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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 September 2006

Bangladesh: 20,000 protesters march against British mining company

Five killed, 50 injured by security forces

THOUSANDS OF angry protesters torched buildings linked to a British coal mining firm in northern Bangladesh, last Monday morning. This follows the fatal shooting of at least five people protesting against an open-pit mine in the region.

Khalid Bhatti, CWI, Pakistan

The demonstrators set fire to the house of an official employed by the London-based 'Asia Energy PLC', which is developing a coal deposit north of the capital and plans to invest $1.4 billion in the project. The angry crowds also set fire to four other buildings in the town of Phulbari, 350 kilometres north of Dhaka.

The people of this area have been protesting against the open-pit mine project because nearly 100,000 people will be displaced and many local communities will wiped out as the result of this project. The whole environment in this area will be damaged.

The organiser of the protests, Khurshid Ali Moti, said: "Our protest campaign will continue for an indefinite period until the company packs up and leaves the place for good. We will not allow any thing that will make our villages a complete wasteland. They want to rob us; they want our land for nothing. They have killed our brothers. They will have to leave the area or they face the consequences".

The five deaths sparked widespread anger amongst the local communities. Paramilitary forces, called 'Bangladesh Rifles', opened fire at the demonstrators. 50 people were injured, ten critically, last Saturday.

One protester said: "The government has no respect for us, so we also have no respect for the government and their foreign friends. This is not ordinary struggle, but it's a life and death question for us".

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In The Socialist 7 September 2006:

Fighting back against attacks on NHS

Campaign defeats GP services sell-off

Campaign for a new workers' party

Come to Socialism 2006


Socialist Party campaigns

Progress on climate change - or just hot air?

Long hours and poverty pay hit students

A searing indictment of capitalism


War and terrorism

End the occupations

Lebanon: Can the UN bring peace?

9/11 - Five years on

Reprint: After the carnage in the USA: World Crisis Deepens


International socialist news and analysis

The politics of aid

New socialist party launched in Scotland

Bangladesh: 20,000 protesters march against British mining company


Socialist Party workplace news

Workers yearn for fighting leadership

2% public-sector pay rise won't cover inflation

The GAMA struggle

Strike victory increases pay-offs


 

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