Taking Action... Action Aid vs Vedanta Resources

Protesters: Action Aid Target: Vedanta Resources Date: 31 July

Shock value: the proposed demolition
Shock value: the proposed demolition


- The Story in Brief

International development charity Action Aid submitted a proposal to demolish London icon St Paul's Cathedral. It said it wanted to mine for minerals underneath. The stunt was part of an ongoing campaign against plans by British mining company Vedanta Resources to mine for bauxite on a mountain in India which the indigenous Dongria Kondh tribe believe is sacred. Shareholders at the AGM for British mining company Vedanta Resources were also asked to oppose the plans by charity staff and an elder of the tribe.

- What was the aim of the stunt?

Action Aid wanted to draw attention to the proposals and publicise the Dongria Kondh tribe's view that such a mine will destroy sacred land and their way of life.

- How did Vedanta respond?

Finsbury, the firm's agency, released a statement that said 'sustainable development and CSR are central to the way in which we conduct our business'. In the Notes to Editors, it also addressed 'inaccuracies' in what third party organisations have said about the plans. It stresses the hill is uninhabited and that the 'project will offer significant benefits to the Dongria Kondh tribe'.

- The media reaction

Media jumped on the quirk factor, with the Londonist.co.uk writing: 'An aid agency is trying to achieve what the Luftwaffe and V-2 rockets failed to do.' The BBC and the building trade press also picked up on it.

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