Burnt Bookmobile


Short fuse; 50,000 workers on the streets & 50 factories burning in Bangladesh
07/01/2009, 10:59 AM
Filed under: Uncategorized

From Infoshop news:

“The mass unrest in the garment industry continued on Monday (29 June) for a third day…

On the outskirts of Dhaka, the capital city, in the industrial zone; workers’ rioting and demonstrations yesterday escalated to new heights. As thousands of workers gathered in the morning, at 10am a group set off towards the nearby Dhaka Export Processing Zone where many garment factories are located. Police blocked their way and fierce fighting began – in the pitched battle police teargas and rubber bullets left 100 workers injured.

Other workers soon joined the protesters and informed them that work was continuing as normal at the Hamim Group factory complex. Twenty thousand workers began to march towards the complex. As the numbers of protesters in the area swelled to 50,000 the security forces were simply overwhelmed; the Dhaka District Superintendent of Police said; “An additional 400 policemen stood guard in front of the major factories. We tried our best to disperse the crowd, but they were too many and too fierce.”

There are reports that some workers at the Hamim complex tried to defend the factory and clashed with the demonstrators as they approached (presumably reluctant to sacrifice their workplace to the greater cause – though whether these workers were garment workers or factory security and/or management personnel is unknown). The approaching protesters were said to be angry that these workers had failed to join the weekend protests over the killing of two garment workers shot by cops – and that the factory owners had, unlike other bosses, continued operating since the shootings.

The workers split into smaller groups and stormed the complex at around 10.15am. They sprinkled the buildings with petrol; a sweater factory, three garment factories, two washing factories, two fabric storehouses … over 8,000 machines, a huge quantity of readymade garments, fabrics, three buses, two pickup vans, two microbuses and one motorbike were all reduced to ashes.

The crowd was thinking strategically. Once the buildings were ablaze some workers returned to the highway and blockaded the road; consequently, the fire services were unable to reach the blaze for several hours until 3.30pm – by which time the buildings were burnt to the ground.”

http://news.infoshop.org/article.php?story=20090629223041183

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