Monday, April 6, 2009

BBC: Egyptian police stifle protests

Police in Egypt have been deployed in large numbers to prevent a national strike by pro-democracy activists.

Police had orders to arrest anyone taking part, and a number of activists have been held in recent days.

Protests appear to have been small, but about 100 MPs, out of 454, walked out of parliament as part of the protest.
The organisers of Monday's action had urged people to wear black and called for protests including sit-ins at places of work or study.
The call to protest was circulated through SMS messages and social networking sites.

Ayman Nour
Opposition leader

The campaigners are pressing the government to raise the national minimum wage and are calling for a new constitution to be drafted.
Activists were hoping it would build on a protest demanding economic and political reform they held for the first time last year.
Three people died in the protests in April 2008 and hundreds were arrested.
Egypt is run under a emergency law that has been in place since the assassination of President Anwar Sadat in 1981.

Brotherhood backing

The Muslim Brotherhood, believed to be the biggest opposition organisation in Egypt despite its being outlawed, has also backed the protest.

On Monday hundreds of riot police were stationed in city-centre squares and around universities to prevent demonstrators from gathering.

About 100 protesters gathered at the journalists' association headquarters in Cairo and chanted anti-government slogans.

Hundreds of students also demonstrated on university campuses in Cairo and the southern city of Assiut.

Ayman Nour , the leader of the opposition Ghad (Tomorrow) Party who has recently been released from jail, told the BBC Arabic Service that it was premature to judge the strike and that events were being organised throughout the day, across the country.

He said that change in Egypt was necessary to break the political stagnation in the country: "[Change] is desperately needed in Egypt after more than 30 years of one-person rule. Egypt deserves much better than that."


Egyptian bloggers face risks and repression - 06 Apr 09

Saturday, April 4, 2009

6 April 2009, General Strike in Egypt

Egyptians have been going through very tough conditions. The common citizen is suffering from extreme poverty (about 40% of the population). Economical and political corruption have reached their highest levels ever. Corrupted businessmen, who are known for their support of the current corrupted Mubarak regime, are getting super rich,while the majority of the Egyptians suffer just to be able to barley provide for their families.

The Government policies ignores any real development in important services like education and health services and implement polices that serves only the rich businessmen and corrupted politicians.

The government argue that its policies have produced strong growth rates in recent years. However, these percentage points have come at the cost of destroying social welfare institutions and have fuelled spiralling inflation and unemployment.
Majority of the diminishing middle-class are affected severely by these polices, poor people struggle even to get bread. Many have died in bread queues that have lengthened due to the government policies.

Political situation is no better, While Mubarak and his men have been in power for more than 30 years, any opposition voices are punished with prison and torture, no matter which political stream you may join any opposition to Mubarek dictatorship is not tolerated by police forces, specially SSI which is the dirty arm of the Egyptian security forces. While the budget for interior ministry in Egypt is more than the budget for education, the crime rates are going drastically up and the prisons are filled up with people detained under the emergency laws with political charges.

Inflamed social reaction against the ruling regime is growing, especially when news of the corruption of businessmen and politicians is exposed daily in the media and displays of negligence and the utter lack of competence of bodies like social welfare institutions and civil defence authority have revealed beyond a shadow of a doubt that the current administration is corrupt and incapable of dealing with emergencies.

We do believe that the problems we face may only be solved by fighting the dictatorship and corruption of the Mubarak aegime,as all major national election are forged in favour for National Democratic Party (NDP) headed by Mubarak and his son Gamal. Even the student union elections in universities, you may win only if you support NDP or at least if you are not part of any kind of opposition.

Since the sixth of April 2008 many sectors of the Egyptian people conducted a wide spread wave of strikes across the country. we believe that any group will not meet their demands in isolation from the rest the Egyptian people. the main problem faced by this nation is the tyranny created by the government itself to cover up the corruption and sweep away any opposition through political oppression, repression of freedoms and the systematic rigging of all elections.

We therefore call upon the Egyptian people, all sectors, leaders and trade union workers to make April 6th 2009 a day of strike and anger as one of the major steps on the path of civil disobedience as peaceful way in which we may achieve a major reforms in Egypt for a decent life for every citizen and for a better future.

Our Main Demands are:

1- Minimum monthly wage of 1200 Egyptian pound (about 210 $)

2- Indexation of wages

3- Election of a constituent assembly to draft a new constitution to guarantee the country's political and trade union freedoms and to set a maximum of 2 terms for any president to stay in power.

4- Suspension of exporting gas to Israel

Free Youth of 6 April

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Train Signalmen Strike

By Khair Ragheb, Wala’ Nabil, Mohamed el-Saadani 28/ 1/ 2009

The signalmen of the Railway Authority went on strike for three hours in protest against not receiving their bonuses.
They stopped all train traffic as of 1:00 p.m. by turning the red lights all the way up to Alexandria and down to Menya, causing a large number of passengers to return their tickets and take taxis.
700 signalmen first staged a sit-in in Cairo Station before they went on strike till 3:30 p.m. when their union members told them the minister of transport promised to meet their demands within 48 hours. They threatened strike again if their demands were not met by Thursday.
Mahmoud Sami, head of the Railway Authority, said he has no budget for their demands because he had disbursed a 50% bonus two months ago. But he said he would give LE 120,000 to the 2500 signalmen.
An official source with the Ministry of Transport told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the Railway Authority will in a few days submit a proposal for salary adjustments to the minister of transport and the prime minister to be effective as of July.
For her part, Minister of Manpower Aisha Abdel Hadi said that Cabinet will discuss the problems of the railway workers next week. She was more than half an hour late for a conference on Human Resource Development organized by the American Chamber of Commerce due to the strike.

Translated from the Arabic by Eltorjoman International
Originally published in: