June 16 Campaign Reports
PROTEST programmes were held across the country on June 16 at the call of the Party’s Polit Bureau, demanding relief to the people who are badly hit by the Corona crisis and the resultant lockdown.
On June 16, protest actions were very encouraging in Kolkata and in other districts. State government and its administration tried its best to disrupt our programme in Kolkata. All 16 parties’ state leadership took part in Kolkata central programme at Rani Rashmoni Avenue (Esplanade). Before the programme could start, the police arrested a good number of leadership including Surjya Kanta Mishra, state secretary and Polit Bureau member of CPI(M) and leadership of Left and other parties. Thirty three leaders were arrested and sent to Lalbazar central lockup. The protest however continued under the leadership of Biman Basu, chairman, state Left Front and member of the Polit Bureau, CPI(M); the protest demonstration continued till 5.30 pm. This incident played the role of a spark. This unprovoked arrest added fuel to the movement. Anger of the people got reflected in the militant nature of protest actions throughout the state. Finally due to pressure created by the movement, arrested leaders were freed. From reports of the districts it is revealed that there was massive participation of people in this programme.
In more than 750 places throughout the state this protest day was observed. Maintaining all health norms which are must in this pandemic situation, public meetings with microphones were also held. No doubt this decentralised manner of programme could draw a good number of people including workers, migrant workers, kisan, agricultural workers, women, youth, students, slum dwellers, adivashi and dalits throughout the state. Special mention should be made about the huge number of youth participants. This demonstration lasted for three hours in many places. In some places, the protest programme was held in the morning, in many places this was held at noon or evening based at their convenience. Finally it is to be added that this protest programme is continuing even after June 16. On June 17 and 18 also protest demonstrations were held even in several blocks.
Party Polit Bureau’s call for protests on June 16 was observed successfully throughout the state. Party secretariat physical meeting and state committee online meeting and also we had an online meeting with cell secretaries in the state and prepared the Party for the June 16 campaign. In these meetings, a clear cut direction was given that ‘every Party branch and members should take part in this campaign. The idea was to make all the branches participate. The state committee felt that the urgent issues raised by the PB have relevance and should be popularised during this agitation. B V Raghavulu, Polit Bureau member participated in the state secretariat meeting and explained the present Corona pandemic and its effects, a situation where we need to activise the lower sections of the party organisation. We took this as an opportunity to do so. And the tasks before us were designed in this background.
In addition to the demands put forth by the PB, local issues and demands also were raised during this campaign. Pamphlets were published in all the districts. Protests were observed in 423 mandals out of 676 mandals in the state. A total of 30,514 people participated in 1,933 centres.
Protest programs were held before the village/ ward secretariats. In each of the protests not less than 15 people participated and it went up to 150-200 people. Now in Andhra Pradesh the number of Corona cases is on the rise and spreading to the new areas. Observing physical distancing these protests took place. The programme took place in a decentralised manner. No other political party in the state took up these issues and our camping was able to draw the attention of the local media. The service/ welfare activities taken up by the Party for the last three months had helped us to make this programme a success. During the lockdown period the service we rendered for the migrant labour issues also had an impact.