Urgent: Egyptian Socialists and Trade Unionists Call for International Solidarity
An international appeal for solidarity has gone out today as tens of thousands of Egyptians face brutal repression in the streets of Cairo. Riot police and army forces attacked protestors after mass demonstrations calling for an end to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces' military rule.
The Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions issued a call on Saturday 19 November to its 1.4 million members in affiliated unions to join the protests in Tahrir Square. The protestors are fighting for the future of the revolution.
Solidarity protests have already been called in Britain, Ireland, Canada, Sweden and Germany.
Sameh Naguib, a revolutionary socialist in Egypt, spoke to Socialist Worker from the square late on Sunday.
He said, "The world is on fire here tonight. The police have been killing people and parts of Tahrir are in flames. There were around 100,000 people in the square this afternoon, and tens of thousands protesting in Alexandria, Suez, Aswan, Damietta and other cities across Egypt.
“Three people were killed today in Tahrir, and certainly there are more across Egypt now. There are 1,000 injured. We are drowning in tear gas. It burns the skin and the police have been shooting canisters at people's faces.
“They are firing rubber bullets straight into people's faces and many have lost their sight. And they are attacking us with water cannon. A few hours ago it looked as if there would be a bloodbath, but then the police suddenly withdrew from the square.
“The ferocity of the state has really transformed the situation. The degree of violence has enraged people. We are confident this will translate into workers' strikes.
“Thousands and thousands of young people have streamed into Tahrir in response to police attacks chanting ‘We want to get rid of Marshal Tantawi and to put him on trial’.” Field Marshal Mohammed Hussain Tantawi is head of the Supreme Council.
Sameh says that urgent international solidarity is vital for the future of the revolution.
Demonstrations are now being organised outside Egyptian embassies across the world. In London Egyptian activists have called a protest every night this week, 5-7pm, Egyptian Embassy, 26 South Street, W1K 1DW
On Tuesday there will be a special mobilisation for students and trade unionists—bring banners.