Bangladesh: thousands of workers struggle against bureaucratic capitalism

Featured image: the Bangladeshi proletariat take the streets in Dhaka. Source: Al Jazeera, Mahmud Hossain Opu.

c These protests have shown the hypocrisy of imperialist system. Recently there are news that the proletarian mobilizations in Bangladesh have gathered 25,000 proletarians, many more than at the beginning of the protests, and clashing with the police. We have previously reported on these protests in the country.

Clash between proletarians and policemen in a demonstration in Bangladesh. Source: The Current.

The Bangladeshi State continue trying to hold the situation through a brutal repression: it continues deploying paramilitary, military and police forces in the industrial areas of Dhaka. This includes an increasing paramilitary deployment to protect factories and prevent them to be closed by the demonstrators. At this moment it has been deployed 44 platoons of the Border Guard Bangladesh – BGB. The Bangladeshi proletariat response to this repression with strength, hurling bricks against police and recently they have been hurt a high rank police officer who was in the area of some protests. The Bangladeshi police has recently killed another two workers. In one peaceful demonstration occurred on 8th of November, police beat to disband the protesters and drive them away of the public roads. In these clashes, the Bangladeshi police shot with live ammunition, murdering one proletarian and hurting another one, who has passed away three nights ago.

The Bangladeshi ruling classes and imperialism are combining this repression with attempts of bribe, giving the crumbs to the proletariat: on 7th of November, it was announced an increasing of the monthly wage of the garment workers, from 75 US$, up to 113 US$. This increasing would be applied from the month of December and would affect four million proletarians who are garment workers in Bangladesh. But proletarians still demand an increasing of the monthly wage to 208 US$. They maintain this just demand and they keep the struggle for it since weeks ago.

Police repression against Bangladeshi demonstrators in the garment factories. Source: New Age Bangladesh

In front of this, the answer of the proletariat is clear and firm: the proletarian protests have gathered more people than ever, on Thursday 9th of November, more than 25.000 people. These mobilizations have continued clashing against police and struggling fiercely in the streets. On Saturday 11th of November, more than 140 garment factories remained closed due to the protests. The lackeys of imperialism which are in the government of Bangladesh announced that the number of complaints of vandalism raised to 32, with more than 20.000 proletarians accused. Until 12th of November, 122 proletarians have been arrested in the framework of these protests.

While this struggle is happening, the main responsibles of the bad conditions of the Bangladeshi people, the imperialists, are showing with any shame their hypocrisy. The spokesperson of the Secretary of the State of the United States, stated that “they are also concerned on the repression against workers”, and numerous big brands of the imperialists as Levi Strauss, H&M, etc., stated that the wages must be increased, and the government of Bangladesh must follow a transparent and clear policy regarding this. But at the same time, they clearly stated the following: if the wages are increased, also the prices of the clothes must be increased, because they do not want to lose their profits. And meanwhile they claim to be in favor of the good practices and better conditions for the Bangladeshi proletariat, there are studies on the ground which affirm that at least a 37% of the big branches which are importing clothes from Bangladesh to sell it, are directly involved in “bad practices” against workers of the companies from there. Some of this branches are: Zara Inditex, H&M, Lidl, GAP, New Yorker, Primark and Next.

And meanwhile, the lackeys of imperialism and representatives of bureaucratic capitalism (and the big landlords) have positioned themselves explicitly against proletariat and against the people. The Prime Minister of the country, Sheikh Hasina, from Awami League which governs the country, stated on last Friday 10th of November: “If they take to the streets to protest at someone’s instigation, they will lose their job, lose their work and will have to return to their village,”, “If these factories are closed, if production is disrupted, exports are disrupted, where will their jobs be? They have to understand that.” Hasina said 19 factories were “attacked and destroyed”, businesses that “give them bread and butter and food and employment”.

This struggle of the Bangladeshi proletariat against garment monopolies of the bureaucratic capital is part of the struggle of the people against semi-feudality and semi-colonialism and the bureaucratic-big-landlord-dictatorship. Its not just a struggle for an increasing of the wage, but it is for national liberation, against the oppression and subjugation of the country to the imperialists, who has the political control of Bangladesh and who are chaining it to their interests, and condemning the people to suffering and misery, while upholding a bunch of country-selling rats as their bloodsucking lackeys.

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