February 3, 2011

All out for the Sat. Feb. 5, 1 pm, UN Plaza (7th and Market) San Francisco International Day of Protest in solidarity with the people of Egypt and Tunisia. U.S. Hands off North Africa!

Yesterday and today, Feb. 1 and 2 the failing Mubarak dictatorship has gone on the offensive – sending hundreds of plainclothes cops pretending to be ordinary citizens in support of the regime to attack protesters.

Military leaders are calling for an end to protests.

This is very likely a prelude to a much bigger, organized attack, with indiscriminate shooting and mass arrests.
There is probably going to be a mass demonstration in Egypt on Friday after prayers, although the regime may try to break the back of the movement before then. But the Egyptian people have come too far to give up passively – which increases the likelihood that the regime will try to launch a massacre.


Immediately below is the International Call for Action launched by several Egyptian organizations across the country. Below that is the statement and two-sided flyer issued by the National Administrative Committee of UNAC. Join us on Sat. February 5! U.S. Hands of Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen!
Emergency Call to Action!

5 February 2011

What: Protest and march to stand in solidarity with the people of Egypt, Tunisia, and other countries in the region as they struggle against repressive governments.
When: Saturday, February 5th, 2011, 1 pm.
Where: U.N. Plaza, Market and 8th, San Francisco, CA
Who: Thousands of community members from the Egyptian, Tunisian, and Arab communities in the U.S., and all those in solidarity with popular movements for justice and liberation.
Why: On January 28th, Egypt’s Day of Anger, Egyptian activist groups issued a call for international solidarity, stating that: "We need your solidarity to support the demands and aspirations of Egyptians." It is in response to this call that we are holding the February 5th international day of solidarity.

Today, February 1st, millions of Egyptians marched in Cairo, Alexandria, Mansoura, Mahalla, Suez, and other Egyptian cities to put an end to 30 years of dictatorship, poverty, unemployment, and torture. The dictator responded by declaring that he would finish his term and not seek re-election! The people of Tunisia continue to make history, struggling to defend their victory and demand a real end to Ben Ali's regime. Massive protests against dictatorships and misery are erupting in Jordan, Yemen, Libya, and other Arab countries.

This Saturday, thousands of community members from the San Francisco Bay Area will stand in solidarity with Egyptians, Tunisians, and all the people in the Arab world fighting for freedom and dignity. Nationwide, US residents are joining in solidarity with Arab popular struggles to voice dissent against the propping up of oppressive regimes globally by the US government. Egypt’s Mubarak-led regime, the second largest global recipient of US military aid, has utilized this funding to suppress free speech and political dissent for many years.

The International Solidarity Day events in San Francisco will include live interviews with journalists on the
ground in Egypt, and a march to call upon the American government to take a firm stance in support of the Egyptian people’s just demands

Endorsers (List in Formation):
ANSWER Coalition, Arab Resource and Organizing Center, Bay Area Against War Newsletter, Bay Area Labor Committee for Peace and Justice, Bay Area Solidarity, Bay Area Women in Black, Berkeley Egyptian Students Association, Berkeley Muslim Students Association, Berkeley Students for Justice in Palestine, Cafe Intifada, CODEPINK Women for Peace, Global Exchange, International Socialist Organization, Jewish Voice for Peace - Bay Area, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Middle East Children's Alliance, Palestine Right to Return Coalition, Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism, San Francisco Women In Black, San Jose Peace & Justice Center, Social Justice Committee of the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian-Universalists, South Bay Mobilization, Rebuilding Alliance; Stanford Muslim Students Awareness Network, Stanford Says No War, Stanford Students Confronting Apartheid, Sunbula: Arab Feminists for Change, United National Antiwar Committee, US Palestinian Community Network
Inquiries: Yasmine Samy, 510.379.8911, yassam123@gmail.com

Statement by UNAC
United National Antiwar Committee Emergency Appeal:
Mobilize to Stop US-Backed Attacks
on Egyptian Masses!

On January 28th we issued an appeal for all UNAC affiliates and supporters to turn out to last weekend’s demonstrations in support of the masses marching in Egypt for democracy and justice. Today we write in a follow-up emergency appeal for renewed mobilization to stop the murderous attacks going on today, February 2nd and likely to escalate in coming days.

On February 1st, two million marched in Cairo, a million or more in Alexandria, and hundreds of thousands more in towns and cities around Egypt. The response of Mubarak, after consultation with Obama, was to refuse to step down and to ignore ALL the demands of protesters.

Obama, in a speech two hours later, approved Mubarak’s stance, with duplicitous encouragement that he take some (unspecified) steps before the September elections, in which he pledged not to run.
As soon as the words left Mubarak’s lips, the millions in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, in Alexandria and elsewhere shouted their rejection of his speech.

Mubarak’s words were a clear indication that repression was imminent, and sure enough, almost immediately plainclothes police thugs began attacking protesters in Alexandria. This morning, February 2nd, the expected broader attack was launched in Cairo, as thousands more plainclothes police thugs attacked the masses in Tahrir Square.

Police mounted on horses and camels, armed with whips, began riding into the crowds. Other cops threw Molotov cocktails, rocks, stones and chairs from the roofs of buildings. Gunshots were heard in several locations. New York Times reporter Nicholas Kristof reported that “mobs arrived in buses, armed with machetes, straight-razors and clubs.”

Cops began beating protesters mercilessly, and thousands were wounded.

Meanwhile the US media began featuring interviews with rich Cairenes characterizing antiregime protesters as lazy, ungrateful workers who should go back to work and stop complaining about the price of bread!
So far the army has not moved into action, neither heeding the calls of protesters for protection against the cops, nor yet dispersing the protesters. But the head of the army has told people to go home, that after Mubarak’s speech the time for protest is over.

Needless to say Obama bears prime responsibility for this situation, as he clearly coordinated his speech with that of Mubarak – that is, Mubarak would say he wouldn't run, then Obama would give back-handed blessing to that approach by calling for "faster" change but with no demands for release of prisoners, lifting of laws against assembly, free press, revocation of stolen election results, etc., etc.

Israeli officials have said they are rethinking their “security needs” in light of the possibility that a new government would reject collaboration with Israel’s policies.

But the people of Egypt are standing fast. They have pledged an even more massive march this Friday after mid-day prayers.

The Egyptian people have come too far to give up passively -- which increases the likelihood that the regime will try to launch a massacre.

More solidarity protests are coming up this weekend. In New York alone there are protests today, Friday and Saturday. And a call has been issued for protests around the world on Saturday, February 5th.


What's more, as the revolution in Egypt and throughout the Arab world is clearly going to continue, we encourage affiliates to begin planning teach-ins on these events, and to work with local and national Arab groups in the US to discuss joint events up to and including the national marches on April 9th.

* Call the White House and State Department to demand complete withdrawal of all US forces in and around Egypt! [phone/email/fax #s here]
In mid-January, Connecticut newspapers reported that that state’s National Guard was sending an aviation unit to the Sinai Peninsula, supposedly as part of a regular rotation of about 1,000 US soldiers who are part of the Multinational Force and Observers stationed on the border between Egypt and Israel. Meanwhile Israel for the first time since 1979 “allowed” the Egyptian army to deploy 800 soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula. Needless to say, in the current situation this dramatically increases the likelihood that soldiers from any or all of the three militaries could be used against protesters.
* Demand an End to Sale of Tear Gas to Egypt’s Army and Police!
Protesters in Egypt have exposed before the world media the made-in-USA tear gas canisters fired on them. Protests have already taken place at the tear gas supplier, Combined Tactical Systems of Jamestown, Pennsylvania, as well as at the private equity firm which bankrolls them, Point Lookout Capital Partners of New York City. (This is the same firm that supplies the tear gas canisters which have wounded and killed Palestinian protesters.)
* Recall Obama’s “special envoy” to Egypt!
Obama sent a newly-appointed envoy, Frank Wisner, to Egypt to coordinate the content of their speeches on February 1st. Wisner works for corporate law firm Patton Boggs, which boasts of its connections to Egypt’s top corporations. The choice of Wisner was no accident – especially as Mubarak’s dictatorship has served first and foremost over his decades in power to impose austerity demanded by Western corporations and banks and the IMF and World Bank.
(see details at http://mideastwire.wordpress.com/2011/02/01/frank-wisner-paid-lobbyist-for-egyptian-govern ment-and-leading-commercial-families-in-egypt/ )
Call or fax Wisner’s office at Patton Boggs and demand he get out of Egypt! T: 646-557-5151 F: 646-557-5101

For more information: www.unacpeace.org, unacpeace@gmail.com

The crackdown on freedoms is intensifying across Egypt as security forces use tear gas, water cannons, live rounds and lethal force against protesters.
Pick up the phone and help us call for human rights to be respected in Egypt!

Dear Jonah,

Thirty years of repression is spilling out onto the streets of Egypt in the forms of tear-gas, blood and bitter demonstrations.

For four days, Egyptian protestors have suffered at the hands of President Mubarak's security forces.

At least 14 protestors have been killed and scores more have been injured. The crackdown on freedoms is intensifying as authorities have cut all Internet and phone communications.

There's no telling how long the violence will continue or how many people will suffer in the end.

The number one request we're hearing from our fellow Egyptian activists is to have their voices heard at various Egyptian embassies and consulates.

We intend to do all we can to make that happen, but Egyptian authorities are making it very difficult.

Our emails are not getting through and it will take far too long for our letters to reach anyone who can make a difference.

That is why we're asking you to place an urgent call to the Egyptian embassy (202) 895-5400 and dial "1" to speak to a real person about the State of Emergency in Egypt.

Ask the person who answers the call to pass on this important message – and don't take "no" for an answer:

"Please urge the Egyptian government to respect human rights, rein in the security forces, and restore access to all communications in Egypt."

Help us make the Egyptian embassy's phone ring off the hook! Then tell us how your call went.

Three decades of living under the harsh and oppressive State of Emergency is unacceptable.

The people of Egypt deserve to have their voices heard and to organize peacefully. They deserve human rights.

Phone calls are best. But you can also support human rights in Egypt by making a gift to Amnesty International today so that we can strengthen our efforts to monitor and quickly respond to dangerous situations such as these whenever they arise.

Thank you for keeping watch over human rights in Egypt. We will continue to keep you informed.

Geoffrey Mock
Country Specialist, Egypt
Amnesty International USA

P.S. For the latest updates on the situation in Egypt, please follow our Human Rights Now blog and the worldwide discussion on Twitter.

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