A salute to Egypt’s democracy protests

February 5, 2011
The entrance to Cairo's Tahrir Square blocked by burnt down police trucks, to protect the occupation from attacks by Mubarak's t

The Sydney Stop the War Coalition welcomes and supports the protests for democracy and freedom in Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere across the Middle East.

We stand in solidarity with the Egyptian masses that are struggling for their basic rights against a dictatorship that has been supported for decades by the West.

We support the people's right to assemble and their freedom of speech without the threat of repression.

Stop the War Coalition was formed to oppose Australia's participation in brutal, US-led invasions that have been cynically marketed as “wars for democracy”. These wars have brought only death, not freedom.

The people of Tunisia, Egypt and other countries in the region are showing how democracy can be created.

Egypt has been a cornerstone of the US's failed “war on terror” strategy to dominate the Middle East.

Egypt has been the second biggest recipient, after Israel, of “aid” from the US Empire, including $1.3 billion a year for its security forces alone.

These same forces have killed dozens of protesters in the last few days and injured thousands more.

Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak has made the country a US client state in the Arab world.

Without a collaborating regime in Egypt, Israel would not be able to maintain its siege of the Gaza Strip.

Egypt closed its border with Gaza and combined with Israel’s border closure to impose a total blockade

We salute the Egyptian masses for their heroic defiance of the regime and its security apparatus.

We salute their determination to not accept a rearrangement of the status quo and to struggle for real change, which includes the economic and social rights that have been denied them.

The US has been by far the most important backer of the Egyptian state, but the Australian government is an avid supporter of, and participant in, the US “war on terror” and its wars in the Middle East.

We should not forget that Mamdouh Habib and others have been sent by the US to Egypt to be tortured as part of the so-called war on terror.

Mubarak's designated successor General Omar Suleiman — his chief of intelligence — managed the CIA's rendition program.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard must make clear her government’s opposition to the atrocities committed by the Mubarak regime and support for the Egyptian protesters' demands for freedom.

The only way that will happen is if activists in Australia join with those around the world to put pressure on Western governments to break with their past support for the Egyptian regime.

Stop the War Coalition calls on the Gillard government to:

· Break all ties with the Mubarak regime.

· Support the demands for a transition to democracy being put forward by the popular movements in Tunisia and Egypt.

· Refrain from interfering with the democratic movements and interfering in the internal affairs of the Arab countries. US efforts to impose a leadership on the democratic movements should be opposed.

· Demand the release of all political prisoners.

· Withdraw Australian troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and stop supporting other Western military interference in the region, including covert operations in Yemen and Somalia.

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