Tag Archives: protest

Fifteen thousand workers on strike

Since there’s more to Pakistan than mullah madness. One of the striking features of Pakistan’s economic landscape are the sheer number of workers’ protests and strikes that happen here. Labor violations are flagrant, and workers demonstrations are heated. Last week, fifteen thousand workers went on strike in one of the largest protests of shipbreaking workers in Gadani, a small town on the southern tip of Balochistan, Pakistan’s largest and most destitute province. A friend went to check out their protest, and we’ve pulled together a video:

Some details on the strike:

Interestingly enough, despite crises in other national industries, ship-breaking in Gadani has actually seen a boon in business over the past two years, owing partly to a government decision to cut the import duty on arriving ships. Moreover, the worldwide crisis has even benefited yard owners, as a slumping shipping industry has been discarding defunct ships at lower-than-usual prices….

According to the union, this recovery has gone hand-in-hand with super-profits for the yard’s owners. In a recent press conference held while negotiations were still ongoing, representatives from GSBDWU highlighted, in some detail, the miniscule fraction of total revenue which accrues to workers. An additional chunk-roughly as high as a third of the amount made by the workers, collectively–is taken by the contractor, or jamadar (under Pakistani labor law, it bears repeating, this arrangement–whereby employers wash their hands of responsibility to their workers through a system of contractor-based employment-is manifestly illegal; yet you would be hard-pressed to find a company, in any industry, innocent of the practice). It scarcely needs to be reiterated that the rampant inflation of recent years has rendered the workers’ share in wages entirely inadequate. Moreover, at the aforementioned press conference it was added that workers find themselves pitilessly exploited as consumers, too-food in the few canteens made available to them sells at extortionate prices.

Arguably even more damning than these levels of exploitation, though, are the horrific conditions in which Gadani’s workers toil. The absence of safety equipment and regulations have been the central tenet of the union’s recent campaign-workers are denied goggles, harnesses, belts, etc., and there are no emergency medical facilities in the near vicinity. As a result, a staggering eighteen workers have died, on the job, in this year alone-the most recent man was only twenty-five years-old. He fell to his death while climbing an oil-coated ladder in near-darkness last week.

Read Adaner’s full article here.

Tagged , , , , ,

The Army that owns a state: Protest!

Karachi based activists have organized a protest against the recent attacks of the Pakistani Army on Pakistani which resulted in numerous civilian deaths.

  • April 16, 2010
  • 4-6pm
  • Karachi Press Club

This is their press statement:

Protest Military Action! 73 Civilians Killed In Raid By Pakistani Army Jet

More than 73 civilians have been killed in an air strike by a Pakistani Army jet on a remote village in the country’s troubled North-West, media reports said Tuesday.

A unnamed military official disclosed that the bombing in the tribal Khyber region took place on Saturday, but news of the operation emerged only now.

The same jet was also used for bombing Taliban positions in neighboring Orakzai tribal region where the militants fled to in the wake of the Pakistani Army’s major push to snuff out Taliban strongholds in the Swat region.

Reports of those killed in air strikes in the area vary greatly with the Army terming them militants while locals say there were several civilian casualties as well.

According to the official, initial reports indicated that the military jet strayed from its course and mistook a village for a Taliban camp resulting in the deaths of civilians.

The injured are being treated under heavy guard at the Hayatabad medical complex in Peshawar and reporters have been barred from speaking to the survivors.

Moreover, in a bid to contain the fallout, the Pakistani Army establishment has imposed a “gag clause” preventing military personnel from divulging operational details including deaths of civilians to media.

It is said the Army is under severe pressure from the U.S. to go after Taliban militants in the restive tribal areas bordering Afghanistan and the ongoing offensive against insurgents has displaced close to one million residents of the region.


Tagged , , , ,

Iran Protests Continue; 13 dead

Thirteen people are dead in Iran today after protests continued despite government restrictions causing the Obama administration to issue a statement this afternoon to the Iranian govenment. Borrowing verbiage from the left, Obama told the Iranian regime that “the world is watching.”  TPM has more. A useful news video from al-Jazeera English about the political battle within the Iranian clergy:

This is a very graphic video of a protester being shot by the Basiji. The footage remains unverified, but has found its way on Twitter and other blogs. The woman is being named as Nada. An anonymous dispatch from Iran here, and an excellent view from the streets of Tehran by the NYT’s Roger Cohen here. Cohen is one of the few western reporters still on the ground, and his past columns have also been enlightening. Thank you, Mr. Cohen.

Tagged , , , , ,

Letter from Iran 1: Monday’s Protest

iran 6The name and other information of the author has been removed to protect his/her identity.

Dear all,

Following the flood of emails I received after my first brief (I never felt this popular!), here is a follow-up on yesterday’s extraordinary march.

I’ve never been good at math but it’s my guess that more than a million people showed up at yesterday’s (Monday 15 June) peaceful demonstration. Sunday night on the streets, people were passing around the info of the gathering to each other. Everyone was on their cell phones. But Monday morning, alarming messages started coming in: security forces have closed off the parameters of the demo and aren’t allowing anyone in, security forces have been given the go-ahead to fire on the crowd, Mousavi has denied responsibility for the event, etc. A lot of us felt that even if this march happens, it’ll be small and unsuccessful.

We waited for live news from downtown and when a friend called one hour before the official start of the march to say that everything looked calm, we headed down to Enghelab. On the way down, the streets were deserted, no riot police anywhere. Shops and businesses were shutting down early. Friends working an an international company got permission to leave at mid day to take part in the march (I’m sure a lot of Iranian employers did the same). A cabbie took us as close as possible to the start of the march, and while walking toward the venue, the crowd started getting thicker.

It just sort of happened: us suddenly reaching Enghelab street and becoming part of a marching group on the sidewalk. It didn’t feel big or historical at first. Just kids like us walking in the same direction. Slowly however, with the feed of people from incoming streets, the space around us started getting tighter and the way ahead less visible. By the time we reached Enghelab Square, we were already amazed by the numbers. We thought: if this stops here, we’ve already accomplished our goal. Initially, the sidewalks on both sides of the street were overtaken, then the entire street. Cars stuck in traffic turned their engines off — the mass of people made it impossible for them to move.

All throughout, we were instructed by volunteers not to shout slogans, not to clap hands, not to make any noise. “Sokout behtarin e’teraz ast” (Silence is the best criticism), depriving security forces with an excuse to use violence. Remarkably, people accepted the injunction. For the first half of the four hours we marched, people marched in silence, raising only their hands in the V for victory sign and waiving green banners and ribbons. Here and there, people held posters of Mousavi or hand-made placards in english or farsi reading “Where is my vote?” or “Am I the trash?” (a reference to a speech Ahmadinejad gave Sunday to his supporters where he dismissed the protest/violence of the previous days as the work of a few “homosexuals and trash”).

The overcast weather turned into sun and the crowd became so compact that you could feel the body warmth of the people around you. Our pace was very slow, sometimes halted. The opposite traffic lane of Enghelab became occupied as well. As far behind and as far ahead as the eye could see, there were people. I couldn’t believe it, given the bad omens of the morning that had probably kept a good number of people at home.

Riot police were present around Enghelab Square but once we passed that, not a single one was seen until and including the final destination, Azadi square. A small number of traffic policemen dotted the way, smiling at the crowd and raising their hands in the V-sign. Chadori women were in the crowd, a green band tied around their forehands in the palestinian street fighter style. People around us were sharing shreds of their green ribbon. Volunteers reminded us to stay quiet, just raise our hands. The discipline of the crowd was amazing. At one point, the halts in the movement due to the sheer numbers of people became difficult to bear. Claustrophobia set in with each forced pause. On balconies and rooftops of the buildings lining the avenue, people came out, either observing or raising their hands in support of the marchers. Others dumped out shredded newspapers in the old-fashion american election campaign tactic. Others sprayed cool water on the overheated crowd below. Government employees watched silently behind lowered iron curtains (Enghelab is lined with various government offices). Overhead passes became clogged with people. Still no violence, no sloganeering.

Then the roar started behind us. At first we thought it was just another spontaneous eruption of excitement (there were many of those, quickly put down by the crowd itself, respectful of the demand to remain silent) but the sound just became louder. The sky had turned grey again. From the middle lane, people seemed to be moving to the sides. Then the chant reached us and we understood what was happening: “Mousavi, Mousavi hemayatat mikonim!” (Mousavi, Mousavi, we stand behind you). Mousavi and his crew rolled by in front of us, the crowed on all sides leaning toward the cars to catch a glimpse of him and make sure that their support had been personally registered. Mousavi’s appearance broke the taboo on silence. From then onwards (we are now roughly halfway), the crowd chanted non-stop. “Mousavi, parcham e Iran-e mano pas begir” (Mousavi, retrieve the flag of my Iran), “Mousavi, rai e mano pas begir” (Mousavi, go get my vote back), “Hale ye nour o dide, rai e ma ro nadide” (He saw the light, he didn’t see our votes, a reference to Ahmadinejad’s claiming to having seen the light of Imam Mahdi carrying him spiritually during his first speech at the UN), “Ta Ahmadinejad e, har rouz hamin basat e” (Until Ahmadinejad is there, everyday will be like this), “In 63 dar sad ke migand kou?” (Where are the 63% — of AN’s voters that is), “Khash o khashok to i, doshman e Iran to i” (You are the trash, you are Iran’s enemy”), “Dolat-e coup d’etat, estefa’ estefa'” (asking the coup d’etat government to resign), “Dorough gou, dorough gou” (Lier, lier) and so many more. Interestingly, openly hostile slogans such as “Marg bar dictator” (Death to the dictator) which had been heard in previous days were immediately put down by the crowd.

“Allah-o Akbar” was heard frequently. As I mentioned in my previous email, this comes across as very Islamic, and therefore its use in a pro-reform march is confusing. I believe it is intended to show respect for religion and therefore the non-elected core of the regime who can still decide on the fate of these elections and show the unity of Iranians despite the turmoil. It could also mean: God is great and truth will prevail.

After Mousavi’s fleeting appearance, it was Karroubi’s turn to show up on the steps of a mosque. The crowd cheered heavily for Karroubi, the firebrand cleric who had made his dislike for Ahmadinejad well known in the pre-election debates. “Karroubi, Mousavi, etehad, etehad” (Karroubi, Mousavi, unity, unity”) was the chant. Further down,the crowd turned toward the students of Sanad’e Sharif University, clogged behind the building’s railing and perched on all rooftops, and chanted “Daneshjou, daneshjou, hemayatat mikonim” (Student, student, we support you).

The most exhilarating point of this four-hour march was when Enghelab widened on both sides and the middle of the street dipped into a small tunnel. People had crowded the overpass. For the first time, through the angle offered by the tunnel, one could get more than an emotion-based count of the crowd. Ahead of the sloping tunnel, Azadi square, the only monument built by the shah and still standing, was visible — or barely visible, engulfed in a crowd that circled for hundreds of meters around it. Behind, the roar and movement of a crowd that stretched back to where it all started, Enghelab square. On the overpass, hundreds of people cheering. Underneath, our voices became echoed in the tunnel’s void. A state helicopter flew overhead, everyone turned toward it and waved good-bye.

At Azadi, we turned around and started walking in the opposite direction just to get another sense of how far back the crowd stretched. But the real sense came when we took an overpass bridge. Some say the crowd was bigger than that which greeted Ayatollah Khomeini on his return to Iran in 1979. I don’t know, and again I’m not good at math but my take is that those newspapers that wrote about “many thousands” or even “100,000” were WAY off the mark. A journalist friend said that someone had tried calculating by multiplying the length of the march by the width of the street and had come up with 7 million. That would be half the greater Tehran’s population…I’ll leave it to staticians to decide. In my no-math mind, there were millions of people and the goal of denouncing a rigged election, showing widespread popular resistance and the triumph of peace over violence was well accomplished.

Later that night however, violence did occur, leaving one dead. The circumstances are not clear but a friend was close to the scene. She said that without any sign of a fight, random shots were fired at the crowd. State media report another 7 wounded.

Today, another gathering (the word sounds so unfit to describe the masses of yesterday!) is planned at 5pm at Vali-e Asr square. Rumors are already going around that Ahmadinejad supporters are planning their own demonstration at the same place at 3pm. Whether they will linger around enough to spark violence with the Mousavi crowd, no one can tell. Hopefully, the relative peace of yesterday will prevail.



Tagged , , , ,

Letter from Iran 3: Dynamics of the Movement

iran 4As before, the name and identity of the author have been removed to protect his/her identity.

The third march – at Haft-e Tir square on  17th June. I did not attend but everyone reported massive turnout and a very peaceful, silent demonstration.  Since I have little to report on day three, some other points that appear very important to me to raise:

Away from the large crowds and the relative protection of the capital, smaller towns people in the provinces are much more exposed and vulnerable to violence by the local militias. There is virtually no media coverage of what is happening in Tabriz, Shiraz, Esfahan, Bushehr. Bandar Abbas. To the extent that we have information, it is because volunteers are putting a lot on the line to film and photograph and the very gruesome situation in these cities. It takes a lot of courage for students and demonstrators to go out on the streets of Esfahan when the prosecutor general of that province has declared that all kinds of illegal gatherings are against Islam and the law of the Islamic Republic and can be punishable by death. It takes a lot of courage and guts to protest anywhere in this country where you are not protected by your numbers (let alone the police and the justice system) and where you are vulnerable to attack (like in student dorms).

On a more positive note …the dynamics of this movement are becoming more and more creative. From the moment everybody embraced silence as the best form of criticism, supporters from their cars switched from honking their horns to using their flasher. Last night, as I drove home, I noticed the blinkers in oncoming traffic (coming actually from the direction of Haft-e Tir Square). I didn’t take long to spread the message. Soon, everyone around was switching their flasher on, an act reflective of a truth that has been firmly established now after five consecutive days of protest: silence is speaking very loudly indeed.

Fourth march – today, 18 June. As I am typing, cries of Allah-o Akbar are resonating all throughout my neighborhood, despite the stormy weather (this takes place every night between 9 and 11 in sign of protest). The fourth march started from Toup Khoune Square. Marchers took Ferdowsi Street until Ferdowsi Square where they swerved onto Enghelab Street and dispersed around Tehran University. The word given out was that this event was to be a strictly silent mourning march to commemorate and honor the people who have died in the last couple of days. Everyone was wearing black and black ribbons were being distributed to wear alongside the green ribbon, around the wrist or pinned to the chest, tied to a backpack or worn across the forehead. Little pieces of paper printed with slogans such as “Blood? Why” were passed around for people to wear.

As I mentioned in my previous email, today made it very clear that the dynamics of the movement are constantly evolving. From the first march where the only focus was on Mousavi/ people’s vote to Mousavi, today’s slogans touched on issues of freedom/justice/innocent people dying for a just cause. The posters of Mousavi of day one have given way to posters expressing deeper themes, and the deeper problems that exist in this country. “Democracy does not equal Dead Student”, “Stop Killing Us”, “We are not rioters”, “Silence is not acceptance”, “The key to victory: Calmness, Hope and Patience”.

About the march: it was entirely silent and peaceful. No riot police anywhere. Ferdowsi was entirely closed off but on Enghelab, cars were painfully trying to keep one lane open. The drivers were stuck in pretty bad traffic, but to the marchers waiving their V-signs to them, a great majority of them would smile and respond with the same. A bus driver was filming on Enghelab. When asked how far ahead and how far back the march stretched, he smiled and said: a long way. The crowd was mixed: young people mostly but a considerable number of parents with small children and elderly people, chadori women and even a mollah.

On Enghelab, where the marchers were cut off from the sidewalks by tall metal railing, shopkeepers and passer-bys volunteered to take people’s empty water bottles and refill them with fresh cool water from the watering hoses. At one point, a motorcycle stuck on the sidewalk with an overheated engine started making weird noises. The elderly woman next to me immediately panicked and rushed to her husband saying: it looks like they’re shooting. Later on, a wave of panic went over the crowd and everyone ran for cover while ducking with their hands over their heads. No one knows why, it was over in seconds.

At the end of the march, a very emotional moment. At dusk in front of Tehran University, people lit candles in remembrance of those killed in the violence of the past few days, then dispersed quietly.


Tagged , , ,

Letter from Iran 2

iran 5The name of the person has been removed to protect his/her identity.

Dear all,

Tuesday June 16, people took to the streets for the second consecutive day.

From noon onwards, we must have changed our minds ten times about whether or not to go. The main reason was that Ahmadinejad supporters suddenly planned a demonstration of their own at the very same spot where the Mousavi supporters intended to gather two hours later. The main concern was whether the first group would linger around until the second group came on the scene, and whether that would result in violent confrontation. The second concern was that none of the pro-reform alliance — Mousavi, Karroubi and officials from their circle — can openly throw their support behind any kind of public event. If they do, they can be accused of violating the law, if they don’t, thousands of supporters are left wondering what to do. Thankfully, a great majority of people have understood this and taken upon themselves to be out there; they have understood that peaceful public action doesn’t need to be sanctioned by anyone, it is a right of the people. In this sense, Mousavi’s presence or non-presence in the demonstrations, his approval or non-approval is slowly taking second place to the events and dynamics people are creating on their own.

Mousavi did not appear at yesterday’s march which spanned — with empty patches here and there — Vali-e Asr Square to Park Way. His name was chanted, his posters were carried but the crowd was not left wondering: where is he? And that is because the marches have taken on a life of their own, and the demand for justice is now stronger than its figurehead. Placards yesterday were more diversified and more daring than the day before. One man was going around with a poster carrying pictures of graphic scenes of violence from the previous day (state media report 7 killed, rumors report many many more). Slogans also took on a bit of an edge. As during the first march, people remained silent during the first half. Some people had tied a green ribbon around their mouths while others carried the corresponding poster: “Our silence is green”. A group of chadori women were gathered on the sidewalk holding hand-made placards of bright green background that asked: Did our martyrs die so that more blood could be spilled? Volunteers were handing out posters of Mousavi and green ribbons so that everyone had at least something to show the state helicopter which hovered overhead like the day before.

Once we reached the headquarters of state TV and radio (Sar o Sima — a vast expanse of land between Niyayesh and Park Way), the crowd came to a halt. Both sides of Vali-e Asr and both sidewalks were full of people. The furthest northerly point was Park Way (where police prevented the crowd from moving forward) while southward, people kept moving up in the thousands. At 9pm, when we started heading back south, people were still walking up to hit Park Way and turn back again. Sar o Sima was very under-guarded given the circumstances. Again, riot police was nowhere to be seen, at least in the distance that I covered (Vanak Square to Park Way). Once the crowd stalled for good, people were instructed to sit down. A friend and I spotted young guys taking over what had been the Borj restaurant/disco before the revolution and setting camp. Attracted by the great vantage point the building offered, we made our way up the dilapidated fire staircase and onto the crumbling ruins of the former house of forbidden pleasures. Vali-e Asr is lined with beautiful and very old leafy plane trees, so the visibility up and down wasn’t perfect but my estimate is that close to a million people came out. Less than the day before, but mission accomplished nonetheless.

The crowd never kept its seated position for very long. Karroubi is supposed to have made an appearance somewhere although I did not see him. Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani (Rafsanjani’s daughter who has done a lot for women’s sports in Iran) also made her way through the crowd at the back of a pick-up truck. Blue veil, black chador, all smiles and holding a green ribbon. “Hashemi, Mousavi, hemayat, hemayat” (Hashemi, Mousavi, support, support) hailed her presence while “Hashemi, saket koni, khaeni” (Hashemi, if you’re silent you’re a traitor) reminded her father that he is expected to break his silence and take a stance on the current events. Faezeh’s presence did the trick. Thousands of cameras and cell phones were turned her way. Even from a distance, people were painstakingly stretching their cameras at arm’s length in the hope that the lens would catch what they could not see. People excitedly turned to each other: it’s Faezeh!, the simple use of her first name immediately endearing her as a fellow member of the resistance. On the sidewalks, people were elbowing viciously to get a glimpse of her. A slogan started, bringing tears to many eyes: “Baradar-e shahidam, rai-e to pas migiram” (My martyred brother, I will reclaim your vote — a generic singular referring to all those who died in the shootings and violence of the day before).

We walked on toward Park Way where policemen were turning people around. So we turned around, passed the barbed wire wall onto which people were tacking posters, pictures and messages. We passed the Borj, now deserted. On the street, many were still marching in the dusk toward Park Way, some in line formation carrying large plastic banners inscribed with the well-heard slogans. One group carried flowers, a reminder of the 1979 protests when women marched up to soldiers and stuck flowers in the barrel of their rifles. Some marchers started talking of glitches with riot police stationed below, but these were denied by other marchers (according to friends, violence did erupt badly that night in and around Vanak square — I mention this area because it was on the trajectory of the march, but other areas were probably also the focus of violence. A video is going around on mobile phones showing a 50-something woman who beat a riot police to death with a brick).

We reached the intersection with Mirdamad and having decided that we had once again taken a small step in history, headed for a chelo kabab.


Tagged , , ,

Iran: A Primer for CNN

IRAN ELECTIONcourtesy of Twitter. Thousands of users of the social networking site criticized CNN’s abysmal coverage of the protests in Iran on their Twitter feeds, so much so that the network was forced to respond.  Here’s an article about it from the NYT. CNN anchor Howard Kurtz defended the network by explaining that its coverage sucked less than the other networks.  +_+ Colour me unimpressed.

I don’t want to wax too euphoric about Twitter here, but it is certainly interesting that apparently neutral technologies can be deployed to register transnational protest.  Tweets are now coming in asking Twitter users to change the time and home listing on their accounts to Tehran in order to confuse the Iranian censors. Who says international solidarity is dead? It may only be episodic for now, but it makes one wonder what implications there are for a) modes of resistance and b) the configuration of the nation-state as younger generations learn to think of themselves as part of these networks which may themselves become more transnational.

Flash protests organized via Twitter are only the latest version of a common practice: using text messages to organize instantaneous protests. That method has been common in Iran, Pakistan, Palestine and well really, any place where cell phones have been cheaper and penetrated more deeply than the Internet. But CNN’s talking heads, with their usual astuteness, put it down to a copycat of the Obama campaign.

Right.  Our nationalisms are modular and now, even our potential revolutions are unoriginal. Dammit.

[Image: AP]

Tagged , , , , ,

Pakistan: A Primer for the New York Times

These are a couple of reminders for the paper of record:

  1. It’s the social forces, stupid.
  2. When writing editorials, making sense is a Good Thing.

Let’s start with the first. Here’s the lede to the NYT story announcing the reinstatement of the Chief Justice:

LAHORE, Pakistan — The Pakistani government agreed early on Monday to reinstate the independent-minded former chief justice of the Supreme Court, a stunning concession to the opposition leader Nawaz Sharif, who had been heading toward the capital in a convoy threatening to stage a mass protest over the issue after he broke free from house arrest at his residence near here.

This is just wrong. The concession was not to Nawaz Sharif; it was to the lawyers’ movement, you know, those thousands who have been marching in the streets defying government repression and getting their heads bashed in by the police.  Those people. The concession is to them. And while Nawaz Sharif and his party have been pushing for the reinstatement of the judiciary, the movement does not belong to them. They belong to the movement. The Sharif brothers know this. In fact, they’ve glommed on to the movement in a shrewd political manoeuvre to polish-up their tarnished image, and it’s a tenuous alliance.

Click here for more

Tagged , , , , , ,

Deal Deadlock: Zardari Says No

The News reports that a possible deal, backed by London, Washington and the Pakistani military, to reconcile the PML-N and Pres. Zardari has collapsed. The measure which would have included an end to governor’s rule in Punjab and dialogue on the reinstatement Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, was flatly rejected by Zardari. Dawn reports:

…by late evening, all hopes of a possible breakthrough fell apart as, according to a high level government source, the message from the PML-N was that it was not prepared to given any concessions unless the government agreed to restore the deposed chief justice.

Sources said that this was enough to annoy President Zardari, who was already adamant to go ahead with his earlier decisions of using strong-arm tactics to deal with the lawyers and opposition members.

Hopes were high, and intense efforts were underway for the last three days to broker the deal with the various parties urging Gilani to persuade the president. General Kayani met with the Prime Minister on Thursday to discuss the new arrangements. US special envoy Richard Holbrooke had also encouraged accomodation in talks with Zardari and Gilani while US Ambassador to Pakistan, Anne Patterson reached out to Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday.

But, despite a midnight meeting on Friday, Zardari remained adamant to the disappointment of the Prime Minster. The News reports:

‘Yes, I can consider these options as part of a new reconciliation deal but only after March 16 so that no one should think that I had taken the decision under pressure from the foreign or local forces,’ a source quoted the president as telling his two guests at the Presidency

Meanwhile, the massive crackdown continues with dozens of activists, lawyers and political leaders being arrested in the NWFP yesterday, reports the BBC. Over 1000 activists and opposition leaders have been jailed or put under house arrest. Lawyers and others have gone into hiding in and around Islamabad. Protesters are hoping to make their way into the capital in small groups.

And finally, offices of Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) were raided. Office equipment and party flags were taken by the police.  The leader of the party, legendary cricketeer turned politician Imran Khan expressed resolve to continue the struggle to restore the judiciary.

Tagged , , , , ,

NYC Protest for Geo TV and Lawyers

[Check out the post on the ban against Geo TV here.]

NY Pakistanis are staging a protest in NY to show solidarity with Geo TV and the Lawyers’ Movement. Please participate and inform your contacts in New York to do so. Details are below:

What: Protest in solidarity with GEO and in support of Lawyers Movement.

Where: 786 Coney Island Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11218

Organized by: Pak American Society

Time: 7 PM EST

Speakers: Qazi Hussain Ahmed, Imran Khan, Ali Ahmed Kurd

This will be followed by a conference called “Jeevay Pakistan” addressing the challenges in Pakistan

Speakers: Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, former President Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Aitzaz Ahmed and PML-N Information Secretary Ahsan Iqbal.

Tagged , ,