Archive for November, 2012

People Power vs Big Oil

Dear friends across India,

In days, Nigeria’s Parliament could approve a $5 billion fine against giant oil polluter Shell and set in motion a law that would hold oil companies to account for the first time ever. The President endorses the penalty, but Big Oil are lobbying MPs like crazy to vote against reform. Our voices can drown them out to win justice for Nigeria’s people. Join the urgent call now!

In days, Nigeria’s Parliament could approve a $5 billion fine against giant oil polluter Shell for a spill that devastated the lives of millions of people, and pass a law to hold all oil companies to account for polluting and plundering. This is a watershed moment, but unless we all speak out, oil giants will crush it.

Finally, Big Oil is having to pay for the wasteland and violence that they’ve created. President Jonathan supports the Shell fine, and progressive Senators are pushing for strong regulations, but oil companies are slick, and without huge international support MPs could buckle under the pressure.

Politicians are deciding their positions right now — sign the urgent petition for the Nigerian Parliament to fine Shell and support the bill, and then forward this to everyone

Categories: Other Blogs

The BJP’s glass house

Dear Avaazers across India,

No joke: BJP boss Nitin Gadkari, under investigation for dodgy business deals, is leading an anti-corruption rally this Wednesday! The BJP may have given him a “clean chit” — but that’s not good enough. Let’s call on BJP leaders to practice what they preach and shame them until they release a full and thorough report on Gadkari’s deals. Sign now!

This is no joke: BJP boss Nitin Gadkari is leading a major anti-corruption rally this Wednesday, while his own dubious business dealings are being swept under the rug! Let’s tell the BJP that if they want us to take their anti-corruption drive seriously, they need to clean up their own act first.

The BJP rightfully rails at the lack of transparency in the Congress, but now that Gadkari has been accused of dodgy deals that have made him millions, their silence is deafening. Our community has campaigned against Congress corruption before, and we have the same responsibility to call on the BJP to practice what they preach — and ask them to release the full results of their own review of Gadkari’s books for public scrutiny.

The Party is hoping this will blow over — but if enough of us join the campaign calling its bluff now, we will whip up another media storm and shame BJP leadership into action. Click below to sign and share with everyone — our message will be delivered to BJP headquarters in Delhi with a cake and a giant “hypocrisy” card when we reach 50,000 signatures:

Reports say that when Nitin Gadkari was in charge of building roads in Maharashtra he gave one company contracts worth Rs. 63 crores. Returning the favour shortly after his ministerial stint, that company invested right back in his businesses. He brazenly told an anti-corruption activist that he can’t take on the ruling party because they both perform favours for each other.

The government has initiated an investigation into a possible funding scandal involving Gadkari’s company, but the BJP hasn’t released anything to the public. And their own internal auditor, S. Gurumurthy, hardly a neutral judge, has flip-flopped on whether he gave Gadkari a "clean chit” without investigating all aspects of Gadkari’s businesses. This just isn’t good enough: if the BJP wants transparency in government, it better be prepared to show some itself by releasing a formal report that can be independently scrutinised.

In democracies, opposition parties hold government to account. But if we have a non-transparent opposition like the BJP, it’s up to people like us to hold their feet to the fire. Gadkari has no place leading an anti-corruption rally while he is under the scanner. Sign and share this now:

Avaaz members in India have campaigned against corruption regardless of our political affiliation and we will continue to hold accountable those who abuse their public positions for private gain. Together we can change the system and speak truth to power.

With hope and determination,

Ian, Alaphia, Joseph, Emily, Alex, Meredith, Ricken and the rest of the Avaaz team


Gadkari to lead BJP protest march to PM’s house on November 21 (NDTV):

Gadkari and the business of politics (The Hindu):

What is S Gurumurthy up to (Tehelka):

BJP stands behind Gadkari on corruption charges (Business Standard):

Arvind Kejriwal’s allegations against Nitin Gadkari (NDTV):

Categories: Other Blogs
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