Asia

The Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA) organized a three-day Marxist School on 5, 6, and 7 August, 2016, in Rawalakot, Kashmir. 104 youth and workers from all over Pakistan came to participate, reaching Rawalakot on 4 August.

Those who rule through deceit, hypocrisy and violence always look over their shoulder for the creeping spectre of truth. They do so more restlessly as they begin to feel the march of history catching up to them and the antiquated system they rest their privileges on. And such is the epoch that we are entering today as capitalism has dug itself into the deepest crisis in its history. The crisis is so deep that it is no longer in the realm of absurdity for the ruling class to think that the only way out is to keep digging until they come out of the other side.

After being in jail for 3 months for the crime of defending workers’ interests, comrade Abdul Hakam (a member of Militan Indonesia, the IMT section in Indonesia, who is also a labour organizer for FSPBI-KASBI Gresik) and Agus Budiono (FSPBI-KASBI Gresik trade union activists) are free at last. They can finally be with their wife and kids again, hug their fellow comrades, and free from the steel bars that seek to crush their spirit. Militan Indonesia and IMT would like to send our deepest respect to both comrade Hakam and Agus for their bravery and self-sacrifice.

The politics of the ruling class time and time again affirms the famous saying of Marx: “First as tragedy, then as farce.” Here, the ex-Stalinist, now state-capitalist government of Vietnam has asserted its place in both the old tragedy and the new farce with respect to American imperialism.

More and more sections of the working class are coming out to protest for their demands as the economic crisis deepens in Pakistan. Last week saw huge protests of school teachers in Lahore against the privatization of schools. This week more protestors gathered in Lahore from various sections of society despite scorching heat and high temperatures of around forty-eight degrees celsius.

Privatization is top of the government’s agenda in Pakistan. All public sector institutions are being privatized rapidly, leading to unemployment of millions of workers. As a result, millions of families in Pakistan are being deprived of their small incomes and pushed further into poverty and misery. Along with that, the already shabby and dilapidated social infrastructure is being handed over to the vultures of private capital, who are tearing it apart, leaving the whole fabric of society in tatters.

On 27 April, the Baloch Students Organization (Pajjar) organized an event commemorating the 38th anniversary of the Saur Revolution of Afghanistan. The event was held in Baluchistan University. Besides students from the Baloch Students Organization, there were also students from the Pashtun Students Federation, the Baloch Action Committee along with progressive teachers, writers and intellectuals. All participants congratulated the BSO for organizing such an event.

On April 7th police brutally attacked protesting young doctors in Quetta, in which more than fifteen young doctors were severely injured and twenty arrested. Some of the injured doctors are in a serious condition and could lose their eyesight or become permanently paralyzed as a result of this attack.

On the morning of April 7th, 2016, comrade Abdul Hakam, a member of Militan Indonesia, the IMT section in Indonesia, was sent to jail for three months for his trade union activity. Hakam is a labour organizer for FSPBI-KASBI Gresik, one of a very few radical trade unions in Indonesia. Along with Agus Budiono, who is also from FSPBI-KASBI Gresik, he is charged under the “Unpleasant Act law” (Read Fight the Criminalization of Workers! Free Abdul Hakam and Agus Budiono). Their only crime is to be on the side of the workers.

On the evening of Sunday, 28 March, a suicide bomber blew himself up in a children’s park in Lahore. At least 72 deaths have so far been confirmed and more than 250 are reported injured. This is yet another in the series of terrorist attacks continuing in this “land of the pure” in recent years.

The workers of Pakistan International Airlines have been at the forefront of the class struggle over the last few months. Rob Sewell, the editor of Socialist Appeal, spoke to leading trade union activists at the Lahore airport about their recent battles.

Seventy students turned up to a lecture to listen to Rob Sewell, the editor of Socialist Appeal, speak on the subject of "What is Marxism?" at the Government College University in Lahore.

Yesterday the first meeting was held of the Coordinating Committee of the Pakistan IMT that was elected last weekend at the Unity Conference. The 19 members of the Committee represented every area of the country: Pashtoonkhwa, Kashmir, Islamabad, Taxila/Wah, Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Dadu, Karachi and Balochistan.

The second day of the Unity Conference opened with recitals of revolutionary poetry and songs. The enthusiastic mood of yesterday was carried over into today’s session and if anything was even more exhilarating.

“The mood was electric. People were listening so attentively you could hear a pin drop. They were listening not only with their ears but with their heart and soul”. These words by one of the delegates at the Unity Conference express very well the mood of this important meeting, which marks a new beginning for the forces of Marxist Internationalism in Pakistan.

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