|Sent time:||Sunday, November 13, 2011 3:31:09 PM|
|Subject:||Re: Re: [september17discuss] Fwd: URGENT: Communique from Cairo|
AFTER THREE decades of living under a dictatorship, Egyptians started a revolution demanding bread, freedom and social justice. After a nearly utopian occupation of Tahrir Square lasting 18 days, we rid ourselves of Mubarak and began the second, harder task of removing his apparatuses of power. Mubarak is gone, but the military regime lives on.
So the revolution continues--building pressure, taking to the streets and claiming the right to control our lives and livelihoods against systems of repression that abused us for years. But now, seemingly so soon after its beginnings, the revolution is under attack. We write this letter to tell you about what we are seeing, how we mean to stand against this crackdown, and to call for your solidarity with us.
The 25th and 28th of January, the 11th of February: you saw these days, lived these days with us on television. But we have battled through the 25th of February, the 9th of March, the 9th of April, the 15th of May, the 28th of June, the 23rd of July, the 1st of August, the 9th of September, the 9th of October.
Again and again, the Army and the police have attacked us, beaten us, arrested us, killed us. And we have resisted, we have continued; some of these days, we lost, others we won, but never without cost. Over a thousand gave their lives to remove Mubarak. Many more have joined them in death since.
We go on so that their deaths will not be in vain. Names like Ali Maher (a 15-year-old demonstrator killed by the Army in Tahrir, 9th of April), Atef Yehia (shot in the head by security forces in a protest in solidarity with Palestine, 15th of May), Mina Danial (shot by the Army in a protest in front of Maspero, 9th of October). Mina Daniel, in death, suffers the perverse indignity of being on the military prosecutor's list of the accused.
Moreover, since the military junta took power, at least 12,000 of us have been tried by military courts, unable to call witnesses and with limited access to lawyers. Minors are serving in adult prisons, death sentences have been handed down, torture runs rampant. Women demonstrators have been subjected to sexual assault in the form of "virginity tests" by the Army.
On October 9, the Army massacred 28 of us at Maspero; they ran us over with tanks and shot us down in the street while manipulating state media to try and incite sectarian violence. The story has been censored. The military is investigating itself. They are systematically targeting those of us who speak out. This Sunday, our comrade and blogger Alaa Abd El Fattah was imprisoned on trumped-up charges. He spends another night in an unlit cell tonight.
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ALL THIS from the military that supposedly will ensure a transition to democracy, that claimed to defend the revolution, and seemingly convinced many within Egypt and internationally that it was doing so. The official line has been one of ensuring "stability," with empty assurances that the Army is only creating a proper environment for the upcoming elections.
But even once a new parliament is elected, we will still live under a junta that holds legislative, executive and judicial authority, with no guarantee that this will end. Those who challenge this scheme are harassed, arrested and tortured; military trials of civilians are the primary tool of this repression. The prisons are full of casualties of this "transition."
We now refuse to cooperate with military trials and prosecutions. We will not hand ourselves in, we will not submit ourselves to questioning. If they want us, they can take us from our homes and workplaces.
Nine months into our new military repression, we are still fighting for our revolution. We are marching, occupying, striking, shutting things down. And you, too, are marching, occupying, striking, shutting things down. We know from the outpouring of support we received in January that the world was watching us closely and even inspired by our revolution. We felt closer to you than ever before.
And now, it's your turn to inspire us as we watch the struggles of your movements. We marched to the U.S. Embassy in Cairo to protest the violent eviction of the occupation in Oscar Grant Plaza in Oakland. Our strength is in our shared struggle. If they stifle our resistance, the 1 percent will win--in Cairo, New York, London, Rome--everywhere. But while the revolution lives, our imaginations know no bounds. We can still create a world worth living.
You can help us defend our revolution.
The G8, International Monetary Fund and Gulf states are promising the regime loans of $35 billion. The U.S. gives the Egyptian military $1.3 billion in aid every year. Governments the world over continue their long-term support and alliance with the military rulers of Egypt. The bullets they kill us with are made in America. The tear gas that burns from Oakland to Palestine is made in Wyoming. David Cameron's first visit to post-revolutionary Egypt was to close a weapons deal.
These are only a few examples. People's lives, freedoms and futures must stop being trafficked for strategic assets. We must unite against governments who do not share their people's interests.
We are calling on you to undertake solidarity actions to help us oppose this crackdown. We are suggesting an International Day to Defend the Egyptian Revolution on November 12 under the slogan "Defend the Egyptian Revolution: End Military Trials for Civilians."
Events could include:
-- Actions targeting Egyptian embassies or consulates demanding the release of civilians sentenced in military tribunals. If Alaa is released, demand the release of the thousands of others.
-- Actions targeting your government to end support for the Egyptian junta.
-- Demand the release of civilians sentenced to military tribunals. If Alaa is released, the thousands of others must follow.
-- Show videos about the repression we face (military trials, Maspero massacre) and our continued resistance. E-mail us for links.
-- Videoconferencing with activists in Egypt.
-- Any creative way to show your support and to show the Egyptian people that they have allies abroad.
If you're organizing anything or wish to, e-mail us at email@example.com. We would also love to see photos and videos from any events you organize.
The Campaign to End Military Trials of Civilians
The Free Alaa Campaign
Comrades from Cairo
Forwarding a message / communique from activists in Cairo, who were
concerned to learn that the OWS GA passed a proposal to designate
$20,000 in funds for members of OWS to travel to Egypt to do election
I do not have contact info for folks in the Movement Building Working
Group, perhaps this should be shared there?
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
To our kindred occupiers in Zuccotti park,
When we called out to you, requesting you join us on 12 November in
defending our revolution and in our campaign against the military
trial of civilians in Egypt, your solidarity—pictures from marches,
videos, and statements of support—added to our strength.
However, we recently received news that your General Assembly passed a
proposal authorizing $29,000 dollars to send twenty of your number to
Egypt as election monitors. Truth be told, the news rather shocked us;
we spent the better part of the day simply trying to figure out who
could have asked for such assistance on our behalf.
We have some concerns with the idea, and we wanted to join your conversation.
It seems to us that you have taken to the streets and occupied your
parks and cities out of a dissatisfaction with the false promises of
the game of electoral politics, and so did our comrades in Spain,
Greece and Britain. Regardless of how one stands on the efficacy of
elections or elected representatives, the Occupy movement seems
outside the scope this; your choice to occupy is, if nothing else,
bigger than any election. Why then, should our elections be any cause
for celebration, when even in the best of all possible worlds they
will be just another supposedly “representative” body ruling in the
interest of the 1% over the remaining 99% of us? This new Egyptian
parliament will have effectively no powers whatsoever, and—as many of
us see it—its election is just a means of legitimating the ruling
junta’s seizure of the revolutionary process. Is this something you
wish to monitor?
We have, all of us around the world, been learning new ways to
represent ourselves, to speak, to live our politics directly and
immediately, and in Egypt we did not set out to the streets in
revolution simply to gain a parliament. Our struggle—which we think we
share with you—is greater and grander than a neatly functioning
parliamentary democracy; we demanded the fall of the regime, we
demanded dignity, freedom and social justice, and we are still
fighting for these goals. We do not see elections of a puppet
parliament as the means to achieve them.
But even though the idea of election monitoring doesn’t really do it
for us, we want your solidarity, we want your support and your visits.
We want to know you, talk with you, learn one another’s lessons,
compare strategies and share plans for the future. We think that
activists or as people committed to serious change in the systems we
live in, there is so much more that we can do together than
legitimizing electoral processes (leave that boring job to the Carter
Foundation) that seem so impoverished next to the new forms of
democracy and social life we are building. It should be neither our
job nor our desire to play the game of elections; we are occupying and
we should build our spaces and our networks because they themselves
are the basis on which we will build the new. Let us deepen our lines
of communication and process and discover out what these new ways of
working together and supporting one another could be.
Any time you do want to come over, we’ve got plenty of comfy couches
available. It won’t be fancy, but it will be fun.
Yours, as always, in solidarity,
Comrades from Cairo
13 November, 2011
P.S. We finally got an email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch our new Kickstarter video! http://kickstarter.com/projects/naa/nospace
Not An Alternative
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