More than hundred students of the St Joseph College (Bangalore) gathered to mark their solidarity with human rights issues ranging from free Tibet to their solidarity with Sharmila Irom and all other human rights violations from across the globe. This included a long rally from the College campus to Town Hall. The authorities tried drive away the demonstrators in spite of the permissions. However the students did not give up and stood their ground in front of Town Hall for two hours in heavy rain. Activists, faculty members and students attended the rally and speeches were made by different activists and students raising their voice against human rights violations.
From the New Socialist Alternative (CWI-India), Saptarshi Banerjee spoke on the importance of standing in solidarity with the oppressed across the globe irrespective of caste, creed, race, nationality or ethnicity. He also spoke about importance of free media without the control of big corporations. Highlighted on the issue of Tamils in Sri Lanka, Kashmiris in J&K and Manipuris in the North East and the importance of Right to Self Determination.
He also pointed out how the same United Nations that come up with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, discriminates against different nations and people by the veto power of 5 most powerful nations. And finally he stressed on how freedom, as a part of human rights, cannot be a slave to a law or subjected to the whims and fancies of the state. Freedom has to freedom from all sorts of oppressions and no authority can remove a demonstration according to their decree.
The demonstration was marked by the wilful participation of students and activists. Not a single voice mellowed under pressure of the unruly authorities and nor did their enthusiasm waver because of the heavy downpour.