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September 30, 2023

Academics back port protesters

More than 300 academics and authors from all over the nation have voiced their support for the Church-led fishermen who are demonstrating in Thiruvananthapuram against the Adani group’s Vizhinjam seaport and have denounced what they perceive to be a malicious campaign against a women’s rights organisation that backs the agitation.

Under the banner of the Vizhinjam Struggle Solidarity Committee, the signatories, which include social activist Medha Patkar and filmmaker Anand Patwardhan, have expressed support for the 111-day-old protest against the project, which the agitators accuse of causing the coastal erosion that has destroyed their homes and means of subsistence.

A smear campaign against the demonstrators is allegedly being run by several media outlets, according to the statement.

The BJP and the Left, who are in power, have opposed the agitation. The Congress has not expressed any commitment.

“As the coastal community’s sit-in protest continues against the distress caused by the Vizhinjam Adani port (and is) gathering solidarity and support at the state level, corporate-backed media like News 18, Janam TV, Deshabhimani and Kerala Kaumudi are now resorting to blatant lies and misinformation against the protest and the protesters,” the statement says.

It denounces the media campaign that claims Sakhi, an NGO that supports the agitation, received Rs. 11 crore in foreign financing to destroy the seaport project.

One of the Sakhi leaders, Aleyamma Vijayan, has accused some media sources of slander.
The information on the Sakhi website demonstrates how transparent all of their operations are. We support this legal action and hope that this organisation continues to run efficiently, the statement reads.

People are urged to “resist against this deceptive propaganda,” it states.

Ram Puniyani of the National Solidarity Forum, feminist K. Ajitha, economist K.T. Rammohan, author C. Radhakrishnan, and feminist academic Devika are among those who have signed the petition.

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