On the background of a call for strike on April 6th in Mahallah textile complex by the workers, political forces decided to support the strike through parallel symbolic work stoppage and peaceful protests. However, the Mubarak regime in retaliation decided to occupy El-Mahalla complex with security forces, abduct strike committee leaders Kamal El-Faioumy and Tarek Amin, arrest political activists of every political tendency in Cairo and other cities. Not able to suppress the protests, the Mubarak security forces used rubber-bullets, tear-gas, and live ammunition against Mahallah people who decided to protest on the streets of the city and in different villages, leaving at least two dead and hundreds injured.
As fighters in this struggle, the Center for Socialist Studies, calls on all activists and supporters of freedom and justice everywhere in the world to support us in our fight. The inspirational fight of the Egyptian working class over the past 18 months, which culminated in El-Mahllah events and the mass protests of yesterday –and the terrified reactions of the Mubarak regime- have proved our faith in the centrality of the working class to liberate Egypt from dictatorship and exploitation.
We call upon you circulate the news about the maximum repression and violence of the Mubarak regime, which left at least two killed in Mahallah, including a 9-year old boy. We call upon you to organize rallies and protests in front of the Egyptian embassy where you live and to send protest messages and letters against the Mubarak regime.
Long live the struggle of the working class!
April 7, 2008
Center for Socialist Studies-Cairo
In light of the recent developments in Egypt yesterday April 6, 2007, the Center for Socialist Studies expresses its support for workers and activists who have been taking the lead in yesterday’s protests. Mahallah workers’ strike committee, which represents the 24,000 workers who organized two successful and inspirational strikes in December 2006 and September 2007, had decided to go on strike again on the 6th of April demanding better wages, an independent labor union (not run by state officials), and protesting the deteriorating living conditions and rising prices in Egypt. In support with Al-Mahallah strike, different political forces in Egypt and independent activists called for a general strike and the planned some peaceful protests in Cairo and other Egyptian cities. However, as usual Mubarak’s regime and its security forces could not tolerate the rising peaceful protest and the inspirational movement of Egyptian workers and decided to retaliate forcefully.
After failed negotiations and outright threats to the workers over the past week, Al-Mahallah textile complex was occupied yesterday with security forces in civilian clothes and workers were not allowed into there factory. Buses transporting workers to the complex were stopped and new steel gates with put up around the factory in addition to uniformed police and armored cars surrounding the complex. Strike leaders Kamal El_Faioumy and Tarek Amin were abducted by state security outside the factory. This was paralleled with extreme security measures in Cairo and other cities, where armored cars and thousands of riot police surrounded university campuses and major squares. More than 150 activists (Islamists, liberals and Leftists) were detained from their homes, workplaces and off the street.
Despite the repression, Socialist Students managed to mobilize huge on campus rallies, while opposition forces managed to organize another rally in front of the Lawyers’ Syndicate in downtown Cairo. Similarly, thousands gathered on the streets of Mahallah to protest the abortion of the strike. In response the police unprecedent violence against the protesters; beating, mass-arrests, and firing tear-gas and in some surrounding villages live ammunition. The police violence resulted in to deaths, more than 500 hundred arrested including children and women, and a number of serious injuries hospitalized.
Those arrested remain in custody with no charges. The two strike leaders Kamal El_Faioumy and Tarek Amin later on appeared in a state-security police office facing serious allegations of agitation and disruption of public order –which can lead to long prison terms.
The Center for Socialist Studies call on all supporters of freedom and justice to show there support for the detained and to mount pressure on the repressive Mubarak regime to free them.
Center for Socialist Studies