Home Democracy Undeterred by crackdown, student march organisers vow to continue struggle

Undeterred by crackdown, student march organisers vow to continue struggle

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Responding to Governmental Repression against Students Solidarity March

Member of Student Action Committee Lahore and Progressive Students’ Collective responding to the baseless propaganda being carried out against students’ rightful demands and the harassment of organisers for speaking truth. We would like to reiterate that our politics is solely based on the rightful and constitutional demands of student rights and considering us pawns of any anti national sentiment is a dire misappropriation of our cause. Our demands are constitutional and we make it clear as daylight that we will frame our politics and struggle well within the legal and constitutional framework. It is highly condemnable that people like Iqbal Lala, Mashal Khan’s father, are being charged with treason and sedition when no work has been done by governments to reduce right wing extremism that took his son away from him. Muhammad Shabbir is fighting for the provision of minimum wage for brick kiln workers, Ammar Ali Jan stands for an equal and inclusive educational structure, Farooq Tariq has been active for the rights of the poor and the destitute. If they are traitors, then include in the FIR the names of the Prime Minister Imran Khan, Fawad Chaudhary, Bilawal Bhutto, Shireen Mazari because they all have given statements endorsing our demands. We are students and the least the government can do is to lend an ear to us. We are working to people’s rights which makes us more pro people than this government. We will spread our message all over this country and its administered areas and such mechanisms of harassment won’t bring us down.

Posted by Progressive Students Collective on Sunday, December 1, 2019

Leaders warn against the crackdown on activists, smear online propaganda by rightwing trolls

Herald Report

The organizers of the #StudentSolidarityMarch have expressed their gratitude to the member organisations and participants of the march from all segments of society in general for making the march success. They described it as a historic show of power since after almost four decades of the ban on student unions.

Responding to the smear campaign and baseless allegations launched by rightwing extremist trolls on social media against the march, they vowed to continue their struggle till the achievement of their objectives and acceptance of their demands.

In their separate video messages, the members of the Student Action Committee (SAC), Progressive Students’ Collective (PSC) and Progressive Students Federation (PrSF), Rawalpindi have condemned the baseless propaganda being carried out against students’ rightful demands and the harassment of organisers for speaking truth.

They spoke about the march, its impact, and the post-march episode. “We have been receiving messages of appreciation from all over the country, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan on organising the massive show of student power, said Zahid Ali, one of the organisers and members of the PSC.

The SAC spokesperson Mohiba Ahmed felicitated the member organisations of SAC as well as other segments of society for putting up such a mammoth gathering and making it a success. It was a historic moment for us after three decades restrictions on student politics, she said. She claimed that the state authorities tried their best to stop us from organising the march through intimidation and harassment before and after the march. She affirmed the resolve to remain united through the country to continue their struggle. She warned the state machinery to refrain from using dirty tactics, as according to her these coercive methods will not deter them from their cause. “If these tactics continued, the students will be forced to put up a bigger show.

“We would like to reiterate that our politics is solely based on the rightful and constitutional demands of student rights and considering us anti-national is a dire misappropriation of our cause,” commented Aun Ali, one of the organisers of the march.

Our demands are constitutional and we make it clear as daylight that we will frame our politics and struggle well within the legal and constitutional framework, he added.

It is highly condemnable that people like Iqbal Lala, Mashal Khan’s father, are being charged with treason and sedition when no work has been done by governments to reduce right-wing extremism that took his son away from him.

“Muhammad Shabbir is fighting for the provision of a minimum wage for brick kiln workers, Ammar Ali Jan stands for an equal and inclusive educational structure, Farooq Tariq has been active for the rights of the poor and the destitute. If they are traitors, then include in the FIR the names of the Prime Minister Imran Khan, Fawad Chaudhary, Bilawal Bhutto, Shireen Mazari because they all have given statements endorsing our demands,” he argued.

Dr Ammar Ali Jan said these students are the real guarantors of the unity and security of the country and not those forces who want to divide them on the basis of ethnicity, religion, and gender. he warned that the students who represent the whole country will continue their peaceful struggle within the framework of the constitution for their rights and what the government can do is to lend an ear to us.

We are working on people’s rights which makes us more pro-people than this government. We will spread our message all over this country and its administered areas and such tactics of harassment won’t bring us down, they said.

The SAC leaders warned that if the frivolous cases were not dropped they will launch a countrywide protest against the crackdown and witch-hunting of their comrades.

Meanwhile, AWP leader Ammar Rashid echoed the same sentiments. He welcomed the Sindh government announcement about lifting a ban on student unions and termed it a step forward for achieving their main objective. He described the student march a great success which has changed the mainstream political discourse in the country.  According to Mr Rashid, it proved the fact that if the working people, students, and marginalised segments get united they can get their demands accepted and can set up a better and peaceful society based on justice, equality. He recalled that such hollow promises had been made in the past but no practical steps had been taken. He called for immediate action in introducing a bill in the provincial assembly and also include students’ representatives in the legislative process.

He condemned the crackdown on the organisers of the march in Lahore and abduction and torture of Alamgeer Wazir in police custody. He also took exception to social media campaigns and propaganda against the student march and clarified that they are not part of any conspiracy. “We are citizens of this country and want our basic rights through peaceful struggle,” he added

AWP statement on the victorious resolution to restore #StudentUnions #StudentSolidarityMarch

Posted by Awami Workers Party Rawalpindi-Islamabad on Monday, December 2, 2019

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