Organisations from all over India Issue a Call for a Protest Week

Image Courtesy: Conutercurrents.org

Over 70 organizations and several individuals from around the country endorsed the call initiated by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties to conduct protest actions from August 28 to September 5, considering the deterioration in Civil Liberties in the recent past. This call was given marking August 28 as the day when two years ago, 5 human rights activists – Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navlakha, Varavara Rao, Arun Ferriera and Vernon Gonsalves were arrested in the Bhima Koregaon Conspiracy Case. A total of 12 renowned lawyers, professors, academics, writers, activists remain imprisoned under fabricated charges, while the actual perpetrators of violence in Bhima Koregaon, walk freely. The days of protest end on September 5th, which will mark the third anniversary of the assassination of Gauri Lankesh, the fearless journalist who would not be silenced any other way.

In their call, the organizations note more than 24 anti CAA-NRC protestors and supporters of the movement for equal citizenship, have been falsely arrested under UAPA in Delhi and Assam, for conspiracy and several others under stringent sections of the IPC and other special laws. In UP, anti CAA-NRC protestors are being subjected to illegal processes of auctioning of their personal properties to pay for the damages to public property caused during protests. The call notes that scores of intellectuals, activists, trade unionists and others are continually being summoned, examined in the Delhi Riots case and the Bhima Koregaon case, and then subjected to vilification campaigns with a section of the media, ensuring that the process itself becomes a punishment, even as these cases will fail in trials.

The nationwide protests are also in support of Prashant Bhushan, a Supreme Court lawyer and a leading anti-corruption crusader, who has been convicted under the Contempt of Court Act, and of the numerous journalists, who are facing charges or have been arrested, for pointing out problems with government policies and their implementation. The crisis in civil liberties in the country is most apparent in the case of scores of Kashmiris continue to be under preventive detention for more than a year.

Apart from individual organizations, large networks of organizations, such as the National Alliance of People’s Movements, the Right to Food Campaign and the National Confederation of Human Rights Organizations have also endorsed this call on a nationwide-basis, in addition to many of their constituent groups. This call saw active participation from the women’s movement, with National Federation of Indian Women, All India Progressive Women’s Association, Saheli Women’s Resource Center, Forum Against Oppresssion of Women, Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression, among others. University-based and student organizations, such as the All India Retired University and College Teachers’ Organisations, Delhi University Women’s Association and the Student Christian Movement of India also joined the call. A full list of the participating organizations is attached along with the full text of the National Call.
Sd/-

Mr. Ravi Kiran Jain, President, PUCL

Dr. V. Suresh, General Secretary, PUCL

 

**NATIONAL CALL FOR A WEEK OF PROTEST**

Fri, AUG 28th- Sat, SEP 5th

STAND UP FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES

 

As representatives of human rights organizations and people’s movements from around the country, we are alarmed at the increasing assault on fundamental rights of people who chose to voice their opinions, to openly oppose government policies, and to organize themselves into peaceful protests.

As we speak,

• More than 12 renowned lawyers, professors, academics, writers, activists are in prison in the Bhima Koregaon Conspiracy Case, some of whom have been in prison for over two years now,

• More than 20 anti CAA-NRC protestors and supporters of the movement for equal citizenship, have been falsely arrested under UAPA, for conspiracy and several others under stringent sections of the IPC and other special laws,

• In UP, anti CAA-NRC protestors are being subjected to illegal processes of auctioning of their personal properties to pay for the damages to public property caused during protests,

• A leading anti-corruption crusader has been convicted under the Contempt of Court Act,

• Numerous journalists face charges for pointing out problems with government policies and their implementation, and many of them have been arrested,

• Scores of intellectuals, activists, trade unionists and others are continually being summoned, examined in the Delhi Riots case and the Bhima Koregaon case, and then subjected to vilification campaigns with a section of the media, ensuring that the process itself becomes a punishment, even as these cases will fail in trials,

• Scores of Kashmiris continue to be under preventive detention for more than a year…

Our silence is our complicity in all these shameful acts of oppression.

We are calling upon all to RISE UP IN RAGE!

August 28 will mark two years from the day that the police arrested Sudha Bharadwaj, Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves and Gautam Navlakha, five prominent human rights activists among many in jail today.

September 5 will be the third anniversary of the assassination of Gauri Lankesh, the fearless journalist who would not be silenced any other way.

We must raise our voices against this, we must be heard.

Organize protests wherever possible, be it groups of 5 or 50. Stand with a placard. Write letters to the authorities. Share photos, videos, tweets. Organize meetings, big or small.

 

In solidarity –

• People’s Union for Civil Liberties

• Right to Food Campaign

• National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM)

• National Confederation of Human Rights organizations (NCHRO)

• National Federation of Indian Women NFIW

• All India Progressive Women’s Association AIPWA

• Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS)

• New Trade Union Initiative

• Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, Gujarat

• Paschim Banga Khet Majoor Samity

• Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha (BJVJ)

• Police Reforms Watch

• Forum Against Oppression of Women

• Progressive Writers Association

• Bagaicha Ranchi

• Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan

• Aman Biradari

• THE BOMBAY CATHOLIC SABHA

• Batuka Social service centre

• Jharkhand Nagrik Prayas

• Inquilabi chhatra morcha, uttar pradesh

• APCR Association for Protection of Civil rights

• Madhya Pradesh Mahila Manch (MPMM)

• Center for Peace Studies

• Grakoos Union, Karnataka

• Naavu Bharathiyaru

• BMMA

• Kala sanskriti prokosht rjd

• Saheli Women’s Resource Centre, New Delhi

• Delhi Solidarity Group

• Aamra Ek Sachetan Prayas Forum

• Srijanatmak Manushi Sanstha

• Forum Against Corruption & Threats (FACT)

• “Please Save Me” Foundation

• Sahiyar Stree Sangathan

• Janbodh

• GUIDE

• GASS, Odisha

• Delhi Peoples Forum

• Egalitarian Trails

• All India Retired University and College Teachers’ Organisations

• Delhi University Women’s Association

• CCG

• Student Christian Movement of India

• We EmbrAce

• Chhattishgarh adhikar manch

• Kadambari

• ONE NATION EQUAL EDUCATION CAMPAIGN

• Neethi Vedhi

• PUCL Tamil Nadu

• Eka

• Snehasadan, Pune

• Mashal

• Mahiti Adhikar Manch

• Chhattishgarh adhikar manch

• JANANEETHI

• Vividha

• Nagrik Sashaktikaran Manch

• NREGA Sangharsh Morcha

• Sahiyar Stree Sangathan

• Salma

• PUCL Chhattisgarh

• RTF Campaign West Bengal

• Global Shapers Panjim

• National Federation of Indian Women, Delhi Unit

• PUCL Rajasthan

• The four legs charitable trust

• Right to Education Forum Himachal Pradesh

• सोशलिस्ट पार्टी इन्डिया मध्य प्रदेश

• Samudaaya Mangaluru

• WSS West Bengal

• PUCL, Gujarat

First published in Countercurrents.org.