Social Democratic Party of Kenya
We would like to express our unconditional solidarity with comrade Alik Chakraborty, politburo member of the CPI (ML) Red Star, who was arrested by the police of the State of West Bengal. This clearly is a political attack of the reactionary forces in the government, as he and his wife, comrade Sharmishtha Choudhury, played a leading role in the Bhangor movement against the 400 KV power grid lines outside Kolkata and were leading activists in the Committee for Protection of Land, Livelihood, Ecology and Environment. Arresting him and filing the expected false cases are intended to stop his influence in the successful movement to protect the environment from the profit greed of the monopolies and the revolutionary perspective he stands for – just as in former unjust cases, e.g. the one of his wife were. Alik and Sharmista, who we know quite well as a courageous and militant women, are party and mass leaders.
We demand immediate and unconditional release of comrade Alik as well as the immediate medical help he urgently needs. We will make this unacceptable and undemocratic attack of the state apparatus known to our possibilities in order to contribute to him being released.
Monika Gärtner-Engel Responsible person for Internationalism
We are all aware that in the recent violence in Bhima Koregaon area following the Elgar Parishad in January 2018, Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide, both belonging to Hindu right wing organizations, against whom many complaints and FIRs have been lodged, were denied anticipatory bail even by Supreme Court. But the State Government has not arrested them yet. These two pro-Hindutva leaders, have a history of allegations against them for causing communal and caste tensions, rioting, and were alleged to have desecrated the Samadhi of a Dalit icon in Pune on 29th December 2017. Both of them have deep links with the RSS and are clearly being protected by the ruling dispensation. Meanwhile, people who have been protesting against the very violence are being targeted by the government.
We condemn the state reprisals being ordered against the activists and unequivocally demand that Adv. Surendra Gadling, Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Shoma Sen, Surendra Gadling, Rana Jacob be released immediately and raids being carried out at premises of various activists be stopped. We further demand that Bhide and Ekbote be immediately arrested and that the investigation and trial against them be conducted in an expeditious manner. We demand that stringent action against the Hindutva forces spreading communal and caste hatred and violence, and demand justice for victims of the Bhima Koregaon violence.
K N Ramachandran
CPI(ML) Red Star
Dear comrades and friends,
CURRENTLY, REBELL, the youth league of MLPD, together with other activists from the rebellious youth movement are preparing the Rebellische Musik festival (Rebellious Youth Festival) in Thuringia (see www.rebellischesmusikfestival.de) which is scheduled to take place from 18 to 20 May. With the guiding line of being anti-fascist, inter-nationalist, revolutionary and self-organized, about 50 bands from a large spectrum will be live on stage.
Now, yesterday evening and in the course of today massive threats of prohibition were issued by the state’s police authority in Saalfeld against the festival.
The fact that the progressive Turkish band Group Yorum will be on stage, which – in line with the diction of the fascist president Erdogan – is accused of closeness to a Turkish revolutionary organization which is banned in Germany, serves as a pretext. In a decree, a massive police action with arrests and abortion of the festival is threatened, if Group Yorum goes on stage on Sunday. The managing police officer in charge already has a reputation for tolerating or even promoting fascist activities. Under his leadership a police action took place on 1 May 2015 in Saalfeld, during which fascists beat up anti-fascist young people brutally without the police stepping in!
“This is an action without precedence against the festival, which already took place two times successfully without any complaints. The threats are in line with an intensified shift to the right of the federal government and all bourgeois parties” says Gabi Fechtner, chairwoman of MLPD. Accordingly all supporters of the festival from a broad democratic spectrum organized a tactical counter-offensive under the slogan: Now more than ever! Let us strengthen and protect the Rebellious Youth Festival!
That is why we call upon all friends and comrades for international solidarity! Those living in Germany, we would like to invite to take responsibility for mobilization even more now! Even if one may not agree on all questions politically – for example also with Group Yorum – when facing such a reactionary attack, the slogan is: together we are strong! Long Live International Solidarity.
Solidarity Message sent to Rebell from RYFI
THERE would not be any border for the birds. There would not be any border for the wind. When they try to confine the free bird of human liberty, when they try to bind the wind of solidarity, and spread the venom of racial hatred and religious fundamentalism then they must be answered with a storm of revolt and the soaring high of humanity.
Comrades, The Revolutionary Youth Federation of India (RYFI) expresses its solidarity and support to the rebellious youth movement and support to the Rebellische Musik festival (Rebellious Youth Festival). In a situation of looming fascist tendencies all over the world, resistance is the demand of the time. And we have to resist in order to protect our freedom of expression, to protect our world of love and fraternity and to protect humanity as a whole. It is the time to fight the fascist dogs and raise the slogan to resist them, No Pasaran!
In this context we hope the Rebellische Musik festival would be an open challenge to the fascist diktats of the police and administration. We demand the withdrawal of ban imposed on the Turkish band group Yorum and stand in solidarity with our international comrades.
Long Live the International Solidarity of Rebellious Youths.
Raju Singh, General Secretary, RYFI
We now strongly condemn the heinous action of the police. We demand immediate arrest of all police officials responsible for firing and register criminal cases against them for murder, adequate compensation to the nearest relatives of the martyrs and injured people, proper enquiry of the incident and immediate closure of the project.
We request all the democratic minded people to declare solidarity with the struggling people of Thoothukudy and come out in the streets against the Corporate loot of natural resources and human labour power.
We also convey our condolences to the bereaved members of the family of martyrs in the police firing. We also salute the martyrs and struggling people of Thoothukudy.
Pradip Singh Thakur
All India Krantikari Kisan Sabha
Sterlite Copper is a copper smelting plant of the Vedanta Group with its headquarter at London. During last two decades the pollution has reached extremely dangerous levels with almost one cancer patient in every family in the area besides other diseases. As the consecutive state and central governments refused to accede to people’s demand, a hundred day protest was organized with massive participation. But the central and state governments refused to hold discussions with the agitating Anti-Sterlite Movemnet. It was in this situation on the hundredth day the mass mobilization took place to blockade the collectorate to force the arrogant state and bureaucracy to open their mouth.
What happened was that state terror was unleashed firing on the unarmed people by plain clothes and uniformed policemen in the service of the monstrous MNC. Thirteen people including a girl were massacred and many were injured in the firing. It is a criminal action, and the perpetrators of such crimes should be punished and the Sterlite Plant should be immediately closed down along with initiation of de-pollution measures in the area.
The CPI(ML) Red Star extends solidarity with the movement and shall struggle with the people for achieving these objectives. Protest marches with these demands are organized at many places in TN and Kerala on 23rd May, joining hands with all like-minded forces.
K N Ramachandran
CPI(ML) Red Star
Women for Women and Children, Netherlands
We, members of Netherlands-based group Women for Women and Children, condemn in the strongest possible terms the abduction, detention, torture and brutal attacks against World Women and Bhangar movement activist Sharmistha Choudhury and the other leaders of Committee for Protection of Land, Livelihood, Biodiversity and Environment last 23 April 2018 in Alipore, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
While waiting for the District Magistrate in Alipore to file their nominations for the upcoming panchayat elections in West Bengal, activist Sharmistha Choudhury and other candidates of Committee for Protection of Land, Livelihood, Biodiversity and Environment were brutally attacked and severely injured by the ruling party’s goons. To prevent them from physical filing their candidacy, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) goons did not only snatch and tear their documents, but they also abducted and detained them for hours.
These violent attacks show the ruling party’s disregard for a democratic and honest elections, as well as their desperate moves to eliminate opposing parties such as Sharmistha’s. The Committee for Protection of Land, Livelihood, Biodiversity and Environment has been a staunch opponent of the installation of a gas insulated power Substation in a 13-acre land forcibly seized by TMC local officials in 2013 in Bhangar.
Likewise, these attacks directed at sister Sharmistha and the other candidates are clear violations of their human and constitutional rights.
We, thus, call for justice for sister Sharmistha and for the other leaders of the Committee.
We also call on the government of India to take immediate and necessary actions against the violence and brutality perpetuated by the TMC goons.
At same time, we applaud sister Sharmistha and her fellow leaders for their courage during those violent moments with those fascist TMC goons.
We commend them for their defiance and militancy as they fight their way to represent the people of Bhangar and West Bengal in the panchayat elections and eventually in the state government.
27 April 2018
The Workers of “Fortuna “ Graèanica Shoe Factory / Bosnia and Herzegovina
We, the workers of "Fortuna" Graèanica shoe factory and participants of European World Women Conference of grassroots woman, strongly condemn the brutal attack and abduction of activist Sharmista Choudhury and other leaders of the Bhangor-Movement!
As woman, workers and fighters for worker rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina we were also victims of physical and psychic attacks and it is our obligation to the society and to the world to stand up against such attacks on individuals and activist groups.
We demand for immediate and unharmed release of Sharmistha and other activists!
We call on the government to take action against such criminal activities and also we call upon the government to take steps to protect the activists in the country.
World March of Women, Kenya
World March of Women would like to strongly condemn the continued harassment of Women Rights defenders in India. As we feel this pain with sisters around the world, we would also like to condemn the new forms of violence against women and social activists. We are living in a critical context right now...and militarism which continually makes the civic space limited and limited....making the civil society voices lower and lower because the political space of civil society is shrinking on a daily basis.
It is sad...and we condemn the harassment as we also wish our dear sister Shamistha well. A united women force around the world will shield and help address issues of women indepth.
Sophie from World march of women –Kenya
28 April 2018
Protest declaration by Militant Women’s Council Germany
In the name of the Women’s Political counsel we protest against the brutal attacks and the kidnapping of our friend Sharmistha Choudhury and other leaders of the Bhangor-Movement.
Sharmistha Choudhury is well known woman here in Germany, she often visited our Women’s Political Counsel, the greatest self organized women event in Germany. She is an activist of the world women’s conference movement and we work strongly together.
We ask the government to take action against these criminal activities.
We demand the immediate and unharmed release of Sharmistha Choudhury and all the other leaders. This procedure is a disgrace.
We call on all democratic forces in the country to take to the streets for the release of the kidnapped leaders.
Militant Women’s Council Germany
World Women Conference
We have just learned of the cowardly and outrageous attack on Sharmistha Choudhury. She is a revolutionary, activist of the militant women and environmental movement. As such, I know her personally and she is also known in Germany and of course internationally to a broad public. In January 2017, she was arrested as one of the leaders of a popular movement for ‘land, livelihoods, ecology and environmental protection’ against a heavy current line forced by the government in West Bengal - a movement that unites thousands in the region. An important and courageous fight, for which especially many women stand here, among them Sharmistha. A broad international solidarity movement has already successfully supported the fight for their release here. We have experience and will not hesitate to make the attack on Sharmistha widely known and follow closely how she will be enlightened and Sharmistha will return safely and those responsible will be brought to account.
Suse Bader, April 26, 2018
From Martina Stalleicken, Germany
With great indignation I received the message that this week Mrs. Sharmistha Choudhury together with other activists of the Banghor Movement was abducted in the State of West Bengal. That’s still more regrettable while Mrs. Choudhury and the other disappeared people are working for many years for the benefit of the people in their state and land and at least Mrs. Choudhury also at international level in the international movement of rank and file women. Furthermore we are concerned to learn that there are indications that people associated with the government or government party should be involved in the abduction of Mrs. Choudhury and her companions. How could this be possible in what is called the biggest democracy of the world?
That’s why we urge you to do all you can to investigate this cruel and illegal abduction and to bring all this people sane and save home again.
Yours, Jan Verheul
Protest Declaration of European Coordinators of the World Women’s Conference
We, women of the World Women’s Conference, strongly condemn the brutal attacks on and abduction of our activist Sharmistha Choudhury and the other leaders of the BhangorMovement. Sharmistha is an activist of the World Women’s Conference that will organize a worldwide protest against this abduction. We demand the immediate release of Sharmistha and her fellow activists. They must be released unharmed. We call on all democratic forces in India and abroad to take to the streets for the release of the kidnapped leaders. We demand the government to take immediate action against these criminal acts. We call on the women of the world – help to free our activist Sharmistha! She must be released at once to join our ranks again! n
The report further says, “Suresh Kumar Rai is the district secretary of CPI-ML Red Star’s Biplab wing, an insurgency group of Nepal.” We wish to point out that CPI(ML) Red Star is a political Party of India and naturally has no branches in Nepal, leave alone a Biplab wing.
However, the last two paragraphs of the report comprise its most mischievous part. These paragraphs quote unnamed police sources as saying that Rai’s arrest is important for STF, Kolkata, as he might reveal more information on the Bhangar movement and the people involved in it!
If the police have been rightly quoted, then it is evident that this is the latest effort on their part to discredit and malign the people’s anti power grid movement in Bhangar. By trying to establish such spurious Nepalese links, the police are clearly acting on orders to bring calumny on the Bhangar movement as well as the CPI(ML) Red Star.
We strongly condemn such attempts of the police and warn that we will be forced to take legal action against the concerned police officials if our Party members are harassed in any way on the basis of such false and malicious allegations.
At the same time, we request our journalist friends to refrain from publishing one-sided reports based on police sources, which have so often proved to be not only slanderous but also deliberately untrue, but also try and represent the voice of the party against whom such atrocious charges are being levelled.
We especially hope that The Indian Express will carry our statement, which may contribute in some measure to undoing the harm its report has already done to our Party’s image and reputation.
Issued by comrades KN Ramachandran, General Secretary and Pradip Singha Thakur, West Bengal State Secretary of CPI(ML) Red Star on 6th May.