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<nettime> Karachi yesterday: Details and clarifications
yasir ~ on Wed, 21 Nov 2007 23:26:05 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Karachi yesterday: Details and clarifications

from a journalist hand arrested and released yesterday (well worth a
read and wonder)

Dear all,

First off, the funny part: All the journalists arrested (and later
released) in Karachi yesterday have been charged with "rioting,
creating [a] law and order situation, encounter, kidnapping and
attempt to murder." ATTEMPT TO MURDER!!! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Attempt
to murder what? Musharraf's hegemony? HELL yeah, baby! :-P

Okay, here's what happened yesterday:

The rally

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and the Karachi
Union of Journalists (KUJ) had called for a peaceful demonstration at
03:00 Tuesday (yesterday) outside the Karachi Press Club. The purpose
was to demand the freedom of the Press, etc. Please note, all of us
were totally unarmed, while the police surrounding the area were in
complete riot gear with shields and motey dandey and bulletproof
vests, helmets, knee pads, and whatnot. The entire area around the
press club had been cordoned off.

The moment the rally got out of the Press Club, we were attacked
(yes, "attacked") by the policemen. There was a LOAD of brutal
baton-charging, and one policeman hit ARY's Aajiz Jamali so hard on
his back with the shield, that the shield broke in two. :-S Women and
men were hit indiscriminately and very VERY brutally -- yes I can
emphasize that enough. I'm skinny -- I crawled around and got out
unhurt. Everyone ran back towards the press club. Some of our office
bearers and senior people had been picked up.

The demands and the negotiations

We all got out again and demanded that everyone be released. The
policemen said they'd let everyone go if we went back inside the
press club. We refused, and said we'd go in ONLY after our people
were released. Negotiations followed, and it turned out that our
people could not be released. We said fine, if you can arrest 10,
you can arrest all the rest of us too. :-P We gave in "ba-jamaa'at"
giriftaariaN. The policemen tried to stop the women but we said we
were standing by our male colleagues. They said there were no female
police officials and we could therefore not be arrested. We reminded
them that the people who had baton charged us were not female police
officials, and if the male police waalahs could hit us, they could
pretty darn well arrest us too. Khair, female police waaliaN were
brought in, but we insisted that we will go in the same vans as our
male colleagues.

In the van

Now this is the fun part! :-D There were 27 of us in this van --
seven women and 20 men. And boy did we raise hell!!! The van took us
on a tour of the entire city, and we kept naarafying all the way.
Passersby stopped to gape at us and then joined in the naareybaazi.
In short, we conducted a State-sponsored anti-Musharraf rally.
AHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!! Yes, I can't get over this -- this IS
funny!!! :-D They took us to the Boat Basin police station, only to
realise that it was full. Ditto for Gizri and Darakhshan. They were
then told to take us to the Docks police station, but the driver
did not know the way (YUP!!! :-D). He took us to the Jackson police
station instead, where his bum was kicked, and the correct raasta
explained to him by officials concerned. LOL! All this while, we
weren't making life easier for him by continuously naarafying, jeering
and heckling. Yes we're mean. :-P

At the Docks Police Station

We were "offloaded" and the women were told to go separately. We
refused and decided to stick with our male colleagues. "We're here
as journalists, not men or women," we told the police waalahs there.
Since the Docks Police Station does not have a female lockup, they had
to put all 26 of us in the interrogation room where we continued to
party. :-P

At around 05:30 p.m. they came to the women and said that we were free
to go. We asked if EVERYONE was free to go and we were told, "No, only
the 'laddiss'." We told them to sod off -- either EVERYONE leaves, or
no one does.

They tried to confiscate our cellphones, and we refused en masse. So
while cellphones at the rest of the police stations were taken away,
us "Docks waalahs" still had ours on us. :-D

We also took over the SHO's rest room, because the "prisoners'
restrooms" were filthy and the doors wouldn't lock. We made them bring
water for us, etc etc, didn't tell them our home addresses for the
FIR, bugged them every way we could. :-P Faiz saheb's kalaam was sung,
nareybaazi huee. Some PPP waalahs brought us food, tea, diet coke and
jaali ciggies, for which we're thankful to them. :-P

A lot of people visited us, and we are sincerely grateful for their
support. Special thanks to Ayes from the yyyyyy for staying with us
for a whole bunch of hours together. A majority of the ddddd camped
out outside the gates of the police station, as did fffff from the
bbb, and ttttttt and all. The HRCP visited us too, as did members of
Peoples Resistance, including ggggg and hhhh (I'm sorry I'm missing
out names here). From what I heard from the other police stations
(people were spread out -- some, including two women, were at the
Clifton police station, some at the Artillery Maidan police station,
Frere police station, Darakhshan too, I think), journos there were
having as much fun as we were having at the Docks Police Station.

Ten people who had been taken to the Shershah police station were
brought over to Docks, bringing the total at our camp to 36 -- the
more, the merrier! :-P

The Release

At around 09:30 p.m. they said all of us were free to go. We came to
know, however, that four of our senior office bearers could not be
traced. It was mutually decided that no one would leave any police
station, until those four people were released with us. The police
waalahs threatened to physically throw everyone out, and they were
told to "try." :-P The missing people were then "miraculously" traced
out within 15 minutes, and everyone rejoiced. We left the Docks police
station the way we'd entered it -- naarafying and partying. :-D

All of us "criminals" from all the police stations then congregated
outside the Clifton police station, where we raised hell again. We
then proceeded to the Karachi Press Club, where we partied again --
yes, that's what us Karachi'ites do best -- and we do things with a
bang! : )

Lesson learnt yesterday: Unity = Victory.

ddddd asked me yesterday about why we were not mistreated at the
police station. The answer, fffffff, is: they dared not mistreat us
because we stood united.

Also, from what we were told by the new information minister, Nesar
Memon, the decision to arrest journos was taken independently by the
Sindh government -- no such orders had come forth from the provincial
level. Now I'm wondering how or why a caretaker government would take
such a major step.

Moreover, there are people who're going around saying that the police
resorted to violence only after journos hurled stones at them. This
is WRONG. Stones were hurled, yes, but only AFTER the police started
beating us up like cattle. A friend of mine rolled up her placard and
started hitting a police waalah on the head with it -- after his lathi
hit her really hard. Serves them right, I'd say. But let the records
show that the stone-throwing was a REACTION. Anyone would do it if you
saw your friends being beaten up this way for no reason -- and we're
all friends here. No matter how cut-throat the competition between
publications and channels, no matter how hard we try to outdo each
other professionally, but when push comes to shove, we journos are all
friends and we stand united!!!

Oh and naaras that journos came up with yesterday:

Mukk gya tera show Musharraf (you show is ended Musharraf)
Go Musharraf, Go Musharraf!
Kalla baetha ro Musharraf (you sit there alone Musharraf)
Go Musharraf, Go Musharraf!!! :-D

Inquilaab Zindabad!

In Solidarity,

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