Youth

Comrades and supporters from around the world are continuing to put pressure on the Pakistani state to release the Marxist student activist, Rawal Asad, who is still being held on the scandalous charge of sedition and has been denied bail. Meanwhile, protests are ongoing in Pakistan, where comrades, students and workers are demanding that Rawal be immediately released.

A Marxist student comrade of the Progressive Youth Alliance, Rawal Asad, remains in jail on the charge of sedition, having had his bail hearing rejected. In addition to continued protest in Pakistan against this injustice, messages and photographs have been pouring in all week from all over the world demanding our comrade's release.

The worldwide solidarity campaign for the release of Rawal Asad, a comrade from the Progressive Youth Alliance who was arrested in Multan and scandalously charged with sedition by the Pakistani state, has forged on apace. Photographs, videos and messages of solidarity have been flooding in from all around the globe.

Last weekend, on Saturday 16 Feb, over 110 Marxists from all over Britain met in London to discuss the nature of work under capitalism, the history and role of Marxists in the labour movement, and how students can support the fight for socialism. Just one day after the historic school student climate strike, the energy and militancy amongst the youth was tangible.

An international solidarity campaign has been launched to demand the release of comrade Rawal Asad, who was arrested in Multan for the 'crime' of attending a protest. He faces a scandalous charge of sedition, which carries a sentence of 10 years to life in prison, and a judge has now officially denied his application for bail. In addition to demonstrations in Pakistan, comrades from all over the world have been protesting outside of Pakistani embassies, and sending pictures and messages of support calling

...

Today, the Additional Session judge in Multan rejected the bail application of Rawal Asad, though the written order will be given tomorrow. Rawal’s lawyer, Azhar Bukhari, presented a strong defence in front of the judge and argued that the case is fabricated from start to finish. He also cited precedent in many rulings of various courts in Pakistan over the past several decades, and pointed out that joining a protest is a basic democratic right of every citizen, as guaranteed by the constitution (for now).

At least 10,000 students across the UK walked out of school on Friday 15 February, marking the arrival of the international School Strike 4 Climate movement in Britain. This movement has already mobilised hundreds of thousands of students in over 40 countries, with young people around the world participating in incredibly militant strikes and marches – the aim of which is to force governmental action on climate change.

The ordeal of a Marxist student leader from Multan, Rawal Asad, seems to be unending. He is clearly being victimised through unlawful acts and a delaying of the court procedures. Today, once again it was made clear that no law exists in Pakistan, and the courts and lawyers are all part of a farcical façade, while the real power brokers rule unchallenged. The bail application for the fabricated case of sedition was due to be heard in a court in Multan today. But the judge delayed the hearing until the closing hours of the court. In the end, he said that he couldn't hear this case and that it should be referred to some other judge.

Rawal Asad, a Marxist student from Multan, was presented in court today after two days in police custody. The police reported to the court that they had completed their investigation and that they no longer required his physical custody. The lawyers of Rawal Asad moved a bail application, which will be heard tomorrow in the same court. Until then, he is being kept in jail.

The School Strike 4 Climate movement started in August last year, when one 15-year-old Swedish student, Greta Thunberg, walked out of her school to campaign against government inaction on climate change. The demonstrations have rapidly developed into a uniquely militant, global and organised youth movement.

Rawal Asad is an undergraduate student and political activist of Government Emerson College in Multan. On 5 February, he joined a protest called by the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) in Multan. They were protesting the killing of their leader, Arman Luni, who was a college professor and was killed in Balochistan a few days previously by a senior police officer, personally, by torture. The case of this murder has still not been registered. But the Multan Police registered a case against all the protestors, including Rawal Asad, charging them with sedition, among other things.

The marvellous national convention of the Progressive Youth Alliance was held in Lahore on 15 December, with the main demands of free education for all and restoration of student unions. Revolutionary students and unemployed youth from across the country gathered to discuss problems faced by the youth and how to organise to overcome them.

In Albania, since 4 December 2018, thousands of students have been continuously demonstrating against the degradation and injustices of the education system. The initial spark for these protests was an increase in tuition fees, cancelled by the government two days after the first demonstrations. But the demands of the students have now gone well beyond this initial grievance and target the generally poor conditions of public universities. Note: the student activist interviewed for this article is not affiliated with the IMT in any way, and we do not necessarily share all of their views.

Almost one year since the most widespread mass protests in the history of the Islamic Republic of Iran, there is no sign that the mood of anger and resentment has gone away. While that movement died down due to repression and a lack of leadership or organisation, further protests – as well as strike after strike – have been taking place on a daily basis ever since.

Following the motion (submitted by our comrades) that passed with strong majorities at student assemblies at l'université Paul-Valéry-Montpellier and Toulouse, another extremely radical resolution has been adopted by the Paris Nanterre University. It declares the university on strike, lays out a series of demands against Macron's educational counter-reforms, states its solidarity with the yellow vests, condemns police repression, calls for Macron's resignation and puts the word out for a delegate conference of representatives from Paris universities to

...

The following motion has been passed by student members of Révolution (the IMT in France) at a general assembly at l'université Paul-Valéry-Montpellier. It has also be raised at a student assembly in Toulouse (to be voted on today), and will be raised in Nanterre and Lyon. It states support for the yellow vest movement, and calls for a campaign of strikes to overthrow the hated Macron government.

On the weekend of 16 November 2018, the International Marxist Tendency (IMT) held its second Francophone school in Geneva. During those two days, more than 70 activists and sympathisers participated in the school, coming from Switzerland, Belgium, and France; as well as Quebec, England and Germany.

Join us