On 24th of April, 2013, Rana Plaza crumbled to a huge pile of wreckage that resulted in the most atrocious labor killing in the history of Bangladesh garment industry. Even after the building was announced to be under serious threat on the previous day, the owners of the garments tortured ,threatened the workers that they will be sacked from their job, also off their due salaries and thus forced them to work. After the collapse the civilians rescued most of the bodies from beneath the ruins. On 29th of April civilians were ousted from the rescue program and heavy machines were employed on purpose.
The state absconded dead bodies this time.According to the govt statistics 1130 corpses were rescued and 2438 were rescued alive.But the locals and the labor who used to work there presented a fact absolutely different. They disclosed the number is much bigger.To protest against this brutal mass murder and to uphold these workers as martyr,to create a stand as the symbol of unity for the entire working class a martyr monument with the name-‘Protest and Resist’ was erected on the 100th day of the massacre on 2nd of August,2013 by Shoheed Bedi Nirman Commiittee. Six cultural and student organizations Lamppost, Chatro gonomoncho, Propod,Gonomuktir Ganer Dol, Marxbader Prothom Path, Propod, and Dobanol took initiatives to build up this monument. Individual members later joined were Prof. M. Nurunnobi, President, Gonoshongskriti Porishod, Left intellectual Mohsin Shostropani, and other cultural identities to established this first ever sacrificial Shoeed Bedi for garment industry workers.
The committee, affected and bereaved families, common people bestowed wreathes and bunches of flower before a minute of silence to give salute to proletariats all over the world. There was a street discussion program conducted by Shawkat of Chatro Gonomoncho. Discussants were Shumon Maitro, organizor of Dabanol, Shathi Akter of Biplobi Sromik Committee, Shantonu Shumon of Chatro Gonomoncho, father of a martyr and Prince Ahammad, Editor of Lamppost, Advocate Zahed Karim, president, Gonomuktir Ganer Dol. The concluding discussant was Ashish Corraya,Co-ordinator of the Shoheed Bedi Nirman Committee and also Gen. Secy. of Gonomuktir Ganer Dol. Discussants emphasized on the issue that it will be BGMEA and BKMEA who will compensate the families of killed or lost with at least BDT 20 lac each, the injured with BDT 10 lac each, and the handicapped with at least BDT 15 lac each along with a complete rehabilitation process.
Every factory must have the right to have a free trade union. The minimum remuneration of the workers to be at least BDT 15000 each; withdrawal of industrial police, all the laws and regulations that goes against the interest of workers; exemplary, immediate punishment for all of them-the owners and their allies who have contributed to such mass murders in the past are the major points which came into focus. Discussants emphasized that the workers are involved in a ceaseless struggle in their daily lives against the state that serves the interest of the profit extracting owner class. That is why they are recognized as martyrs. To erect this Shoheed Bedi a mass fund was raised from among the labor-student-professionals through street mass cultural program and distribution of leaflet.
The govt is playing a conspiracy to make it appear as a mere accident or even an act of god in a quick passage of history and keep a grave “memorial” monument only. Crushing down all the exploitation-mechanism of the owner class will accelerate the fight that will establish a new democratic state that will serve the interest of the labor-peasants-working class with the ultimate goal of communism. After this a mass cultural program started with a chorus of “International” (Jago Jago Jago Shorbohara) followed by another song “Amare Tala bodhoyo Rekhe” (Keeping us locked……….)., Beyainee Gaan(Song against disorderly Law & Order), and Din esheche Aeiber (The Day Has come). At the end a protest rally moved covering the area of savar bus stand and was concluded at the point of the Shoheed Bedi.
Co-ordinator Shoheed Bedi Nirman Committee