#India- Open letter to #BenRattray, #CEO, #Change.org – “Et tu Brutus” #kracktivism

Dear Ben Rattray

You  started  change.org ,to change  the world, you did made an impact on social change in last five years,in US. In the developing world especially in India , there was mutli-fold increase in petitions, in last one year. So what was different about change, which made it so popular?  The fact it was a business model, which was entering social change with a very transparent and accountable agenda . You are not a non profit organisation claiming anything, true, but you were  representing a progressive community fighting for social justice and change, fighting for human rights of people across the globe. You were using the power of business for social good. Also the fact that each petition was checked and there was a coordination between offline protest , campaigns and the online petition.

I invested  my time at change.org  by  creating many  human rights and petitions on change.org in past one year. There have been  small victories  Paypal apologises. There have been some big victories ,Family Matters taken away from Justice Bhaktavatsala, Amnesty International intervenes to Free Waqar, The Kashmiri YouthFreedom for Arun Ferreira behind bars for 4 years under draconian laws  , and some still continue to create impact like the petition for a  To Save Soni Sori and Punish Chhattisgarh Police & has had impact for international mobilization .

I have closely worked with change.org team on  many petitions, and also guided them  time and again on some other petitions as well, as I strongly believed ,in the fact, that they had taken a stand for social justice and human rights.  Change.org, meant business, yes business to take stand for  human rights . I  used to laugh at some of the inane petitions, which were totally ridiculous e.g. homophobic, anti abortion petition, as I  was sure change.org will not give any support, neither a push and the petition will die its own death. But your decision to change your advertising policy in the name of  openness, democracy and empowerment is nothing more than a facade. There was a certain element of  trust which has been broken  by the new changes in your advertising policy. Change.org  built its reputation on arming Davids to take on the Goliaths, now it seems that you think David and Goliath should be on the same team.

After reading the leaked documents, I was very disturbed and angry and asked the change.org team in India about it and I got the following email, by country head of change.org in India on Oct 25th 2012

 Hi Kamayani,

 as you are one of our most active users I wanted to reach out to you to clarify things in light of the Huffington Post and other pieces regarding our advertising guidelines.

Change.org’s mission is to empower people everywhere to create the change they want to see. Our vision is a world in which no one is powerless and making change is a part of daily life.

We believe the best way to achieve this is to have a platform that is truly open (like a true democracy) to all points of view as long as they don’t violate our terms of service – eg: hateful, violent, fraudulent etc. (full details here http://www.change.org/en-IN/about/terms-of-service).

We’re also extending this to our advertisers as long as they do not violate advertising guidelines http://www.change.org/en-IN/about/advertising-guidelines

This is the same yardstick that every tech platform uses – from FB and Google to Huffington Post itself.

 Finally, I would encourage you to read the leaked document as it serves as it clearly explains our position on a number of questions that people might have. It is not as dramatic as the HuffPo article 🙂

I hope that clarifies. Please let me know if you have further questions.



I have read all internal documents word by word, the fact remains you did not plan  to  reach  to me and many other progressive users about the change you were going to embark upon. What these leaked documents revealed goes much beyond that, inclusive of embracing those who want to work against those very causes.  This part of internal document which  I produce below  proves  how your are turning from left to right . How will  you  justify while accepting paid promotions from conservative organizations. After all, conservatives don’t want change. That’s a progressive value. Conservatives want things to remain  the same. Corporations don’t have to run successful campaigns on Change.org in order to defeat the good that’s been done. All they have to do is pay to run so many petitions that current users dislike to get those users to go away or simply stop opening e-mails about petitions.

The full internal Faqs are available here-rebrand-internalfaqs-change.pdf

Your Article in HuffiiPost on Oct 25 also has nothing new  to add to the understanding at all  . In the name of openness now you say YES to-Republican campaigns, soon  I will find a campaign to endorse a legitimate rape ,  Astroturfing campaigns, Corporations.  About Hate groups – you say If a large organization like the The Southern Poverty Law Center( SPLC )says they’re a hate group its a NO , but otherwise yes. For change.org –Anti-abortion, Pro-gun, Union-busting, Animal cruelty is Yes. and you say “We are open to organizations that represent all points of view, including those with which we personally (and strongly) disagree.

Your advertising policy shift demonstrates the potential perils of for-profit companies founded on progressive values, and shows the power of money . You have literally betrayed all the active users of change.org, including me and taken advantage of our issues and petitions for increasing your own database. As a business and a company   you have every right to pivot and change  your brand  positioning. However, under the garb of ‘   you are actually helping further the work of those who we are working to organize against. For eg – with  this new Change.org openness, now anyone is eligible to advertise with you for profit. So after I sign a petition for gay rights, women’s rights and all of the other human rights issues, I might find a link to a sponsored petition that  I wasn’t expecting. Stop  Gay Marriages ! Give Legal recognition to Khap Panchayats !   Legalise ‘ Legitimate Rape ” !  Women should stop wearing skirts !

Its a big thanks to the Whistle -blower who leaked the documents for opening our eyes, and  you fire him from work, Wow, that’s very  Ethical, and you do not mention this at all in your article . Is  it change.org’s  policy not to discuss internal matters even if they are public  . I must say, and the fact we are having a debate, is because of him or her , and my eternal gratitude to the concerned person .

You used to call the non-profits who have spent millions to  support  you succeed “partners”, and now you call them “advertisers”. Nice attempt to make it sound like these were simply commercial transactions.   You make it sound like selling names to the radical right is a grand vision for ’empowerment'”. Since when is suppressing the rights of women, ’empowerment’? That’s not a grand vision for good. That’s a grand vision for greed. It’s genius, but let’s be clear. It’s not change. It’s just doubling-down on conflict—clickable, lucrative, conflict-mongering—and calling it a business model. Isn’t selling opt- ins (a user opts in with an email addresses when they sign a petition) to anti-women or anti-gay organizations a corrupt act no matter how you sugar coat it?  With a very liberal base of users on your sight. Your claim that you’ve simply grown too big to devote the necessary time to check out each petition is a betrayal of your origin, which was based on making this a voice for the voiceless,  for those who couldn’t make themselves heard elsewhere over the money. What’s changed  ? You seem to have eliminated change in favor of more of the usual. You may not think that you’re selling out, but at  you’ve made a Faustian deal.

Its  time to bid good bye, and I do so  with by my last petition addressed to you only, to reinstate the Whistle- Blower and come out . I will not be participating in change.org petitions  from now, but  I will definitely will be watching you , as you say in your article

“If it’s still not clear to you which version is accurate, I’d ask you consider suspending final judgment until you see the impact of our actions once the heat of the rhetoric subsides. Because while the impact that Change.org users have had around the world has been growing rapidly, we’re just getting started. And we’d love to work together to change the world.”

It’s very  clear to me where you are heading, and there is no confusion , now you are not a business for a social cause but  like any for profit , you are making money on our database .

Was a change.org petitioner organizer in India

Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Mumbai

28TH October, 2012

Police raid activist’s home for ‘criminal’ posts on Facebook. China? No – Wales

Pride's Purge

27SaturdayOct 2012

(Not satire – I’m sorry to say.)

A female disability activist had her home raided yesterday by South Wales Police who attempted to intimidate her into stopping posting comments on Facebook critical of government cuts and specifically the Department of Work and Pensions and their attacks on the rights of disability claimants.

In her own words:

I’ve just had the police forcing their way into my flat near midnight and harrassing me about my “criminal” posts on Facebook about the DWP, accusing me of being “obstructive”. I didn’t know what in f**k’s name they were on about. They kept going on and on at me, it was horrifically stressful, and they only left after I started crying uncontrollably.

The police officers did not charge her. They clearly were just attempting to scare her into stopping her political activities.

The woman was alone in her own home. She was left feeling frightened and vulnerable – by the very people who should be protecting her.

If the police wanted to talk to her, why did the officers choose to enter her home at midnight on a Friday? Why didn’t they inform her in writing or interview her at a police station so she could arrange for a lawyer to be present?

At best this is unprofessional behaviour on the part of South Wales Police, at worst it is political harassment of an individual worthy of a dictatorial state such as China or North Korea.

Well done South Wales Police. You must be very proud of yourselves.


I’ve kept the identity of the woman secret for obvious reasons but if anyone would like more information about what happened to her, leave your email address in the comments below and I’ll ask her to contact you. Thanks.


Original post here http://tompride.wordpress.com/

Allen Ginsberg: ‘The Ballad of the Skeletons’ #sundayreading


The Nation | October 23, 2012

The late Allen Ginsberg first published his poem “The Ballad of the Skeletons” in the pages of this magazine in 1995. A portrait of our world of contradictions, the poem was set to music by Ginsberg in that same year in collaboration with Paul McCartney, Philip Glass and Lenny Kaye. Now, with a new release by Ginsberg Recordings [1], the song can be heard in its entirety once again. Listen to the recording and read the full poem below with illustrations by Eric Drooker. Check out Ginsberg Recordings’ new release here [2].

Said the Presidential skeleton
I won’t sign the bill
Said the Speaker skeleton
Yes you will

Said the Representative skeleton
I object
Said the Supreme Court skeleton
Whaddya expect

Said the Military skeleton
Buy Star Bombs
Said the Upperclass skeleton
Starve unmarried moms

Said the Yahoo skeleton
Stop dirty art
Said the Right Wing skeleton
Forget about yr heart

Said the Gnostic skeleton
The Human Form’s divine
Said the Moral Majority skeleton
No it’s not it’s mine

Said the Buddha skeleton
Compassion is wealth
Said the Corporate skeleton
It’s bad for your health

Said the Old Christ skeleton
Care for the Poor
Said the Son of God skeleton
AIDS needs cure

Said the Homophobe skeleton
Gay folk suck
Said the Heritage Policy skeleton
Blacks’re outta luck

Said the Macho skeleton
Women in their place
Said the Fundamentalist skeleton
Increase human race

Said the Right-to-Life skeleton
Foetus has a soul
Said Pro-choice skeleton
Shove it up your hole

Said the Downsized skeleton
Robots got my job
Said the Tough-on-Crime skeleton
Tear-gas the mob

Said the Governor skeleton
Cut school lunch
Said the Mayor skeleton
Eat the budget crunch

Said the Neo-Conservative skeleton
Homeless off the street!
Said the Free Market skeleton
Use ’em up for meat

Said the Think Tank skeleton
Free Market’s the way
Said the S&L skeleton
Make the State pay

Said the Chrysler skeleton
Pay for you & me
Said the Nuke Power skeleton
& me & me & me

Said the Ecologic skeleton
Keep Skies blue
Said the Multinational skeleton
What’s it worth to you?

Said the NAFTA skeIeton
Get rich, Free Trade,
Said the Maquiladora skeleton
Sweat shops, low paid

Said the rich GATT skeleton
One world, high tech
Said the Underclass skeleton
Get it in the neck

Said the World Bank skeleton
Cut down your trees
Said the I.M.F. skeleton
Buy American cheese

Said the Underdeveloped skeleton I
Send me rice
Said Developed Nations’ skeleton
Sell your bones for dice

Said the Ayatollah skeleton
Die writer die
Said Joe Stalin’s skeleton
That’s no lie

Said the Petrochemical skeleton
Roar Bombers roar!
Said the Psychedelic skeleton
Smoke a dinosaur

Said Nancy’s skeleton
Just say No
Said the Rasta skeleton
Blow Nancy Blow

Said Demagogue skeleton
Don’t smoke Pot
Said Alcoholic skeleton
Let your liver rot

Said the Junkie skeleton
Can’t we get a fix?
Said the Big Brother skeleton
Jail the dirty pricks

Said the Mirror skeleton
Hey good looking
Said the Electric Chair skeleton
Hey what’s cooking?

Said the Talkshow skeleton
Fuck you in the face
Said the Family Values skeleton
My family values mace

Said the N.Y. Times skeleton
That’s not fit to print
Said the C.I.A. skeleton
Cantcha take a hint?

Said the Network skeleton
Believe my lies
Said the Advertising skeleton
Don’t get wise!

Said the Media skeleton
Believe you me
Said the Couch-Potato skeleton
What me worry?

Said the TV skeleton
Eat sound bites
Said the Newscast skeleton
That’s all Goodnight


Source URL: http://www.thenation.com/article/170764/allen-ginsberg-ballad-skeletons

[1] http://ginsbergrecordings.com/
[2] https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/ballad-skeletons-paul-mccartney/id567541187
[3] http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/

#India -10,646 Indians jailed abroad and forgotten #prisons

Published: Sunday, Oct 28, 2012, 8:15 IST
DNA Special
By Yogesh Pawar | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

Indian techie Bhavesh Parmar’s return has highlighted the plight of Indian prisoners in Pakistan. But there are also 10,646 other Indians who’ve shared a similar plight inprisons across the globe since 2000, an RTI query by Thane resident and RTI activist Om Prakash Sharma to the ministry of external affairs has revealed. It also reveals that 29 Indians were given the death penalty in different countries during the same period for offences like drug running, theft and murder.

“If you go by figures available with international watchdog organisations, it’s clear that India has the largest number of its citizens incarcerated abroad,” Sharma told DNA. “The media glare on cases like Sarabjit Singh ensures that the government attempts to at least show that it is taking action. But other prisoners and their families struggle on their own, with no support forthcoming.”

Pakistan, with 2,372 Indians in prison, is second to the UAE, where the numbers nearly double at 4,315. Bangladesh follows with 2,008 Indians jailed, while Kuwait with 1,161 comes fourth. This is followed by China, with 673 Indian inmates, and Oman, with 429.

Incidentally, the UAE has given as many as 21 Indians the death penalty since 2000, followed by Kuwait with six death penalties, while Timor and Iran have executed one Indian each.

When asked to comment, MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin defended the ministry, “The MEA extends every possible help to all Indian nationals, irrespective of where they are. There is no prioritisation on the basis of which country they’re incarcerated in.”
Sharma points out instances of how other countries go out of their way to help their nationals caught in a similar predicament.

“Look at the recent case of Italian marines who’re facing trial in India over murder charges after they shot dead two fishermen off the coast of Kerala in February this year. Their government has gone out on a limb to help them and is even using non-conventional tactics – like encouraging sporting events sponsored by Italian brands – to create sympathy for the marines.”

He lamented: “Indian authorities love to preen at the high table, calling the country an equal among superpowers. But the real acid test is how much they value they lives of their citizens. Even human rights activists, who hog the limelight when it comes to cases like Sarabjit, never speak about imprisonment of other Indians or the death penalties handed out.”

Don’t want to disturb him: Parmar’s mother
A day after 32-year-old software engineer Bhavesh Parmar reached his Vile Parle home after spending seven years in a Pakistani prison, his family is being very cautious. They have decided not to talk to him or let him talk to anyone else either, his mother Hansaben told DNA. She also said that it was too early to consult a psychiatrist and that they were going to give Bhavesh time to adjust to life back at home. pXX

10,646: Indians jailed abroad since 2000
4,315 in UAE
2,372 in Pakistan
2,008 in Bangladesh
1,161 in Kuwait
673 in China
429 in Oman

#India- Tribal woman in Prison does not understand court judgement #Indigenous #AP #Chattisgarh #Gondi

Dr Haneef from Khammam in Andhra Pradesh is talking to Sodey Bhimamma
a Gondi Adivasi from Chhattisgarh outside a court. Bhimamma has been
sentenced to 7 years of imprisonment on charges of murdering her
husband. She tells Dr Haneef that she does not understand Telugu so
she can not make our what is going on in the court and what police and
lawyers are telling. She says she is an orphan and have two children.
She needs help. For more Dr Haneef can be reached at 09490353568


#India- Activists step up demand for #Dayamani Barla’s release



RANCHI, October 27, 2012, The Hindu

Activists and supporters of Dayamani Barla, award-winning adivasi activist and journalist who was given bail but arrested soon after in a second case on October 19 in Ranchi, have prepared to intensify their demand for her release.

They will move court for her bail on November 29. The Adivasi Moolvasi Astitva Raksha Manchi (AMARM) has announced a protest in front of Raj Bhawan the same day.

“The government’s intention is clear. They want to intimidate Dayamani and break the movement of the Nagri villagers who are demanding the government build elite college campuses on non-agricultural land, instead of displacing them” said Father Stan Swamy, a Ranchi-based social activist.

The Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court in Ranchi first sent a property warrant against Ms. Barla on September 23 this year in a 2006 case registered against her for leading a protest march demanding that villagers be given MNREGA job cards or given unemployment allowance in villages in Angada block in Ranchi district. At this time, Ms. Barla had led a successful protest against setting up of Arcelor Mittal’s steel plant over 11,000 acres of land in Gumla and Khunti citing Chotanagpur Tenancy Act which prohibits sale of tribal land to non-tribals.

“Two days after Dayamani surrendered before the Magistrate’s court in the 2006 case which the government raked up after six years, she was given bail only on the condition that a blood relation will have to be present. This is not often done and shows the government is trying to make things difficult for Dayamani,” said Faisal Anurag, a Ranchi-based independent journalist. “When we went to the jail to receive her, the jail superintendent said a second warrant has been issued against her in an August 15 case for obstructing government work citing the incident when she led Nagri villagers to plough land on which government had built boundary walls,” he said.

Since 2010, Ms. Barla has led a movement against Jharkhand government acquiring 227 acres of paddy farmers’ land in Nagri village, 15 kms from Ranchi, for the campuses of Indian Institute of Management, Indian Institute of Information Technology and the National University of Study & Research in Law (NUSRL). The government claims it acquired the land from them in 1957-58 to build an extension to Birsa Agricultural University. However, Right to Information (RTI) applications filed by Ms. Barla revealed that of the 153 families to whom the government had offered a total compensation in 1957, only 25 families in Nagri took it and the rest had refused.

Speaking to The Hindu on October 1, Ms. Barla has challenged the Jharkhand government’s acquisition of this land using clause 17 (4) of the Land Acquisition Act, which is for situations of urgency such as building a railway line or an airport.

Mr Anurag said Ms. Barla was a diabetes patient and had made requests to be provided meals accordingly but the jail authorities had not cooperated.


#Poem- Now its dangerous to be #Dayamani Barla #Jharkhand #Tribal #Indigenous


Below is the poem by By Himanshu Kumar, On Dayamani Barla, The iron Lady of Jharkhand who  is behind bars now and has  been fighting for the land rights of the tribal people, and is now behind bars.Dayamani Barla is an indigenous tribal journalist and activist from the Indian state of Jharkhand. She came from very humble backgrounds and worked as a maid to pay her way through the University. She became notable for her activism in opposing Arcelor Mittal‘s steel plant that tribal activist say would displace forty (40) villages. She has won a number of prestigious awards for journalism.

Born in Arhara village in Jharkhand, Dayamani Barla, 44, could have been one of the faceless thousands displaced by India’s largest steel plant.Today, she leads the mass movement against it. She could have been another Adivasi with a crumbling house and a buried story. Instead, she chose to become a storyteller, the voice of Jharkhand, the first tribal journalist from her state. Barla paid for her education by working as a domestic help in Ranchi. She washed dishes for the police, ate leftovers, stayed in a shed with buffaloes and coolies, learnt to type in English and Hindi, and worked as a typist for one rupee an hour. With a rural reporting fellowship and a bank loan of 25,000, she founded the Jan Hak Patrika. “I wanted to present the point of view of Adivasis, Dalits and women,” she says.

The money lasted two years. By then, she had convinced established local media like Prabhat Khabar to give space to Adivasi and Dalit issues. Barla is also at forefront of the Adivasi Mulvasi Astitva Raksha Manch, a people’s movement that unites thousands of Adivasis, Dalits and farmers across Jharkhand. In the past decade, she has trekked from village to village, alerting those who stand to be displaced by a steel plant, protesting against dams on the Koel and Kari rivers, against delimitation that would reduce the number of seats for scheduled tribes, against corrupt MGNREGA middlemen. Death threats from shadowy unknown figures have not deterred her.

Since 2010, Ms. Barla has led a movement against Jharkhand government acquiring 227 acres of paddy farmers’ land in Nagri village, 15 kms from Ranchi, for the campuses of Indian Institute of Management, Indian Institute of Information Technology and the National University of Study & Research in Law (NUSRL). The government claims it acquired the land from them in 1957-58 to build an extension to Birsa Agricultural University. However, Right to Information (RTI) applications filed by Ms. Barla revealed that of the 153 families to whom the government had offered a total compensation in 1957, only 25 families in Nagri took it and the rest had refused.



There is anEenglish translation below, and you can also here the recitation at cgnetswara here


अब बड़ा खतरा है दायमनी बरला होने में

अब आदिवासी होने में खतरा है

अब गाँव में रहने में खतरा है

गाँव में ज़मीन है

गाँव में पेड है

गाँव में नदी है

गाँव में खनिज है

गाँव में लोग हैं

गाँव में दायमनी बरला भी है

गाँव की ज़मीन पर कम्पनी की नजर है

गाँव की नदी पर कम्पनी की नजर है

गाँव के पेड़ों पर कम्पनी की नज़र है

गाँव के खनिज पर कम्पनी की नज़र है

लेकिन गाँव में दायमनी बरला रहती है

सरकार कम्पनी से डरती है

पुलिस कम्पनी से डरती है

अखबार कम्पनी से डरते हैं

दयामनी बरला कम्पनी से नहीं डरती

कम्पनी का राज है

कम्पनी नाराज़ है

इसलिये कम्पनी बहादुर के हुक्म से

पुलिस बहादुर ने दयामनी बरला को

पकड़ कर जेल की सलाखों के पीछे डाल दिया है

आओ शुक्र मनाएं

दायमनी बरला अब जेल में है

अब दायमनी बरला कम्पनी बहादुर को रोक नहीं सकेगी

अब कम्पनी बहादुर दायमनी बरला के गाँव की  नदी को छीन लेंगे

अब कम्पनी बहादुर दायमनी बरला के गाँव की ज़मीन को छीन लेंगे

अब कम्पनी बहादुर दायमनी बरला के गाँव के खनिज को छीन लेंगे

अब कम्पनी बहादुर देश का विकास कर देंगे

अब कम्पनी बहादुर सब ठीक कर देंगे

पता नहीं आखिर हमें इस देश की सारी दायमनी बरलाओं से कब मुक्ति मिलेगी ?

कब हमारी सारी नदियाँ

सारे पहाड़

सारी ज़मीनों

और सारे जंगलों पर

कम्पनी का कब्ज़ा होगा

कम्पनी के कारखाने

कम्पनी की नौकरी

कम्पनी की कारें

कम्पनी के शापिंग माल

कम्पनी की सड़कें

कम्पनी के टोल बूथ

कम्पनी के कालेज

कम्पनी के आई आई एम्

कम्पनी के आई आई टी

कम्पनी की यूनिवर्सिटी

जिसमे पढ़ने वाले बनेगे

कम्पनी के गुलाम

कम्पनी के मतलब की शिक्षा

कम्पनी के मतलब का ज्ञान

कम्पनी के फायदे के लिये विज्ञान

कम्पनी की मर्जी की सरकार

कम्पनी के हुकुमबरदार कोतवाल

अब तुम ही बताओ

हमको दयामनी बरला से क्या काम ?

Translation by Priyanka

It is a grave danger now to be Dayamani Barla
It is a danger to be an adivasi
It is a danger now to reside in the village

There is land in the village
There are trees in the village
There are rivers in the village
There are minerals in the village
There are people in the village
There is also Dayamani Barla in the village

The company is eying the land of the village
The company is eying the rivers of the village
The company is eying the trees of the village
The company is eying the minerals of the village
But Dayamani Barla resides in the village

The government fears the company
The police fears the company
The newspaper fears the company
Dayamani Barla does not fear the company

It is the rule of the company
So the company is angry
That’s how with the order of the company chief
The police chief put Dayamani Barla
Behind the bars of prison

Come, let’s celebrate
Dayamani Barla is now in jail
Now Dayamani Barla won’t be able to stop the company chief
Now the company chief will snatch the river of her village
Now the company chief will snatch the land of her village
Now the company chief will snatch the minerals of her village
Now the company chief will develop the country
Now the company chef will make everything alright

When will be relieved of all the Dayamani Barlas of this country?
When will all our rivers
All our trees
All the land
And all the forests
Be taken over by the company

Company’s factories
Company’s jobs
Company’s cars
Company’s shopping malls
Company roads
Company’s toll booths
Company’s college
Company’s premium technology institutes
Company’s premium management institutes
Company’s university
In which those who study will become
Slaves of the company

Education as needed by the company
Knowledge as needed by the company
Knowledge to profit the company
Government to suit the will of the company
Cops to shout “Sir yes sir” to the company

So now, you tell me
Why do we need Dayamani Barla..?

#India- No Mining ,No Vedanta #Indigenous #Tribal #mustwatch

The struggle of common people continuing. Niyamgiri hill or alternate mining areas are being protested for bauxite mining from Bhawanipatna of Kalahandi district to Gatamalli hill of Rayagada.’NO Mining-No Vedanta‘if this voice of the people is not emphasized in the mainstream media than also people are voicing against mining.it is impossible to run the Langigarh Vedanta project without availing Odisha mining.company’s top official said.their last hope is Niyamgiri hill,because the paper works for first phase for alternate mining has not yet been ready of Odisha mining corporation is passionately waiting for the last decision by supreme court for Niyamgiri. which has been well understood by the protesters.that’s why the common-man are raising their voice’NO MINING,NO VEDANTA’……

#Iceland-Kárahnjúkar Dam Blown Up in New Film by Angeli Novi #Sundayreading


Angeli Novi - You Can't Stand in the Way of Progress

Saving Iceland would like to draw its readers attention to a currently ongoing exhibition by art collectiveAngeli Novi, comprised of artists Steinunn Gunnlaugsdóttir and Ólafur Páll Sigurðsson who both have strong ties to Saving Iceland. Sigurðsson was the founder of Saving Iceland and both of them continue to be active with the network today. You Can’t Stand in the Way of Progress is the collective’s first extensive exhibition and is on show at The Living Art Museum (Nýlistasafnið) in Reykjavík.

At the heart of the exhibition, which consists of audio, video and sculptural pieces, is a 20 minute long film in Icelandic and English, bearing the same title as the exhibition. Around 30 people were willingly buried alive during the making of the film, which was shot this year in Greece and Iceland. Soundscapes were created by Örn Karlsson in collaboration with Angeli Novi.

Angeli Novi Explosion: BeforeCorporate green-wash and the Kárahnjukar dams play a key role inYou Can’t Stand in the Way of Progress. In one of the film’s scenes, the 700 m long and 200 m high central Kárahnjúkar Dam is digitally blown up by the very same explosion that blew up the Dimmugljúfur canyon in March 2003. The first destruction of the 200m deep canyon, which was carved out by the 150 km long river Jökulsá á Dal, played a strategical key role in the conflict about the power plant’s construction, and was meant to signify the government’s determined intention to steamroller Iceland’s eastern highlands in order to produce electricity for the US aluminium corporation ALCOA. As environmentalists warned from the beginning, the construction has turned out to have devastating environmentalsocial and economical impacts, and contributed also heavily to Iceland’s infamous 2008 economic collapse.

Angeli Novi Explosion: AfterAsked about the cinematic blast, artists Gunnlaugsdóttir and Sigurðsson said: “It was particularly pleasurable to blow up the image of the dam that has now become the main symbol of corporate power abuse and ecocide in Iceland.” Sigurðsson  added that it was “Very appropriate to use for our purpose the same film footage that was used by the Icelandic government in 2003 to dash people’s hopes of saving the Kárahnjúkar area from deeply corrupt forces of corporate greed and governmental stupidity. These same forces have learnt nothing from their past crimes and mistakes and are now lining up for taking power next year in order to continue their destructive rampage through Icelandic nature.”

press release  from The Living Art Museum states the following:

Angeli Novi create a kind of a kaleidoscopic time machine, examining the plight of generations which, one after the other, become tools and puppets of economic and historical structures. Through symbolism and imagery, Angeli Novi examine the ideological backdrops of these structures, the variously substance-drained core values of occidental culture, as well as as the reoccurring themes of doctrines and clichés in the societal rhetoric, necessary for society to maintain itself.

You Can’t Stand in the Way of Progress opened on 29 September and will run until 2 December. The Living Art Museum is located on Skúlagata 28, 101 Reykjavík. The biographies of Gunnlaugsdóttir and Sigurðsson can be read here below.


Steinunn Gunnlaugsdóttir was born in Reykjavík in 1983. She received her BA degree from the Icelandic Academy of the Arts in 2008. Steinunn uses diverse media and has exhibited her works in conventional as well as unconventional spaces. An exposing and at times humorous view of society characterizes her works. Among Steinunn’s most recent works are Thou Shalt Not – Woman of the Year, shown in the Akureyri Art Museum, 2012; The Great Escape with Katrín Ólafsdóttir, shown in the 111 exhibition space in Berlin, 2011; and It’s Fun to Attack the Parliament with the intrum justicia collective at the Sequences Art Festival in Reykjavík, 2011. Steinunn frequently collaborates with artists, academics and political activists. She has also been an active graffiti artist during her practise. Documentations of her graffiti have been presented in international books, magazines and websites on graffiti.

Ólafur Páll was born in Reykjavík in 1960. He is a writer and filmmaker. Ólafur is a literary scholar and holds a MA degree in film directing from Northern Media School, Sheffield Hallam University from 1997, and another MA degree in screenwriting and screen research from London College of Printing and Distributive Trades in the UK from 1995. During his thirty years of film making he has written, directed and produced a number of short films in the UK and Iceland besides working as a second unit director in the UK. His works deal in experimental and narrative film making with a strong slant for surreal black comedy. His collection of poetry, Fried Swans, was published in 1989 and The Muzzled Tongue Case was published in 1983. From the late 70′s Ólafur experimented with text and audio cut-ups, audio loops and noise works, presented during a number of performances in the 80′s. He has written a number of screenplays for both feature films and short films. Ólafur has also written several screenplays in collaboration with author Guðbergur Bergsson, for instance the feature length screenplay Sick Souls, for which they received a development grant from the Icelandic Film Centre in 2001.

Alongside their artistic practice, both Steinunn and Ólafur Páll have been involved in political activism. In 2003, Steinunn stayed in Palestine where she worked with both Israelis and Palestinians fighting against the Israeli state occupation of Palestine. In 2006 she took part in one of the action camps organized by environmentalist network Saving Iceland against the ALCOA aluminium corporation and the construction of the Kárahnjúkar dams in Iceland’s eastern highlands. She has since then taken an active part in the struggle against the destruction of Iceland’s wilderness. During the winter of 2008 and 2009 she participated in a number of protests and performances related to the collapse of Iceland’s economy, and in April 2009 she was involved in the political squatting at Vatnsstígur in the centre of Reykjavík. She was also one of the so-called Reykjavík Nine, nine individuals who were brought to court by the Icelandic State in 2010, accused of attacking Iceland’s parliament during a protest in December 2008. The nine faced imprisonment between one year up to lifetime but were eventually all acquitted of the main charges.

Ólafur Páll is co-founder and was for a while, the manager of environmentalist organization Nature Watch. In 2004 he founded the international environmentalist network Saving Iceland in order to resist the destruction of Iceland’s highlands for energy and aluminium production. Ólafur Páll initiated the incorporation of the emphasis on social issues  in Icelandic environmentalists’ struggle, as well as putting anti-capitalistic and anti-nationalistic standpoints at the heart of the fight against heavy-industrialization. Since the foundation of the network’s website, http://www.savingiceland.org, he has been on the page’s editorial board, organized a number of eco-protest camps in Iceland and a good number of direct actions across Western Europe, alongside informational meetings about the consequences of heavy industry and global capitalism. In 2007, together with the Saving Iceland network, Ólafur organized a weekend long international conference in Iceland, titled Global Consequences of Heavy Industry and Large Dams. He has played a key role in developing the Icelandic environmentalist movement’s arguments against corporate and governmental green-washing when it comes to the aluminium industry’s global impacts, the destructive impacts of large dams and the exploitation on an industrial scale of geothermal areas.

When going to the Movies was an art #Sundayreading #cinema

When going to the movies was an art
As Regal cinema enters its 80th year, here’s a look at the ‘theatre of firsts’
Yoshita Sengupta , Mumbai Mirror , Oct 27, 2012

It was a regular school day back in 1957 when a group of primary students of Rosary High School from Dockyard Road in Mazgaon made the trip to Colaba. It was to catch a screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller Rope. The venue — Regal cinema.
One of the boys, then five, was hooked enough to spend the rest of his life making repeated trips. Rafique Bagdadi, now a noted film critic and one among Mumbai’s bestknown amateur historians, is brimming with stories of the glorious days. “Going to Regal was like going to Rome or another European city. Behind it was the Taj Mahal hotel. In front of it stood the majestic Cowasji Jehangir Public Hall, which is now the NGMA. The insides of the theatre were as dreamy as the set of Hollywood films screened here,” he says of the Art Deco architecture style that Regal shares with other South Mumbai cinemas like Liberty and Eros. Inaugurated on October 14, 1933 by Mumbai governor Sir Frederick Sykus, Regal was built by film exhibitor Framji Sidhwa and his friend KA Kooka. And it had quite a few firsts to its credit. Asia’s first centrally air-conditioned theatre, it was also the first to introduce Cinemascope and offer basement car parking to its patrons.

The reinforced concrete structure built at a lavish cost was conceived by Charles Stevens, son of famous 19th century English architect Fredrick Williams Stevens, while the interiors were designed by Czechoslovakian artist Karl Schara. Old-timers remember the sun ray Cubist motif in orange and jade green in the atrium.

For Deepak Rao, retired IPS officer and member of the Bombay Local History Society, Regal stands for an afternoon Arlem beer. While working at the Mumbai police headquarters across the road from the cinema, he’d hop over to its refreshment room that could house no more than six guests.
Regal’s historic value preceeds its construction, says Rao. “The lane behind Regal is not named Battery Street for nothing. The site at Apollo Bunder on which the cinema stands was owned by the British army, and was occupied by an old saluting battery. When viceroys and VIPs arrived, they were greeted with a gun salute. The British government decided to lease the property in 1926, which is when it was acquired by Mr Sidhwa and Mr Kooka of Globe Theatre Ltd.,” says the 62 year-old.

Sidhwa’s life, say documents, was as dramatic as the movies he screened. Born in 1883 in Tarapore, Gujarat, in a middle-class home, he moved to an orphanage in Parel before gaining admission to Bharda New High School, which stands right beside the theatre he would build in 1928 — Capitol at VT. The student of St Xavier’s College had to drop out due to thinning finances and move to Rangoon in 1903 to find a job. Starting out as a clerk in Singer, he later took up an insurance job.
It was in 1913 that he established a small syndicate and launched his film exhibition business in Rangoon. Two years later, Globe Theatre Ltd. was born.
Behram Contractor, in one of his essays, said going to the cinema was an art,” says Rao. And Regal played its part.
Baghdadi calls it an “experience” — South Bombay movie lovers would book tickets way in advance, dress up in finery and land up at the movies. “There was a soda fountain, a pantry for balcony audiences, and we’d dig into ice cream while musicians would perform live,” he shares.
Social worker, champion bridge player and MP Milind Deora’s mother Hema Deora’s memories of Regal stand testimony to Baghdadi’s description. As a 10 year-old in the early 1960s, Deora didn’t understand cinema, but that hardly mattered. “For me, the draw was the ice cream served in the cinema’s restaurant. The cup resembled a wine glass. It was a family affair. I’d wear my best dress, and we’d return home in a tonga,” Deora reminisces.

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October 2012
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