Egyptian activists reach out to global Occupy movement

"You, too, are marching, occupying, striking, shutting things down," statemet says; UK protesters hold live-video feed with Syria’s protesters.

By OREN KESSLER
November 6, 2011 02:55
3 minute read.
Occupy Wall Street protesters with their tents

Occupy Wall Street protesters and tents 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

 
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Egyptian activists have called on the global Occupy movement to help “defend” their country’s revolution and call attention to what they described as the continuing abuse of power by the country’s ruling military junta.

On Thursday, Egyptian activists released a statement directed at the Occupy movement – which started in New York’s Financial District in September and has since spread to hundreds of cities worldwide – saying they are also fighting against a “1 percent elite” bent on stifling democracy and social justice.

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“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,” the statement said. “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,” the Egyptians wrote.

The statement, reproduced by The Guardian newspaper, came amid the continued detention of Alaa Abd El Fattah, an Egyptian blogger whose arrest last week brought thousands of protesters back to Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the center of the demonstrations that ousted president Hosni Mubarak in February. Abd El Fattah and 30 other defendants stand accused of “inciting violence against the military.”

Thursday’s statement, headlined “No to military trials,” said, “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.”

The communiqué calls for an international “day of action” next Saturday: “Nine months into our new military repression, we are still fighting for our revolution... Our strength is in our shared struggle. If they stifle our resistance, the 1% will win – in Cairo, New York, London, Rome – everywhere. But while the revolution lives, our imaginations knows no bounds. We can still create a world worth living.”

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Occupy Wall Street representative Sandy Nurse told the Guardian: “The Egyptian people have changed the face of the regime and the revolution is momentous, but unfortunately it is far from over. Changing the face of the regime, getting rid of Mubarak, is like changing the curtains: The military is in control of the country and has been for a long time.

“I believe Occupy Wall Street would be in solidarity with the continued struggle of the Egyptian protesters,” Nurse said.

Protesters demonstrating in Oakland, California, waved an Egyptian flag during Wednesday’s general strike, prompting leading Egyptian bloggers to reflect on similarities between police tactics used in the US and their own country.

London-based Occupy activists have also expressed solidarity with protesters in Syria. On Thursday, some 50 Syrian activists based in the city camped outside St. Paul’s Cathedral and conducted a live video link with anti-regime protesters in Syria.

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