Monday, December 17, 2007

Student Action Committee Lahore continues protest

Press Release:

The Student Action Committee (Lahore) held a protest today against the derisive return to a constitution that was altered to personal specifications by President Retd. General Pervez Musharraf.

The crowd began to gather outside Nasser Bagh at 1 pm. The protest took off around 1 30 pm where the SAC (Lahore) was joined by students, lawyers, activists, academics, civil society members who were all committed to the same cause. Even citizens who were passing by joined in with enthusiasm once they heard what the rally was for.

The students in full flow, with banners reading “Emergency Lifted, Nothing Changed”, “Azaadi” “Restore the Judiciary” chanted slogans with the crowd that was pulsating with an energy that soon spilled out on the roads.

“Tor raha hai Pakistan, aaj keh dor ka Yahya Khan”, “Zinda hai Tulba” , “Pakistan ka bais e tabhai…Pervez Musharraf aur Pervaiz Elahi” could be heard from afar as the crowd proceeded from Nasser Bagh to Anarkali Chowk. Here the protestors stood and chanted some more eliciting encouragement from those passing by in their vehicles.

The police, who had been helpful in maneuvering the protest down the mall, soon realized the impact of the protest and started haranguing the crowd, especially the students, to disperse. They claimed they would press charges against students, if they did not wrap up immediately.

The students and their fellow supporters, charged with energy to be seen and heard, did not crack at such demands and continued to raise slogans at Anarkali Chowk.

The protesters marched back towards Nasser Bagh, where they gathered on top of the roundabout and continued their slogans. After a while, the crowd formed a human chain on the roundabout, demonstrating solidarity with each other as well as the public on common fronts: restoration of the pre Nov. 3rd judiciary, an independent media, and a system where every voice can be heard.

The crowd dispersed after almost 2 hours of high level activities. By the end of the day 150 to 200 people had been noted at the protest.

To be noted: the protest today was held as a reflection of the SAC (Lahore) commitment to work for the said causes regardless of the sham political displays by the regime. The threats by the police were just one reflection of how the state of emergency was lifted but nothing restored, nothing changed.

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