The following came into us via e-mail from a representative with the Peoples’ Resistance which is a coalition of various organizations, left-wing political parties, NGOs and human rights organizations, labor and trade-union federations, academics, students, and citizens, demonstrated today (Friday) evening outside MacDonald’s at Sea View in Clifton in a flash peace rally:
The public rally was a direct resistance against the state-imposed ban on public demonstrations. The citizens of Karachi have decided categorically that they will maintain a civil disobedience movement until the dictatorship has been broken. YAYYYY for Karachi!!!
The demonstrators, who had orders to remain peaceful at all times, shouted slogans against the imposition of emergency, the clampdown on the judiciary and the media, and the military dictatorship. Some of them also held lighted candles to mark the evening vigil. Pamphlets were also distributed. A number of onlookers joined us within minutes and asked for placards and candles to hold. They also participated in chanting anti-State and anti-Musharraf slogans. A family of three (with a child around two years old) stopped their car in the middle of the road and came out to join the demonstration. Amazingly awesome response we’re getting from the public.
Passers-by stopped their cars to flash victory signs at the protestors, who had orders to remain peaceful and organised at all times. More than the actual rally, we were overwhelmed by the public reaction. Cars stopped, and people gave us a thumbs-up. Many young men stopped their bikes and joined us in chanting slogans. Even though the demonstration was organised by the roadside, traffic was not significantly disturbed. Pedestrians joined in too, and everyone dispersed quietly and peacefully by 10 minutes past four.
Unlike the previous two demonstrations organised by the group, the mood at this one was charged and militant. No police crackdown took place, however, and the group dispersed peacefully within 10 minutes. A van full of paramilitary forces arrived a couple of minutes later to find the venue deserted.Ã‚Â :-)