Oust Reliance !

Comrade Arasubalraj took part in a massive rally against Reliance Fresh in Chennai,
on 1st of May he posts the following report on his blog.

Oust Reliance !

The meaning of May Day is rubbished in India primarily by the pseudo-communist parties CPI and CPI (M) and by the ruling class parties like Congress, BJP etc., Historically May Day came in to existence to commemorate the Haymarket Martyrs of 1886 who fought for the Eight-Hour work day. The remaining eight-hours other than work and sleep for which the workers fought is not for entertainment as interpreted today. It is for organising the working class to build their future. Hence May Day cannot be celebrated as yet another holiday to rest at home or to distribute sweets as a ceremony to apoliticise and castrate the working class.

With this understanding, People’s and Literary Association (PALA) and its associate organisations namely New Democratic Labour Front (NDLF), Peasants Liberation Front (PLF) and Revolutionary Students Youth Front (RSYF) in Tamilnadu set specific political agenda for every May Day to organise the working class to make conscious of its duty. Hence, for the past two decades, May Day in Tamilnadu is marked with arousing protests, agitations and conferences by PALA. This year, as announced earlier, as part of the one month campaign against Reliance and MNC’s entering in Retail sector, PALA organised the protests encircling Reliance Fresh Shops. The one month campaign had 1,50,000 pamphlets, thousands of posters and wall writings and 25,000 booklets covering all over Tamilnadu but the primary focus was on Chennai as at present Reliance has started shops only in Chennai. The intensive campaign involved the doorstep propaganda in and around areas of Reliance shops.

The arousing march was flagged off by Comrade.Mukundan, President of NDLF and it started from the Koyambedu Market which is at the verge of extinction due to the Reliance entry in Chennai. The fervent slogans raised by the comrades of these organisations exposed the political parties, bureaucracy and Reliance while upholding the Naxalbari Revolutionaries as the only alternative to face the Recolonisation onslaught. The Revolutionary songs of PALA arts troupe roared in the air. Children and women carried the placards defying the scorching heat. The march reached the Reliance Fresh shop at Virugambakkam Market Road one in sense and two thousand in numbers.

The shop was closed expecting the protest and the police were all ready with barricades. Comrade Marudhaiyan, Secretary of PALA and Comrade Kaliappan, Joint-Secretary of PALA gave speeches explaining the movement. As the one-month campaign in various forms already reached the people of that area, they came in large numbers to watch the agitation bearing the three-hour traffic jam. The comrades got arrested 50 yards before the shop. When they all were carried in Police vans, Koyambedu trader’s union designators came to wish the comrades. Comrade.Marudhiyan thanked them and said, “The distance between us and the shop is just 50 yards. But the distance between the understandings of the people on the menace of MNC’s in retail sector and the reality is far more. Our motto at present of this struggle is to reduce that gap. If reliance to be put down, then Koyambedu should rise up!”

The false and confused ideas ruling the minds of people that deter them to foray were not formed by Ambani. These ideas were thrust in by the ruling class, media and political parties with the implementation of Recolonisation from the last decade. When the traders alone raise the slogan to oust the MNC’s, Reliance masquerades in ‘quality and cheaper prices’ and lures the people. But when the fight begins as a fight against Recolonisation then the slogan will become a people’s slogan and the definite moment will arrive.

The recent, spontaneous, laudable struggle of Ranchi vendors shows the desperation of the small vendor class. The land of Birsa Munda atlast showed the way to the country. These struggles should be organised and shouldn’t be allowed to be corrupted with decomposed political parties. People’s movements should be channelised as movements against Recolonisation as a whole and not to fade away as scattered and spontaneous.


photographs of the protest on May 01,2007 at Chennai:


















* Watch the Video in this post. Thanks to Karumpalakai.
* To read the tamil press clips of the protest read here.
* To read the tamil summary of the thought-provoking speech by Comrade Marudhaiyan, General Secretary, PALA in Public meeting on 27-04-07, read here.
*To hear the speech, click here


Fromarasubalraj.blogspot.com

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