Friends of UNAC (United National Antiwar Committee),
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!
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF MOBILIZATION – SAN FRANCISCO – IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE EGYPTIAN AND TUNISIAN REVOLUTIONS
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
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
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.
WE ENCOURAGE ALL UNAC AFFILIATES AND SUPPORTERS TO ATTEND RALLIES PLANNED BY THE EGYPTIAN COMMUNITY AND TO INITIATE THEM WHERE NONE ARE PLANNED.
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.