Saturday, December 1, 2007

Student Protest in Lahore - Eyewitness Account

Students from 21 universities, under the banner of Student Action Committee Lahore, gathered today at Liberty Chowk to publicly voice their dissent. The streets were lined with hundreds of Police Elite forces which warned the students that they would be arrested if they did not disperse within fifteen minutes. Amidst chants of "NO" to this question of dispersal, student's made it clear that police or no police, they would not disperse without making themselves heard. Students brandishing colorful placards and wearing black armbands flooded the liberty roundabout. Some members of the civil society, the lawyer's movement, doctors, and human rights activists also came to express solidarity and support for the student initiative.


The students sat displaying their banners and placards peacefully while negotiations with the Police SP were made. Afterwards, everyone made a human chain around the enormous roundabout, and chanted anti-Musharraf, pro-judiciary and pro-democracy slogans. After circling the roundabout for half an hour the procession of nearly 600 gathered in the middle, chanting freedom slogans with ever more vigor.


There were speeches made by students from a few of the participating universities, the content of which resonated around the necessity of empowering the common people of Pakistan and putting an end once and for all to the tyranny of the military. The students made it clear that this movement will be a long term struggle to ensure that true democracy is given a chance to take root in the country and that justice prevails. The students made it very clear that no elections can be legitimate without a free and independent judiciary overseeing them.

One demand declared as non-negotiable was the restoration of the judiciary as of 2nd Nov. Without the judicial organ being independent and un-terrorized, it will fail in its function of providing the necessary check and balance on the executive. After the speeches, the national anthem was sung by the all assembled. After this hour long protest, the gathering peacefully dispersed, distributing flyers to the public to educate them of their demands.

What made this assembly remarkable was the level of organization that was evident. Not a single flower was trampled nor any paper trash left behind; the students stuffed their own pockets and bags with the litter instead. Today's protest will not be forgotten easily from the memory of the people of Lahore. Today's country-wide protest demonstrated to the people of Pakistan the unwillingness of the youth of the nation to silently sit through the slow death of their nation.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

God is Great....Great work! I am proud of you -- the youth of Pakistan!!!.. .....

Anonymous said...

Guys, I have been scanning the international media for anything on this, but they don't seem to be covering it! All they have is BB and NS!

Am proud of Lahore! Well done! Not just for having the demo but to have it in such a peacefull and lets say environmentally friendly way.

Anonymous said...

masha allah

Anonymous said...

It is indeed encouraging to know that the youth have taken to the forefront to bring about a change in the society. But I think there is a strong need to educate the masses and also bring about a change in their lives. We should try to educate and motivate people with those facts. People should be motivated by those ideas and the idea must be embedded in them. People must be presented with these ideas in such a way that they should be ready to take ownership of those ideas. Nothing can be sustained nor thrusted upon others unless others are not convinced and educated about them. That is why I believe that the story will not end when the Judicary is restored or IK comes to power or PM thrown out of power. It is at the basic grass root level we have to take care of - to change the lives and instill change in the life of the common man. Where a common man can get clean water, decent place to live, good things to eat and have a decent education. And all of these things in the true spirit of Islam and not some kind of “secular” state. Only than can we be “free” from all our rulers be they be from across the seas or be they be inland.
May Allah guide us and help us in fighting for Justice and Truth according to the teachings of Islam.

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work. This is our country and it is up to us to make sure that the future works for us. Lets hope more join in.

Anonymous said...

just not enough. The people of Pakistan are hungry, they are jobless and homeless. They have no sense of security. They have been made so week by rulers of Pakistan that even they cant protest. We need a million march. A march of hunderds and thousands of people to get any result . Otherwise it is just waste of time.
Ahmad

amara said...

One really feels proud when hears about such events taking place ... like they say 'katray katray se darya banta hai' so there being 600 now will inshAllah swell to a hundred thousand and even more .. and yes i agree .. what we need is to 'enlighten' the masses and MAKE them realize the gravity of the situation!