May Day in Pakistan - report of the activities of PTUDC

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May Day in Pakistan saw rallies, meetings and seminars the length and breadth of the country, where the PTUDC, the BNT, YFIS-Pakistan, the comrades of The Struggle and many other youth and trade union organisations participating with a militant and determined mood.

Baluchistan

A rally was organised in Quetta by the Pakistan Workers' Federation and the Muttahida Labour Federation which moved off from the railway station at 11am. Workers from various labour organizations and trade unions started gathering there at 9am a large number of workers and youth were present.

Quetta This huge rally was led by Ramzan Achakzai, Khan Zaman, Hassan Balouch, Manzoor Balouch, Salam Balouch, Abdl MAroof Azad, comrade Nazar Mengal, Abid Butt, Malik Imtiaz Mahfooz, Dad Muhammad Balouch and other trade union leaders. Workers were chanting slogans against price hike and anti worker labour laws.

The rally turned into a huge public meeting after reaching the lawns of city and town. The following leaders spoke at the occasion: Khan Zaman President Muttahida Labour Federation, Ramzan Achakzai Pakistan Workers' Federation, Abdus Salam chairman Pakistan Workers' Federation, Sher Muhammad Lodhi Agriculture Workers' Union, Hassan Balouch Public Health Employees Union, Manzoor Balouch Vice-Chairman Muttahida Labour Federation and Secretary General Merk Marker Employees Union, Aziz Ullah Irrigation Employees Union, Abdul Ghaffar Agriculture Engineering Workshop Union, Mustafa QDA Employees Union, comrade Nazar Mengal PTUDC, Abdul Maroof Azad Muttahida Labour Federation, comrade Nasreen Taj Balouchistan School Teachers' Union, Lal Yusuf Auto Rickshaw union, Khair Muhammad Foreman B&RPWD Employees Union, Abid Butt, Haji Saifullah BDA Employees Union, Agha Muhammad WAPDA Hydro Union, Dad Muhammad Balouch APCA, Malik Imtiaz Mahfooz President Peoples Labour Bureau Balouchistan.

The speakers explained that the real cause of the problems is this system and the only solution is to overthrow this system. In the evening a seminar was organised by the People's Labour Bureau in the Hall of Government Science College Quetta. The topic of the seminar was "May day, labour Movement and lessons of the assassination Benazir Bhutto".

May Day was also celebrated in other cities of Balouchistan including Khuzdar, Noshki, Mastung, Pishin, Loralai, Chaman, Austa Muhammad, Dera Allah Yar and Sibbi.

Sindh

May Day rallies and seminars were organized in 16 cities and towns in Sindh by PTUDC. A rally was organized by the PTUDC in Karachi to commemorate the martyrs of Chicago jointly with various trade unions and labour organizations. The rally ended at the Karachi Press club at Regal Chowk.

Participants in the rally carried red flags and chanted slogans against the brutal policies of the present government. Especially slogans were raised against the unprecedented price hikes in food items.

Participants included youth and workers from various departments and industries along with Manzoor Razi of the Railways Workers' Federation, Saeed Balouch of the Fisher Folk Forum, Ahmed Warsi and Zahida Bano of Pakistan Post, along with Imran Jamali, Muhammad Altaf, Syed Fida Hussain Shah. Asad Ullah Khan secretary general of district mail office Karachi, president of the Shoemakers Association Hardil Kumar along with Manoo and Annand, Iqbal Mehar from the Steel Mills, leader of contract and daily wages employees in the Steel Mills, Zahoor Memon and Allah Dad, Altaf Hussain from the Karachi Port Trust, Rasool Buz Shar from the Port Qasim Authority, and Sagheer Hussain Shah, president of the Textile Workers.

Hyderabad
Hyderabad

The workers condemned the policies of the PPP-led coalition government and asked that the rulers should remember their promises of "bread, clothing and housing" for which they have got the mandate. They also condemned the coalition of the PPP with the MQM.

In Hyderabad a rally was organized by the PTUDC on May Day from Naya Pul to the Press Club. A large number of students and workers participated in the rally. Participants of the rally were holding placards on which slogans for workers rights were raised. When the rally reached the Press Club the leaders came to the front and made fiery speeches against the capitalist system and exploitation. The speakers were Pir Muhammad Sindhi coordinator of the PTUDC in Hyderabad, veteran communist leader Jam Saqi, comrade Jay Parkash, comrade Eesar Das and Nisar Chaniou. Also comrade Saima and Zafar from the BNT spoke at the occasion.

A rally was organized in Tando Ghulam Ali in which workers and youth from Tando Gulab Leghari and New Dambalo also participated. When this rally reached the Nakka chamber, from Digri Nakka, many participants raised slogans of "socialist revolution".Comrades Rashid, Harshi and Pakhi Laal spoke at the occasion.

Mirpur Bathoro
Mirpur Bathoro

Another rally was organized in Mirpur Bathoro, which started at 11am from Acchi Mori and moved to the main bus stop. A large number of unemployed youth and workers participated in the rally. Comrade Sikander spoke after the rally ended. Others who spoke at the occasion were comrade Muhammad Khan Ahmadani, Nabi Soho, Bacahio Brahmani, Ghani Zanior and Rashid Soomro. Also PPP leaders Shamas Soomro, Ejaz Ali Khawaja and Ismail Soho spoke at the occasion.

A large rally was also organized by the PTUDC in Tando Muhammad Khan which was led by comrade Hanif Misrani. Nealry 500 people participated in the rally. This was after many years that a May Day rally had not been celbrated in this town.

In Mirpur Khas a rally was organized by the PTUDC and the People's Labour Bureau from the Chowk station to the Press Club in which workers from the Sugar Mills Union, WAPDA, the Hari Sangat committee (peasants), Trade Union Defence Sindhand Kiln Workers (Bhatta) Union participated. Speakers were Khalid Hassan and Ramesh of the PTUDC, Javed Baluch of the People's Labour Bureau, Hamid Channa of the Hari Committee and Muslim Qaim Khani of WAPDA.

A public meeting was organised by PTUDC and Peoples Labour Bureau in Makli Public Park in Thatta. Workers from the Steel Mills, Thatta Cement Labour Union, Sugar Mills Labour Union and Rickshaw Union participated in the programme. Dhanni Bux Summo, leader of People's Labour Union in Pakistan Steel, comrade Anwar Uqeli of the PTUDC and comrade Wali Jakhro, district general secretary of People's Doctors' Forum spoke at the occasion.

A rally was also organised in Taluqa Faiz Gunj by the PTUDC and BNT. It was led by Khadim Chang and Murtaza of the PTUDC and Isa Shar of the BNT. Another rally and public meeting was organised in Thari MirWah by the PTUDC. Comrade Manzoor Dasti from the BNT and comrades Sharjeel, Deedar and Waqar from the PTUDC addressed the meeting.

Shahdad Kot
Shahdad Kot

In Shahdad Kot 20 labour organizations included in the Trade Union Federation organized May Day here in which hundreds of students, workers and youth participated. After passing through the main roads of the city the rally became a public meeting when it reached the main Saddar Chowk. This public meeting was presided by comrade Urs Sailroo, president of the Trade Union Federation, while the chief guest was comrade Harish of the PTUDC and Ramzan Memon of Hari Bhindar Sangat. Other speakers include Abdul Fatah Murghand, Qurban Soomro, Mir Muhammad Lashari, Sikander Sailroo, Waheed Bhatti, Mama Gul, Wali Muhammad Manganhar.

In Khair pur Nathan Shah a rally was organized by the PTUDC and the BNT which started off from the BNT office and ended at the Press Club. Speakers were Hafeez Soomro, organizer of the BNT KN Shah, comrade Badar Sheikh, Saeed Lakeer Taluqa, president People's Labour Bureau, Lal Shah of the Lawyers' Association.

In Khair pur Meerus a rally was organised by the PTUDC and United Labour Federation which moved off from Khaki Shah Pul and ended at Phool Bagh where a public meeting was organised. Speakers at the meeting were Amjad Lashari, Shahbaz Phulpoto, Ejaz Abbasi and Irfan Abbasi.

Dadu
Dadu

A big rally was organised by the PTUDC in Dadu which started off from the Highways Employees Hall and ended at the Muncipal Park. Workers from WAPDA Hydro Electric Union, Highways Employees' Union, Hospital Workers' Union, Municipal Employees Union, Beeri Mazdoor Union, Rickshaw Union, Hotel Workers' Union, PTA Association and APCA participated in the rally. At the end of the rally a public meeting was organized which was chaired by comrade Amin Jamali of the PTUDC, while comrade Morial Panhwar president of the PTUDC-Dadu presided it. Speakers were Zameer Korejo, Secretary General PTUDC-Dadu, Warial Meerani, Zonal Secretary WAPDA Hydro Electric Union, Raja Rafiq of the Hospital Workers' Union, Khalid Jamali of the BNT, Abbas Waghio of the Rickshaw Union.

In Johi a rally was organised by the BNT, YFIS-Pakistan and the PTUDC. Workers from the Printers' Union, Sweepers' Union, Barbers' Union, Beeri Workers' Union, Hotel Workers' Union, were present among a total of nearly one thousand participants. The rally started from Bilawal Park and ended at the volley ball ground where a public meeting was organized. Naqad Thaeem presided the meeting, while chief guest was Basher Thaeem. The speakers were Raja Heesbani, BNT organizer Dadu, comrade Hammed Soomro and Jani Ashaf Mallah.

Punjab

Rahim Yar Khan
Rahim Yar Khan

In Rahim Yar Khan a big public meeting was held in Gulistan Park Railway Chowk. The meeting was presided by Abdul Ghaffar Mazari,. while chief guests were Kamaran Arshad, Presiedent UniLever Employees' Union, Mahmood ul Hassan of the PTUDC, Ch. Tanvir, Zonal Chairman WAPDA Hydro Union, Mahboob Khan of the APCA, Khalid Perveiz, president Coca Cola employees' union and Haider Chughtai of the People's Labour Bureau. Speakers included Amant Ali, Liaqat Ali, Dr. Abdul Jabbar, Razzaq Soomro, Abdul rub Farooqi, Afzal Beig of the professors' association, Abdul Qauum Shakir, Manzoor Abbas, Malik Akbar, Shaukat Ali, Amin Khan of the PYO, Jehanzaib, Fayaz Khan of the PSF, Zafar Momel, Muslim Gondal of the People's Unity, Khadim Hussain of the JDW sugar mills, Adeel Arif of the Sheikh Zaid Medical College and Rais Tariq of the PTUDC.

In Khanpur a rally started off from Baldia Chowk at 9am. Hundreds of workers and youth participated in the rally. The ally was led by Mirza Habib of the Irrigation Labour Union, Muhammad Bin Qureshi, president of the People's Labour Bureau, PTUDC organizer Arif Bilal, Fida Hussain of WAPDA Hydro, Zafar Iqbal and Ch. Allah Rakha of the Highway Labour Union. The rally became a public meeting at Hashmat Chowk where all the labour leaders addressed the participants.

In Liaqatpur a rally was organized from Chowk Allah Abad to the Press Club. Participants in the rally included labour leaders like Jamshed Rasheed of the PPP, Adnan Khan of the PTUDC, Waqas Mehboob, Muhammad Hussain, Salah ud Din Mohal, Syed Khalid, Faiz Haq Chuhan, Shahid Lodhi, Rais Fareed of the PYO, Jam Jabed Lar and Javed Khan, while student leaders of the PSF like Imran Ishfaq, Tariq Nazir, Mehar Asif Sayyal and Jam Mazhar were also present.

Kot Addu
Kot Addu

In Kot Addu large public meeting was held, which had been prepared for over the previous month, during which many meetings of various trade unions were held. The meeting was presided over by comrade Ilyas Khan from Multan. The meeting started with a revolutionary poem of Muhktiar Mukhlis. After that, comrade Ali Akbar started the programme. This time workers from Pak Arab Oil Refinery PARCO Mazdoor Insaaf group also participated in the May Day events. Speakers included Ch. Ashraf General Secretary Employees Union, Malik Akhtar OGDCL, Mehar Zia Rehman Punjab Teachers' Union, Amin Chishti APCA, Hamid MAsih TMA, Noor Muhammad PLB, Rafiq Adv. PLF, Aziz Patafi PSF, Ghulam Raza Gurmani president Mazdoor Insaaf Union PARCO and Barrister Yusuf Hinjra leader PPP.

In Lyyah a seminar was held in the evening of May Day in which many students and workers participated. Speakers at the seminar included comrades Shehriyar, Imran, Zeeshan and Irfan.

In D.G Khan seminar was held at the Press Club by the PTUDC in which a large number of students and workers participated. Speakers at the occasion were Talat Ahmed, Sattar Lund, Ustad Nabi Saed along with student leader Sattar Musrani. All speakers vowed to continue their struggle for a socialist victory.

In Jampur large public meeting was held in the Municipal Park which was organised by the PTUDC, Peasants' Front and the PPP. Stage Secretary was Asad Amin Gopang, while the speakers were Asif Thaeem, Najaf Mazari president People's Labour Bureau Rojhan, Qadir Lashari, Asim Chandio, peasant leader comrade Allah Bux Baloch and comrade Rauf Lund. The revolutionary poet Abdul Karim Mohsin recited his poems which sparked off the audience and the arena resounded with revolutionary slogans. Workers and peasants had come from Muhammad Pur, Fazil Pur, Rajan Pur, Talai Wala, Basti Lashari and Kotla Mughlan to attend this public meeting.

In Lodhran a seminar was held jointly by the PTUDC and Adbi Sangat Lodhran here to salute the martyrs of Chicago. Comrade Taqi of the PTUDC who was also the organizer of this seminar expressed his revolutionary views along with many labour leaders which included Khalid Waraich, comrade Qamar of the BNT, Rao Nasir and Sher Muhammad Awan, who also presided the event.

In Multan the Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign and the Labour and Employees Joint Action Committee held a programme on May Day. Also comrades of The Struggle made plans to join in and contribute in four of the events in the city with latest issue of their journal. In the morning the WAPDA Hydro Union's 200 workers rallied and then they held a procession. Comrades Anam, Mahbalus and Nadeem were there with the paper. Nadeem was invited by the organizers to speak. The comrade presented his view on the recent protest by the Power Looms workers against the worst load shedding in which some workers lost there vehicles, something which led to conflict.. Comrade Nadeem while sympathizing with the loss of the workers, demanded WAPDA workers to avoid any and every sort of confrontation among workers as it is the system's criminal policies that have provoked the situation in a manner in which a collision occurred. He appealed to WAPDA workers to stay united with all unions on a class basis. The audience warmly welcomed this.

Another activity in Multan on May Day was held by the Civil Aviation Authorities workers at the Press Club. Comrades at the rally soled them The Struggle in which an appeal was published regarding their demands, comrades also informed them about the publishing of that appeal on www.marxist.com for solidarity from world workers. The workers listened and thankfully made tribute. They bought The Struggle enthusiastically.

After that comrades joined a labour conference organized by some organizations and Trade Unions at a local hall where papers were sold and posters were pasted in the hall. In the evening comrades participated in a meeting called by the People's Labour Bureau (labour wing of the PPP) with posters and papers. Those on the stage were somewhat depressed, but the audience warmly welcomed the comrades and they took the paper warmly.

The PTUDC and JAC-Multan also organized their own program but this time it was differently planned and presented. In recent days a Youth Revolutionary Theatre group has been launched in which students from the Nishtar Medical College, B. Z.University and other local colleges organized themselves to present the miseries of common life in Street Theatre style. The group presented its first performance last week in a university ceremony where its play "832 years ago" not only shook the hall filled with hundreds of students, but its repercussions spread like a jungle fire among academic, intellectual and socio-political circles in Multan. When the play was summing up, the hall was resounding with the slogan "Long Live Socialist Revolution".

So the PTUDC and JAC bureau decided to call the group to present this play to the workers on May Day. The group enthusiastically accepted and agreed. The programme was joined by the WAPDA Hydro Union, Sui Gas Workers' Union, Income Tax Employees' organization, Pakistan Medical Association, Forest Workers' Union, All Pakistan Clerk Association, Professors and Teachers Union, WASA Workers' Union, Power Looms Labour Union, Press Photographers' Association, People's Labour Bureau, People's Student Federation, PPP and intellectuals representation, which made this program worthy.

The play started with a couple's discussion about the misery of life all around, about poverty, of hope and struggle for change, meanwhile other characters enter on stage, a ruler with his two doggy-masked flatterers and a Mufti (Priest), a young couple whose eyes are covered so they cannot see any light, two workers who are not only exploited but also brutally tortured, and a young man who is trying to pluck dreams and hopes from his surroundings which are depressingly broken by the ruler and his regime. He asks the workers to regain their lost dreams but they are frightened and say "we are now ‘used to' to living without them so we don't need them" but he says "ok, I agree you are ‘used to' to this but now allow yourselves to become ‘used to' once again to live with dreams and hopes." At the end he is arrested by the regime as a rebel, but this time the workers break their silence and fight the ruler with force and ultimately overthrow him along with his regime and take over.

At the end of the play the characters come onto the stage with their hands raised, making the "V" for victory sign in front of the audience. At that point the whole audience stood up on their seats moved with tears in their eyes and clapping warmly and incessantly for several minutes and the hall echoed to the chant of "Long live revolution, long live socialist revolution" .It was so lively, so artistic, so enthusiastic, that the actors and the audience started mingling together and congratulating each other, especially the young performers were encouraged in their intellect and soul by the response they got from their brother workers. The PTUDC and JAC were specially praised by the guests and they asked that more creative work should be done in the future.

In Kasur a large rally with burning mud bowls was held on the night of April 30 to celebrate May Day in the town. A number of PPP leaders and workers from the PTUDC expressed their views about the current crisis and its solution which is nothing else but socialism. Comrade Tariq Rasheed, Latif Bhutta and comrade Ramzan also spoke at the occasion. Comrade Manzoor made a speech via telephone and expressed his revolutionary views.

In Lahore a large rally of the PPP moved from the Railway Station to the Press Club. It was organized by the PPP along with many other programmes in the city in which comrades participated enthusiastically and contributed with revolutionary slogans and speeches.

In Gujranwala a seminar was held in the Highways Employees' Hall near the Bus Stop. Many labour leaders of the PWD, WAPDA and other unions spoke at the occasion. Comrade Adam Pal also expressed his socialist views and explained the degeneration of this capitalist system. After that a rally was taken out onto the G.T Road which ended at the Old Railway Station where labour leaders addressed the people and the press gathered there.

Attock
Attock

Comrades also intervened in the May Day program in Kamoke. Comrade Adam Pal, Dr. Umar Nasir, comrade Haleem and Afzaal Inqlaabi spoke at the seminar and explained why the unity of workers is important in the present conditions.

In Attock the PTUDC, along with other trade unions, held rallies and seminars. Comrade Perveiz Malik and Changaiz spoke at these rallies along with other PPP and labour leaders.

In Islamabad a rally was organized from Iqbal Hall to Abpaara Community Centre where a public meeting was held. Speakers include Tariq Chaudhary, Aman Ullah Khan, Akran Bunda, Ali Mardan, Muazzam Ali, Shaukat Satti, Kabir Khan and Irshad Ahmed.

Pakhtoonkhwa

Big public meetings and rallies were held throughout the province. Big rallies were held by the PTUDC in Peshawar, Bannu and other areas. In Mardan a seminar was organized by the PTUDC and the People's Labour Bureau in Takht Bhai. Niaz Ali Yusufzai along with others spoke at the occasion.

Malakand
 Malakand

In Malakand a public meeting was organized in Thana and after that a rally was taken out into the city from Zafar Park to the General Bus stand. Speakers include Jan Room, Fazle Rabbi and Sajjad Yusufzai from the PTUDC, Fazl Muhammad, president Malakand Three Hydro Power Project Labour Associations, PPP leader Bacha Hussain, Gul Zameen, chairman co-ordination council Muttahida Labour Association, Arzo Mand Khan of the Paramedical Workers, Ayub kochar.

In Bannu a public meeting was organised by the PTUDC and the PPP student and youth wing in the PYO secretariat in Lakki Road. The meeting was presided over by the president of the Bannu Shoemakers' Association, Atta Ullah Khan Master, while chief guest was Noor Syed Khan. Stage Secretary was Comrade Saleem. Speakers at the occasion were Dilnawaz Khan, president Rickshaw Union, Gul Banat Khan, secretary general Bannu Woollen Mills Labour Union, Bashir ur Rehman, Advocate of the PTUDC and Atta Ullah Khan.

In D.I. Khan a rally started out from the Town Hall and after passing from the Kaloon Bazaar became a public meeting at the Topan Wala gate. Organizations which participated were the Shaheen Auto Rickshaw Union of Lal Badhsah, Datsun Union of Riasat Leghari, TMA union, Sweepers' Union and the TMA union of Serai Norang.

Silani Shah of the PTUDC addressed the meeting along with Dr. Yahya Ahmed and M. Farooq of the Highways. Ahmed Kundi, Juma Din and Vh. Shafiq also spoke at the occasion.

In Taank a large public meeting was held by the PTUDC where thousands of people participated. Dawar Khan Kundi was the chief guest at the occasion while speakers at the gathering were Shah Fahad and other comrades of the PTUDC and PPP.

Wana (South Waziristan)

For the first time in the history of Wana, May Day was celebrated under the leadership of comrade Ali Wazir. This area is the battlefield between American and Pakistani forces and the Taliban who are fighting to hold this key area to control the opium trade. However, for the first time a public meeting was held on May Day to condemn both the reactionary Taliban and the Pakistan Army along with imperialist hegemony. Comrade Ali Wazir speaking at the occasion said that the only solution for the misery of thousands of people here is socialist revolution.

Kashmir

Muzaffarabad
Muzaffarabad

In Muzaffarabad a May Day rally was organized by comrades of the JKNSF which started off at 11am from the Chehla Bandi Hostel of the AJK University. It turned into a public meeting when it reached Upper Adda. Students from the PSF and workers from the PTUDC were also present in big numbers. The Public meeting was presided over by general secretary of the NSF Kashmir University, comrade Sarfraz. Speakers included Haider Kazmi, Rashid Sheikh, Zahid, Naveed Azad and Zubair Mughal.

In Garhi Dupatta a public gathering of thousands of people was held after many rallies throughout the area had taken place. The leader of the PPP in Kashmir, comrade Shujaat Kazmi addressed the meeting and said that the devastations of the earthquake in 2005 have still not been fully addressed. This is due to impotence of this exploitative system. He asked the rulers to stop making false promises and carry out the demands in the founding manifesto of the PPP. He said that socialist revolution is the only solution of the miseries of thousands of toiling masses of Kashmir. Other speakers were Rashid Naqvi, Wasim Abbasi, Shahid Misri, Abrar Khwaja, Rahat Kazmi, Tanvir Shah, Liaqat Abbasi and Rafaqat Mughal.

In Bagh a public meeting was held by the Employees Alliance in which nearly 300 employees participated. Speakers included many labour leaders along with comrades Saeed and Mumtaz of the PTUDC.

In Rawalkot a rally was led out from the College grounds to Kutcheri Chowk in which nearly 400 youth and workers participated. Speakers included JKNSF president, comrade Adil Khan, Raja Ejaz of the PTUDC, and comrade Ilyas of the Agriculture University. The rally then participated in a public meeting held by Employees' Action Front.

In Hajeera a rally was taken out from the College grounds which turned into a public meeting at Markazi Chowk. Comrade Babar Iqbal of the PMA and Javed Chaudhari addressed the meeting.

In Plundri a rally was organised and a seminar was held in the hall of a rest house in which nearly 100 workers participated. Comrade Mushtaq from the PTUDC was one of the many speakers.

In Qilan a rally of the PTUDC was held which was led by comrades Ghazanfar and Shamsheer.

In Kotli a joint rally of the PTUDC and the Employees' Association was organized on May Day. A public meeting was also held at Shaheed Chowk. Comrade S.N. Shorida of the Teachers Association, Naveed Latif of the JKNSF and others addressed the meeting.

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See also:
Solidarity » Pakistan