Egyptian activists from the Tahrir Square movement have put out an international call for solidarity actions with their revolution on Saturday, November 12th. While Egypt has faded from the spotlight over the past few months, activists have never been in more danger from their on-going military government and police state. Several Egyptian activists have been imprisoned using open-ended sentences: including Alaa Abd El Fattah by the military of Egypt, which is trying to stifle the revolution and has been using repressive tactics to do so.
Given that our Egyptian counterparts marched on the U.S. embassy in solidarity with Occupy Oakland, published a solidarity letter, continuously strive to keep vital connections between Cairo and our Occupy Movement after the tragic day of police violence on the streets of downtown Oakland, it is imperative that we respond in kind, with solidarity, love and support during their difficult and dangerous struggle. This solidarity is best shown, not only by expressing support for their similar goals and movements, but by acknowledging that our very government stands in the way of their goals, just as it often does with ours.
This proposal is in no way meant to discourage any other actions or statements that may be planned for this day in solidarity with Egypt’s Revolution, but rather, was organized so that there would be at least one GA endorsed Occupy Oakland solidarity letter and action.
To the Revolutionaries in Egypt,
The January 25th revolution shook the globe. After over 30 years of living under a brutal dictatorship, the Egyptian people erupted in fury. We watched as you occupied Tahrir Square and resisted the government’s ruthless attacks; at the end of those 18 long days, we witnessed the power of a united people as you celebrated the revolution’s success in ousting Mubarak.
But we realize that your struggle is long from over. We watched in tears as the military council took power, protecting the remnants of the old government, and defending the system of economic oppression which continues to exploit and drive your people into poverty. It seems that they did not understand the now infamous chant: The people want the downfall of the regime. As the SCAF (the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces) promised to facilitate the transition to democracy, it has continued to kill protestors, viciously remove occupiers from Tahrir, conduct “virginity tests,” and persecute thousands through unjust military trials. Ridding yourselves of Mubarak was the first step, but now it is more evident than ever that the people will only be truly free when the whole system is abolished.
Do not stop in your efforts for freedom. You have already inspired thousands all over the world to occupy public spaces, to bring Tahrir Square everywhere. These liberated spaces have provided food, shelter, protection and education in a way that capitalism never can, and never will. But just as government thugs, the military, and the police repeatedly cracked down on Tahrir, police forces everywhere are raiding our occupations with the goal of destroying everything that we create. It has become clear that if we build shelters, develop safe spaces for people of color, women, the poor, trans and queers, if we set up open kitchens, create free schools– if we attempt to imagine a world without capitalism, we will be quashed by the capitalists and their army of police.
And so we stand with you. We are you. This entire generation has come to understand that we have no future in the current state of things. From Oakland to Egypt, there is only one chant: The people want the downfall of the regime.
Oakland has fallen in love with the Egyptian revolutionaries, and from Oscar Grant Plaza, we are standing with you. We are standing with you against all military trials, the repression from the government, and this system, which plagues all of our lives. Continue your resistance, strengthen your revolution, and do not be discouraged. You are the ones, after all, who have shown us all that another world is possible.
This Saturday, Nov 12th, as the Egyptian people call for solidarity from across the globe, rest assured that your comrades in Oscar Grant Plaza will be standing with you. Oakland and Egypt are one hand!
With Love and Solidarity from Occupied Oakland
November 9, 2011