[Marxism] Friday, 10/12/2012: Candlelight Vigil to Honor Martyrs of the Maspero Massacre

Sarah Hawas sah2187 at gmail.com
Wed Oct 10 17:27:33 MDT 2012

Please circulate and join us:

Call from the Coalition to Defend the Egyptian Revolution
Candlelight Vigil to Honor Martyrs of the Maspero Massacre
Friday October 12, 2012 – 7:00 PM
Union Square, Manhattan

October 9, 2012 marked the one year anniversary of what has come to be
known as the Maspero massacre, one of the numerous bloody attacks
deliberately orchestrated and executed by counterrevolutionary forces under
the direction of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), during the
ongoing popular revolution in Egypt calling for bread, freedom and social

The Maspero march was organized in resistance to sectarian tactics of the
regime. Led by Coptic Christians and joined by broad sections of Egyptian
society, together they raised the banner of revolutionary unity,
reiterating demands for social justice, an end to military rule and
repression, and accountability for crimes committed against Egyptians. The
demonstrators were met with merciless brutality that continues to haunt the
hearts and minds of all who witnessed it to this day. Military vehicles
zig-zagged indiscriminately across the streets, flattening protesters to
death and fired live ammunition at swathes of civilians. Meanwhile, state
TV channels aired false and blatantly sectarian reports inciting ‘Muslims’
to battle with ‘Christians’ ‘in defense of the Egyptian army.’

The Maspero massacre resulted in the murder of 28 protesters and severe
injury to over 200; nearly all of whom were Copts. It marked one of the
most disturbing moments in Egypt’s revolutionary struggle. Despite the
recent election of Mohammed Morsi, the first so-called ‘civilian president’
in Egypt, full immunity has been granted to SCAF members from prosecution
for crimes against civilians, resulting in continued inhumane policies of
the Mubarak-era’s emergency laws and its successive military rule. This has
included: criminalizing dissent, cracking down on worker strikes and
demonstrations, refusing transparency over military budget and the
country’s economy (an estimated 20-40% of which is under the army’s
control), and continuing to accept military aid from the United States,
which is often used to repress, torture, and kill Egyptian people.

On October 8th of 2012, Morsi’s administration released a ‘presidential
pardon for the unconditional release’ of political prisoners arrested
during the ‘transitional period.’ This mandate contains deeply problematic
categories and selective timeframes that divide the revolutionaries between
those registered as ‘protesters,’ and the remaining civilians, many of whom
are minors who faced non-political charges and were also subject to
military tribunals. The ‘pardon’ not only exhausts the extension of
constitutional protections to civilians detained by non-civilian entities
such as SCAF, it sets a dangerous legal precedent for the arrest of
civilians without proper investigation or due process.

While this ‘pardon’ is surely a partial victory won by the tireless efforts
of groups like “No to Military Trials” and many other revolutionaries who
have fought to pressure the authorities, it is ultimately a political move
to pre-empt this week’s planned demonstrations on matters of social
justice. Morsi’s government has consistently failed to address the calls
for structural change in the latest strikes across the country by doctors,
teachers, and students, industrial and public service workers, rural
communities and more.

The revolution did not end when Mubarak was overthrown in February 2011,
and it certainly did not end when remnants of the old regime were defeated
in the June 2012 presidential elections. Regardless of who is in power, the
Egyptian revolution will continue to fight for bread, freedom, and social
justice, alongside retribution for the martyrs, their families, and the
countless Egyptians who gave their lives to this struggle.

We echo, reiterate and support the demands of Egyptian revolutionary forces
for the following:

The unconditional release of all imprisoned civilians subject to or pending
military trials and legislation.

Accountability from all institutional forces participating in the
counterrevolution: chiefly SCAF, remnants of the old regime, and the
current Morsi government.

An immediate end to military and emergency law in the repression of
dissent, and all US military and police aid to Egypt.

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