The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) adds its voice in condemning the attacks led by the fascist Indian government, of Narendra Modi. At least fifty people, including journalists, commentators, researchers, comedians and activists have been harassed by members of the New Delhi police, who raided dozens of homes on Tuesday, as part of an attack on press freedom in that country. NewsClick which is a popular, working class online news site based in India, is a victim of this attack.
NUMSA stands in solidarity with NewsClick and with all the workers there, who have suffered from the raids led by the backward, reactionary Modi government. NewsClick is a progressive media outlet which was focusing on news affecting popular movements, trade unions and peasant organisations. Its journalists are fearless and have exposed the suffering of the working class, including exposing the suffering of farm workers during the famous farmers strike, and the devastating impact of the covid-19 pandemic on the working class majority. NUMSA supports the statement issued by the International Peoples Assembly (IPA) on the raid, which states that the raid was triggered by an article published in the right-wing New York Times, which suggested, without evidence, that NewsClick was part of a global operation aimed at promoting the interests of the Chinese government in India. NUMSA puts the blame of the raids squarely on the shoulders of the New York Times for peddling propaganda, without facts, and now, their actions have led to journalists being attacked by a brutal, fascist police state.
A coalition of 18 media organisations in India wrote a letter to Chief Justice of India (CJI), Dhananjaya Chandrachud, in support of NewsClick. The letter is seeking the judiciary’s intervention to ensure that the freedoms enshrined in the Constitution are protected, so that journalists can carry out their duty without ‘threat of reprisal’. The letter cites the recent raids on NewsClick which were carried out by the Special Cell of Delhi Police. The letter also said that the invocation of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act against the website was “especially chilling”. It seems the Indian government is persecuting journalists who criticize the state, by labeling them as terrorists.
NUMSA condemns this attack on press freedom and demands the immediate release of all those were arrested in the raid. NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha, who is 76 years old and the administrative officer, Amit Chakraborty, who is physically challenged, are both behind bars. This is clearly an attempt to intimidate journalists who have become a thorn in the side of the state for their honest reporting on the suffering of the working class. NewsClick has documented numerous stories on the struggles of NUMSA members and the working class in South Africa, and also, all over the world. NUMSA is an internationalist trade union and we believe in international solidarity. Workers at NewsClick need our help and it is our revolutionary duty to defend them.
It is important for us to state that whilst we support BRICS and its agenda to establish a moremulti-polar world, where the Global South a greater influence, we are clear that the demands of the working class must find expression in the agenda of BRICS. We are not supporting fascists and demagogues whose agenda is to destroy the gains of the working class. India is a member of BRICS and whilst we support the anti-imperialist agenda of BRICS, we cannot replace one butcher with another. The class struggle must always be at the centre of what we do. NUMSA we will always unashamedly prioritise and advance the interests of the working class, because ultimately, that is the key to guaranteeing genuine equality and freedom for all.
The struggle continues!
Issued by Irvin Jim
NUMSA General Secretary
For more information, please contact:
NUMSA National Spokesperson
NUMSA Head Office number: 0116891700
NUMSA Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NumsaSocial
NUMSA Twitter account: @Numsa_Media
NUMSA Website: https://numsa.org.za/