Peace, colour, creativity

Unique ways to stage protest; Shahbagh turns human sea

The ongoing mass protest at Shahbagh since Tuesday afternoon sets a unique example of a peaceful as well as colourful demonstration to voice demands and express views.
Thousands of youths in small groups have joined the demonstration. Some were giving speech and chanting slogans in small gatherings, while some others were seen singing songs or reciting poems.
Some groups came with musical instruments -- traditional harmoniums, cymbals, drums, guitars, etc. They sat together on the street in small groups and sang songs all the time. The ordinary people who joined the rally moved around the intersection and witnessed this unique style of protest.
It was the fourth day of non-stop protest, which began just hours after a war crimes tribunal on Tuesday sentenced Jamaat leader Quader Mollah to life imprisonment for his crimes against humanity during the Liberation War.
People from all walks of life irrespective of age, sex and class wholeheartedly came forward to express solidarity with the protesters. Some ordinary people also sang songs with the groups to share their feelings or encourage the youth.
The protesters were seen sweeping different stretches of the street so that people could sit there. Some were taking signatures on long white strips of cloth in support of their movement.
Some groups who could afford to bring multimedia projectors arranged screening of the history of the Liberation War and related movies around the intersection to enlighten and entertain the commoners.
Some others brought sound system and played patriotic and motivational songs.
Many were seen carrying laptops or other portable devices to share their experience and update the events online. They were also seen watching short films on protests.
Some youths have filmed a three-minute documentary on the ongoing protest demanding death sentence of Jamaat leader Quader Mollah and other war criminals.
The youths made the documentary using camcorder after shooting interesting events of the protest venue in the last four days.
"Join the Fight" is the title of the documentary which they were showing to the people in their laptops. The Liberation War history was also narrated with music in the film.
Many youths came with painting brushes and colours to write their demands on the streets. Many were seen wearing colourful bands in the head. Just "71' or "We want trial of war criminals" were written on the bands. Some bands were carrying picture of the Liberation War-time national colour.
Many were wearing masks symbolising the war criminals, while many others were carrying placards, in which their demands and slogans were written.
Many protesters came with candles and flowers and lit the candles on the street to write their demands or to show respect to the martyrs of 1971. Some also wrote their demands on the streets using colourful petals of different flowers.
All these have turned the venue of protest into a nice colourful exhibition of artwork and music amid peace and harmony.
Slogans of the Liberation War and other related issues reverberated through Shahbagh and adjoining areas yesterday.
Besides the demands, people, especially the youth, have kept the protest venue vibrant chanting slogans for the last four days.
"Joy Bangla"; "Tomar Amar Thikana, Padma, Meghna Jamuna"; "Tumi Ke, Ami Ke, Bangalee, Bangalee" were chanted by the protesters.
The encouraging slogans, which were commonly chanted during the Liberation War, once again encouraged the people, mostly the youth, to press home their demands.
Besides 1971's slogans, the youth used their innovation in creating new slogans. Among those, "Jamaat-e-Islam, Made in Pakistan", "Ka te Quader Mollah, Tui Razakar, Tui Razakar", "Ga te Ghulam Azam, Tui Razakar Tui Razakar", Phantoms of Pakistan, Go Back to Pakistan", etc drew huge public attention.
When such slogans were chanted through the loudspeakers, tens of thousands of people enthusiastically echoed them together.


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