FLASH: General Strike Called Off in Nepal
Posted by Mike E on May 7, 2010
Jed Brandt just wrote from the capital (about 12 noon EST, early evening in Nepal):
“Prachanda announces end of general strike. Violence from police and vigilante groups was widespread today. Nobody knows yet what this means – the new terms will be announced at mass meetings across the city tomorrow.”
In short: The news is rapidly spreading in Kathamandu, Nepal: The general strike has been called off. The conditions and reasons are not known yet — to the people gathered in the capital, or to us watching from afar.
Announcements of the strike’s end appeared on Nepali TV.
Three hours earlier Jed wrote:
“Vigilante gangs broke off from civil society peace march, attacking protesters rocks and sticks. Police respond by tear-gassing canteen, beating Maoists who responded to the attack. Hindu-chauvinist groups attack Maoists with police assistance in the Terai, targetting leaders. Don’t believe the mainstream press. They smear the movement, portraying right-wing gangs as local residents and protesters as outsiders.”
Yesterday Jed wrote:
“Government intransigent in face of the Maoist mobilization. There is still dancing, but after a week in the streets and the total shut down tempers are rising. Minor clashes are breaking out around banch compliance. Counter-mobilizations are threatened.”
The bandh (shutdown) had been enforced by the large numbers of pro-Maoist activists that had gathered in the capital since May First. Its main demand had been the resignation of the current unpopular and unelected government.
It is not known yet what this means for the mass movement in the streets. Or for the current government whose resignation was the central demand of the strike.
We will post new information as we know it. Watch this space.