Opprør i Egypt
Blogger Ahmad Abdel Fattah called from Mahalla: “This govt wants to kill us and kill everyone here. The demonstrations are strong. Clashes are happening again with the police. I can hardly breath from the teargass."
I’ve spoken with an activist in Mahalla, where it’s almost 2pm now. The city is under police occupation, but since last night, it’s been quiet.
Try to imagine what the pictures you see of Palestinian towns under occupation… Mahalla is similar to that now. Soldiers, armored vehicles, firetrucks.. Since last night the clashes ended. But who knows, everything may change in a second. The morning shift went in by 7:30am. The production in the factory is still on as I’m talking to you now. We will see how things develop.
Families of detainees have assembled in front of the town’s police stations, trying to see them and bring them food, clothes…
There were unconfirmed reports that Kareem el-Beheiri was detained by the police sometime at night, but Nora says that the reports were merely rumors…
In other news, The Egyptian Workers and Trade Unions Watch issued a report on the industrial action in February… Some stats from the report: 42,000 workers took part in either strikes, sit-ins or demonstrations during that month, while 54,000 workers threatened to do the same… The month also witnessed 22 sit-ins, 13 demonstrations and 10 strikes…
UPDATE: CLASHES started again at 4pm…
UPDATE: Blogger Ahmad Abdel Fattah called from Mahalla.. “This govt wants to kill us and kill everyone here. The demonstrations are strong. Clashes are happening again with the police. I can hardly breath from the teargass. I’ll send you photos soon.”
UPDATE: I’ve spoken to a Socialist activist in Mahalla.. He says around 4pm a 2000-strong demonstration started in El-Bahr Street in Mahalla. The protesters were chanting against the govt, price increases, police brutality.. The troops cracked down on the demonstration, but that hardly made the demonstrators disperse.. Instead, over the course of an hour, the protest grew to something between 40 to 50,000, according to the activist… It’s passed 7pm now in Mahalla. There is not one demonstration, but several.. Most of the demonstrators’ chants are against the govt and calling for the release of those detained yesterday… The police renewed the its crackdown, and arrests are being conducted now.
UPDATE: I received an email from Droubi:
Sharkawy was harassed at 6th of October police station by maba7eth [Police]. He was hit but no injuries reported; except that he’s really pissed off! He is currently at the public prosecutor’s in 6th of October awaiting a decision; he was not questioned again today. Apparently all male detainees were hit overnight.
UPDATE: Listen to the chants of the protesters in Mahalla… “Hey Gamal [Mubarak]! Tell your dad, Mahalla will fuck him…” while in this video, the Mahalla citizens are chanting: “Hosni [Mubarak]! Fuck you!”
UPDATE: I received the following statement from the Center for Socialist Studies…
In light of recent events in Egypt yesterday April 6, 2008, the Center for Socialist Studies calls on supporters of freedom and justice everywhere in the world to show there support for victims of repression in Egypt. Mount pressure on the Egyptian dictatorship to release more than 800 detained yesterday including; more than 150 political activists (socialists, liberals, and Islamists), more than 600 protestors from Mahallah (mainly women and children) and Mahalah strike Committee leaders Kamal El-Faioumy and Tarek Amin- who are facing serious allegations of agitation which can lead to long prison sentences.
On the background of a call for strike on April 6th in Mahallah textile complex by the workers, political forces decided to support the strike through parallel symbolic work stoppage and peaceful protests. However, the Mubarak regime in retaliation decided to occupy El-Mahalla complex with security forces, abduct strike committee leaders Kamal El-Faioumy and Tarek Amin, arrest political activists of every political tendency in Cairo and other cities. Not able to suppress the protests, the Mubarak security forces used rubber-bullets, tear-gas, and live ammunition against Mahallah people who decided to protest on the streets of the city and in different villages, leaving at least two dead and hundreds injured.
As fighters in this struggle, the Center for Socialist Studies, calls on all activists and supporters of freedom and justice everywhere in the world to support us in our fight. The inspirational fight of the Egyptian working class over the past 18 months, which culminated in El-Mahllah events and the mass protests of yesterday –and the terrified reactions of the Mubarak regime- have proved our faith in the centrality of the working class to liberate Egypt from dictatorship and exploitation.
We call upon you circulate the news about the maximum repression and violence of the Mubarak regime, which left at least two killed in Mahallah, including a 9-year old boy. We call upon you to organize rallies and protests in front of the Egyptian embassy where you live and to send protest messages and letters against the Mubarak regime.
Long live the struggle of the working class!