Solidarity with Mass Protests for Forest Rights sign now

We wish to express our solidarity with the popular protests planned to demand the tabling and passage of a fair and effective Scheduled Tribes (Recognition of Forest Rights) Bill, 2005. Between November 15th and December 15th, tens of thousands of forest dwellers will be courting arrest in a jail bharo andolan, while mass demonstrations are being held across the country by many organisations.

We support the main demand of these protests, which is that this Bill should be amended to address its shortcomings and passed in the upcoming session of Parliament. We believe that the recognition of forest communities rights is non-negotiable and should occur in all forest areas. In addition, we agree with the protesters that necessary amendments include bringing non-ST forest dwellers under the Bill, instituting a rational cutoff date (within the last few years), ensuring that recognition of rights cannot be the subject of bureaucratic or government interference, and addressing the many other issues being raised by these groups.

We hope the government will hear the popular voice that will be expressed in the coming weeks and that it will heed its demands.

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Simone PotterBy:
School and EducationIn:
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Prime Minister of India

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