BENGALURU: Fridays For Future (FFF) India has condemned the arrest of Disha Ravi, their colleague and one of the early co-founders of FFF in the country. In a mail interview with TNIE, the FFF India team stated that Disha’s arrest is an “attempt to intimidate young climate activists of the country. The government should, instead, be proud of the youth of the country who are enthusiastic citizens and sensitive to the plight of the environment and their future”.
“The allegations of criminal conspiracy, sedition and promotion of hatred being levied against our colleague (Disha) is an over-reaction. The global community has expressed shock over the arrest, and stands in solidarity with her and urge for her immediate release,” the team said. “We are disheartened but will not be dissuaded by any attempt to intimidate or malign our peaceful environmental campaign. We will remain resilient in our pursuit.”
Disha and a few others had started FFF Bengaluru in 2018, which was one of the first chapters in India.
“We exercise our democratic right of dissent and call out the complacency of our elected representatives in addressing climate change,” the team added. “FFF India reports issues to the government, through email petitions, tweetstorms, submission of memorandums or even meeting government officials.”
Regarding membership, they said the national FFF team includes coordinators and volunteers from all chapters in the country.
“The group has a membership of hundreds of climate activists. We are decentralised and the issues we address differ in each chapter and region -- from the burning of Baghjan oilfield in Assam to construction of a mall in Shillong and felling of trees in Aarey forest in Mumbai,” they added.FFF India is part of the global FFF network, and is open to everyone, regardless of age.
“However, a majority of our members are school and college students, and young professionals,” they added.