Solidarity actions in cities across the world are helping the campaign against repression in Egypt reach new audiences. As part of an international series of protests and events in solidarity with Egyptian political prisoners this weekend, activists took to the streets in Montreal, Ottowa, London, Paris and New York. Australian activists from Solidarity magazine collected signatures on the statement against executions, while earlier last week, events in solidarity with political prisoners were held in Geneva, Bologna and Nurnberg.
Egypt solidarity activists staged a demonstration on 20 June at Cleopatra’s Needle in London before joining a major protest organised by the People’s Assembly Against Austerity. Egypt Solidarity Initiative joined the anti austerity march to raise awareness of the British backing of the Egyptian dictatorship through arms deals. As news hit the press a few days ago about Sisi’s invitation to the UK by David Cameron, activists are already organising protests and demonstrations to counter the repressive Egyptian regime. Activists gave out thousands of leaflets throughout the demonstration highlighting the cases of Egyptian political prisoners. It is estimated that around 250,000 people marched against austerity measures in the UK and the new Tory government.
In Ottowa on 20 June, activists from The Third Path – Canadian Egyptians for Freedom and Social Justice organised a protest outside the Egyptian Embassy, highlighting the cases of political prisoners and forced disappearances in Egypt.
New York also saw a protest in Union Square in solidarity with Egyptian political prisoners, organised by MENA Solidarity – US.
In Paris, the Committee in Solidarity with the Egyptian People’s Struggle organised an information stall at the start of a protest in solidarity with the Greek people which started at Stalingrad metro station on 20 June, highlighting the cases of political prisoners in Egypt. This initiative was supported by Emancipation, NPA, PG, PCF and Solidaires.
Activists from Solidarity Magazine in Australia collected signatures from trade union leaders and academics on the statement against executions in Egypt. Among those signing the letter were Michael Thomson, National Vice-President (General Staff), National Tertiary Education Union, Paul McAleer, Maritime Union of Australia, Sydney Branch, No Di Pietro, Health Services Union, and Professor John Keane, University of Sydney/WZB Berlin.
The Canadian city of Montreal saw a lively and creative protest in solidarity with political prisoners on 21 June. Activists made posters and placards, handed out leaflets in English and French, as well as erecting a chalk board to collect messages of solidarity for prisoners. The protest was co-sponsored by Egypt Solidarity, South Asian Women’s Community Centre and Tadamon!
Meanwhile in Dublin, participants at the Irish SWP dayschool organised a solidarity photo to show their support for Irish school student Ibrahim Halawa, who has been held in an Egyptian jail for nearly two years, Mahienour el-Masry and other political prisoners.
Before the weekend of solidarity actions, other events in solidarity with political prisoners in Egypt included a protest organised by activists in Geneva outside the Egyptian embassy. In Bologna on 15 June activists from the XM 24 squat organised an event to talk about repression under Egyptian military rule. The XM 24 squat is against any dictatorship, fascism, racism and sexism. One of the organisers reports:
We talked about all the Egyptian detainees showing videos and photos. We wanted to break the silence, to stop the complicity of the Italian government with the Egyptian dictatorship.
The “Unfinished Revolution” is a tour in 13 cities in Germany, a series of lectures, events and musical performances, about the oppression in Egypt and especially military trials. The events include Ramy Essam and Arabian Knights, musicians, as participants. It is organised by German activists who support the Egyptian revolution.
What you can do:
- Read the call for protests and find out more about actions you can take here.