As you read this Nepal is locked in a critical showdown whose outcome will decide the future of the country.
On the one side is the revolutionary movement led by the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). Backed by Nepal's peasants, low-caste untouchables, oppressed women, and urban workers, this force led a guerilla war from 1996-2006, through the course of which they liberated 80% of the Nepalese countryside. To win over the urban people of Nepal, the Maoists called for, and went on to win, elections to a new Constituent Assembly(CA)–a historic body formed to write a constitution for a new Nepal.
On the other side are the old-guard right-wing political parties that control the Nepalese state. Although they temporarily agreed with the Maoists to join the CA process, they have been blocking any attempts to change the feudal structures and foreign domination that continue to define the country.
The Maoists want land distribution, radical autonomy for oppressed minorities, and civilian control of the military. The establishment parties who currently form the government are refusing these popular demands, and no progress has been made towards the deadline for writing the new constitution on May 28th.
In response, Maoists have called for a general strike to begin May 2nd to push forward their demands. The people are taking up this call and current reports say that 20,000 people a day are streaming into the capital, Kathmandu, to join the movement. The government is threatening to use the army against them.
The Maoists, who never disarmed their People's Liberation Army, say they are ready to lead a people's revolt and launch an insurrection should the old parties refuse to form a new government.
This is a highly volatile situation in which something has to give. The Nepalese people have put out a call for international solidarity, and we need to respond.
We need to think and act on Nepal for 3 reasons:
First, to deeply understand the complexity of a real revolutionary movement unfolding before our eyes – the first communist revolution for a generation – learning about the real problems they face and studying their theoretical innovations.
Second, we need to popularize their struggle. Wherever people struggle under global capitalism but cannot see a way out, we need to be telling them about Nepal, to inspire us towards a new collective imagination of the possible.
Third, we need to act as internationalists, and fulfil our responsibility to support oppressed people anywhere who dare to rise up for change.
Join us at a Public Meeting to learn, discuss, and share your ideas.
Thursday, May 13th 6:30pm
Flavelle House (78 Queens Park, Museum subway), Downstairs, Room C.
Refreshments will be served
Sponsored by: Lal Salaam Canada Nepal Solidarity Group (lalsalaamcanada.blogspot.com), Socialist Project (socialistproject.ca), BASICS Free Community Newsletter (basicsnews.ca) and South Asia Solidarity Group.