Delhi City-wide co-ordinated demonstration around CWG: urban displacement, labor and price rise
14th September 2010
Protestors all over delhi came out to demand that Sheila Dixit, Kalmadiji and city planners stop oppressing common peoples needs in their quest for this World Class City and the Commonwealth Games. Through the morning and afternoon of 14th September, a city wide outcry took place in 6 different places. While the protest took different forms including Chakka Jamms, and flier distribution, the thousands of angry people had ONE single banner that read ‘Commonwealth kiski shaan, Janta Hai Sab Pareshaan’ and a unified list of peoples' demands. Sites of protest included the Bhalaswa Highway, Raj Niwas Marg, Delhi University, Okhla Modh, Noida Modh and ITO.
At one of the sites of protest, Bhalaswa Highway the police severely beat up and maltreated several of 300 protesters. Protesters at other sites also gathered in large numbers, held meetings, found traffic jammed by the CWG lanes and distributed fliers and confronted large mobs of the police.
In East Delhi about 100 protestors from communities including Shashi Garden, Kalyanpuri, Khichdipur, Sunlight Colony, Mandavali, Gonda, and local people from around the Noida Modh area came together to do a Chakka Jamm. Ironically, since the Commonwealth Games lanes on the roads were being tested, and a large traffic jam was already going on, protesters did not need to create the Jam, instead they distributed a parcha of demands at 4 different sites including 2 places at Noida Modh and 2 around Chand Cinema. While distributing parchas, community members also held meetings with the local public.
At Raj Niwas Marg, thousands from the Beghar Mazdoor Sangharsh Samiti gathered in front of the Lt. Governor’s building. They were immediately faced by large mobs of threatening police. In the glorious irony of the CWG, protestors once again did not have to jam the traffic, as it was already stopped by Commonwealth games lanes. Instead, protesters distributed at least 2000 fliers to a sea of traffic.
In the coordinated actions that took place at Okhla Modh women came from Kalkaji in a large group and also faced Commonwealth Lane traffic jams, they did not need to themselves block traffic once again and instead had the opportunity to distribute their list of demands.
Additionally, University Campus for Democracy (UCD)and other students at Delhi University gheraod the Vivekananda statue near the Arts Faculty building, they burnt an effigy of Kalmadiji, chanted slogans, and distributed fliers. Students were especially angry about being thrown out of their hostels to make place for guests of the Commonwealth Games!
Parchas were also handed out at different spots near ITO. People from 3 different sangathan’s, and about 300 police members were present at the site. The police demanded that protesters don’t stretch the demonstration for too long. But protesters said they would resist and were willing to be arrested to stand up for justice, the protest ended with discussions and meetings with the public present.
At Bhalaswa, over 300 people from the community successfully blocked the Bhalaswa bypass by sitting on the road. They stopped traffic for 40 minutes. Community members were lathi charged by the police. The police grabbed women by the hair, grabbed at women’s chests and even kicked them. Two male protesters were taken away and brutally beaten by multiple policemen in the secrecy of a police van, before being taken to the thaana. One particular woman community member was so badly beaten up that she was in tears, couldn’t speak, fainted, and had to be rushed to hospital. Some protesters attempted to climb into an auto to go to the Police Station and get their saathis released, but the driver of their auto was pulled out and roughed up so all the community members had to desert the auto and walk to the police thaana. About 200 protesters reached the Bhalaswa thaana and got their saathis released after much harrassment. Protesters filed charges against the police for severe man handling. Protesters demand that that the guilty Bhalaswa SHO, Mr. R.P.Singh, be booked for assault. His actions were caught on tape and he along with other police members is responsible for the mistreatment and condemnable behavior at Bhalaswa. Protesters also condemn the misbehavior behavior by Police in Delhi today!
According to to protesters, people in Delhi have been evicted from several locations including Yamuna Pushta, Jehangirpuri, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kirti Nagar, Gadia Lohar Basti, Pusa Road, Jangpura Barapullah Nala, and Lodhi Colony. Bastis have been demolished at Vikaspuri, 15 jhuggies of Gadia Lohar Basti demolished, ongoing evictions, yet to happen include 400 jhuggies and 44 jhuggi jhopadi clusters amongst others. Additionally, people yet 'to be displaced' is 30,000-40,000 families.
Protesters demand: 1. Stop the displacement of bastis. 2. Stop the displacement of informal sector workers from the streets. 3 Reverse the recent cancellation of tens of thousands of ration cards. 4. Pay workers minimum wage and their due rights at games construction sites. 5. Provide housing to those displaced and the homeless. 6. Take action against the trafficking of women for the games. 7. Return all the funds diverted for the games including from the farmer relief and the SC/ST funds 8. End privatization and taxation as a way for the city to fund the games. 9. Have NO MORE mega-events in the city!
Organized by: All India Kabadi Mazdoor Mahasangh, All India Kachra Shramik Mahasangh, Beghar Mazdoor Sangharsh Samiti, Bhalaswa Lok Shakti Manch, Delhi Forum, Delhi Solidarity Group, Hazards Center, INSAF, Initiative for Social Upliftment, Mahila Chingari Samuh, Mahila Kalpana Shakti, Mahila Pragati Manch, NACDOR, NGO Sabha, Pehel, PUDR, SADED, Safai Mazdoori ke liye Rashtriya Abhiyan, Samajwadi Jan Parishad, Social Development Foundation, Women's Development Cell Miranda House, Vidyarthi Yuvjan Sabha
Contact: Pushpa 8800631852 Kaveri 9958789298 Shashi Bhushan 9968413109 Tarini 9350163480