Following the announcement of the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission on the 23th of November to raise the costs of electricity by 5.3% starting December, a wide range of organisations called for protest on the 30th of November. Some thousand people participated in strike activities and blockades on this day.
The costs for electricity in Bangladesh were raised last in the previous year. Their increase yet again by a significant amount of more then five percent imposes further hardships on the Bangladesh people that already have to struggle with a high rate of inflation (above 6%) and high prices of basic goods. Hence, on the day of the popes visit to Bangladesh, thousands Bangladeshis took out to the streets, not only in the capital Dhaka, but also various other locations, blocking the roads and laying down their work.
Despite arrogant announcements of the police beforehand, claiming the protests will not pose any problem whatsoever (“We will be able to control the situation during the strike and there is nothing to worry about”), the pictures of the actions on this day show a different reality. Mayor traffic nodes were blocked for hours, jamming the cities traffic, by manifestations and burning barricades. Police vehicles were attacked with stones and slogans painted on them.