To celebrate the 99th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution meetings were arranged by the Pakistan Section of the IMT in many cities across the country.
Speakers from various trade unions and student organizations spoke about different aspects of the revolution and the need for such a revolution today. The participants included students and workers who wanted to learn the lessons of this revolution.
After the meetings, protests were held on recent issues including the incident at the Gadani ship breaking yard where more than 200 workers were burnt to death due to lack of security and implementation of labor laws.
On 5 November a meeting was organized in the Prince Garden Hall adjacent to the Malir Courts by the Red Workers Front (RWF) and Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA). Speakers included PYA Karachi organizer Tassawar Qaisrani, PYA Karachi organizer Faras Raj, General Tyre Workers Union leader Safdar Jabbar, NSF Quetta member Faheem Baloch and the president of the Awami Jamhoori Party (AJP) Karachi Rasheed Sadhayo. The meeting was also attended by the daughter of the “missing” political and social activist Wahid Baloch.
Hani Baloch, who has been fighting against her father’s kidnapping by secret service agencies spoke at the occasion and said that her father disappeared four months ago but the intelligence agencies and civilian institutions of the state have refused to share any information on the matter. “My father is a poor worker and struggled for his class. He was publishing a literary magazine in the Balochi language from Karachi for many years. He is now being held at some place where no one has access.” She demanded that her father be released immediately and the matter be investigated thoroughly.
Tasawar Qaisrani and Safdar Jabbar explained that today the world is in crisis and the only way forward to a fruitful and productive future is through socialist revolution. They reiterated their pledge to organize the workers of the country on a single platform so that they can fight against the horrors and exploitation of the ruling class. Faras Raj said that politics has been made a no go area for the youth of the country so that dynastic politics can be pursued freely by the likes of Bilawal Bhutto and Maryam Nawaz. The world has become a living hell and only the workers and youth can change it into a heaven for humanity. A member of the PYA from Malir, Jalal Khan sang a revolutionary poem which was much appreciated.
Paras Jan summed up the meeting saying that capitalism and national states have now become historically redundant and so long as this social system and state is allowed to continue people like Wahid Baloch will keep on disappearing and youth like Mir Hasil Rind will keep on dying. He assured Hani Baloch of full support in every forum for the fight to get her father released and emphasized that the only way forward is to build a revolutionary political party of the youth and the workers.
At the end of the meeting a protest was held on the National Highway for the immediate release of Wahid Baloch and for the immediate arrest and punishment of the killers of Mir Hasil Rind. Protestors raised slogans of “we do not accept this atrocity”, “free Wahid Baloch” and “Arrest the killers of Hasil Baloch” while they blocked the highway. The participants dispersed peacefully after the protest.
On Sunday, 6 November a public meeting on “99 years of the Bolshevik Revolution Dedicated to the Workers of the Gadani Ship Breaking Yard” was organized by the United Labor Forum (ULF) and the Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA) at the Lasbela Press Club. This is the place where the recent fire accident at the ship breaking yard happened in which more than 200 workers were killed.
The meeting was chaired by President ULF Allah Waraio Lasi and the chief guest was Baloch Student Organization Pajjar (BSO-P) Information Secretary Bilawal Baloch who had come from Quetta to participate. The meeting was dedicated to the Gadani workers killed in the fire resulting in one of the most horrific industrial accidents of Pakistan.
Speakers included RWF members Tasawar Qaisrani, Paras Jan, Sana Baloch, Muzamil and PYA members Faras Raj and Meezan Rahi. Comrade Faqeer chaired the session. The speakers spoke about the historical significance and importance of the Bolshevik Revolution and the need for a mass party to be built on such lines. The chief guest explained that Russia was known as the jailhouse of different nationalities but as a result of the socialist revolution of 1917 all the exploitation and degradation of minorities was brought to an end. Lenin and Trotsky supported the right of self-determination and it was thanks to this that a voluntary union of socialist states was founded.
In the meeting a resolution was approved unanimously calling for 2.5 million rupees ($25000) compensation package for the family of workers killed in the accident, the immediate abolition of contract labor, for social security and EOBI (Employees Old Age Benefits Institution) registration, immediate financial aid from Dadar Zinc and Lead Mining Project Kanraj for the family of the worker Anwar Jamot and a minimum wage for all workers equal to 10 grams of gold. In the end the chair of the meeting Allah Waraio thanked the participants with the pledge to work unstintingly for the struggle against capitalism.
On 12 November a meeting was held in the Press Club in Quetta to commemorate the 99th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution by the Red Workers Front and the Progressive Youth Alliance. Comrade Paras Jan presided the meeting while Baloch nationalist leader Dr. Abdul Hai, chairman of the National Party (Hai) was the chief guest. Razaq Ghurzang chaired the meeting. Participants included trade unionists and activists of the Baloch Students Organization and Pashtoon Students Federation.
Speakers at the meeting included Gulab Khan, Joint Secretary Pharmacist association, Sadiq Zhadak of the Pashto literary society, Ibrahim Kasi, district president of the Pashtoon nationalist party ANP, Bilawal Baloch, Information Secretary BSO and Karim Parhar of the PYA.
Ibrahim Kasi paid tribute to the Bolshevik revolution, but put forward a nationalist line and emphasized that the support of US Imperialism is needed to fight fundamentalism. Sadiq Zhadak highlighted the importance of the Bolshevik revolution but criticized the policy of the Bolsheviks in Tajikistan. However, Bilawal Baloch explained that Lenin's position on the national question is still the way forward for oppressed nationalities today. Karim Parhar highlighted the problems faced by the youth and emphasized the need for unity of the working class. Dr. Abdul Hai congratulated the youth on organizing this event but pointed to the mistakes of the left-wing struggles in the past. He said that we must think of why the left wing are not winning popularity among the peasants, workers and students.
Comrade Paras Jan summed up the whole discussion, answering the points raised and explained the Marxist ideas that were at the foundation of this great revolution in human history. He said that our friends here want the support of US Imperialism against fundamentalism, but in fact a fundamentalist and maverick has just become the president of the United States, which is a slap in the face of the status quo. He said that this will have huge implications worldwide. He also explained that the national question can only be solved on a Marxist basis and there is no other way. Only through a socialist revolution will all kinds of oppression come to an end.
At the end comrade Razaq Ghurzang thanked all the participants and the meeting concluded by singing the Internationale.
A meeting was organized by the Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA) in Dadu on 7 November to commemorate the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 in which students of different colleges and workers participated. Khalid Jamali started the proceedings with a discussion on the conditions of pre-revolutionary Russia and the subsequent revolution, drawing similarities with Pakistan today. Karim Jamali also participated in the discussion expounding on the importance of the struggle for socialist revolution. In the end Khalid Jamali summed up the discussion, answering different questions concerning the Soviet Union and present day Pakistan.
A meeting was held on 13 November in which youth, workers and peasants participated with a revolutionary spirit. Comrade Dr. Yasir Irshad presided the meeting. Comrade Aftab Ashraf opened the discussion and highlighted the achievements of the Bolshevik Revolution and its importance today. Comrade Fazeel Asghar of the PYA, Adil and Anam Patafi contributed in the discussion and raised various aspects of the revolution. Aftab Ashraf summed up the discussion and answered the questions regarding the topic. He said that the objective conditions are moving in a direction where a revolution on the lines of Bolshevik revolution will be possible but we need to build a layer of cadres grounded in the ideas of Marxism to play an active role in this situation.
A meeting was organized on 12 November in Multan Law College to commemorate the 99th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution. The meeting started with the singing of a revolutionary song by Hamza. Comrade Aftab Ashraf opened the discussion by highlighting the important events happening in the world today and how the Bolshevik revolution is still a beacon for the suffering masses after 99 years. He explained that we have entered a new epoch in which sharp and sudden changes are implicit in the situation. He then explained the gains of the revolution in Russia and its degeneration under the Stalinist bureaucracy. Comrade Khalil ur Rehman, Anam Patafi, Asad Patafi and others contributed in the discussion. Comrade Safeer Ahmed sang a revolutionary poem by the legendary poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz. Comrade Aftab summed up the discussion at the end. The meeting ended by singing the Internationale.
After the meeting a protest was held to condemn the killings of the workers at Gadani.
On 6 November a meeting to celebrate Bolshevik Day was organized at Kisan Hall in which students and workers participated with enthusiasm. The meeting was arranged by the Red Workers Front (RWF) and the Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA). Participants included Lahore RWF organizer Maqsood Hamdani of WAPDA Hydro Workers Union and Amir Saadi, Adeel Zaidi, Amir Khan, Valeed Khan, National Organizer RWF Aftab Ashraf, National Organizer PYA Zain ul Abideen and others.
The meeting was chaired by Farhan Gohar while Adam Pal opened the discussion on the pre-revolutionary conditions of Russia, the formation and struggle of the Bolshevik Party and the revolution of 1917 which proved to be a turning point in human history. The Bolshevik revolution degenerated under Stalin and it was Stalinism which failed in 1991, not socialism. The participants contributed enthusiastically in the discussion, further expanding on the steps taken by the revolutionary socialist government, the conditions in Pakistan and the world today which are ripe for socialist revolution and the need for a cadre based organization to perform the same role in the country as the Bolshevik Party. Adeel Zaidi, Ejaz Ayub, Aftab Ashraf, Shahzad, Zain ul Abideen and others contributed in the discussion.
Adam Pal summed up the discussion by answering different questions and pledging to fight for socialist revolution till victory.
Afterwards, a protest was held in front of the Press Club in solidarity with the workers killed in the Gadani Ship Breaking Yard. The protestors raised slogans against the government, demanding the immediate arrest of all those responsible for this tragedy. Maqsood Hamdani of the RWF gave a rousing speech condemning the working conditions, the horrific exploitation and disregard for the safety of workers. The capitalist system in its decay can offer nothing but death and sorrow and it is up to the revolutionary workers and youth to get rid of this historically redundant system so that all the grief and horrors of humanity can be brought to an end. In the end, demands were put forward for free healthcare for the injured Gadani workers till full recovery and compensation for the families of those killed, abolition of contract work throughout the country and guaranteeing all safety measures are in place throughout all industries in Pakistan.
A meeting was held in a hotel in G-8 market on 13 November. Comrade Zain ul Abideen was the main speaker, while comrades from ordnance factory in Wah also participated in the meeting. Students from the Islamic International University also attended. Comrade Shahjahan chaired, while comrade Ahmer, Umer Riaz and others addressed the meeting highlighting the relevance of the Russian Revolution and why it is important to learn its lessons today.
A meeting was held in Barikot on 6 November to commemorate the Bolshevik Revolution on its 99th anniversary. Students from Peshawar University and Malakand University participated in the meeting. Comrade Izhar chaired the meeting, while comrade Rashid Khalid opened the discussion. He said that after the collapse of the Soviet Union the “end of history” was proclaimed but recent events have falsified all such claims. Today mass movements are erupting in one country after another. In this situation the lessons of October are very important. Comrade Hasan Buneri, Waqar Alam, Asfandyar Shinwari, Basit and Usman contributed in the discussion. In the end Rashid Khalid summed up, answering the questions raised. The meeting ended by singing the Internationale.
A meeting was held on 20 November in Nawaba wala, which is a colony of power loom (textile) workers. Workers from other textile sectors in the city also came to attend the meeting along with students from Agriculture University and teachers from the Government College in Faisalabad.
Comrade Babu William Rose, chaired the meeting, which opened with revolutionary songs sung by a local worker, Qaiser Piya, and with revolutionary poetry recited by comrade Akhtar Munir. Comrade Adam Pal, opened the discussion by elaborating on the events of 1917 in Russia and explained the achievements of this revolution for the workers and peasants. He also explained the relevance of this revolution for Pakistan today and how the issues faced by the working class in Pakistan can only be solved through a revolution on the lines of the great Bolshevik revolution.Comrade Usman, Mujahid, Najaf, Safdar, AKhtar Munir, Abdullah Rehmat and others contributed to the discussion and explained various aspects of the revolution, why it is necessary to discuss it today, and how to build a revolutionary party. Comrade Furqan, a student from the university of Agriculture, played the guitar and sang a revolutionary song, which he had prepared especially for this occasion.
In the end comrade Adam Pal summed up the whole discussion. He put forward the details of the recent incident of the Gadani ship breaking yard in which more than 200 workers were killed, when fire erupted in an oil tanker being broken by workers. He explained that the working class has to face such conditions everywhere in Pakistan, but no political party or department of the state is concerned about this. The only way to save this lives and to take revenge for these murders is through a socialist revolution. The meeting ended by the singing of the Internationale.
A meeting was held in a rest house in Palandri on 6 November to commemorate the Bolshevik revolution. Trade Union leaders from different organizations participated in the meeting, along with members of the PYA who were also present. Afzal Shaheen, chairman of the hospital workers association of Azad Kashmir, presided the meeting. Yasir Irshad of the IMT, the chief guest, opened the discussion and expressed his views on the Russian Revolution. Zaheer Advocate, Sardar Babar Razaq, Raheem Khan former vice president of the APCA, Saleem Mehmood president of the Press Club Sudhnoti and others speakers addressed the meeting and highlighted the importance of this revolution today.
A meeting was also held at the IMT office in Rawlakot on 11 November in which comrades from Bagh and other areas participated with enthusiasm. Students from various educational institutes were also present at the occasion. The speakers highlighted the importance of the Russian revolution and the tasks faced by Marxists today. Participants included comrade Khalid Babar, Amna, Shakeel, Qamar, Gulbaz and others.