Voluntary Sector: Taking Action ... Survival International targets controversial mine

Protesters: Survival International
Target: Vedanta Resources
Location: Vedanta head office, London
Date: 28 July

The lowdown

Protesters from tribal rights NGO Survival International dressed as blue-skinned Na'vi characters from the film Avatar and demonstrated outside Vedanta's AGM over the company's controversial plans to mine a mountain sacred to the Dongria Kondh, an Indian tribal group.

- Why the protest?

Survival International, which was joined at the protest by other human rights NGOs and members of the Dongria Kondh, is calling for Vedanta to stop the plan to open a bauxite mine, saying it would destroy the Dongria Kondh as a community, devastate the local environment and negate human rights. Protesters are also asking shareholders to withdraw investments in the firm.

- How did the company respond?

Vedanta issued a statement to coincide with the AGM stating: 'Vedanta strongly denies any allegations of pollution of the environment ... or of any violation of human rights. Vedanta is working closely with 2.5 million people spread across 425 villages in India and will be benefiting the lives of another 1.6 million underprivileged children in the coming two to three years.'

- How did the media cover it?

The protest received widespread UK coverage, including in The Guardian, The Independent and Financial Times, and internationally in newspapers such as the Hindustan Times and India's Business Standard.

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