Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Festival of the Oppressed.

Lenin once said that the Revolution looks like the festival of the oppressed. And its some festival. The last couple of days I have had some amazing experiences.
On Monday as I was walking back to my room I by chance happened to come upon a political program being set up by the Maoists. It is common to see the Maoist flags and graffiti- they are all over the city (and the countryside as well) but this was the first chance I had to witness their mass oriented programs since i had arrived.
It was pretty amazing. There were various speakers who talked on a range of topics, from international imperialism to the national problems and the economy- all mixed up with traditional song and dance.
Several women spoke- most strikingly was this woman- dressed completely in red. It was really good to see- some people were obviously new to public speaking and as well as women there were people from class and caste backgrounds that normally wouldn't be entitled to be involved in politics.

He chaired the meeting.
The cultural dancers. I have video, but its proving difficult to get online. They were really enthusiastic and it was a very interesting aspect of the program. I can't really recall a radical political program in Australia where dance was incorporated into the session. Maybe it something we should look into? (as long as i don't have to do tit its cool with me).

This was a much more militant dance that the first, with kicks and punches and salutes. I presume something about the peoples war or fighting the peoples enemies, but i wasn't near anyone who spoke English at the time, so im not certain.
More dancers- as you can see the crowd was pretty big. There was at least a couple of thousand I would say- although people came and went throughout and many walked past, so many thousands would have seen it.
Also this is just one of many similar programs that are happening to maximise the turn out of the National day of rallies happening on April 6. Ill be at the Kathmandu mass rally keep an eye out here for the report.


And then to make things even more interesting yesterday I went to Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, where the Maoist student Union had just won the student union elections. While the Maoists results were a little bit mixed elsewhere for various reasons- the atmosphere at TU- the largest and oldest uni in Nepal was electric.

Beating the red drum of victory.

Thousands of students stuck around in the rain for the result- and the victory rally and celebrations.

Durga Dheni- the now treasurer of the Union and one of the women on the Maoist ticket.
The campaign went for about 2 weeks, but planning had been going for months, they had cultural shows, magazines and the whole campus is covered in posters and graffiti. They worked hard and it had paid off.

It was- as a socialist- impossible not to get a little involved in what was going on- especially in a Lenin shirt and with a hammer and sickle tattoo.

The leaders who had just been elected carrying a banner through the neighbouring town of Kirtipur at about 10 at night after the result was finally announced. Power shedding and rain shortened the celebrations considerably. Locals lined the streets and cheered as well as the students marched by.
These rallies- and the others that i haven't seen are occurring in a situation that is becoming increasingly tense. The winter session of the parliament has just been called,and the opposition (inside and out of the government) is putting the heat on the Maoists. With the mass rallies and bi-elections in the next couple of weeks it can all change very quickly and very intensely.
so in a shameless self plug- watch this space for the latest on the ground information and analysis.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

domo arigato komrad,listening and watching and reading whats going on in the roof of the world and worrying that things won't go to shit, especially the rcp polemic.

so it's good, real good, kool to get news from the ground and feel the revolutionary energy. beware of mf's that are so opinionated and non dialectical who want to lead......aluta continua mo

ravan said...

lal salam comrade, wel, it'd been better for you to have known the truth of the lives of some of these girls who are dansing on Maoist stage and what happns to them afterwards...well the truth is deeper than fiction and mostly a bitter pill...
and a touring it and reporting it frm the sruface amounts nothing but to empty propagana where the old party haks get a kik out of al this...if your really serious abt communism for the futurem then go and look in to the real conditions of these peopel, in their base areas, camps, inside the brothels in thamel...
their real problems and their pipe dreams...

Ben Peterson said...

Ravan.

That is total bullshit based on absolutely nothing.

Further it is insulting to the women who are playing a very real role in the processes here.

ravan said...

ya rite, the world doesn't work according to how you wish but on it's own way; you'll get to learn it as you grow up, in time; therez a gag law preventing me from going to the details but as Lenin puts it the revolution needs 'useful idiots' like you and me, so go ahead! but never forget the adage of Marx that 'to be radical is to grasp the root of the matter.' any other superficial touching of the important issues amounts to nothing but BOY SCOUT PROPAGANDA!
your partially correct to say what i said was bullshit for my bullshitting is not much different from the macro level bullshitting that's going on for some time strategical reasons. a lutta contera!