TURCP led-rallies often larger than the ‘official’ rallies
The Trade Union Rights Campaign organized and intervened in the May Day activities in more than 50 towns and cities across Pakistan, in four provinces. More than 6,000 industrial, public sector and private sector workers took part in the activities organized by TURCP, which distributed thousands of May Day leaflets, both in Urdu and Sindhi languages, throughout the country. A special May Day edition of The Socialist was also sold during the activities. TURCP members were interviewed by the national TV channels and in some areas by the international media. TURCP National Secretary General, Azad Qadri, was interviewed by the BBC Urdu service. The TURCP organized the largest May Day activities in many cities and towns. Again the TURCP emerged as the largest and leading left wing trade union campaign in Pakistan, organizing and participating in the following cities and towns: Islamabad, Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Jhang, Layyah, Rahim Yar khan, Muzafar gar, Bahawalpur, Sahiwal, Pesawar, Dir, Mardan, Quetta, Mir Pur Khas, Dadu, Mehar, Thari Mohabat khan, Larkana, Hyderabad, Karachi,Jand, Hafizabad and Rawalpindi.
The TURCP organized May Day activities in several cities and towns in Sindh, which is the strong hold of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).
In Mirpurkhas, where the TURCP established a base recently, it organized the largest rally in the city. More than 300 attended. Moreover, more than 30 women activists and workers also participated in the rally for first time in the city. The labour wing of the PPP also organized the rally, in which nearly 50 people participated. TURCP also organized rallies and marches in Mehar and Tharri Mohabatkhan, in which more than 300 and 400 participated respectively. These were the only activities organized in these cities. In many cities in Sindh, the TURCP led-rallies were many times bigger than the official rallies of the PPP labour wing and other trade union federations. This is a big leap forward for TURCP in this important province.
In this largest province of Pakistan, the TURCP organized and participated in activities in all the main cities and towns. In Faisalabad, the TURCP jointly organized the public meeting in a local textile factory. The TURCP International Secretary, Khalid Bhatti, was the main speaker in this public meeting, in which more than 1,600 workers participated. In Muzafar Gar, more than 500 attended the rally jointly organized by the community organization, AIMS and TURCP. More than 100 women also participated in this conservative area, in which females hardly participate in public activities. TURCP members participated in all the activities organized in Lahore and Islamabad. In Islamabad, the TURCP participated in a jointly organized rally, in which more than 600 workers participated. TURCP members spoke from the platform and got the best response for putting forward clear ideas and an independent working class position on the issues faced by the working masses. In many cities, the TURCP organized joint activities involving the different trade unions and workers organization to put forward the ideas of workers’ unity and solidarity.
In this largest city of Baluchistan, the MLF (Muhidah Labour Federation) and the TURCP organized a May Day rally at a railway station, in which more than 1700 public and private sector workers participated. The workers also marched through the main streets to Main Square. The TURCP and Pakistan Workers’ Movement are working jointly in Baluchistan. This alliance organized activities in more than 17 different cities and towns in Baluchistan.
TURCP organized May Day activities in the troubled North West Frontier Province (NWFP), which has become the centre of Taliban activities. Many areas of the province are still controlled by the ‘militants’. Both the Taliban groups and government ‘security forces’ unleashed the terror on working and poor people. The TURCP has lost three members, killed by a Taliban group.
The TURCP organized May Day activities in these difficult circumstances. The turn out was very low, but these activities still have a significant impact on the workers’ movement in NWFP and especially in the conflict hit areas. The
A TURCP also organized a May Day seminar, in Dir, which is the strong hold of the militants. 50 people participated in the seminar, held in a local school. A TURCP leaflet and other literature were distributed. More than 20 copies of the Socialist were sold during the seminar.
Other small activities were also organized in various cities.