Karachi protest frizzles out before starting…
A massive protest had been planned outside the Karachi Press Club today. A *lot* of people showed up. The problem was, however, that a majority of them probably thought that the protest would be a dinner party.
A pre-protest meeting was held inside the KPC premises, where some people starting chanting slogans. The KPC management objected to this, and asked people to go outside if they wanted to chant slogans. People decided to step outside the KPC. At this point, some people tried to hijack the demonstration, and starting chanting slogans on their own the moment they realised they were surrounded by TV cameras.
[In the meantime, please remember that the entire area around the press club had been cordoned off, and heavy police contingents had been placed all around, including female police personnel.]
So yeah, the media cameramen got out of the KPC, followed by everyone else. This was a mistake — the cameramen should have let everyone ELSE come out first.
Now, Instead of waiting for the entire crowd to come out and protest together, some people decided to be lone rangers. During this time, they realised that an “agencies ka banda” was in the group. Everyone started beating him up — and when I say “everyone,” I mean the cameramen AND the protesters. The guy ran towards the nearest police mobile, where the policemen just gaped at him. [This was a funny bit -- a guy runs towards the police mobile, he's being followed by people who's trying to beat him up. "Maaro saaley ko!" k naarey all around, and the policemen stand and gape. ROTFLOL!!!]
So they guy realised that these policemen were useless and he ran towards a bunch of mobiles at the other end of the road. WahaaN sey a whole BUNCH of policemen came running back with laathiaN and all. They saw cameramen on the frontline and starting baton-charging them. Cameras were broken, people were chased. Some guys fell down, and at least five to six policemen each hit EACH of those guys brutally with sticks before dragging them off. :-S
Khair, so everyone rushed back to the press club, where a “meeting” was held. Anis Haroon and all were of the opinion that people will get arrested if they went outside to protest (no really, ya think?), and decided that the conditions were “too harsh” — the protestors were outnumbered by the police personnel, they said. Now at this point, I was wondering WHY they came there in the first place. Did they not realise that all of this would happen when they first announced a protest? Yaani k KIA?!
They then decided that a meeting would be held at the Aurat Foundation offices at 03:00 p.m. tomorrow (jeez!). I will not attend it, neither will a lot of other people who were there today.
In the meantime, policemen cordoned off the Press Club, and said that they were waiting outside for political leaders holed up within the KPC premises. Yousuf Masti Khan (secretary-general of Minto’s National Workers Party) was arrested the moment he stepped outside. The police believe Bizenjo and Tehrik-e-Insaf’s (TI) Alvi saheb are still in there. Bizenjo has refused to step outside. The standoff continues…
I know bits and portions of this post are very rude, but I’m angry at the people (they know who they are) who tried to first hijack the protest, and then kill it. This was a demonstration to register Karachi’s protest against the Martial Law, people, not a friggin’ photo op. Give us a BREAK, okay?