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Dec 4th, 2007

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The Emergency Times Quote of the Day
“Anyone who knows anything of history knows that great social changes are impossible without feminine upheaval.” - Karl Marx

SAC holds Protest at the Lahore Press Club
A protest was held at the Lahore Press Club at 3 pm today (Tuesday) under the auspices of the Student Action Committee Lahore, which is comprised of 21 universities. At the same time, a parallel protest was being held in Islamabad, organized by the Islamabad Student Action Committee. In Lahore, about 200 students, lawyers, civil society activists and journalists gathered inside the press club holding placards and posters. The protesters formed a human chain around the Shimla Pahari, shouting slogans such as 'Adlia ki azadi tak jang rahe gi', 'Lathi goli ki sarkar nahin chale gi', 'Tulba maangain azadi', and 'Girti hui diwaar ko aik dhaka aur doo'. The protesters had originally aimed to march to the Geo office on Davis Road. However, since traffic was being blocked, the protesters decided to return to the press club so as not to cause inconvenience to motorists. Inside the press club, a number of speeches were made. Activist Hina Jillani, Bushra Aitzaz, and students from participating universities were among those who spoke. The speakers called for the reinstatement of the pre-November 3rd judiciary and the freeing of the media, and demanded that all political parties boycott the upcoming sham elections. The eviction of Justice Shahid Siddiqui, who refused to take oath under the PCO, from his house in GOR-I was condemned and the protesters were encouraged to go and protest outside the Justice's house. All the speakers encouraged the protesters to keep up their efforts and not back down until their goals had been achieved. The protesters then disbanded and many of them left for GOR-I. At the judge's residence, students joined lawyers, journalists and other activists outside Justice Shahid Siddiqui's house and chanted slogans. The Justice also came out to speak to the protesters and lauded the efforts of the lawyers, students, media and activists. The protest went ahead despite threats from the police to arrest students from the universities involved

Massive Student Protest in Islamabad- An Eye Witness Account
On the call of the Student Action Committee (Islamabad) over a 1000 protesters gathered at Aabpara Chowk in Islamabad today. The rally consisted mostly of students from many different universities of Islamabad and surrounding areas. Lawyers, NGOs, Human Rights workers, journalists and members of civil society also joined in to show their support to the students. They were holding flags, banners, placards, posters and flags and were demanding an end to all the draconian policies post Nov-3 and an immediate restoration of the Disclaimer: This publication is not affiliated with or does not endorse any political party or social group. It is a humble effort to inspire and make aware- for we together can make a difference in these troubled times. Write to us at theemergencytimes@gmail.com. Our online version is on pakistanmartiallaw.blogspot.com

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Dec 4th, 2007

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deposed judges and lifting on all curbs on media. The protest started peacefully at 3 pm. Participants showed their extreme hate towards inhumane ordinances with slogans such as "Rule of Guns and batons, will not work", "The policies of terror, are unacceptable". There was a specially prepared car with a loudspeaker on top that played national anthems and songs in praise of the brave Pakistanis who were fighting for their right for a normal democratic country. As the protest started moving towards the police club, the police surrounded the protesters threatening dire consequences if they continued to move on. The protesters had made their mind that they will use their fundamental right to protest peacefully and non-violently and resisted to police intimidation. After a few rounds of negotiation the police allowed the protesters to proceed in "groups of 4" for "security reasons". Apparently, students are the new terrorists to them. Female students proceeded initially but when police stopped all men from joining the proceedings they returned and refused to move till their male counterparts were also allowed to proceed. Someone had heard a few policemen talking about arresting the male protesters under Section 114 which suspends the fundamental human right of organizing a group meeting or rally and no one was willing to risk an arrest of any of their fellows. It was really heartening to see much solidarity amongst students who had all come from different schools, colleges and universities and from diverse backgrounds to come to the help of each other. We can find solace in the fact that the future leaders of Pakistan are united in their demand to save Pakistan and have forgotten their personal differences. After the first cordon-off, the police surrounded the students another time this time hoping to intimidate them again to stop the protest. The indiscriminately hit a few students in a cowardly attempt to shatter their morale and stop their peaceful struggle. The students did not resist but more importantly did not give up. They sat down in front of the police and again after negotiations they were allowed to move forward but this time one at a time. The students regrouped again and started moving together as one body. Many had received threats from bullies sitting in government offices to stop speaking up against tyranny and so were really particular in not moving ahead alone. Given thousands have 'disappeared' without charges or ever being brought before a court, it hardly came as a surprise. They wanted to be safe. This time the police stooped to a new low and started targeting women. Ghazala Minallah sustained injuries on her face. Other prominent human rights activists were also targeted. Farzana Bari, Hajra Ahmad, Alia and Asha Amir Ali also got hit with batons. After watching such police brutality the students of Pakistan could not hold themselves any longer. The retaliated in self-defence and to protect the innocent women who were being specifically targeted. Many came forward to protect the women and put themselves as shields. Some were brave enough to pull batons away from the policemen. Some used their own flags to prevent the police from hitting women. In the struggle that followed many students got beaten up while a significant proportion of policemen also suffering some beating. A few helmets of the Riot police fell to the ground, many of their batons were taken by the students and it adequately depicted the future to come: students will resist illegal authority, protect their fellow citizens of Pakistan and of course topple a draconian regime the same way they forced the police to withdraw. Forthwith the procession went ahead to the press club uninterrupted to show solidarity with the journalists. Many prominent speakers ranging from Iqbal Haider from the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and Marvi Samad, an activist spoke to this reinvigorated crowd that was louder than before. The Students of Pakistan are not dead. They are coming out numbers to take back their Pakistan! - Caped Avenger Call for condemning this inhumane targeted beating of women by Policemen: The police today was from a section of Capital Police. The Additional SP in today's protest was Nasir Aftab (who was also responsible for ordering baton charge on students and arresting 48 juveniles.) You can call him at 0300-8505563 to show your disgust as this level of indecency shown today. The Magistrate for today's protest was Kamran Cheema who is the same Magistrate who has repeatedly claimed that the CJ and the other honorable judges are allowed to move freely and who also suggested that Benazir was free to move about when police had barricaded her house. He can be reached at 9261163 (between 9-5). Please do convey your sentiments to these "defenders of the people of Pakistan" and anyone relevant. Disclaimer: This publication is not affiliated with or does not endorse any political party or social group. It is a humble effort to inspire and make aware- for we together can make a difference in these troubled times. Write to us at theemergencytimes@gmail.com. Our online version is on pakistanmartiallaw.blogspot.com

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Dec 4th, 2007

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© photos copyright Fauzia Minallah

FIR against LUMS Students and Faculty
An FIR against 2 students and 4 faculty members was given to the LUMS guards today, probably in the late afternoon. They have been charged for nothing less than: Wall Chalking the police station wall. There is a problem with this: 1. Saad Latif, the Student Council President was out on an LAS trip for the last two weeks or so. In Manglixir, he could not have wall chalked the DHA thana. 2. Currently, there is no such Professor Farhat ul Haq at LUMS. In the last month or so there has not been any such person in LUMS. 3. Dr. Rasool Baksh: He's an aged dignified Professor, not an angry teenager, for God sakes... 4. Osama Siddiqi: He's been in the US for some time, meeting the who's who of America. I hope he will get back at these people. 5. Aasim Sajjad: Everyone knows that he is in the streets of Islamabad, doing bigger things than wallchalking. They just did a one-thousand-people-strong protest in Islamabad today. 6. Umar Malik: He’s an MBA student and a flight lieutenant Is this the kind of 'terrorism' that this Emergency was supposed to deter? Are these the infamous 'terrorists' and 'criminals'? Is this the kind of totalitarian state you want to live in? If not, join us. Don’t leave us alone in this critical hour. We may forget the acts of our enemy but we will never forget the silence of our friends.

GEO petition dismissed
Dec 4 update: This morning, after dragging the case for weeks, the Sindh High Court dismissed Geo's petition to restore at least its non-news channels (sports, entertainment and youth) as 'non-maintainable under the PCO'.

Human Rights Activists Harassed
Press Release: December 4 Contact in Pakistan: 0308-204-2346 US Human Rights Activists Harassed by Pakistani Government U.S. Human rights activists Medea Benjamin and Tighe Barry were on their way to a student rally at the Lahore Press Club at 3pm on Tuesday, December 4, when they were stopped outside the Club gates by six plainclothes government agents. They were told they had to leave the country because their visas had expired. Both, however, have valid visas. The government Disclaimer: This publication is not affiliated with or does not endorse any political party or social group. It is a humble effort to inspire and make aware- for we together can make a difference in these troubled times. Write to us at theemergencytimes@gmail.com. Our online version is on pakistanmartiallaw.blogspot.com

The Emergency Times Please Photocopy and Distribute

Dec 4th, 2007

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agents grabbed Barry by the arm and tried to hold him. Benjamin got help from some journalists, who managed to escort the two activists inside the Club. At 5pm, prominent lawyer Khummeram Khosa drove his car into the Press Club premises to escort the activists out of the Club. The government agents, on three motorcycles, followed their car through the city streets. When the activists tried to call the media, they discovered that their phone was being jammed. The activists returned to the Press Club to alert the media about this harassment. They also advised the U.S. Embassy. "It's a sad state of affairs when the Pakistani government—a government that is trying to portray itself to the West as democratic—tries to harass and deport U.S. human rights activists," say Benjamin. "If they do this to us, who have the protection of being US citizens, imagine what they do to their own citizens." "We will not be intimidated," says Barry. "We will continue our activities here in support of Pakistanis struggling for democracy, and we call on the Pakistani government to stop harassing us and respect our rights." Benjamin and Barry are members of the U.S. human rights group Global Exchange and the women's peace group CODEPINK. They have been in Pakistan since November 25 on a mission to learn about and support Pakistani civil society. They have been meeting with lawyers, students, judges, journalists and political leaders. They also conducted a 24-hour vigil outside the home of prominent lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan, who is under house arrest. Through these activities, they have received tremendous support and appreciation from the Pakistani people. Today, they received a Letter of Thanks from the Lahore High Court Bar Association. The lawyer extended "heartfelt gratitude for showing solidarity with the legal community of Pakistan" and for helping to "boost the moral of the Pakistani lawyers in their just struggle for the restoration of the Constitution." (The emergency times Eds- According to recent reports Medea Benjamin and Tighe Barry have both been deported!)

Human Shield Prevents Forcible eviction of Justice Shahid Siddiqui
Attempts to forcibly evict Justice Shahid Siddiqui from his official residence: Civil society activists, lawyers and retired judges – including Asma Jahangir, Hina Jilani, Asad Jamal and many others stayed outside his house all night (in the bitter Lahore cold). They are rotating some 40-50 protesters outside the house at any given time forming a human shield to prevent the Punjab government from forcibly evicting him, said Hamid Khan (former President of the Supreme Court Bar Association). He said that there are only two non-PCO judges living in government housing in Lahore's GOR, Justice Shahid Siddiqui and Justice Ijaz Ahmed Choudhry – the others live in their own residences. Several student protesters from the lahore press club protest later joined the vigil outside Justice Siddiqui's house. By4.30 pm, scores of student activists had gathered there. "The Justice also came out to speak to the protesters and lauded the efforts of the lawyers, students, media and activists. The protest went ahead despite threats from the police to arrest students from the universities involved." When the current 'CJ' sent eviction orders to them (in violation of their own rules, which state that even on forced retirement an employee is given six months notice to find alternate accommodation), Shahid Siddiqui responded by challenging his authority and serving a contempt of court notice on him (posted yesterday on this list).

Disclaimer: This publication is not affiliated with or does not endorse any political party or social group. It is a humble effort to inspire and make aware- for we together can make a difference in these troubled times. Write to us at theemergencytimes@gmail.com. Our online version is on pakistanmartiallaw.blogspot.com