On March 12, 1930 Gandhi marched to Dandhi - stopping in forty plus villages - and speaking about swaraj and breaking the salt laws to show their inhumanity. Satyagraha is definitely at the heart of the nonviolent demand for the restoration of the Supreme Court deposed on Nov. 3, 2007 by Pervez Musharraf and specifically Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry on March 9, 2007.
Much has happened since then. Benazir Bhutto's return in October 2007 and her assassination in December 2007. The elections in February 2008 brought to power a new coalition of Pakistan People's Party to power with the swashbuckling widow Zardari taking over as President. A basic campaign promise was to solve the judicial crisis and reinstate the Supreme Court of '07.
None of the promises have been kept. Instead, the PPP regime has used the Dogar Supreme Court (cronies put in place by Musharraf) to throw out the opponent political party PML-N out of power in Punjab and restrict Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif from electoral politics.
The Long March of March 12, 2009, leading up to a sit-in at the capital on March 16th, is the only way that the people of Pakistan can produce pressure on the civilian and military regime to pay attention to justice, to accountability and to democracy.
What shouldn't escape anyone's attention is that _THIS_ is what democratic, nonviolent, resistance looks like. This is fine. This is normal. This is what we should expect in a society where the government and the people are out of step. This is not a coup, nor the '79 revolution.
The Zardari regime has reacted as all cornered governments do: mass arrests, police violence on crowds, implementation of laws against critical speech etc.
The best place to follow developments is on Twitter. You should also follow the liveblog on Teeth Maestro. You should also look over this excellent background piece by Madiha Tahir at APP. You should read Sahar Shafqat's op-ed.
[x-posted on CM]