Which state of India has no forest

India: Stop the Michelin factory in the forest of the "untouchables"!

38,162 participants

End of campaign: May 22nd, 2014

In the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, the French company Michelin wants to build a large factory in the community forest of a group of Dalit (the so-called "untouchables"). The villagers have been fighting against the loss of their livelihoods for two years. Now they are asking for international help To be able to prevent Reifenwerk. Please support the farmers with your signature.

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Thervoy Kandigai village is 50 km north of Chennai (formerly Madras) and is surrounded by pastures, dense forests, rice fields and lakes. People live directly from the forest, from which they obtain medicinal plants, wild fruits and vegetables. Especially in the drought, when rice is scarce, their survival depends on natural resources. In addition, the forest plays an important role as a water reservoir for the 13 surrounding villages.

The locals oppose the Michelin factory destroying their forest and thus their livelihoods. “You can take our houses, but not the forest. Nobody has the right to destroy the forest, "accused Anbhazhgan, a former village chief.

further information and translation of the letter

An Indian delegation will soon be traveling to France to raise objections with environmental organizations at Michelin. Please support the protest action - so that the Dalit forest can be preserved.

Backgrounds

For two years the village has been fighting against the construction of the plant with its means: information events and hunger strikes. The police regularly respond with violence and arrests of protesters. The forest is now surrounded by a fence and is guarded. When you get over the fence, you stand in front of a sign that reads: "Michelin - A better way forward".

The well-known French environmental journalist Fabrice Nicolino wrote in the weekly Charlie Hebdo on September 14: “Michelin's actions in India are an attack on the human rights of a community, nothing less. As you can imagine, the destruction of the forest, the water sources and the pastures of the village are also destroying the living conditions of the village. It (the building of the factory, editor's note) is not inevitable, and I urge you to protest against Michelin. "

Action text translated from French. You can find the original here.

Translation of the letter:

No Michelin factory in the forest of the "untouchables"!

Dear Sirs and Madames,

With this letter I support the Indian citizens' groups that oppose the construction of a Michelin plant in India. The plant not only endangers jobs in France, it also threatens the livelihoods of Indian farmers in the region. They belong to the Dalit caste, the least privileged social class in India.

Thervoy Kandigai is a village in Tamil Nadu in southern India. There are around 1500 families who traditionally make a living from the pastures and forests near Thervoy. Michelin's work would forever destroy these people's livelihoods. The affected forest area not only supplies the landless farmers, but also other surrounding villages with water. Drainage of the springs would also jeopardize the survival of these villages.

The transnational company Michelin has the approval of the Indian federal authorities and wants to build a state-of-the-art tire factory exactly where the Dalit community forest is. The forest has now been cordoned off, buildings are already under construction and a training center has already opened.

The villagers have been fighting for their rights for two years now and underpin the protest with hunger strikes. The police react with violence and imprisonment. Some of the protesters have been in prison since February 2011. The elected Panchayat (local council) openly speaks out against the construction of the Michelin factory and asks for international support. As a signatory of this petition, in solidarity with the residents of Thervoy Kandigai, I call for the project to be stopped. On the Michelin India website, the company states: "One of Michelin's core values ​​is respect for people."

It is time to put the postulated core values ​​into practice. Receive Thervoy Kandigai Community Forest!

I urge them to,

• To stop the planned construction of the Michelin factory in Thervoy Kandigai.

• return the confiscated land to the farmers.

• Compensate villagers for land and property destroyed.

• To release the eight peasants arrested, an amnesty for the 61 people awaiting trial and to end the crackdown on the villagers.

Best Regards,

Cover letter

À: Direction de la firme Michelin

Michel Rollier and Jean-Dominique Senard,
co-gérants associés commandités
&
Pat Cox, Benoît Potier, François Grappotte, Laurence Parisot, Pierre Michelin, Éric Bourdais de Charbonnière, Barbara Dalibard et Louis gallois,
Membres du conseil de surveillance

de la Compagnie générale des établissements Michelin.
_____________________________________________

Objet: pas d'usine Michelin dans la forêt des “Intouchables”!
_____________________________________________

Madame, monsieur,

Par la présente lettre je soutiens les initiatives citoyennes indiennes qui s'opposent à la construction d'une usine de Michelin en Inde.

Le mouvement social ne peut plus se contenter de dénoncer abstraitement la délocalisation de l’économie. Not seulement cette dernière ruine l’emploi en France, mais elle détruit souvent à la racine les conditions de vie des plus pauvres au Sud. En Inde, un conflit terrible oppose un village d’Intouchables - les plus méprisés de ce pays de castes - et Michelin, la grande transnationale du pneu.

Thervoy Kandigai est un bourg du Tamil Nadu, État du sud de l’Inde. Il compte around 1500 familles, qui vivent depuis toujours des pâturages et forêts proches de Thervoy. Tel est leur territoire, que Michelin s’apprête à détruire irrémédiablement avec cette usine. Non seulement la forêt, espace indispensable à la survie de cette population sans terre, est confisquée mais elle a déjà commencé à être détruite, risquant par la même de tarir les lacs approvisionnant les villages locaux en eau.

La transnationale Michelin a en effet réussi à convaincre les autorités fédérales, et entend bâtir une usine ultramoderne de pneus en lieu et place de la forêt des Intouchables. L'espace est déjà clôturé, des bâtiments déjà en construction, le center de formation déjà ouvert.

Les villageois se battent seuls depuis deux ans, multiplient les actions, grèves de la faim. In return, ils subissent la répression: coups, présence policière, emprisonnement, certains depuis février 2011. Ils viennent d’élire un Panchayat ouvertement opposé à l’installation de Michelin. Et ils appellent à l’aide international. La France is a première ligne. En tant que signataire de cette pétition, je demande, comme les habitants de Thervoy Kandigai, l’annulation du projet. Michelin India proclame sur son site internet: “Une des valeurs essentielles de Michelin, c’est le respect des personnes”. Le moment est venu de passer à l'acte. Que ces paroles se traduisent par des faits. Ne touchez pas à la forêt des Intouchables de Thervoy Kandigai!

Je réclame:
• Annulation de ce projet de construction d'une usine Michelin à Thervoy Kandigai
• the restitution des terres aux villageois
• l'indemnisation des villagers pour les terres détruites
• la liberation des 8 emprisonnés, l'amnistie pour les 61 en attente de jugement et l'arrêt de toute violence against the population!

Je vous prie d'agréer, Madame, Monsieur, l'expression de mes respectueuses salutations.

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