[Marxism] Fwd: [MENA Solidarity] sign-on statement: Stop the Repression in Egypt!

Andrew Pollack acpollack2 at gmail.com
Sat Nov 30 10:19:56 MST 2013


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Andrew Pollack <acpollack2 at gmail.com>
Date: Sat, Nov 30, 2013 at 11:40 AM
Subject: [MENA Solidarity] sign-on statement: Stop the Repression in Egypt!
To: mena-solidarity-network-us-announce at googlegroups.com


https://menasolnetus.wordpress.com/2013/11/30/stop-the-repression-in-egypt/

please sign on and share widely


Stop the Repression in Egypt!

Free all political prisoners and detainees, end the beatings, sexual
assault and detention of peaceful protesters.

No to military trials of civilians, no to repressive constitutional measures

Statement initiated by the MENA Solidarity Network-US

(To sign on to this statement please post at
https://www.facebook.com/MENASolidarityUS or leave a reply at
https://menasolnetus.wordpress.com/2013/11/30/stop-the-repression-in-egypt/
 )

On November 24th the Egyptian government passed a law regulating protests
which would end the right of assembly. To prove that they were serious
about ending protest, two days later, on November 26th, the regime
violently attacked a protest in Cairo called to demand an end to military
trials of civilians, a longstanding demand of the revolution. In recent
weeks we have also seen passage of clauses for the proposed new
Constitution which several limit the right to protest and organize, as well
as ensuring further subordination of the rights of workers, students, women
and all oppressed groups to the regime and its foreign backers in
government and business.

The attacks by the regime against the anti-military trial protest in Cairo
resulted in dozens of arrests. 21 arrested women were driven out to the
desert and dumped after having been beaten and sexually harassed by the
police. 24 men arrested with them remain in jail, and a kangaroo court
announced they would be held for 15 days. Arrest warrants were issued for
leading movement figures such as April 6th Youth Movement co-founder Ahmed
Maher, as well as leading blogger and organizer Alaa Abd El Fattah. Even
though the latter had announced publicly two days before that he would turn
himself in on Saturday as part of taking credit for helping to organize
Tuesday’s protests, on November 28th police burst into his house, beat his
wife, and stole phones and computers from his home. (For more information,
see Kareen Fahim, “Egyptian Riot Police Attack Peaceful Protests in Cairo,”
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/27/world/middleeast/egyptian-riot-police-attack-peaceful-protests-in-cairo.html
)

These attacks follow the military’s ongoing repression of the Muslim
Brotherhood, including violent attacks on protests by its supporters and
the imprisonment of peaceful protesters. For example, a court handed down
prison sentences of 11 years each for 14 young women simply for
participating in a peaceful protest against repression. Seven more, girls
too young for prison, were sent to a juvenile detention center until they
reach legal age. (For more information, see Maggie Michael And Sarah El
Deeb, “Egypt: Heavy prison sentence for Islamist women,” Nov. 27, 2013,
http://news.yahoo.com/egypt-heavy-prison-sentence-islamist-women-220632317.html
.)

Numerous reports of torture of the above detainees have already come out,
and as Alaa’s mother pointed out, if they would brutalize the family so
viciously in their home, what will they do to detainees in prison?

Other prominent figures arrested include Mona Seif (sister of Alaa Abd El
Fattah), founder of the campaign against military trials of civilians, and
Ahmad Harara, a dentist who lost an eye to regime guns in an anti-Mubarak
protest and then had the other shot out in a protest against military rule
the following year.

In response to these attacks protests have broken out in several Egyptian
cities already, including Suez, Alexandria, Fayoum, and of course Cairo. On
November 28th the regime fired into a crowd at the University of Cairo,
killing one student and putting out another’s eye.

It is important to understand the context of these attacks. The Egyptian
people have never given up hope that the Revolution’s goals of freedom,
social justice and dignity can be achieved. Their determination to do so is
abundantly evident in such recent actions as the two week old strike of
Samadoun textile workers, whose sit-in on rail tracks was violently
dispersed by police on November 16th. It is also seen by the sit-in which
began November 26th at the Hilwan Iron and Steel Co. plant. Meanwhile a
wave of student strikes and occupations has spread in recent days to
several campuses in Cairo and Alexandria, and likely beyond. This
determination to continue the revolution is what the regime fears most of
all and is the main motivation behind their new repressive legislation and
their vicious attacks.

Supporters of the Egyptian Revolution in the US note with outrage the fact
that US tax money pays for, and manufactures, the weapons used to wound,
blind and murder peaceful protesters.

In response to all the above, we demand:

Free all prisoners and detainees; end beatings, torture, sexual assault and
detention of peaceful protesters; rescind the anti-protest law and
repressive constitutional clauses.

No to military trials of civilians, no to repressive constitutional
measures.

What you can do:

* Call the Egyptian consulate/mission/embassy in your city; hold a picket
in front of it; text/email/message/tweet a statement of protest to the
Egyptian authorities. Their contact information can be found here:
http://eg.embassyinformation.com/

* Send copies of your protest messages to the Facebook or WordPress
addresses above.

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