Saturday, November 19, 2011

International Day to Defend Egyptian Revolution

مصرنا باقلم
NOV 12 - International Defend the Egyptian Revolution Day

Several activist groups in Montreal have responded enthusiastically to the Egyptian-led call to make November 12 the International Day to Defend the Egyptian Revolution, in a way, bridging the grassroots campaign to end military trials in Egypt with the Occupy movement in Montreal.

Twenty-three cities across the world also responded to the campaign’s call-out which suggested that action take place under the slogan of “Defend the Egyptian Revolution – End Military Trials for Civilians.” In Montreal, Middle East solidarity collective: Tadamon! made the call for solidarity in the form of a rally at the site of the occupy movement in Montreal.

After a Mic Check was shouted, by which Egyptian activists expressed that they wanted to take initiative on this action, the protestors at Occupy Montreal’s Victoria Square responded approvingly and heard Freelance Journalist Lillian Boctor and Egyptian civilian Yasser Shoukry give speeches against unjust actions of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces in Egypt (SCAF). At least 12,000 civilians have been trialed before military tribunals in Egypt since the ousting of Mubarak and taking over of SCAF administratively. The military courts hand down harsh verdicts without sufficient evident, and don’t offer the right to appeal or access to enough lawyers.

Tagged in colors of red, black, and white, some of us carrying festoons or waving flags, we were at the forefront of a long march that raucously tipped up at St. Catherine. Sometimes, we lead the chants (some in Arabic) which ran and mingled with universal occupy chants.

A particular chart, which I was carrying, and which turned out was to have been crafted by a young Egyptian girl, read: ‘Place Tahrir Ici.” Midway, the march paused to listen to Shoukry speak of military dictatorship and human rights violations, influences in the region from Saudia Arabia and Israel, and the failed materialization of social justice - the last being the real fulcrum of the Egyptian revolution. In essence, he signed off on the note that Egyptians and Canadians share common struggles, and that they both still have to mind ways to pay the bills and ensure education for their children.

To add to SCAF’s injustices, most recently, renowned Egyptian blogger and activist, Alaa Abdel Fatah, who has been detained since October 30 at the hands of SCAF for charges of inciting violence against the army and refusal to answer the interrogator’s questions when summoned, has received an additional 15-day extension pending investigation. Many civil society, human rights, and social network groups in Egypt have been calling for his release. Sign this petition to help our movement in freeing Alaa.

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