Thousands Throng Faiz Festival, Students Mobilise For Solidarity March
The Faiz International Festival was held at the Alhamra Arts Center in Lahore with thousands of people partaking in the event, and students mobilising for an upcoming student solidarity march.
The sessions held under the event aimed to discuss the politics of the left, the era of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, and the way forward for Pakistan in the contemporary era.
A major highlight of the event was the performance of students whereby they read poetry and raised slogans of dissent in a musical manner.
— Shiraz Hassan (@ShirazHassan) November 17, 2019
The performance engendered a debate among Twitterati, where one side argued how the students were part of the elite and their actions to protests against the right of the lower classes would amount to nothing.
Yet there were others who gave their full support to the performance, saying that students protesting for housing and shelter, and against sexual violence and climate change were the way forward against repressive regimes.
Activist Tooba Syed took to Twitter, and I sarcastic manner, dispelled the notion that students fighting for issues that plagued everyone were elitists.
Elitist students organising for right to housing and shelter, against climate change and sexual violence. Definitely reeks of privilege! #StudentSolidarityMarch #SarcaamHaiPls pic.twitter.com/7cPbENEeVx
— Tooba Syed ☭ (@Tooba_Sd) November 18, 2019
The students’ performance was part of a mobilisation campaign for an upcoming Student Solidarity March, which is going to be held on November 29th.
— Shiraz Hassan (@ShirazHassan) November 18, 2019
The Student Solidarity March received a massive amount of support from students, activists, academics and ordinary people.
Leftist political activists Aimen Bucha stated that the critique of this march as an elitist venture was baseless.
There seems to be quite an uproar around the #StudentSolidarityMarch. I won’t undermine all those baselessly critiquing this as some elitist venture rather would want to speak on some of the demands of this March. [A thread]. https://t.co/KyBnax87id
— Aimen Bucha (@AimenBucha) November 18, 2019
Journalist Aima Khosa called on people to not pay attention to ‘cynical commentaries’ and instead support students in their demand for representation.
Young students from across Pakistan are organising #StudentSolidarityMarch on November 29.
Hate machines are churning out cynical commentaries to deflect public attention from their demands.
Do not be a hater. Support students in their demand for representation.
— Aima Khosa (@aimaMK) November 18, 2019
Academic Ammar Ali Jan stated that he was heartened to see the support for the student solidarity march and expressed concern about the ‘baseless allegations’ about them being elites.
Heartened to see the outpouring of support for the #StudentSolidarityMarch . I am also concerned about the baseless allegations of being elites made against these bright young people, who are daring to dream of a better world.
I've worked with these students for over 2 years.
— Ammar Ali Jan (@ammaralijan) November 18, 2019
Academic Nida Kirmani expressed frustration over the fact that who don’t protest against injustices against oppression are making baseless allegations against those trying to make the world a better place.
It’s bad enough that most people don’t do anything to protest the injustices in our society, but it’s maddening when those people sit behind their keyboards & make baseless accusations against those who are actually trying to make the world a better place. #StudentSolidarityMarch
— Nida Kirmani (@nidkirm) November 18, 2019
Journalist Maleeha Manzoor also pointed out that those who criticise young people for not being politicised are criticising them over their backgrounds.
First u complain why the young aren't politicized enough to participate in decision-making, now when finally there's sm activism, u castigate & discriminate 'em over their backgrounds. Priviliged or underprivileged, rights remain same & so does the fight. #StudentSolidarityMarch
— Maleeha Manzoor (@MaleehaManzoor) November 18, 2019