[Marxism] Pakistan relief effort - a revolutionary approach

Jorge Martin jorge at marxist.com
Wed Oct 19 07:21:46 MDT 2005

Hi all,

The reaction of ordinary people and the labour movement to "natural"
disasters and the contrast of this to the official reaction of governments
to the same has always been for me a very strong argument against the "human
nature" argument against socialism and a society based on cooperation.

Generally the first reaction of ordinary working people is to pull efforts
together and help out in the best way possible, which is always through
cooperation. The reaction of governments (which in many cases are to blame
for the scale of the disaster) is usually bureaucratic, slow, class based,
etc. Plenty of examples of this in New Orleans recently.

Many times this contradiction leads to political crisis, as was the case
with the Mexico City earthquake in 1985 (http://mitworld.mit.edu/video/6/),
the recent earthquake in the Rif region in North Morocco (
http://oldsite.marxist.com/Africa/morocco-tremors-rif030605.htm), etc

The recent earthquake in Kashmir could have similar consquences. I would
like to point comrades to the work of the Marxist-led Pakistan Trade Union
Defence Campaign. The comrades have lost a number of their members in
Kashmir and quite a few of them have been affected in one way or another by
this disaster, as have been tens of thousands of working class and poor
families. The comrades have organised a revolutionary solidarity caravan,
set up refugee camps and tried to link up this work with the labour and left
wing movement from India. This is of crucial importance in Kashmir which is
occupied by Pakistan and India. And as was to be expected the Pakistani
regime has reacted by blocking visas for Indian doctors and MPs attempting
to join the caravan. This is an extraordinary story of the reaction of a
revolutionary organisation to a natural disaster and the suffering of fellow
working people. You can read it here:

 Kashmir: Relief Effort moves

 Indian doctors not given visa to enter Pakistan for relief

 Earthquake Update: Eyewitness report from

 Pakistan Update: The Revolutionary Solidarity

*Pakistan: Shock turns to anger in aftermath of devastating

**Pakistan: Earthquake appeal update - PTUDC to send aid convoy to

**Pakistan earthquake: an appeal for the Kashmiri

*There are also other left wing - trade union movement relief efforts run by
PTURC, LPP and CMKP as far as I know.



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