All Roads to Long March
By: Farooq Tariq
Lawyers have learned something from working class
politics. "It has to be a decisive action after
preparations". It took long time for lawyers movement to
understand the importance of Dharna and long march, and
of decisive nature.
Now they must be supported by whole heartedly. Let us
have a Dharna till the restoration of judges and
All Roads must now lead to Shahrai Dastor Islamabad on 9
The announcement of Dharna is one of the most important
announcement in the history of Pakistan by a group of
middle class, normally known to work for the interests
of capitalist and feudal class.
The move, if successful will be a milestone for a
politics of resistence and extra parliamentary measures
in favor of working class interests.
Let's learn from some experiences of Dharnas in
Pakistan. Let us leave aside for the moment the examples
of Dharnas in other countries which is full of successes
and lessons to learn.
In October 2008, Malik Ajmal MPA from PMLQ and an owner
of a textile mill in Faisalabad threatened the workers
of dire consequences if they demanded a raise in wages.
Workers defied as most of the workers of other factories
had done. Malik Ajmal and his gangsters opened fire and
injured over 6 workers. The workers of the other
factories gathered and started a Gherao.
Those who fired were inside the factory. However Malik
Ajmal had fled from the scene. The workers in thousands
wanted to burn the factory and the gangsters inside. The
leadership of the workers arrived and decided not to
burn anything but to continue the Gherao peacefully.
They demanded the arrival of Punjab Labour Minister and
arrest of Malik Ajmal.
I arrived from Lahore to Faisalabad within three hours
of the firing incident. After initial consultation with
local labour leaders, we decided to keep the Gherao
peaceful. Workers were angry but explained again and
again that we will not burn the factory and will not
throw stone. At the time, over 10,000 workers had
The role of leadership in such crucial times is very
important. They have to fight the injustice while being
in control of the situation. Our power is in head counts
and not in provocative angry behaviors.
Finally, the minister arrived, police arrested the MPA
and workers dispersed peacefully.
We had the similar experiences in Okara while fighting
for land rights at Military Farms with police and
rangers. Women and youth played the leading role in this
most successful movement. Our principles were simple and
clear. "Once a road is blocked, we will not disperse
until the demands are met. We will not leave it to next
We were always peaceful but militant. We will never fire
at police or rangers but will not leave the roads. We
will always fight back whenever police used tear gas or
lathe charge. We will disperse for a while to re gather.
The 9 March Dharna call is a very serious but militant
attempt by lawyers movement to challenge the high
headedness of the feudal leadership of PPP. It is not
just for the lawyers or judiciary, it is a working class
We appeal to all the trade unions, peasant organisations
and social movements and organisations to side with the
lawyers call on 9 March. We must mobilize in maximum
numbers all our contacts with our full powers.
Zardari regime must learn to respect the will of the
people. He has given a bad name to politics by not going
along with the promise of restoration.
Zardari, Rehman Malik, Farooq Naik and Sherry Rehman
"The gang of four" must face the real power of people.
The gang is not a product of mass politics. They believe
in conspiracies, lies, frauds, loot and plunder and
favors. They are accidental leaders.
Let us discuss all aspects of this 9 March call. Let us
discuss how to fight back if state forces are used to
pre arrests and blockades of Islamabad. Let us discuss
how to mobilize maximum numbers Let us have a target of
one million on the march on 9 March.
Let us make and contribute to the shining history of