Thousands of peace
activists protested at Rawalpindi today on 6th of November. They
demanded an immediate end of American bombing of Afghanistan and
stop the war. They also denounced the terror of religious
fundamentalism. Alliance of Peace and Justice organized the rally.
This is an aggregate of hundreds of civil society organization and
left wing political parties including Labour Party of Pakistan.
The protesters gathered at Rawalpindi Press Club and later marched
on main Muree road. The rally was over a kilometer long with
hundreds of banners. Police estimated over 5000 in attendance but
according to the organizers of the rally, the number who
participated were more than 8000. They came from all over Pakistan
including far off places of Baluchistan and Sind. Bulk of the
participants came from North West Frontier Province and Punjab.
Labour Party Pakistan Rawalpindi mobilized over 12 coaches with
over 500 workers from a working class district where majority is
The demonstration started with slogans of US imperialism, stop
bombing Afghanistan, Bush, Stop bombing, No to religious
terrorism, No to war, Struggle is our path, those with US
imperialism are not friends of people, Stop religious fanaticism,
No to military government of Musharaf, We want peace and not war
and war is no solution.
There were many women at the rally who actively participated in
this historic peace rally.
Speaking at the end of the rally, the spokesman for the Alliance,
Irfan Mufti told that this is the start and we demand an immediate
end of US bombing of Afghanistan. He said we have no sympathy with
the religious fundamentalists. We are totally opposed to the
terror of religious fanatics but we can not side with US
imperialism who are bombing indiscriminately at Afghan cities.
Many innocent citizens have died.
LPP Punjab Council member Bashir Butter from Rawalpindi described
the rally as historic event and a birth of new peace movement in
Pakistan. He called on all the trade unionists to joint the
Alliance for Peace and Justice to have a broader alliance of
progressive forces of Pakistan.
After the rally, speaking to a public meeting at Rawalpindi press
Club, LPP general secretary Farooq Tariq said that we have broken
the monopoly of the religious fundamentalists who are in the
streets against the bombing of US on Afghanistan. "these
fundamentalist are bye product of the US imperialism and are not
in street for peace, they are in streets for more war and terror
against innocent citizens" there rallies are not peace
rallies but rallies for more bloodshed, This is the first major
peace rally in Pakistan, We condemn the both. We want to
defeat the US imperialism but we can not do that siding with the
religious fundamentalists. We must build an independent peace
movement" Farooq Tariq told the rally participants. He said
we will organize more rallies across Pakistan. Only a peace
movement in Pakistan and
internationally can stop the onslaught of US imperialism, he said.
Farooq Tariq said the US imperialism is the world number one
terrorist power and has been promoting the terrorist across the
world. We the working class of Pakistan will build an
international solidarity movement to defeat the religious fanatics
and US imperialism, he said.
The rally ended peace fully. It has given a lot of encouragement
to all those participated in the rally that something can be done
and we have to get united.