January 24, 2012
Nada Tawfeek is an Egyptian born activist currently residing in New Zealand. She wrote this first-hand account for The Spark after spending two months in Egypt; it again does not necessarily reflect a “party line.”
As the plane I was on approached Cairo, and I could finally see the pyramids after a good 24 hours of flying from New Zealand, I couldn’t help but wonder how different Egypt would be; whether it would already have changed or not. A part of me expected to step out of the plane to a brand new post revolution Egypt but the other part of me thought it would find the familiar hectic Egypt. Not long after leaving the airport I discovered that both my expectations were real. Although everything in Egypt looks the same as before the January revolution, the atmosphere is strangely different. Every radio station plays songs about the revolution and building a better Egypt, every Egyptian TV presenter now has a show about politics, the average Egyptian who most likely had no interest in politics a year ago could now talk about the different parties at length, and the closer the elections day got the more extreme this would seem.
The night before the Election Day was one of the most exciting days for many Egyptians since the revolution. Everywhere I went I heard young people talk about how they were incredibly proud that their generation got to witness a day like this, and older people talk about how this was the first time they had ever voted in their whole life. This day for many Egyptians was a challenge. Finally people felt that their voices were going to be listened to and that their vote would actually count, and people weren’t going to let this opportunity pass no matter how anxious they were. The fact that this was the first time most people were going to vote made the new experience one they were slightly scared of because no one knew what to expect. People were afraid that the old government and its supporters might have a plan in place, but the excitement overcame the fear.
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July 6, 2011
The following is by Josh Glue, a Workers Party member in Hamilton, and was first published in the July issue of The Spark. It is adapted from a presentation given by Josh for the pannel discussion - the international situation- at the national conference of the Workers Party, Workers Power 2011, held over Queens Birthday weekend.
Mass demonstrations in Tahrir Square, Egypt, during February
Since the beginning of 2011, protests, uprisings and revolt have rocked the Middle East, from Tunisia to Egypt, from Algeria to Libya, Syria to Bahrain. Working people, as well as students, activists and professionals, have risen to demand democracy, often challenging decades of dictatorial rule from corrupt governments backed by Western imperialism and funded by oil wealth.
Protesting against crippling unemployment, systemic government corruption, rising food prices, and brutal repression, the people have spoken out for control over their lives, in many cases facing harsh state violence for standing up for their rights. Read the rest of this entry »
February 9, 2011
Following on from last weekends demonstration another protest rally in solidarity with the uprising in Egypt has been organied for midday this Saturday (Febuary 12) in Cathedral Square. Come raise awareness and support the Millions of Egyptians taking to the streets!. [Facebook page]
The following video was taken at last weeks demonstration.
February 5, 2011
- Egypt solidarity protest in Christchurch
The following is the text of a leaflet distributed by Workers Party members at demonstrations held accross New Zealand in solidarity with the uprising in Egypt.
The Arab world is on fire. The people of the Middle East are rising up against the Western supported dictatorships. Suddenly a situation that has existed quite comfortably for the last forty years has been turned on its head.
When Iran burst into revolt in 2009 over the rigged elections, the governments of the ‘West’ could not do enough to encourage the ferment. But the situation in Egypt is very different, because Egypt is the West’s most important Arab ally in the region. Each year the regime receives more than $2 billion dollars in US “aid”. When Obama states that he is “calling upon Egyptian authorities to refrain from any violence against peaceful protesters”, he is referring to the weapons and munitions that the US has supplied over the last 30 years.
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