Center for World Indigenous Studies
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Winning through Solidarity

Published: May 31, 2008, Author: MHirch

Greed has become the highest organizing principle of human life. Howsoever disastrous the effects of individual greed may be, corporate greed wipes out whole societies. Grassroots activist Vandana Shiva who received the Alternative Nobel Prize in 1993, explains the current situation in India during an international conference in Frankfurt on Main, Germany taking place this weekend: “About thirty years ago indigenous peoples chased away from their land fled to the city. Nowadays they are not tolerated there. Farmers who lost their lands found refuge in slums. Today these slums are bulldozed. There is nowhere else for these groups to go.” At the same time one can watch the elite in India get crazy about fancy bags which along with various other symbols of modern lifestyle they bring back from expensive trips to Paris and other big cities in the world.

The dichotomy in this is very evident to a lot of Indians on the ground. Solidarity is their magic key to protect themselves against corporate greed and selling off of land. “All we had was solidarity against Monsanto, no money,” Vandana Shiva underlines. More and more Indian farmers understand that money is of no use to them. Trading their land for money deprives them of their future. Therefore they simply refuse to part with it, believing that belonging to the earth no appropriation of land is possible. Their land is not for sale.

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