A Big Red River: Solidarity Meeting with Maruti-Suzuki Workers
(this video, courtesy, Pratyush, Correspondence Delhi)
A big red river streamed out of the gates of Kamla Nehru Park in Gurgaon last evening (17th October, 2011). Several thousands of workers (according to one estimate – one hundred thousand workers), from many factories in the Gurgaon-Manesar belt had occupied the park from 4:00 pm onwards to stand in solidarity with the struggle of the Maruti-Suzuki, Suzuki Powertrain and Suzuki Motorcycle India Limited workers. In an unprecedented demonstration of solidarity, permanent workers are on strike to demand justice and re-instatement of their contract worker colleagues. The atmosphere at the meeting was of celebration, workers who had been occupying three different factories for more than a week had been evicted by an administration that had brought out all the police and coercive power at its disposal. But yesterday’s gathering was like a reunion, the workers of the three ex-occupied factories, and their comrades in other plants throughout the Gurgaon-Manesar belt were meeting, like old and new friends, to taste the heady experience of peacable solidarity.
One of them said, “when we went home finally after a long stint occupying the factory, we saw how fast the world is changing on television, there are hundreds and thousands of people like us, working people, young people, out on the streets, occupying so many cities, New York, London, Rome…, we realized that we are not alone…that makes us feel very happy…that is why you see so many of us smiling here…we are angry, but we are not beaten, we are out here, and we will not give in now easily…the whole world is watching the whole world.”
In perfectly peaceful, measured steps, thousands of workers walked out of the park and into the city.
A sea of red flags, with or without the alphabets of affiliation to this or that union,this or that desire, this or that demand, a roar of voices, raising many different kinds of slogans, some routine, some improvised, some laughed out loud, some said sing-song, some said with anger, some said with joy, none spoken without passion.
The whole world is watching the whole world change.
From Kafila archives:
- Appeal from Maruti Suzuki Employees Union: Shiv Kumar (16.10.2011)
- The Black Hole of Manesar: (Non) News of a Strike at Maruti-Suzuki (15.10.2011)
- Strike in Maruti-Suzuki and Seven Other Factories in Manesar: The Struggle Continues (08.10.2011)
- Speed and Control at Manesar: Why is the Maruti-Suzuki Management Keeping Workers Out of its Factory? (06.09.2011)
- Maruti Struggle Continues Despite Repression: Statement (03.09.2011)