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Workers Strike Spreads, Farmers Face Police Barricades in War Zone Haryana

An estimated 25 crore (250 million) workers are on strike, and millions of farmers will join the protest
Workers Down Tools

In what is perhaps the biggest ever coordinated general strike anywhere in the world, an estimated 25 crore (250 million) workers and employees struck work since the midnight of November 26. Industrial and mining belts in many states including Maharashtra, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Haryana Punjab, Assam, Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and other states reported complete or partial shutdown.  Banks and insurance offices were also closed, while state govt. offices saw employees protesting in support of the strike. Several lakh women Anganwadi workers/helpers, healthcare workers, mid-day meal cooks and those employed in other government run schemes are also reported to on strike in all states. Trucks, buses and other public vehicles were off the road in many states.

In many parts of the country, university teachers, students and professionals came out in solidarity with workers.

Meanwhile, farmers from across the country are preparing to join the workers in protests despite several state governments like those in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh (all ruled by the BJP), have sealed highways and deployed security forces to prevent agitating farmers from reaching Delhi where a massive protest demonstration was planned. Reports indicate that while all eight highways entering the Capital are currently blocked by farmers, thousands may have managed to sneak in and will hold the protest near Parliament on November 26 and 27. Security forces used water canons to disrupt movement of farmers towards Delhi in Ambala and Karnal in Haryana. Large number of farmers are gathered at Delhi-UP border after Delhi police put up multi-layered barricades and refused entry.

Demands of All India General Strike - 26 November 2020

·10kg per person per month food grains to all needy; Urgent measures for containing price-rise through universalisation of public distribution system and banning speculative trade in commodity market

·Cash transfer of Rs.7500 per month for all Non Income Tax paying families

·Expand MGNREGA to provide 200 days’ work in a year in rural areas at enhanced wages; extension of employment guarantee to urban areas. Containing unemployment through concrete measures for employment generation.

·Withdraw all anti farmer laws

·Withdraw the anti worker labour codes

·Universal social security cover for all workers

·Minimum wages of not less than Rs 21,000/- per month with provisions of indexation to all workers including scheme workers

·Assured enhanced pension not less than Rs.10,000/- p.m. for the entire working population. Scrap NPS and restore earlier Pension, improve EPS-95

·Stoppage of disinvestment in Central/State PSUs including the financial sector and stop corporatisation of Govt run manufacturing and service entities like Railways, Ordnance Factories, Ports etc. 

·Stoppage of contractorisation in permanent perennial work and payment of same wage and benefits for contract workers as regular workers for same and similar work. No fixed term employment in any sector

·Removal of all ceilings on payment and eligibility of bonus, provident fund; increase the quantum of gratuity.

·Withdraw the draconian circular on forced premature retirement of Government & PSU Employees. Withdraw the DA Freeze

·Compulsory registration of trade unions within a period of 45 days from the date of submitting application; and immediate ratification of ILO Conventions C 87 and C 98

·Withdraw the Electricity Amendment Bill 2020

·Withdraw the NEP 2020. Allocate 5% GDP for Public Education

·Public Healthcare for all. Allocate 6% GDP on Public Health

[These demands include demands of 12 point charter of demands of CTUs as well as the current demands. In addition demands of various sectors such as construction, beedi, domestic workers etc are there.]  

( Live Blog Inputs by Amey from Maharashtra, Shilpa from Kerala, Sagrika from J&K, Ronak, Anand, Ravi and Mukund from Delhi, Kashif from MP, Prudhviraj from Telangana, Alim from UP, Imran from Bihar, Sandipan from Assam and Sandip from West Bengal) 

Live blog

Workers-farmers in Bihar come out in large numbers to protest. Left parties, RJD extend support

Patna: Hundreds of trade unions, farmer bodies, different federations and associations of workers have taken to the streets to protest across Bihar as the nationwide general strike against the anti-people, anti-worker and anti-farmer policies of the central government begins.

Several roads have been blocked in the state and supporters of the strike have been staging dharna and expressing their anger against the government policies. 

CPI (M) leader Arun Kumar Mishra said the strike has begun with expected support from the common people as there is anger against the government due to price rise, unemployment and privatisation of the public sector. 

Opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has extended its support to the strike, hundreds of its workers have blocked roads with cattle in Vaishali and Muzaffarpur districts since early Thursday.

Left parties including the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) have so far come out in support of the strike. The strike will be followed by a farmers' protest on November 27 in Bihar.

MP Farmers Stopped from Marching to Delhi

MP: Vehicles of farmers, mostly from the Gwalior-Chambal region, were stopped enroute to Delhi on National Highway 3 this morning. 

They have blocked the NH-3, demanding to be allowed to march to Delhi. CPI(M) leader from MP Jaswinder Singh and farmer leader and former MLA Dr. Sunilam are leading the contingent.

Workers of Cooper Standard in Sector 4 in Sahibabad joined the All India Strike as early as 6 am

Workers of Cooper Standard in Sector 4 in Sahibabad joined the All India Strike as early as 6 AM.

Workers of Cooper Standard in Sector 4 in Sahibabad joined the All India Strike as early as 6 am


Picketers take over Kolkata and districts

Picketing has already begun in various districts in the State of West Bengal. In Kolkata, picketing and blockades of railway lines began early in the morning. Suburban rail services have been brought to a halt in the Sealdah South and North sections while only a handful of trains are running in the Budge Budge section. Blockades were reported at Garia, Mathurapur Lakshmikantapur and Jadavpur in the Sealdah North section while in the Sealdah South section, blockades took place in Agarpara and Dumdum. Police targeted protesters in Dumdum and Garia, as well as in Jadavpur.  A blockade also took place at Domjur station. Senior trade union leaders are leading the protesters in many locations.

Bengal 1

Rallies in Jadavpur and Barasat

In Jadavpur, MLA Dr. Sujan Chakraborty led a huge rally of picketers. In Barasat, CPI(M) 24 North Parganas District Secretary Palash Das led the rally. Picketers have also begun to gather before banks and central government offices. Red flags are being raised in factories and offices across the State.  

Workers and farmers gather across Maharashtra

​Workers and farmers unions are gathering in different cities across Maharashtra. ​The National Rail Mazdoor Union​ in Mumbai​ is sitting on ​dharna in Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus of Mumbai​, while the bank ​employees and ​anganwadi workers ​have started entering the ​Azad Maidan area. ​​Workers of the sanitation department of BMC are gathering at ward offices in the city​.

Large-scale gatherings of farmers and adivasis have started in Palghar, Nasik district and Akole tehsil in Ahmednagar district. Workers of Nashik MIDC are ​also ​gathering ​at the​ Mumbai naka. 

Hum Bharat Ke Log, ​an organisation which was established during the anti-CAA protest is planning to protest at Chaitya Bhumi, Dadar​.​

Workers of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana ​have started rasta roko in Hatkanangale and Ichalkaranji cities of Kolhapur district​.​

Farmers of AIKS have gathered at Parbhani district collectorate for the protest.


Punjab Farmers Enter Haryana

A section of farmers from Punjab enter Haryana from Tohana after breaking barricades at the state borders.

“This is an illegal detention"

In a statement, a group of activists led by Medha Patkar said that their detention was illegal and against their right to agitate and the farmers’ rights to life and livelihood. The activists, along with farmers, were detained by the UP police on the border with Rajasthan yesterday night. The activists said that the police had not told them which section of the law they were being detained or shown them any order to this effect. They also said the group was not provided any food and water.

This is an illegal detention

Tens of thousands gear up for strike across Kerala

Tens of thousands of workers across Kerala are participating in the All India Strike, as are agricultural workers and farmers.

Torchlight marches were held in many parts of the State yesterday night ahead of the strike. Public transport services are not operating as employees’ unions are on strike.

At 10 am today, workers will assemble at all area centres across the State. The strike will be officially inaugurated at 11 am in Kizhakkekotta in the capital, Thiruvananthapuram. 

Farmers under the banner of Samyuktha Karshaka Samithi will hold-ward level protest marches as part of the national protest call of AIKSCC. Agricultural workers will also join with these marches.


Chhattisgarh Miners Join Strike

Workers at coal mines in Chhattisgarh have also joined the All India Strike. The action began at many sites at midnight. A scene from one of the mines.

Mines in CG

Workers Take Out Rally in Greater NOIDA

Workers in the Greater NOIDA region of New Delhi are staging rallies as part of the All India Strike against the anti-worker and anti-farmer policies of the Central government.

Video file

Thousands brave heavy rain to join strike in Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh: Thousands of workers are rallying in Vijayawada as part of the nation-wide strike. "Industrial workers, construction workers, ASHAs, Anganwadi workers and transport workers among others are taking part in the strike. In spite of heavy rains across districts in Andhra Pradesh, workers have made the strike successful in the state," said M.A. Gafoor, CITU state general secretary.

Workers in Pydibhimavaram industrial area in Srikakulam district are also taking part in a massive rally in support of the strike.

Srikakulam rally

Sit-in protest in Nalgonda, Telangana

Telangana: Telangana State Road Transport Corporation workers, municipal workers and left party leaders are participating in a sit-in protest in front of Nalgonda Bus Station as part of the strike.

Nalgonda sit-in

Gujarat’s Anganwadi Workers Call out Modi Govt.

Anganwadi Workers in Gujarat join the All India Strike. Tens of thousands of scheme workers across the country are joining the strike. These workers, who have been in the forefront of the response to COVID-19, have been left high and dry by the Central government. Here is a feature on why workers in these sectors have been on the streets for months.

Gujarat Anganwadi Workers

Police detains IOC Workers

Telangana: Police have detained more than 70 striking workers of Indian Oil Corporation Limited Unit in Kothur village in Rangareddy district.

Video file

CITU office in Agartala ransacked

CITU office in Agartala ransacked


Security forces deployed at the Delhi-Haryana border

​Massive deployment of security forces at the ​Delhi-Haryana border to stop the contingents from entering Delhi​. The farmers are marching against the three laws passed recently which will allow corporatising of the agriculture.

Also read | November 26: World’s Biggest Strike Begins in India

Security forces at the Delhi-Haryana border

“BJP Has Declared War on Farmers”

With police and para military forces deployed along the Punjab-Haryana border, and also on all along Delhi border with Haryana and UP, thousands of farmers are congregated on the other side of the barricades, according to latest reports.

“It looks like BJP (the ruling party in Haryana, UP and the Centre) has declared open war against the farmers of India,” said  Hannan Mollah, general secretary of All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), one of the organisations spearheading the current farmers movement.

A two day protest 0n 26-27 November has been called by the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), an umbrella platform of over 300 farmers organisations, demanding scrapping of three agriculture related laws recently passed by the Modi government. These laws will allow corporate entities to dominate cultivation, trade, storage and pricing of agricultural commodities including essential food grain.

The farmers protest is coinciding with the one day all india strike by workers today.

“Lakhs of farmers are occupying highways in Punjab, Haryana and UP after they wewre stopped by security forces from moving towards Delhi. Some farmers who managed to come by public buses were pocked up by Delhi police at the Inter-State Bus Terminus at Kashmeri Gate. They were threatened with charges under UAPA, without any inquiries! Are protesting farmers terrorists?” Mollah told Newsclick this morning.

Delhi Police is under the Central Govt.’s jurisdiction.

Meanwhile Delhi Metro has been curtailed to prevent farmers from entering Delhi and there is massive police presence at all eight highway entrypoints. Delhi Police said that all farmers’ requests for holding a protest at Jantar Mantar had been rejected.

Mollah insisted that farmers and striking workers will gather at Jantar Mantar and hold the protest. Several prominent trade union leaders, farmers’ organisation leaders and representatives of Opposition parties are going to join this.

Police, Water Cannon deployed to stop UP farmers

Barricades were put up in the Ghazipur area of Delhi’s border with Uttar Pradesh to prevent farmers from reaching the capital. There was a heavy deployment of police and paramilitary personnel and a water cannon was used against protesters. The previous day, at least a dozen farmers’ leaders were detained in western UP.

"This government forgets that we live in a democracy. This display of power is a clear violation of the Constitution by the authoritarian government," Shayam Singh Chahar, a farmers’ leader in Agra, who was detained by police, told Newsclick.

Police, Water Cannon deployed to stop UP farmers


Government employees stage dharnas across Maharashtra

Maharashtra: Reports are coming in from across the state of state government employees as well as zila parishad employees participating in the strike. Government offices are deserted and employees are sitting on dharna at District Collectors offices. 

​Workers are also protesting at various ward offices in Mumbai city. 

​​Bank employees' unions are protesting ​at​​ ​the ​Azad Maidan. Sthaniy Lokadhikar Samiti, ​a S​hiv ​S​ena​-​led ​bank ​union​, is also participating in the strike.

In Aurangabad's Mantha industrial zone, workers are protesting against the Modi government's anti-worker policies.

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