Adani’s aid for London’s Science Museum Gallery sparks protests
The South Asia Solidarity Group and nearly a dozen collectives protested the London Science Museum taking sponsorship from Indian coal-producing conglomerate Gautam Adani on Wednesday at their “India Lates” arts event.
More than 1,000 tickets reserved for Wednesday night’s ‘Science Museum India Lates’ event went unused as protesters demanded the cancellation of the Museum’s new sponsorship deal with Adani.
Groups including young people, teachers, grandparents, local residents and scientists were represented by protesters holding giant event tickets outside the museum.
Other organizers of the protest are Culture Unstained, Scientists Warning Foundation, London Mining Network, UKSCN London, Scientists for XR, XR Hammersmith and Fulham, Fossil Free London, Coal Action Network and Jubilee for Climate.
Representatives of the South Asia Solidarity Group gave an unauthorized speech inside the museum, highlighting the adverse effects of Adani’s operations.
The Science Museum announced last October that Adani Green Energy, part of the Adani Group headed by Indian multi-billionaire Gautam Adani, will sponsor the museum’s new gallery.
According to the Museum. “Energy Revolution: The Adani Green Energy Gallery will explore the latest climate science and the energy revolution needed to reduce the world’s dependence on fossil fuels and meet the Paris targets to limit global warming to around 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.”
Yet Adani has been heavily criticized for his destructive coal projects in Australia and India, where indigenous communities oppose mining on their lands, and is India’s largest investor in coal-fired power generation. .
It is dramatically increasing its coal production and increasing its investment in coal-fired power plants – even though the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change and the International Energy Agency have both warned that ‘Reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050 means no new coal developments from 2021.
“We are outraged that Adani – a coal conglomerate that supports Modi’s fascist regime – is sponsoring a new energy transition gallery. This sponsorship is a blatant attempt to whitewash the destructive activities of the Adani Group – an attempt which the Museum unfortunately seems all too happy to play along with,” the South Asia solidarity group spokesperson said.
More than 125 artists, writers and scholars – including Anand Patwardhan, Julie Christie, Ken Fero and Shailaja Patel signed a letter to artists at the event, asking them to “stand up against companies that have supported both the crackdown politics and the destruction of the environment”.
Documentary maker Anand Patwardhan, who signed the letter, said: “Narendra Modi’s favorite pal, Robber Baron Adani, is destroying the environment and democracy across India. The UK and other countries will face the same destruction as its tentacles. Nature, science, media, nothing is sacrosanct. I am happy to be part of the global resistance.