Stop the War Coalition Sydney released the statement below on November 23.
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Since November 17, Egyptians demanding an end to military government and for a democratically-elected and controlled government have battled riot police and security forces.
The more violent the Egyptian state’s response to their peaceful rally, the more people have responded by massing in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and other cities. Demonstrations in solidarity with the Cairo protest have spread with tens of thousands now taking to the streets in Alexandria, Suez, Aswan, Damietta and other cities across Egypt.
At last count, 33 people have been killed by the security forces’ actions and more than 1200 injured. The horrifying pictures, which have gone global, are shocking both in the weapons and the excessive force used against protesters even after they have been knocked to the ground.
On November 19, the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions issued a call to its 1.4 million members in affiliated unions to join the protests in Tahrir Square.
The protests have grown despite the tear gas, the water cannon, the bullets, the beatings and the deaths. Egyptians have become more and more angry in the face of the regime’s brutality and are demanding an immediate end to the rule of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) — the chant which can now be heard across the country.
The world has watched events unfold through Twitter and the many videos on YouTube as well as the corporate media. While the centres of power have been remarkably silent about the battle unfolding, the rest of us — the 99% — are distressed by the carnage and inspired by the courage and determination being shown by ordinary Egyptians.
They are showing that, having ousted the dictator Hosni Mubarak in a massive struggle earlier this year, they are not going to stand by while the old elites try and hang on to their accumulated power and privilege.
The Egyptian people are showing the world that the struggle for real democracy is a long and difficult one — and that they are in it for the long haul.
We salute the courage of the Egyptian people and urge all freedom loving Australians to join the solidarity rallies outside Egyptian embassies and consulates. Already solidarity demonstrations have taken place in London and Paris.
We also demand that the Australian government condemn the crackdown by the Egyptian Supreme Council of Armed Forces, and support the protestors’ call for genuine democratic change which necessitates, as a first step, Field Marshall Tantawi, the head of SCAF, to step down and the military getting out of government.
Global Day of Action: Thurs Nov 24, 10am, 112 Glenmore Road, Paddington
Sat Nov 26, 1-4pm, Consulate General of the Arab Republic of Egypt In Sydney, Australia, 241 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills, Sydney