Kick Vedanta out of London!
Date(s) - 21/01/2013
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Kick Vedanta out of London Financial Conduct Authority – De-list Vedanta! 1pm, 21st Jan 2013.
Show solidarity with grassroots movements fighting Vedanta in India, Africa and elsewhere!
Kick Vedanta out of London for it’s corporate crimes, murder and destruction.
Noise demonstration and picket at Financial Conduct Authority offices, 25 North Colonnade, Canary Wharf.
E14 5HS . Canary Wharf DLR or tube.
1 – 3pm. Monday 21st January.
On Monday 21st January the Supreme Court will hold another (and hopefully final) hearing on whether to allow the mining of the threatened Niyamgiri mountain in Odisha, India(1). Once again tribals and farmers from a number of grassroots organisations will hold a rally near the mountain. They will call for closure of the sinking Lanjigarh refinery and an absolute ban on the so-far-unsuccessful attempt to mine bauxite on their sacred hills.
Here in London we will add our voices to recent calls for Vedanta to be kicked out of London where it profits from legal immunity, access to tax havens, and a ‘cloak of respectability’(2). We demand that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) de-list Vedanta from the London Stock Exchange for its multiple crimes against humanity and the environment, its poor corporate governance and corruption.
Last week’s Supreme Court hearing, international protests and visit of Minister of Rural Development – Jairam Ramesh – to meet the Dongia Kond on the mountain, has made Niyamgiri a major public issue once again.
Please join us and bring drums, pots and pans, whistles and anything that makes noise!
Our solidarity demos on 6th Dec and 11th Jan were covered in the Indian papers and widely discussed in India. Let us do it again!
See you there! More information below.
(1) The Supreme Court is due to make a decision on the challenge posed to the Environment Ministry’s stop to the Niyamgiri mine. During the court’s January 11th hearing, lawyers for Vedanta dwelled on the ongoing demonstrations in London, asking why people are protesting there, and claiming that India is suffering because of this. Judges noted that this is not relevant to the case and pointed out that people have a right to protest. Foil Vedanta’s spokesperson reacted:
“Vedanta is a London listed company and profits from this affiliation. It is typical of Vedanta to assume they are above the law and above public accountability. We will continue to draw attention to their corporate crimes here in London”.
In the court’s December 6th hearing the Supreme Court concluded that the case rested on whether the rights of the indigenous Dongia Kond’s – who live exclusively on that mountain – could be considered ‘inalienable or compensatory’. The previous ruling by Environment and Forests minister Jairam Ramesh in August 2010 prevented Vedanta from mining the mountain due to violations of environment and forestry acts. The challenge to this ruling has been mounted by the Orissa Mining Corporation, a state owned company with 24% shares in the joint venture to mine Niyamgiri with Vedanta, begging questions about why a state company is lobbying so hard for a British mining company in whom it has only minority shares in this small project. (see http://infochangeindia.org/environment/features/niyamgiri-a-temporary-reprieve.html)
(2) Vedanta was described in Parliament by Labour MP Lisa Nandy as ‘one of the companies that have been found guilty of gross violations of human rights’ . Ms Nandy in her speech quoted Richard Lambert the former Director General of the CBI: ‘It never occurred to those of us who helped to launch the FTSE 100 index 27 years ago that one day it would be providing a cloak of respectability and lots of passive investors for companies that challenge the canons of corporate governance such as Vedanta…’..
Similarly City of London researchers from ‘Trusted Sources’ have noted Vedanta’s
reasons for registering in London:
‘A London listing allows access to an enormous pool of capital. If you are in the FTSE Index, tracker funds have got to own you and others will follow. Both Vedanta Resources and Essar Energy are members of the FTSE 100. London’s reputation as a market with high standards of transparency and corporate governance is another draw for Indian companies. Both Vedanta and Essar have faced criticism on corporate governance grounds in India, and a foreign listing is seen as one way to signal to investors that the company does maintain high standards.’
In a parliamentary debate on 28th Nov 2012, MP John McDonnell made the case for Vedanta and other ethically contentious mining companies to be strongly regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, including possibly de-listed ‘because of their behaviour in the developing world.’