Thank you comrades & friends, #ResistTrump event in Bangalore was a phenomenal success.
We would specially thank the following who made this #ResistTrump special & unique by sending voice & mail messages to be played and read out at the protest venue in Bangalore. Binu Mathew (Editor Counter Currents, Kerala), B.Buresha (Cine Director and Theatre Dreamer from Bangalore Karnataka, Who organises Workers in Entertainment Industry of Karnataka, Supporter and Sponsor of Rs.100/- an hour Minimum Wage Campaign) Fiona O’Loughlin (an exceptional Irish socialist woman from the land of James Conolly) , Weizemann Hamilton (General Secretary, Workers And Socialist Party (WASP), South Africa), K P Sasi (People’s Celebrity, Film Maker, anti-nuclear activist.) Kshama Sawant (celebrated Socialist Councillor from the City of Seattle, a leading Socialist Politician of USA, a fighting woman for the oppressed around the world) Suvrat Raju (Scientist, anti-nuclear activist and writer)
The ‘Bangalore Joins Global Resistance to Trump’ was a remarkable event, as we joined the #ResistTrump movement that has engulfed and raged around the world in continents.
Though, the numbers were not commensurate as we expected (due to another rally/march held by the women’s organisation fighting Misogyny and Sexual Harassment, and a seminar on Demonetisation of Indian Currency, clashed with the timings of our event), nevertheless, the protest event was attended by the members of Karnataka Tamil Makkal Iyakkam (KTMI), Students Christian Movement of India(SCMI), Students Islamic Organisation (SIO), Students from Mount Carmel College, Bank Workers Union, and of course there was this good presence of uniformed and un-uniformed policemen around.
The speakers at the event were Rajan Cinnaiah, President of KTMI, who inaugurated the event and spoke in chaste Tamil and said, why Imperialism has to be fought tooth and Nail. He gave a call to all those fighters, that the linguistic minorities such as Tamils, Kannadigas, Malayalees, and Telugu people have a common cause to unite against the inland Indian and foreign Imperialism. Protesting the Xenophobic, Islamophobic, Sexist and Misogynist Trump is more a bounden duty rather than a routine solidarity issue.
Amar Mansoor of SIO was very eloquent and brought the perspective of how all the minorities of the world have to stand together, he also spoke about Rohit Vemula and Najeeb of JNU, how they have been treated here, and drew parallels of what Trump, Modi & Putin of Russia represent and the common dictatorial agendas they have.
Naveen Angamuttu of New Socialist Alternative-Bangalore spoke with particular reference to on the Jallikattu protests erruption in Tamilnadu, explained very rightly saying “there is a lot of confusion among the people that why a feudal ritual is being revived and why Tamils are so enraged about the issue. Tamils are not asking the revival of Jallikattu, Behind the protests and the anger, the enormous failure of the ruling classes to solve the basic problems are the driving force, the vanished OX breeds, and the impoverishment of the Peasants and marginal farmers and the pent up anger surrounding the Indian Govt’s treatment of Eelam issue are all revisiting in an unconscious manner, that has brought the young masses of Tamilnadu to streets.”
Dakerlin Mukhim of SCM who is from the sate of Meghalaya, who said “first I thought why protest a guy who has just been elected in a far of country, but once I came here, and heard the speakers and understood the nitty-gritty of the issue, I thought every one on earth must protest Trump and Trumpism” In their messages of Solidarity co thinkers and comrades of New Socialist Alternative, echoed very radical stand against trump and the need to build the resistance. Celebrated film maker, and the producer of America America Music video K.P. Sasi (which has been viewed more than a million times across the globe!) in his written message said “We are all aware that the victory of Trump in the presidential elections in the United States has serious implications to the marginalised sections not only in America, bu also all over the world. Given the context of the present political leadership in India, the victory of Trump can have serious implications on countries like India also. Therefore the call given for global resistance against Trump will serve us in such a way to prepare ourselves for the upcoming disasters India and the world may face in the near future.
The racist, anti-woman, anti-LGBTQ, anti-minority, anti-immigrant and working class political stand of Donald Trump is well established. Therefore, it is not at all surprising that millions of people all over the world have responded to this call for global resistance to Trump. The youth, women, religious minorities, sexuality minorities, blacks, immigrants, indigenous people and all other marginalised sections have started protesting all over the world in large numbers. It is an act of preparation against the upcoming suppression of the marginalised and the environment.
Here in India, we have similar leadership playing the same game of attacking the dignity of the marginalised and yet winning the elections with the use of thousands of crores of rupees for generating a self image. The democracy is in India as well as the United States is under threat today under the governance of those who indulge lavishly in the art of self promotion rather than addressing the real concerns of the poor and the marginalised. To those who say that `Give Him a Chance’, we say `Give People a Chance’. To those who say to `Respect the Verdict and Move on’, we say `Respect the People’s Verdict’. So far as elections are controlled by major investments from the corporates to ensure that `their man would rule the country’, democracy will stay only on top of broken pillars. It is now our job to see to it that people do not get broken further. It is now our job to raise our voice against racism, against homophobia, against Islamophobia, against misogyny, against sexism and against the politics of violence on the environment and the marginalised sections in India as well as the United States of America. Against the rulers who promote such values!” Sasi concluded his letter by writing “I congratulate New Socialist Alternative team for having undertaken this historic step of informing the world that the Indian people are equally concerned about the marginalised sections in the United States, through this public protest in Bangalore. Perhaps this resistance is a beginning in this country. But we will soon see in the coming history, what this protest has initiated.”
B.Suresha, the unique film director of Kannda film industry, who has a very pro-people stand on all the issues concerning the poor and the marginalised sent his Solidarity Message in Kannada through WhatsApp which says (translated)” Friends, the new president of America, has clearly made his intentions and Agenda throughout his electioneering, he has a very corrosive anti-Islamic stand point, which can destabilise that stable democracy, in turn it would have far reaching consequences. Those of us who love democratic values and freedom must support #ResistTrump initiative, I being a Kannada Film Maker, and a Theatre Dreamer, fully support this campaign to Resist Trump.”
Comrade Fiona,from Ireland, said the following in her WhatsApp voice message(the gist) “Solidarity to our friends and comrades in India, this a greeting from Ireland, we are on our way into the Women’s March in solidarity with the women Internationally, particularly the fighting women of America who are fighting back against the Racist, Misogynistic agenda of Trump, we won’t accept that women should be treated in a Misogynist & Sexist way, women internationally will fight back to push this agenda under the stone, where it came from. Here in Ireland we are involved in campaign to have Abortion Rights in Irelandwhere abortion is illegal, we want the Church & the State separated, we want women to decide for themselves, if and when they have children. In order to defeat this right-wing populist agenda represented by Trump, we need on the 100th anniversaryof the Russian Revolution the greatest event in human history for working class people, we need to organise ourselves as working class people Internationally, here in Ireland,in India and everywhere else, to fight to change this system, the capitalist system, which is what represents the sexist and unequal society, we will organise past today to change this system.
Kshama Sawant, the fighting Socialist women from America had this message previously, while the protest was being planned “Trump’s right-wing nationalist agenda is destructive to the interests of workers in the U.S. and elsewhere. Women on every continent need to stand together against the right wing attacks on women. His targeting of American Muslims should be opposed by the working class in America and India alike. His billionaire cabinet is deeply hostile to all workers. His administration will certainly go after public sector unions first, and workers internationally – both unionised and otherwise – have to stand together against this. I think, like here, in India also, the role of young people and students in fighting the right is increasingly important. Last but not least, I would emphasize that the J20/21st protests will be the largest-ever protests against a president’s inauguration in U.S. history – therefore we need the largest possible solidarity protests in every country.”
Weizeman Hamilton, General Secretary of WASP, South Africa, who is on the International Executive Committee of the CWI sent this WhatsApp message to the protest “ The Workers and Socialist Party of South Africa, stand in solidarity with the American Working Class in the face of the imposition of a bigoted, right-wing in the recent memory, This is a president who is unashamed racist, xenophobe, homophobe, transphobe, misogynist, whose cabinet members believe that Islam is a Cancer, this cabinet is populated by white supremacists, which believes that Climate Change is a fiction. We must stand with the American working people to defeat the dream of this president to serve even one term….The lesson of the rise of Trump is that the working class needs its own voice, the voice of the 99% against the 1% represented by Trump.
Binu Mathew, Editor of Counter Currents, who responded first for the request of solidarity, sent this short voice message from Kerala, it says “ Donald Trump’s philosophy is retarded and even dangerous. He harps back to the outdated 19th century nationalism which is out of tune with the global solidarity that is needed to fight for issues like Climate
Change, Green energy revolution, and human rights and many other issues that need global solidarity, in ominous action po-tenting the dark times ahead the white house website deleted all files on climate change, civil rights movement and the LGBT right, it would be interesting to draw parallels between the Modi governments destruction of one and a half lakhs of files immediately after assuming office, that is how the demagogues work, it is times for solidarity, action and resistance, salute to all who have gathered in Bangalore to resist Trumpism”
Vishwanath Singaiah, Bangalore organiser of New Socialist Alternative, spoke and made a very audacious and political financial appeal, and said the working class and the oppressed needs the Cash, to fight the bigots like Modi & Trump, and only the ordinary working people can sacrifice their hard earned money can invest in such a class act. The fighting fund collection was successful in raising Rs.1063/- from a small gathering of 30 to 35 protesters. Narasimha Murthy, was in charge of the Press & Media, his efforts had brought many national and local channels to cover the event.The over all moderation an anchoring of the event was done by Jagadish Chandra, National Organiser of New Socialist Alternative, who elaborated upon the phenomenon of Trump, and how we can defeat it, and stressed upon the need of unity in the face of Racist, Jingoistic attacks against Dalits, Muslims and Linguistic minorities in this country and everywhere.
Comrades of New Socialist Alternative (CWI-India) in Pune & Chennai also successfully organised and held #ResistTrump events, in solidarity with Global Resistance to Trump. It doesn’t matter if we were less in numbers, but we were part of the HISTORY IN THE MAKING. The American working people, the giant has started moving, notably leading them are the Women, Blacks and the Student Youth who are the oppressed in that society. The massive resistance that was evident in city after after city on 20th & 21st Of Jan. are just the first notes of the music ensemble of the future. In solidarity with them every country of Europe, had massive downpour of people on to the streets, notable among them were; Ireland, England, Germany & Sweden where the forces of Committee for a Workers International (CWI) played a decisive role in mobilisations.
In the wake of the recent rape incidents in Bangalore and the protests that have followed, New Socialist Alternative (CWI-India) participated in a protest against the rape of a 22 year old women in a car and the police inaction. The first part of these video series includes interview clips of women activists from the protest itself. In the second part, Jagadish G Chandra (New Socialist Alternative CWI-India) speaks on the issue of sexual violence against women in the light of the recent incidents in Bangalore.
The Bengali community (especially students and young people) in Bangalore rose up in solidarity against the recent state violence on students of Jadavpur University. On the 17th of this month, male students were beaten up and girls students molested in a barbaric dead-of-the-night police assault on the students carrying out a peaceful sit-in demonstration. The students were particpating in a non-violent protest demanding an impartial probe into an incident of sexual harrassment of a student at the University earlier last month. An eye-witness account of what happened in Kolkata including the role of goons from Trinamool Congress (TMC) can be found on our website here
The protest was organized by a group of Bengali students, including ex-Jadavpur university students working in the city. The protest drew a good response from the Bengali community, students and young working professionals in the city participating in the protest. Ho Ho Hokolorobo was the mostly widely heard slogan as the 400-strong crowd raised slogans in both Bengali and Kannada denouncing the brutal police apparatus, the equally and completely complicit state government as well as both the major political parties in West Bengal – CPI(M) and TMC. The protesters demanded the resignation of the VC of Jadavpur University as well as impartial probes into the sexual harrassment incident and the police brutality on 17th of September. The young crowd raised powerful slogans and sang songs of solidarity and protest. Few of the ex-students from Jadhavpur university delivered speeches and gave detailed updates on the events happening in Kolkata. The protest lasted for over three hours with the same infectious enthusiasm and energy.
Members of the New Socialist Alternative (CWI-India) actively participated in the protest and helped the organisers of the event. We also sold over 50 copies of the New Socialist Alternative’s newspaper with a large number of people in the crowd purchasing the newspapers at the solidarity price. New Socialist Alternative stands in solidarity with the students of Jadavpur University and totally condemns the actions of the state police and the goons of Trinamool Congress.
Pune University is one of the most prestigious universities in India. Around a year ago, it was renamed. The name of the legendary social reformer, Savitribai Phule, was added. Savitribai Phule, who sacrificed her whole life for uplifting of women, underprivileged and oppressed castes through education and radical social empowerment activities, but does the university administration really follow the path of Savirtibai Phule?
Let’s have a look at an ongoing struggle in the university. Like any other organisation, university also has a force of security guards. The security guards belong to oppressed castes, mostly Dalits. Most of these guards are working in university since last 10 to 15 years but on a contract basis. Every year or after a specified period of time when the contract is over, the contract is renewed and given to a new (third party) agency. But, the plight of the security guards remain the same irrespective of the agency. This has been happening over the years. But, what has actually happened this year? This time, when the contract was about to get over on 1st December, security guards were expecting to get accommodated in the new contract as usual. However, this has not happened. The new agency has put new security norms for security guards regarding one’s height and similar criteria. Thus, near about 65 to 70 workers were made ineligible for the post of security guards according to these new norms. At the same time, some workers not fulfilling these norms were accommodated when they bribed the contractor etc. Since 1st December, many of these security guards have became jobless and the question of daily bread is hovering over their families.
When comrade Sheetal of New Socialist Alternative, Pune came to know about this issue, she immediately met with the workers and discussed their issue in detail. She realised the need to lead these workers as they were totally depressed and not united to fight against this unjust move. Comrade Sheetal arranged several meetings with workers and urged them on the need to unite and fight for their rights. Also, in one of our branch meetings, it was decided to take this struggle forward. Since 8th December, workers have been protesting in the university. University administration initially neglected the protests. But, we stood firm with the workers and started shouting slogans, singing protest songs, arranged rallies in the university premises etc. This forced the university administration to start discussion with workers and the leading organisations.
Apart from New Socialist Alternative, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Maharashtra Navnirman Kamagar Sena (belonging to the sectarian, right wing MNS) have also joined the struggle. Since 8th December till date, the university administration has tried to divide the workers and leading organisations, police have threatened workers. But, despite our serious political differences with other leading political groups involved in the protest, we together with the workers have been able to overcome the odds and the struggle is still on.
At first, Vice-Chancellor and university administration tried to stay aside saying this is not their issue and it is solely contractors wish whom to enrol. But, in one of the meetings with Vice-Chancellor comrade Youvraj of New Socialist Alternative, Pune strongly opposed this stand of Vice-Chancellor and answered him that the university is a Public institution, not a private company and the university administration cannot run away from performing their duties. During 2-3 meetings with the Vice- Chancellor, the leadership has forced him to look into the issue. As regards to the powers a Vice- chancellor has over employing the security guards directly, they can easily employ them for a specified duration and the whole contract thing can be looked in detail later. This is the official stand of ‘Guard Board’- State Government’s organisation that takes care of these processes. But, Vice- Chancellor wishes to run away from everything. For one of the ‘scheduled’ talks at around 5 PM one day, the Vice-Chancellor avoided to discuss the issue. The workers and leading organisations sat outside his office until 9:30 PM at night. After an agitated protest, he agreed to talk the next day.
Since the 1st day, many political organisations, student organisations from university and outside university have supported this struggle. New Socialist Alternative, Pune thinks this struggle not being solely related to workers but also concerning the youth today as ‘Contract’ system is going to exploit them when they will be a part of the market. With this attitude, we have taken this struggle among students of university and appealed them to support the struggle.
It has been more than 15 days already, but the university administration is still following the old tactics of dividing and threatening workers and leadership. They asked women security guards to end the struggle as they will be enrolled first and then male security guards’ enrolment will be looked into later. All the workers and New Socialist Alternative, Pune have demanded that all of them must be enrolled at the same time. New Socialist Alternative, Pune is determined to take this struggle to an end and is stressing the need of taking this struggle to a next level amongst workers and the leadership. From 23rd December, striking workers are going to go on an aggressive protest in front of Vice-Chancellor’s building. All the supporting organisations are going to be part of this agitation.
1) The agitating security guards must be enrolled with immediate effect in order that they can earn wages to survive for now.
2) All the security guards working on contract basis should be enrolled on a permanent basis.
3) Put an end to Contract system.
Sheetal Alhat & Manohar Yadav
New Socialist Alternative, Pune
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