-class people. Public authorities, rather than ensuring the safety and human rights of the local population, are allowing human rights violations to be committed; isolating the resistance and cutting off food supplies. POSCO is directly connected to these violent actions and must be held responsible for the human rights infringements that have taken place.

Human rights activists in South Korea will join the resistance in solidarity with the people of Orissa, India, who have called themselves defenders of human rights.On February 19, Human rights civic organizations held a press conference in Korea concerning POSCO’s human rights abuses. Afterward, Korean activists have continued to search for the most effective ways to support the villagers’struggle and denounce the actions of the government and corporations involved. We send our support and hope we help strengthen your efforts.

February 21, 2008

Human Rights Activist, Jointly Signed

Dasan Humanrights center 다산인권센터 Kim kyoung-mi 김경미/ Kim jin-tae 김진태/ Kim hyun-chang 김현창/ Park jin 박진

Peace & Humanright for solidarity 전북평화와 인권연대 Yang hye-jin 양혜진

Korea Progressive Network Jinbonet 진보네트워크센터 Kim seung-uk 김승욱/ Dalgun 달군/ Hong ji-eun 홍지은/ Chang yeo-kyoung 장여경/ Lee jong-hoe 이종회

Bloodsisters solidarity 피자매연대 dopehead Zo 조약골

Group for Human Rights 인권운동사랑방 Park lae-goon 박래군/ Choi myoung-sook 명숙/ Kwon ok-hee 권옥희/ Lim jae-woo 임재우/ Kim il-sook 김일숙/ Choi eun-ah 최은아/ Miryu 미류/ Min-sun 민선/ Mun hye-jung 문혜정/ Pang sung-hyang 방성향/

hye-man 혜만/ Ji hyun-ho 지현호/ Bahk Seok-jin 박석진/ Lee Jae-young 이재영

Nodl Popular School for person with a Disability 노들장애인야간학교 Jaw dong-yeob 좌동엽

Women with Disability Empathy 장애여성공감 Sang-hee 상희/ Jisung 지성

World Without War 전쟁없는세상 Jo eun 조은/ Lee yong-suk 이용석/ Lee jo-eun 이조은/ Yang yeo-ok 양여옥

Women with Disability Empathy 장애여성공감 Banda 반다

Korean Transgender Activist Group 트랜스젠더인권활동단체 지렁이 Candy. D 캔디. D

Humanrights with Disabilityperson in Action 장애와인권발바닥행동 Park ok-soon 박옥순/

Catholic Human Rights Committee 천주교인권위원회 Bae yeo-jin 배여진/ Go dong-ju 고동주/ Cho baek-ki 조백기

Center for Public Interest & Human Rights 전남대학교 공익인권법센터 Her chang-young 허창영

Korea Human Right Foundation 한국인권재단 Joh ji-hye 조지혜

Unninetwork 언니네트워크 Lee jin-joo 이진주

The National Committee of Rescoration of Justice 과거사청산범국민위원회 Kim hyon-tae 김현태

Lesbian counceling center in South Korea 한국레즈비언상담소 Han jeong-eun 한정은/ HyunPark jung-won 현박정원/ Keii 김윤서이(Keii)/ Lee jeong-youn 이정연(원영)

Committee to Support Imprisoned Workers 구속노동자후원회 Kim jin-seok 김진석

People’s solidarity for Social Progress 사회진보연대 Lee seung-woon 이승운/ Lee so-hyung 이소형/ Jang jin-bum 장진범/ Han ji-won 한지원

Migrant workers Human Rights center 이주노동자인권센터 Lee sang-jae 이상재

Korea human rights reaserch center 인권연구소’창’ Kahng dong-yil 강동일/ Yu eun-sook 류은숙

Action Solidarity 행동연대 Lee jin-sun 이진선

장애인지역공동체 Eom yeon-uk 엄연욱

빈곤과차별에저항하는 인권운동연대 Lee mi-seon 이미선

Korea HIV/AIDS Network of Solidarity 한국HIV/AIDS감염인연대 Kang suk-ju 강석주

Human Rights Education Cenater, Deul 인권교육센터’들’ Pae kyong-nae 배경내/ Go eun-chae 고은채

Human Rights Foundation SARAM 인권재단사람 Lee myo-rang 이묘랑/ Kang gon 강곤

Imagination for International Solidarity 경계를넘어 Soo-jin 수진

MINBYUN Lawyers for a Deomocratic Society 민변 Lee dong-hwa 이동화

Kanos 한국HIV/AIDS감염인연대카노스 Lee eun-joo 이은주

Humanrights with Disabilityperson in Action 장애와인권발바닥행동 Kim su-won 김수원

GONGGAM 공익변호사그룹공감 Hwang pill-kyu 황필규

Korea Confederation of Trade Union 민주노총 Lee chang-geun 이창근/ Jeong kyoung-eun 정경은

People’s Solidarity of Participatory Democracy Cha eun-ha 차은하

Korean House for International Solidarity 국제민주연대 Kim kyung 김경

Korean Alliance for Progressive Soilidarity 한국진보연대 Kim ae-hwa 김애화

Written by janjagriti

October 12, 2008 at 10:27 pm

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