Farmers and workers gear up for November 26 protest!

Organisations report that the struggle may intensify and extend to the local village-level in an effort to repeal anti-farmer and anti-workers laws


Farmers organisations, trade Unions and workers’ organisations across India have set the stage for the nationwide civic unrest planned from November 26, 2020 onwards.

During a press conference on November 25, coordinating members of the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) said all states were geared up for “Dilli Chalo” programme for November 26 and 27.

Similarly, the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) on Wednesday strongly denounced government’s repression on peasants and workers since the last two days.

Both organisations and their coalitions asserted many times in recent days that peasant unrest will continue indefinitely if the central government does not accede to their demands.

“Farmers’ indefinite struggle with Dilli Chalo on November 26th onwards has been launched in full strength and we will intensify the struggle from here on”, said the AIKSCC.

Their main demands include a repeal of the three central farm Acts and a withdrawal of the Electricity Bill 2020. The farmers’ body called these legislations “anti-farmer and anti-people,” created mainly to facilitate the expansion of corporate control over agriculture and food systems.

Meanwhile, trade Unions demanded that the Union government abstain from privatising the public sector of India that serves as the backbone of the economy. They congratulated the working class and the peasantry for displaying such strong solidarity and determination to fight and warned the BJP-led government that the anger of the people against its disastrous and destructive policies will not be suppressed by dictatorial measures.

To illustrate this point, organisations referred and condemned arrests of several farmer and Trade Union leaders there since November 24. As many as 31 leaders have been detained or arrested in Haryana.

“Workers, employees and peasants in Haryana are jointly protesting against the repression and are sitting on dharna in many places demanding immediate release of the arrested leaders. The working class throughout the country has condemned these arrests,” said CITU.

To make matters worse, the Odisha government invoked the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) that ensures the continuance of certain services. State workers have organised protest demonstrations in front of the state assembly against the decision.

Undeterred by the arrests, tens of thousands of peasants from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and other states are moving towards Delhi using different modes of transport. Hundreds of people will reach Delhi in vehicle convoys from Karnataka, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

In locations distant from Delhi, simultaneous protests will happen locally, at taluka, district and state levels. For example, 16 newly-elected MLAs in Bihar will protest outside the Legislative Assembly on Constitution Day while dharnas and demonstrations are observed at most districts of the state. Similarly, Jharkhand protesters will march to the Raj Bhavan.

Southern state Karnataka has created a thousand points to implement village-level bandhs with Jathas underway in different districts. Tamil Nadu will witness rasta roko and rail roko agitation in more than 500 places.

District and taluka level protests are planned in eastern Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The two southern states will also hold demonstrations at central government offices at all district centres on November 27.

Andhra Pradesh farmers will protest on Friday in front of power sub-stations across the state against the Electricity Bill and reforms while south Odisha will observe complete bandh.

Maharashtra farmers will close all Mandis as part of the Grameen Hartal and in 200 tehsils of 37 districts, tehsil level protests will be held. There is also a plan to have indefinite protests launched in some districts in parallel with the Delhi protest. In West Bengal, Grameen Hartal will be observed in all districts. More than 500 conventions and outreach programs have been held in the past few weeks in the state.

On Tuesday, trade Unions had said that workers from banks and insurance companies, coal sector, power sector, steam sector, oil sector, defence sector, railways sector, various central government employees, several state governments, even private transport sectors such as auto drivers, taxi driver unions promised to abstain from work. Leaders warned that some buses may not arrive early morning on Thursday. Further, scheme workers like anganwadi workers, ASHA personnel as well as hawkers, bidi workers, agriculture workers and construction workers will also join the strike.

The growing coalition warned the Union government not to use Covid-19 as an excuse to thwart the democratic right of citizens to protest against anti-people moves.

“Covid-19 care requires several medical and preventive steps, like distribution of masks, sanitizers, physical care of the needy and jobless, etc where the government’s performance is woefully wanting. The Government has rather imposed policing and fines which are counter-productive and meant to blame people and demoralize them. The Government of India should stop mis-utilising coronavirus threats to harm farmers,” said the AIKSCC in a press conference.


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