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India: Militant, diversified and culturally impressive opening of the 2nd International Miners' Conference

The opening of the 2nd International Miners' Conference in Godavarikani/India on 2 February 2017 was an impressive, militant demonstration of miners with 6000 participants. At the gathering point of the demonstration cultural and trade-union groups practiced their lively contributions. Aside from the international delegates and brigadists, miners from all regions of India came. The demonstration was dominated by the miners and their families from the region.

The demonstration marched in tight rows through workers‘ housing areas, leading to the city center of Godavarikhani. People waved from all sides  – many women and children in their school uniforms are among them. The international aspect met with enthusiasm, a lot of laughter is heard and photos are taken. The miners and their families in Godavaikhanis are proud that the „2nd International Miners' Conference“ is taking place in their city. People from the city join the march. First, members of the International Coordination Group (ICG) are marching right behind the conference banner. The international delegates with their large posters showing the names of their country follow. Behind them are various organizations and units of the trade unions such as the trade union of gold miners, the „contract-workers“ etc. Among them are cultural groups with songs and dances.
Militant slogans are shouted. There are notably a lot of groups of women in their colorful dresses. The common demonstration unites them. The small loudspeaker of the German brigadists is often used by the Indian trade unionists and is passed back and forth. Slogans are exchanged and called out together: „Long live international solidarity“ and „Miners united will never be defeated.“
The public cultural event starts afterwards with more than 2000 participants. It is opened by the main coordinator of the International Coordination Group, Andreas Tadysiak, who warmly welcomes the international delegates and those attending. Representatives of the national preparatory committee, ICG-members from India, Kazakhstan, Congo, Peru and Colombia and representatives of the various Indian trade unions speak. The German delegation hands over a printed „Arschleder“ (backside leather) to the preparatory committee in India thanking them for their work. During the event you can see fascinating cultural contributions. Dances to drum rhythms. Songs in a rocking change between soloists and choirs. The German participants sing the „Steigerlied“, a miners' song, and the hymn of the miners Santa Barbara. The impressive event is  closed with the joint singing of the „Internationale“ in various languages. A dignified and uplifting celebration which lasts until the late evening.