Revolution in South Asia

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Archive for May 1st, 2010

Jed Live from Nepal: General Strike is On & the People are Ready

Posted by Mike E on May 1, 2010

“I have never seen anything like this. This is what a revolutionary situation looks like. The Maoists are not going to back down.  The government is stubborn and encouraged by India. And the people are simply charged.”

Jed Brandt send this brief note — which arrived midday in the U.S.) :

by Jed Brandt

Late into the night, after a long day of May First, Kathmandu: I just left the Radisson Hotel where negotiations had been going on. Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, a top leader of the Maoists and their negotiating team, came out the doors to say that the three negotiating parties have not reached an agreement. The general strike is on.

Other in attendance at the negotiations included Congress and UML. The hated, isolated current prime minister MK Nepal will not resign.

Bhattarai was sharp and direct. Since they will not make way for a national unity government, the agitations will increase tomorrow with a national general strike to topple the unpopular and unelected government.

A City Filled for May First, and for Struggle

The May First rally today was well over 500,000.

It was so large that it overflowed the Martyr’s Field and stretched for at least a mile to the north and south. The crowd was so large that it was between 500,000 and a million. The spirit was jubulent, serious, sober. The people are ready.

There was a dramatic enactment on stage with dancers showing a conflict between the crowds and murderous forces of repression wielding knives to cut the crowd. In the skit, people fell as martyrs, were carried away and were then replace by victorious surges.

Dancers in Army and Armed Police uniforms retreated, and then had a performer playing an Army officer gave up the national flag to dancers in Peoples Liberation Army uniforms, which they held in tandem.

An amazing feeling swept through the crowd — who understood the message.

I won’t get photos out tonight. But soon, folks, soon. And I will send more reporting.

I have never seen anything like this. This is what a revolutionary situation looks like. The Maoists are not going to back down.  The government is stubborn and encouraged by India. And the people are simply charged.

The claim of reactionaries is that the people are being forced (or “coerced”) into attending. It is obviously nonsense, and not just to me. I spoke with another journalist, who works for a mainstream paper, who described how she had canvassed the crowd talking to one person after another — looking for people who had been pressured into attending.The protesters were eager to explain why they had come. These crowds were determined. And they are prepared for the coming days. This is a truly remarkable.

I want to note  the discipline of the protest. Concentric rings, coherent contingents, marching in files. The Young Communist League is out in force and must number around 20,000 in uniform, with tens of thousands more able to work as marshals and so on.

That’s all I can write now. The Internet is getting cut off. Warm regards to all the brothers and sisters. May First!

Posted in Nepal News | Leave a Comment »

Nepal May 1: NO BACKING DOWN Until Government Changes!

Posted by n3wday on May 1, 2010

This article was published on eKantipur.com.

Prachanda flays govt, claims Maoist mission will succeed

KESHAV P. KOIRALA

KATHMANDU, MAY 01 – UPCN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” said that the government is speaking about the army mobilisation to suppress the Maoist agitation after the prime minister returned from Thimphu. “We would not be amazed if same thing was said five or seven days ago. Now, we understand whose language this is,” he said, insinuating at Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal’s meeting with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh in the Bhutanese capital on the sidelines of 16th SAARC Summit.

Addressing the mass assembly the Maoist party organised to mark the May Day at Khullamanch in Kathmandu on Saturday, Dahal said any interference in Nepal’s national sovereignty would be intolerable, and added that his party and people will not bow to the foreign lords. “Our neighbours should understand this,” he said–indirectly pointing fingers at India for its influence in Nepal’s politics.

Dubbing the incumbent government as an unnatural coalition that, he said, was built on conspiracies, he urged the security forces to support his party and not to abide by the orders that came from Thimphu. Saying the army and police also should understand the people’s desire for change and the need of the hour, he added, “I appeal to you for co-operation.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Nepal May 1: Prachanda Accuses Military High Command of Serving India

Posted by n3wday on May 1, 2010

This article was published in the Times of India.

Maoists throw May Day challenge to Nepal govt, India

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s former Maoist guerrillas paralysed the capital and 10 more key cities with an impressive show of strength on May Day, rallying tens of thousands of cadre and supporters to throw a challenge to Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal’s ruling coalition as well as the Indian government, accusing it of propping up the “inflated balloon government of Nepal”.

Ratna Park, a public ground at the heart of the capital named after the former queen mother, was turned into a sea of people waving the red Maoist flag and cheering lustily as the Maoists held their promised mass meeting, a nearly four-hour extravaganza peppered with songs and dances by their cultural troupes. Despite the large turnout, the former guerrillas however kept their pledge and the meet was peaceful and disciplined, proving wrong fears that there could be violence after the government reported large-scale seizure of home-made arms and explosives.

In his nearly 50-minute speech under a sweltering sun, Maoist chief and former prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda said that talks were still on among his party and the two biggest ruling parties to reach an agreement but the chances were dim. “If there is no agreement today, there will be a nationwide general strike from tomorrow,” he said, urging people, the business community and hotels to put up with the inconvenience for the sake of a “historic change”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nepal: Maoists Organize Rallies for Indefinite Strike

Posted by n3wday on May 1, 2010

Maoist assembly underway at Khullamanch

KANTIPUR REPORT


KATHMANDU, MAY 01 – The mass assembly organised by the UCPN (Maoist) at Khullamanch in Kathmandu is underway on Saturday afternoon. Senior Maoist leaders are addressing the assembly.

The Maoists have claimed that about 500,000 people are taking part in their programme organised on the occassion of the International May Day.

The Maoists took out rally from 18 different places in the Capital from 11 a.m. this morning. The mass rally culminated as the mass assembly at Khullamanch in the afternoon.

Wearing red shirt and scarf, and carrying communist flags, thousands of Maoist supporters and cadres are taking part in the programme despite the scorching heat.

The UCPN (Maoist) brought in thousands of people from different places of the country for their mass rally today and subsequent indefinite general strike starting tomorrow.

Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and three vice chairs—Mohan Baidya, Baburam Bhattarai and Narayan Kaji Shrestha–are set to the gathering.

Mass rally in other places also

Meanwhile, the Maoists have organised assemblies at different places outside the Valley also. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nepal’s Streets for May 1: We Make the Power!

Posted by n3wday on May 1, 2010

This is an eyewitness report from Nepal. Jed Brandt’s other writings appear here on Kasama. Join us in circulating this widely. Do it now — events are moving quickly. Send links by email. Post this on your website. Donate funds to support his work.

by Jed Brandt

KATHMANDU, APRIL 29, 2010– Business as usual is over in Kathmandu.  With two days to go until May First, overflowing buses are pulling in by the hour to the outskirts of town.

The city is crowded. Bus caravans are unloading directly into street marches wild with chanting, marshaled by uniformed cadre from the Young Communist League. Despite a week of fear-mongering by Nepal’s mainstream press, the crowds are militant, but unarmed. And they are  giddy despite harassment from the Armed Police on the roads leading into the city.

Several Maoists have been arrested on petty weapons charges, but these are the exceptions to the rule.

The Maoist rallies have already started. The central intersections of every district I passed were filled with young people, always the young!

There is more density towards the center of the city, as mini-rallies are moving from the outskirts towards the center, but they aren’t all staying by government buildings. It seems as the contingents arrive, they are dipping into the center and then marching back out across the city. The convergence of all these hundreds of thousands of people is set for May First. The contingents are on their own for now. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pre-May First Video of Gathering Youth in Capital

Posted by Mike E on May 1, 2010

Posted in Nepal News | Leave a Comment »

May First in Nepal, India and Philippines!

Posted by Mike E on May 1, 2010

Post May First reports and pictures here

Posted in India News, Nepal News, philippines news | 9 Comments »