ANTI-NUCLEAR PROTEST RALLY LEADS TO ARRESTS IN BOMBAY
At 4PM on the 10th of June, for the second time within a month, the Anubam
Virodhi Andolan (Movement Against Nuclear Weapons) held a protest rally at
Hutatma Chowk in Bombay. Once again over 200 people gathered but this time
the police did not not allow them to even unravel their banners, display
their placards or to distribute leaflets.
Applying Section 144 (more than 5 people cannot assemble) in a draconian
manner, the police dispersed whoever came into the area over a period of two
hours and arrested 12 people selectively. Although there were minor
scuffles in the process no one was injured. Slogans of "Down with Nuclear
Bombs", "Vajpayee, Nawas Sharif, Hai, Hai (Shame, Shame) were shouted. The police quickly pounced on all the materials we had carefully created in the
last week. This included two sets of carboard skull and crossbone cut-outs
of Vajpayee and Sharif holding three-dimensional missiles bombs. Another 5
skull and crossbones held "bombs" with the flags of USA, Russia, UK, France
and China. We were to have set fire to all the bombs but the police reached
and destroyed them first in the name of "security". If only they would do
the same to the real thing the world would indeed become secure.
As one demonstrator was being driven away in the security van she held up
pictures of the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These too the police
destroyed within minutes. All the "accused" amongst whom are textile and
other shop-floor workers, lawyers, architects, journalists and filmworkers
have been released and will appear in court to be "charged" today.
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