Workers in Bangladesh staged a national hartal (general strike) on Wednesday of last week. The victorious strike followed the shooting dead of six demonstrators protesting against a plan by a British company to construct an opencast mine.
The government reached a deal with Asia Energy to extract coal from north eastern Bangladesh. The agreement was against the interests of ordinary people. On 26 August, 50,000 gathered for a protest in Fulbari, the location of the company’s headquarters.
The Bangladeshi Rifles - a government militia - opened fire on the protest. This triggered a wave of anger across Bangladesh. An indefinite hartal was enforced in Fulbari.
The government was forced to negotiate with leaders of the Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Energy and Ports, which is led by left wing activists, and agreed to the demand to scrap the agreement with Asia Energy.