National Sections of the L5I:

Pakistan: the “Long March” is back on its way to Islamabad

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After being blockaded by the police, the Long March from Balochistan to Islamabad has resumed its journey. Clearly, this is due not only to the fortitude and determination of the marchers themselves but the result of protests against the police action both in Pakistan and internationally.
We extend our warmest thanks all comrades who expressed their support for the democratic rights of the marchers, such as the British Labour MP John McDonnell. In an e-mail he said:
“I send a message of support and solidarity. I will be raising this with the Pakistani Government and raising this issue in the UK Parliament. The Pakistani authorities need to know that the world is watching them and any abusers of democratic and human rights will be held to account."
In Pakistan, the Baloch march has received support from human rights organisations such as the Asian Human Rights Commission, and from the National Student Federation, youth organisations and branches of the Awami Workers Party along its route. The AWP has been urging their members, other working class and democracy activists and volunteers, to join the march in order to protect it against police and chauvinist threats and to provide material assistance.
Now political pressure needs to be kept up and even increased, since the government and the security forces are clearly still determined to prevent the protest reaching the capital. Above all they want to silence the resistance against the national oppression of the Baloch people; all the more so since the march has broken through the wall of silence successive governments have built around their atrocities there. The march has already evoked unexpected levels of support and sympathy from ordinary Pakistanis of different communities and nationalities along its route.
This is the way to ensure that the march actually reaches Islamabad, where it is due in about a week’s time. We call on all trade unions, working class parties and organisations in Pakistan and worldwide to send messages of support the march and show the authorities that the whole world is watching.
Long live international solidarity!