An international day of action was planned today 4 March 2019 by workers, students and revolutionary activists in different cities around the world. The purpose was to appeal to Pakistani state to release Rawal Asad and to end sedition charges against him. Rawal is still in jail, and the judiciary is delaying his bail and case hearing.
In Toronto, activists organised a protest in front of Pakistani consulate. They chanted slogans and hold placards demanding Rawal’s release. Despite the peaceful protest, the embassy officials called the police to harass and intimidate the activists. The activists remained calm and carried on their protest and later presented their demands to the embassy officials. Capitalists in both countries have a cosy relationship when it comes to the purpose of attacking workers rights. Canadian fossil fuel mining and other extractive companies are investing heavily in Pakistan alongside arming Pakistani state through arms exports. Pakistani capitalists are also landing their illegal money in Canada often in speculative investments contributing to inflation. Only through working-class solidarity and joint struggle against capitalism can ensure end state oppression on people including activists like Rawal Asad who is held in jail by the state on sedition charges. Activists planned to continue the struggle until Rawal’s release.
Students and activists also initiated a phone call campaign in which they circulated phone numbers to their fellow students and workers to call the embassy of Pakistan and register their protest. Through this activists were successful in putting pressure on Pakistani embassy officials for Rawal’s release. Activists highlighted that the state is a party to the case of sedition filed against Rawal. The case was filed in an intentions manner to incite fear among young student activists like Rawal who are at the forefront of the struggle against privatization and marketisation of social services including education. All Pakistani capitalists and corrupt officials of the state lands their illegal money in the USA. Often this money is used in speculative investments contributing to the rise in the cost of living for American working class. Furthermore, this illegal money is one of the main attraction of American capitalists who are lobbying for state administration to beef up defense and security budget at the expense of American taxpayers to fund wars and supporting dictators in Pakistan. Last week activists protested in front of New York Pakistani Consulate in which they raised slogans and made electrified speeches. Participants demanded Rawal’s release and also end to state persecution of activists in Pakistan. Only through international solidarity and a joint struggle between American and Pakistani workers would ensure the end of atrocities and oppression against Pakistani activists including Rawal Asad.
Students and workers organised a protest outside Pakistani High Commission in London. The protest started after midday and lasts for more than an hour. Participants raised slogans for Rawal Asad’s release. Speeches were made highlighting the gravity of the situation in which Rawal Asad is facing along with activists in Pakistan who are fighting for the rights of oppressed people. The need for international solidarity was strongly emphasised. All corrupt state officials and dictators in Pakistan who are playing havoc on people’s lives have their wealth and properties in cities like London and New York. Their sons and daughters are having lavish holiday homes and enjoy the best of taxpayer-funded social services in Britain. The illegal money entering the UK often lands in speculative investments contributing to the housing crisis and price increase of every commodity for ordinary working class British. The British capitalists have no problems with illegal money entering in the UK from Pakistani and are OK with the oppression and brutalities of their Pakistani counterparts, i.e. capitalists and the ruling elite. Only through working-class solidarity and joint struggle we can end the menace of exploitation which is driving down living and working condition for working classes in both the countries. Solidarity with Rawal Asad is a great show of a strong international solidarity link by British working class for struggling Pakistani workers. Participants presented a petition signed by 1400 people to the Pakistani High Commissioner demanding Rawal release. Participants vow to keep the struggle strong until Rawal’s release.
Belgian workers and students organised a protest outside the Pakistani embassy in Brussels. They held placards and also raised slogans for Rawal Release. Activists highlighted the case of increasing persecution of Pakistani state authorities and demand the government to withdraw the police’s fake case of sedition against Rawal which carries a charge of minimum ten years jail time. Rawal Asad was protesting peacefully and has never been violent in any of the protests he participated in Pakistan. Through this solidarity message, activists proved that workers and students in the heart of Europe are with Rawal Asad and his comrades in times of need. Activists will take this solidarity message to workplaces and universities demanding Rawal Release and also ask Pakistani government to stop persecuting activists who are genuinely struggling for the rights of workers and students in a country like Pakistan where workers are facing the worst of capitalist crisis.
In Switzerland, activists held a protest in front of the Pakistan embassy in Bern. Police tried to shield the embassy from the protest, but eventually after five persons were allowed to enter who handed an open letter to the embassy staff. The letter was signed (among many others) by a national MP of the JUSO and the president of the Basel section of the Socialist Party:
Workers and activists also participated in a protest outside the Pakistani embassy in Athens. They hold placards and raised slogans. Like Greeks, Pakistani workers and students are facing the worst of their times with declining living standards and international monetary banks and corporations squeezing wealth from people into offshore accounts. There are thousands of Pakistani migrants living in Greece to escape the declining economic conditions in their country brought by the same financial institutions and corporations. International solidarity of Greeks workers with their fellow Pakistani workers shows the power of internationalism which will be instrumental in Rawal Asad’s release.
In Sao-Paulo activists visited the office of The Pakistani Consular and presented him with the letter demanding the release of Rawal Asad. The Consular took the letter from the activists and promised to communicate to the state authorities in Pakistan asking for Rawal’s release. Brazil is the largest and more resourceful country in South America. However, the Brazilian working class is also a victim of massive wealth extraction by global corporations resulting in increasing behind poverty. A joint struggle of working-class students and workers can only guarantee the end of such miseries and a better condition for activists like Rawal Asad to support students and workers in peacefully gaining their rights.
Workers activists held single pickets near the Pakistani Embassy in Moscow and submitted a letter to the ambassador, the prime minister and the Chief Justice of Pakistan demanding an end to the persecution against Rawal Asad. It is illegal to hold pickets in Moscow therefore activists have to confine to single standing outside the embassy.
Students in mexico city protested in front of Pakistani Embassy demanding release of Rawal Asad. They are send video message showing their complete solidarity with Pakistani students and workers.
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