Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Citizens respond

Citizens’ Response to State Violence Within Madras High Court Premises:

Panel discussion-cum-demonstration of solidarity with lawyers, judges and other victims of 19 February police violence

Where: SPACES, (Sadanand/Chandralekha’s house).

No. 1, Eliots Beach Road, Besant Nagar, Chennai 90

When: 4 p.m. (sharp). 1 March, 2009 (Sunday)


“An eye-witness account of the state-sponsored violence in Madras High Court premises.”

– Mr. Vasudevan, Advocate, and human rights defender

“A global perspective on suppression of freedom of expression”

-- Dr. Arvind Ramakrishnan, media commentator, and lecturer at Taunton College, Southampton, UK


* Opening Remarks
* Presentations by speakers (20 minutes each)
* Discussion
* Release of statement of solidarity with lawyers, judges and other victims of 19 February police violence in Madras High Court premises
* Wall painting: “Reaffirming our Right to Free Speech; Condemning state violence against citizens.”

On February 19, 2009, the State Government’s simmering stand-off with lawyers opposed to the Government’s position on the ongoing war in Sri Lanka culminated in a day-long orgy of violence. Heavily armed police personnel went on a rampage within the premises of the Madras High Court. Lawyers, judges, court staff, and clients were injured by policemen who reportedly sought people out of their chambers, court rooms and offices, including outside the court premises.

The incidents of February 19 constitute a watershed in the deterioration of the culture of free speech and democracy in the state, and bring Tamilnadu in line with the growing intolerance to dissent in oppressive regimes within India and abroad, including in Sri Lanka where free media has been replaced with a single voice – the military propaganda department.

Organised by: Citizens Against State Suppression of Free Speech

Nityanand Jayaraman, Independent Journalist

Sadanand Menon, Media commentator and Art Critic

Gladston Xavier, Faculty, Loyola College

Karen Coelho, Academic

T. Venkat, New Socialist Alternative

Madhumita Dutta, The Other Media

Jeny Dolly Anthony, Youth for Social Change

For more information, contact:

Nityanand Jayaraman – 9444082401. Email:

42A, 1st Floor, 5th Avenue, Besant Nagar, Chennai 600 090

Gladston Xavier. Email:

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