Pakistan: Successful May Day event in Multan

May Day report from Multan.

It was another great day here in Multan, that gave us momentum and strength to get more audience and of course more support from the new layers of the working class and youth as we launched an open activity on the eve of "world labour day" today. Our team of comrades showed and proved their commitment by organising an independent programme in very hot weather and a hard situation when there were many political, social and natural hurdles, many NGOs, many state-oriented labour leaders were in the market to sell their wears.

It was very interesting that one rally was organised under the leadership of the city mayor who is also the owner of famous Colony Textile Mills Multan, where, during the dictatorial period of General Zia Ul-haq hundreds of labourers were killed. It was really a political blunder and a joke in the history of Multan.

It was only ourselves who arranged a radical programme. It was the first time that the district president of the Pakistan People's Party attended and supported our political stance. Also present were the People's Students Federation and People's Labour Bureau office bearers. They not only joined us but they declared their class position and asked the PPP leadership to go back to the party's radical manifesto.

"The struggle" May day poster

The event was scheduled in a proletariat area of the city and it was an open programme on the road. The speeches were about the "world situation and the labour movement". Comrade Asad Pitafi opened the programme and introduced the Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign (PTUDC). He described the PTUDC's goals and achievements.

Comrade Aslam Ansari, Punjab PTUDC organiser spoke about the crisis of capitalism and its effects on the working class. He said that it is clear that capitalism has proven its inability to run world society and despite that it has become totally parasitic and barbaric. It has crushed all the institutions which it created itself. So its now clear that class war is inevitable on a global scale, and this has already started. He said in Pakistan suicides are increasing due to crushing conditions. This can't go on like this for long. The masses are seeking for a way out.

Comrade Ishaq, Suinorthern Gas labour leader, said that it has become the historical task of world labourers to overthrow this deadly capitalist system. Comrade Ahad Shah, of the YFIS Multan city bureau, said that martyrs of Chicago and the movement of 68/69 are open proof that only the working class has the ability to challenge the ruling class and transform society. If the workers are united they can change their conditions and fate. He asked the PPP leadership to change their policies for the betterment of the masses in Pakistan.

Comrade Aamir Lateef, of Bahaudinzakriya university YFIS, said that Anglo-American imperialism have launched both fundamentalism and barbarism on a global scale. The clash of civilisations and war of religions is an imperialist agenda to derail the working class movement but the movement against war in the USA and Europe by youth and workers has rejected this agenda and has proven that growing class consciousness and class struggle are now on the order of the day. It's our duty to give a direction to this great awareness of human history, organising workers in the factories, the fields and the institutions, building united fronts and action committees. This way we can organise class war, which is the only way out of the misery imposed on the masses by the capitalist class.

Malik Saeed, leader of the Multan People's Student Federation, said that the youth are ready to struggle with the workers against the policies of the world financial institutions such as the World Bank and IMF, which are badly effecting the youth on a world scale. Muneer Waraich leader of the PPP said that the party has its roots in the working class and its leadership must return to defending the welfare of the masses by adopting the PPP's founding manifesto. Dr. Safdar, a leader of the PPP, said that imperialism is the only evil in the world. We have to abolish it through class struggle. We are ready to sacrifice for this noble cause to emancipate humanity from this evil.

Comrade Riaz Ghalib of the railway workers' union said that it's not time for speeches; it's time for action. The prosperity of the world working class is only possible through socialist revolution. Comrade Asif Kareem, Multan City YFIS said that Chicago is still here and workers are still assassinated day by day. It's the continuity of the capitalist system which has made every city of the world a Chicago. Without changing the socio-political system this continuous assassination
can't be stopped.

Hafeez Javed, PPP leader said that it is the working class that produces everything and it is again the working class that is unable to consume all that it produces. Comrede Sulatan Khera, leader of State Bank of Pakistan workers, said working and living conditions of the working class have worsened. It requires a class struggle to make all good.

Comrade Akhtar Shah, of the Multan People's Labour Bureau, said that fundamentalism has always been on the imperialist agenda to crush and derail the labour movement. It is used as a tool to divide society into opposing sects, to generate sectarian and religious violence among the masses. Nationally and internationally it has been used and misused to fulfil imperialism's aims. So-called and fictitious “Islamic heroes” like Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein were created by imperialism. But this drama has failed nationally and internationally. All these political crimes are exposed before the masses. And it's now up to the working class to overthrow this cruel capitalist system through a socialist revolution.

Comrade Malik Basheer, district president People's Labour Bureau, said we have to recognise the friends and enemies of the working class, within the labour and the PPP leadership. He declared that only the PPP's founding manifesto will be accepted and we will fight those who are trying to present a new manifesto. We demand that Bhutto's original radical manifesto be taken up. Comrade Tariq Billa, a labourer, said that the workers are running the whole world, but they are living unbearable lives. We have to be united to change all this.

Habibullah Shakir, district president of Multan PPP, said that the labour movement of every country has had to come into conflict with the state and the system. The Paris Commune gave an extraordinary lesson, showing that the proletariat has the ability and potential to overthrow the state and change the system. He said that Lenin correctly declared the state a weapon used for the benefit of the ruling class and this is still true today. This oppressive state is still playing its role crushingly to ensure and defend the interests of the world ruling class. So the class struggle is still the only way out to emancipate humanity, to assure human dignity and freedom. He said the PPP can only play a role if it sticks to its pro-people's traditions, and he confessed that the PPP can't live without the working class, like a fish cannot live without water. He saluted those who are fighting for the ideas of the class struggle.

Comrade Ilyas Khan, ex-provincial president of the People's Youth Organisation and Students Federation, said that we have to differentiate between the ruling and working classes and then to organise consciously at the class level. He said that the working class has colossal power to run and stop all life on Earth. He said this has been becoming clearer to the working class, that it has potential within itself, and if we are successful in accumulating this awareness among the working class we will be able to transform not just the working class, but also life on the globe.

On this important occasion the mood of the audience was radical, and they raised many revolutionary slogans. Posters for this Labour Day were pasted in all the main areas of the city and the PTUDC bulletin was also distributed among the participants.

With Bolshevik regards.
Asad Pitafi, Multan