Four hundred people braved very warm weather to gather at the State Library of Victoria on February 4 to show solidarity with the recent democracy protests in Egypt.
Mohamed Elmasri from the Federation of Australian Muslims and Youth told the rally that the peaceful protesters in Egypt were defiant in the face of the extreme violence from Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s regime.
Nazeem Haussain of the Islamic Council of Victoria also defended the Egyptian protesters.
He said: “Egypt is in chaos because Mubarak will not leave” and explained that most Egyptians live in poverty, even though the country itself is rich.
He also said the US should end its interference in Egyptian politics and allow the people of the Middle East to determine their own future.
Solidarity activist Hagger Mahmoud said the Egyptian democracy movement was heartened by the support it had received from around the world.
She also called for improved health, education, and support for the unemployed, elderly and disabled in a post-Mubarak Egypt.
A live phone cross to an activist from Tahrir Square in Cairo was broadcast in Egyptian and English to the crowd.
The rally also heard speakers from the Victorian Trades Hall Council, the Socialist Alliance, the Victorian Board of Imams and Australia Asia Worker Links.
More than 400 people also protested in solidarity with Egypt in Sydney on February 5. Protesters chanted: “Mubarak out now!”, “Freedom for Egypt!”, “Mubarak no! Gamal no! Suleiman no!”, and “No to the car tire and no to the spare!”
A rally was also held in Perth on February 5 in solidarity with the democracy movement in Egypt with a speech by Fremantle City councillor and Socialist Alliance activist Sam Wainwright.
Video: Egypt rally 4 Feb 2011 - suebolton.
Video: Solidarity with Egypt rally Feb 5 2011 - Paul Benedek.
Video: Sam Wainwright speaking at Egypt protest in Perth - activistsfilms.