Protesters at Leaning Tower of Pisa Stand With Shaheen Bagh, Jamia

Protesters at Leaning Tower of Pisa Stand With Shaheen Bagh, Jamia

India

Video Editor: Sandeep Suman & Ashutosh

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On 1 February, the anti-CAA-NRC protest reached an unlikely part of the world.

Six thousand kilometres away from Shaheen Bagh, over a dozen students and researchers in Italy marched to the iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa to stage a protest against the Act and express solidarity with “the brave women of Shaheen Bagh”.

The imposing tower, built over 200 years and completed in 1372, formed a picturesque backdrop for the protesters to stand with the national flag, sing Vande Mataram and read a letter of demands for the prime minister.

According to the participants, the demonstration started at the iconic Piazza Garibaldi with a discussion on what CAA and NRC are. The protesters then marched for a kilometre towards the Leaning Tower of Pisa where the letter to the government was read again.

Protesters at the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Protesters at the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
(Image: Suvankar Roy Chowdhury)
The group, in a letter to the media, iterated that they “wish to raise concerns on the current state of lawlessness and lack of personal liberty prevailing in India”.

Also Read : India’s US Embassy Called Us Pak Agents: Anti-CAA Protesters in DC

“Along with this, we have started an online campaign to collect signatures for the Letter to the Government of India from all across Europe. Our plan is to submit this to the Indian embassy in Rome and to the office of the Home Ministry, Government of India and the Prime Minister’s Office,” said Suvankar Roy Chowdhury, a post-doctoral fellow at Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa.

Protesters in Pisa stage a march to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Protesters in Pisa stage a march to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
(Image: Suvankar Roy Chowdhury)

A key highlight of the protest was the reading out of five specific demands to the prime ginister and the government of India.

DEMAND 1: REPEAL CAA, SCRAP NRC

The Union Government of India should immediately repeal CAA of 2019, along with scrapping of the NRC scheme to protect the secular and humanitarian ethos of the Indian Constitution.

DEMAND 2: GOVT SHOULD CONDEMN VIOLENCE AGAINST PROTESTERS

The Union Government of India should condemn the violence perpetrated against protesters across the country and set up an independent enquiry to investigate the atrocities committed by police personnel as well as violence by radical communal organisations against protesting citizens and bring them swiftly to justice thereby discouraging any such future course of action.

DEMAND 3: REPEAL SECTION 144 & END INTERNET SHUTDOWNS

The Union Government of India should immediately repeal section 144 and put an end to suspension of internet, curfews and other disruptions of communications across the country.

DEMAND 4: REFRAIN FROM USE OF FORCE

The Union Government of India should refrain from the use of force against the protesters and show commitment towards working out a peaceful resolve of any dissent in a democratic atmosphere in line with the Constitution of the nation.

DEMAND 5: FOCUS ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

The Union Government of India should focus on the economic development of the nation and provide ample financial opportunities for the upliftment of the marginalised sections of the society.

Protestors at the Piazza Di Garibaldi, a kilometre from the tower.
Protestors at the Piazza Di Garibaldi, a kilometre from the tower.
(Image: Suvankar Roy Chowdhury)

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