Bolshevik Day in Pakistan: Protests against privatisation, price hikes and unemployment

This year November 7, "Bolshevik Day", was celebrated the length and breadth of Pakistan with protests, demonstrations, rallies and seminars promoted by the Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign, PTUDC, together with other political and trade union bodies. The rallies also centred on a campaign against the privatisation of the Qadirpur Gas field and also against steep price increases and growing unemployment.

This year November 7, "Bolshevik Day", was celebrated the length and breadth of Pakistan with protests, demonstrations, rallies and seminars promoted by the Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign, PTUDC, together with other political and trade union bodies. Workers, youth and peasants turned out in big numbers to reinvigorate the memories of the October Revolution, to stress the need for a similar socialist revolution in Pakistan to end the miseries and sufferings of millions of workers and peasants in this crisis ridden country.

An important feature of the day was the slogan against the privatisation of the Qadirpur Gas field which was announced on the same day by the Minister for Privatisation of the PPP. The party, whose founding manifesto is for a socialist revolution and which nationalised a number of big enterprises in its first tenure, is now aggressively following the anti-labour policy of privatisation.

Here we provide reports and pictures on the day's events.

Karachi

Bolshevik day was celebrated in Gul Rang Hall of the Karachi Arts Council in which a large number of workers and youth from the PTUDC, JKNSF and BNT participated. Comrade Riaz Hussain Lund Baloch, president of the PTUDC and member of the Sindh Council of PPP, presided the meeting. Comrade Tariq Watan Yar was the stage secretary.

Bolshevik Day in Pakistan
Karachi

Comrade Parshotam started off proceedings with a revolutionary song. A two-minute silence was also observed in memory of comrade Javed Shaheen [see Javed Shaheen (1932-2008).]

All speakers in the meeting gave a detailed account of the events of the Russian Revolution and its place in human history. They said that in 1848 Marx said that a spectre was haunting Europe. This is true once again today but on a higher plane. The crisis that has started in America has spread to the whole world. They said that the October Revolution was the revolution not of one country but for the workers and peasants of the whole world.

The speakers who addressed the meeting were comrades Hardil from shoemakers' union, Kalim Shaukat president JKNSF Sindh, Nazir Alam of the KPT, column writer from Daily Express Zubair Rehman, comrade R. B. Chandio of the BNT, Comrade Imran Javed of the BNT, Sheikh Muhaiyudin of the PTUDC, comrade Akbar Memon from the Steel Mills and comrade Riaz Hussain Lund Baloch. Comrade Karamat of the KESC and president of the PTUDC Karachi was also present at the occasion.

Before the meeting a rally was held from Empress Market to Regal Chowk in Sadder Karachi. This rally was held against the privatisation of the Qadirpur Gas field, price hikes and unemployment. Participants in the rally raised slogans against the privatisation of Qadirpur Gas field which had been inaugurated by Benazir Bhutto but now the current PPP government has announced its privatisation as a part of series of its anti-labour policies.

Malakand

On the 91st anniversary of Bolshevik Day a protest rally was organised by the PTUDC in Batkhela against price hikes, privatisation and unemployment in which hundreds of people in the area participated. Comrade Ghufran and comrade Shakeel of the PTUDC led the rally. Participants in the rally marched from Batkhela bus stand to Mian Sultan Baba Chowk and blocked the traffic on the road. Placards at the rally raised slogans such as "Down with US imperialism, end anti-labour policies of privatisation and downsizing, re-employ sacked workers, increase wages, end the bombing of Swat and Tribal Areas, and Long Live the Bolshevik Revolution!" The rally became a public meeting at Ghari Shah crossing. The speakers, comrade Arzomand, Ghufran and Shakeel, said that the present crisis is the crisis of capitalism and the only way out is socialism. Comrade Ghufran took a pledge from the participants that they will not hesitate to come out on the call of the PTUDC for a movement against capitalism. All the participants raised their hands to agree with this pledge and said they would not hesitate to make any sacrifice for a socialist revolution.

Rawlakot

The 91st anniversary of the October revolution, was celebrated for the first time in history in Kashmir, not in a conference hall but on the streets of Rawlakot. Hundreds of students marched through the streets chanting revolutionary slogans against American imperialism, the IMF, World Bank and against privatisation, in a rally held by the JKNSF in Rawlakot. The rally started from the Degree College grounds and after completing a full round of the city ended up in Zaheer Chowk where a huge two-hour public meeting took place. The traffic was halted and hundreds of people attended the meeting by sitting on the roofs or standing in the middle of the road.

Bolshevik Day in Pakistan
Rawlakot

The public meeting was chaired by comrade Zahid and presided over by comrade Ajmal Rashid. Among the speakers were comrades Jamil, Naeem Akash and Kamran Janat. The speakers explained that the economic crisis of world capitalism is inflicting hell upon the workers of the world. The ruling classes are trying to shift the burden of the crisis onto the workers and the result is that unemployment is soaring and prices are rising everywhere. Rising poverty, hunger, terrorism, unemployment, factory closures, downsizing, privatisation and economic and financial crises are all the symptoms of the terminal decay of world capitalism. Today we are celebrating the 91st anniversary of the Russian Revolution when in 1917 the workers and peasants took power and established a democratic workers' state for the first time in human history under the leadership of the Bolshevik party. Despite the Stalinist degeneration of the Soviet Union after 1924, the historical events of 1917 proved that the workers and peasants of all countries are the sole power on earth that can put an end to the exploitation, destruction and semi-barbarism of rotten capitalism. It also graphically expressed the superiority of a planned economy over the anarchic capitalist economy of private enterprises during the period of less than a decade. Today we are facing the same old problems of capitalism on a much higher and wider scale and the Bolshevik revolution is also a burning necessity of our time on a qualitatively higher form and on a world scale. Comrades and people, lets move forward against capitalism towards a socialist world. Long live world socialist revolution!

Kotli

A seminar was held by the comrades of the JKNSF and PTUDC to celebrate the 91st anniversary of Bolshevik day. Comrade Naveed Latif and others gave a detailed analysis of the Russian revolution of 1917 and said that the only way out today for the present world crisis is a socialist revolution.

Attock

A protest was held on Bolshevik day against the privatisation of the Qadirpur Gas field, unemployment and price hikes, which was organised by the Joint Labour Action Committee. Workers from Public Works Department (PWD) workers' confederation, WAPDA hydro union, OGDCL labour union, APCA, People's Labour Bureau, veterinary union and the PTUDC participated in big numbers.

After the protest a public meeting was organised, chaired by comrade Changez. Speakers include Imdad Awan of the Public Works Department, Comrade Ejaz Saqi of OGDCL, Sheikh Ghayas, Awal Khan, Muhammad Masood, Raja Zareef, Manzoor Albi, Maqsood Ahmed and Haji Nauroz Khan. At the end Comrade Parvez Malik thanked all the participants for taking part.

Fateh Jang

A symbolic hunger strike was held in front of the Press Club to protest against the privatisation of the Qadirpur Gas field. Comrades Mukhtar, Ahmed Hasan, Khalid, Muhammad Ali, Khaliq and Javed participated along with many other comrades. They were holding placards with slogans like "long live revolution!" and "End privatisation!"

Rawalpindi

A protest was held in front of the Press Club to condemn the privatisation of the Qadirpur Gas field. Demonstrators were holding placards with slogans like "Long live socialism! End to capitalism! End unemployment! Down with Imperialism!"

Bolshevik Day in Pakistan
Lahore

Gujranwala

A seminar was held in Gujranwala in which Comrade Lal Khan gave a detailed account of the Russian revolution of 1917. He also described the need of a socialist revolution in the present crisis.

More than hundred workers, youth and PPP activists participated in the meeting. Present at the occasion were Mushtaq Badil, Dr. Umar Nasir, Umar Shahid and Nasir Butt while Comrade Afzal Inqlabi was the stage secretary.

Lahore

On the 91st anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution a protest was held in front of the Press Club against price hikes, unemployment and privatisation. Participants raised slogans against the capitalist system and for a socialist revolution. The protest was led by Zuhaib Butt, Secretary General PSF Punjab, Paras Jan, Information Secretary PTUDC and Nisar Safdar advocate.

Bolshevik Day in Pakistan
Kasur

Kasur

A demonstration and a public meeting was held at the Railway Station in which a large number of trade union leaders, PPP activists and members of the PTUDC, BNT and IMT participated. Comrade Yasir Lodhi was the stage secretary. Speakers at the meeting were Yasir Saleem, Secretary General Textile Power Looms union, Comrade Akram of the BNT, Imtiaz Ahmed Advocate and comrade Abid. At the end of the meeting a rally was held that started off from the railway station and ended at Chandni Chowk. Nearly 300 workers participated in the rally. Participants on the rally raised revolutionary slogans such as "long live socialism!"

Multan

A rally was held on the main road of Multan by the workers of the PTUDC, PTCL and PSF. Comrade Ilyas Khan, Secretary General Peoples' Lawyers' Forum (the lawyer's wing of the PPP), addressed the rally and condemned the privatisation of the Qadirpur Gas field. He also stressed the importance of the Bolshevik Revolution and said that today a similar revolution is needed in Pakistan which is also written in the founding manifesto of the PPP.

Bolshevik Day in Pakistan
Kot Addu

Kot Addu

A rally was held on Bolshevik Day in which workers from the Pak Arab Refinery, Kot Addu Power Company, Telecom sector, students of various colleges and unemployed youth participated in big numbers. They raised slogans against price hikes, unemployment and privatisation. Speakers who addressed the rally were comrades Ali Akbar , Shehryar and others who condemned the anti-labour policies of the present PPP government and said that the only way out is a socialist revolution.

Jampur

The peasants of Jampur held a rally against the low price they receive for the boll [cotton] harvest, and against price hikes and unemployment in which hundreds of peasants of the area participated. All the peasants gathered at Children Park Pul Andhay Wali and then marched towards Traffic Chowk raising slogans against this brutal system and the anti-peasant policies of the government. At the traffic Chowk it became a public meeting where revolutionary poet Abdul Karim Mohsin was the stage secretary. The speakers who addressed the rally were Malik Abdul Shakoor Targar, Allah Bux Baloch and Comrade Rauf Lund.

Bolshevik Day in Pakistan
Rahim Yar Khan

Rahim Yar Khan

The PTUDC and BNT organised a public meeting on the morning of 7th November, Bolshevik Day. Those who addressed the gathering were comrade Haider Chughtai of the PTUDC, Mehboob Khan from APCA, Abid Shah District president power loom workers, Jehanzaib Khan, General Secretary of the Unilever workers' union, Fahim Nawaz Khan, president PSF Bahawalpur Division and Shahid Ullah of the PTUDC, Rais Kajal of the PTUDC, Mawid Khan and Mazhar Saeed Khan of Bazme Farid, Asif Balo and Umair Yusaf of the BNT, Riaz Aqeel of the Labour Action Committee, Safdar Hashmi of the APCA, Raja Asif, Mian Akram and Jam Abdul Jabbar of the Veterinary Assistants Association. At the end of the meeting a rally was held from Railway Chowk to the Press Club with many of the participants holding red flags and raising slogans for socialism.

Hyderabad

A protest was held in front of the Press Club in which comrade Pir Muhammad Sindhi, president of the PTUDC Hyderabad Division, Ghulam Rasool Memon of the People's Labour Bureau, comrade Sakhi Badsha from Kotri, Ramesh Kumar from the PTUDC Mirpur Khas and comrade Jay Parkash provincial organiser of the PTUDC participated. Comrade Jam Saqi was also present at the occasion. Participants were carrying a banner against the privatisation of the Qadipur gas field. They raised slogans like "Long Live Socialism, Long Live the Bolshevik Revolution, Down with Capitalism." In the evening a programme was held in the PTUDC office to celebrate the 91st anniversary of Socialist revolution of 1917.

Bolshevik Day in Pakistan
Dadu

Dadu

A rally was held from the Municipal Park to the Press Club. Workers from the WAPDA Hydro Electric Central Labour Union, Rickshaw union, Highways Labour union, Beeri union, Lower Staff union, Hospital Workers' union, Hotel Workers' union and many other departments participated. On the way, shopkeepers and workers joined the rally in big numbers. Shopkeepers who were selling flowers showered flowers on the participants of the rally. Speakers who addressed the rally were comrades Anwar Panhwar, Zameed Korejo, Khalid Jamali, Ejaz Bhagio, Hajan Panhwar, Abbas Waghio and Morial Panhwar. They said that this day reminds us of the colossal power of the workers and if they are united and revolt against this tyranny they can bring a real change in their lives through a socialist revolution.

Tando Muhammad Khan

A large rally was held in which nearly 200 workers, youth and peasants participated. Leaders from the Rickshaw union, Oil and Gas development Corporation and Pakistan Workers Federation participated in the rally. The rally was organised by the District Body of Tando Muhammad Khan. Workers of nearby oil and gas fields participated in the rally in big numbers. The main speakers at the rally were Shafi Muhammad from the Rickshaw union and Comrade Harish of the PTUDC.

Mirpur Bathoro

A rally was held to celebrate Bolshevik day and protest against the privatisation of the Qadirpur Gas field in which a large number of unemployed youth, workers and peasants participated. A rally started off from National Chowk and ended at the Bus Stop. Placards of the rally read "Long live socialist revolution, Down with Imperialism, No to privatisation and no to unemployment." Comrades Adbul Nabi Soho and Jabbar Zanour addressed the rally and called for the overthrow of this capitalist system through a socialist revolution. A large public meeting was also held on 10th November to celebrate the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917.

Khairpur Meerus

A rally was held by the PTUDC and BNT in which large number of workers and youth participated. Speakers who addressed the rally were comrades Saeed Khaskheli, Shahbaz Phulputo and Ejaz Abbasi. Participants raised slogans against price hikes, unemployment and the privatisation of the Qadipur Gas field.

Shahdadkot

A rally was held against privatisation, price hikes and unemployment. After that a seminar was held to commemorate the Bolshevik revolution of 1917.

Bolshevik Day in Pakistan
Quetta

Quetta

Baluchistan was recently hit by an earthquake in which hundreds of people were killed and thousands became homeless. Most of these people have lost their homes and are now living in the open in the cold winter of this mountainous region. Amid this disaster the workers of the PTUDC and youth of the BNT held a rally and then a programme to celebrate Bolshevik Day. Comrade Nisar chaired the programme. The speakers were comrades Ali Raza of the Hospital Workers' union, Nazar, Secretary General of the PTUDC and vice-president of the People's Labour Bureau Baluchistan and Afaq Secretary, General PSF Baluchistan. At the end a cake was cut to celebrate the 91st anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution. Before the meeting, a rally was held from the Government Science College to the Press Club. Participants raised slogans such as, "End price hikes, End unemployment, Solve the problems of people hit by the earthquake, End military operations in Baluchistan, Down with Capitalism, Long Live Socialism!"

Other protests, demonstrations, rallies and seminars were also held in Thatta, Mir Pur Khas, Ghotki, Khanpur, Galewal, Wah and other small cities and towns across Pakistan.

 

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