Ben Peterson in New Zealand on Nepal Speaking Tour
Posted by n3wday on March 18, 2010
This article was published on Scoop Independent News.
Eyewitness to a Revolution in Nepal
Young Australian activist tours NZ recounting his experience of a peoples’ movement
In 2006, a peoples’ movement overthrew Nepal’s hated King Gyanendra and the oppressive monarchical structure. Today, the Nepalese people are striving to build a new and better society.
We in New Zealand now have a chance to find out more about what’s happening in Nepal. Ben Peterson, a young Australian activist who spent 4 ½ months in Nepal witnessing first hand the revolutionary struggle, will be on a speaking tour of New Zealand from 21-27 March.
Ben says of his experience: “When I was in Nepal I met amazing people, peasant farmers, workers, students, youth, and the elderly, all fighting for a democratic future. Everywhere I went there was a common desire for something better. They’re fighting to build a new Nepal free of poverty, oppression and discrimination by sex, caste or race.”
“It was mind blowing to see the level of popular engagement with politics,” says Peterson. “Every little village had a union office, or a party organization, or something. It was amazing to see real revolutionary changes happening before my eyes. They’re fighting to build a new Nepal free of poverty, oppression and discrimination by sex, caste or race.”
The struggle in Nepal is being led by the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), who built on support earned during the Peoples’ War (1996-2006), to win a majority of votes in democratic elections, enabling them to form a government. The movement has since met with opposition from undemocratic forces, particularly in the military, but the struggle is continuing at all levels of Nepalese society.
“It’s not over, but the people of Nepal are experiencing more control over their lands and communities. And if this 21st century revolution continues it will impact on the lives of many more,” says Peterson.
Ben Peterson will be speaking at meetings in Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.
The tour was initiated by Socialist Worker (unityblognz.com) and the Workers Party (workersparty.org.nz), with the International Socialist Organisation in Dunedin (iso.org.nz). Meetings in each centre are being organised with the support of other groups and individuals.