Protest at London’s Science Museum as Indigenous Peoples Slam Adani Sponsorship Deal

Local people look out on to the massive PEKB coal mine that has taken over their lands, Chhattisgarh, India. © Pranav Capila

Photo opportunity:
January 26, 2022, 5pm – 6pm
Science Museum, Exhibition Rd, South Kensington, LONDON SW7 2DD

Protestors will gather outside the Science Museum in London on Wednesday to call for an end to the museum’s sponsorship deal with Adani, a huge conglomerate operating highly contested coal mines on Indigenous peoples’ ancestral lands.

The protest is in solidarity with Indigenous peoples from India, Australia and Indonesia – all countries where Adani operates mines on Indigenous land. It’s supported by Survival International, Extinction Rebellion Scientists, London Mining Network, Culture Unstained, UK Student Climate Network and Coal Action Network.

Protesters will urge the museum to listen to Indigenous voices and drop Adani Green Energy as a sponsor of its new “Energy Revolution” exhibition.

Indigenous representatives from India, Australia and Indonesia have written a letter to the museum urging it to cut its ties with the Adani Group. They state: “Indigenous communities in all these countries are experiencing land-grabs, repression, the destruction of sacred lands, pollution of air, land and water and, of course, the worsening impacts of climate change exacerbated by burning coal.” Their letter was a response to the public dismissal of Indigenous concerns by the museum’s director, Sir Ian Blatchford. Testimonies will be heard at the protest from Indigenous communities directly affected.

In India, Adani is playing a part in a massive, government-approved coal rush focused on the forested central tribal belt in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Odisha, despite fierce resistance.

In Chhattisgarh, Adani has targeted the priceless Hasdeo Forest, home to 20,000 Adivasi (Indigenous) people. Adani already operates one mine there, and another, Parsa, has just been approved.

Phillip, an Oraon activist from Jharkhand, said: “We Adivasi people can save the Earth… but they [the government] see no value for this. They just want us to be dead… To Adani and Ambani: big corporations like you people need to also pay attention. We Adivasi people will not just leave our lands to you. Because, if anything can save the world, it is the worldview of the Adivasi people. There is no other way. You are destroying the environment, which is Adivasi people’s life, by mining. Hear me straight: Change yourself, or nature will change you for the better.”

Dr Jo Woodman of Survival International said today: “The Science Museum’s deal with Adani is the worst kind of greenwashing. Indigenous people from India to Indonesia and Australia are campaigning against the company and its mines. Coal mining is not only destroying Indigenous lands, it’s catastrophic for the fight against climate change. The museum should scrap its sponsorship deal with Adani immediately. It’s on the wrong side of history.”

Survival International, founded in 1969 after an article by Norman Lewis in the UK's Sunday Times highlighted the massacres, land thefts and genocide taking place in Brazilian Amazonia, is the only international organization supporting tribal peoples worldwide. Contact Survival International at: Read other articles by Survival International, or visit Survival International's website.