Saturday, January 29, 2011

American Egyptians in Toledo plan show of support

I wanted to share with you this press release from a group called American Egyptians in Toledo:

Stand in solidarity with the demonstrators, stand for a democratic possibility in Egypt and the Middle East!

Today, Saturday, the 29th of January, American Egyptians and concerned citizens who support human rights will be gathering at the intersection/corner of Sylvania Ave and Talmadge Rd. in Toledo at 3:30pm to stand in peaceful solidarity with the demonstrators in Egypt and throughout the Middle East.

In the last weeks we have been witnesses to spontaneous uprisings across the Middle East, signifying the beginning of an end to decades of political and social repression. It began with Tunisia, the ousting of Ben Ali, and has now spread to Egypt, Yemen, Algeria, Lebanon, Libya and Jordan. Since January 25th was declared a ‘day of revolt’ against torture, poverty, and government corruption in Egypt, demonstrations have continued all over the country. Rumors disseminated prior to the 25th provided information about what was seemingly going to be an average demonstration – meaning, several hundred demonstrators and several thousand police officers surrounding them – yet what has happened is quite remarkable.

Demonstrators have outnumbered police... and demonstrations were not confined to their usual quarters. The first day, marked by tens of thousands of demonstrators, Journalists arrested, blogs shut down, newspapers closed, has increased consistently throughout the country and what started as a small movement has been joined by masses from all social classes, religious affiliations, and political persuasions calling for an end to tyranny and true democratic possibility. Government crackdown has characterized the last 48 hours and continues. As of late Thursday evening (in the US), Internet and SMS(text) services are blocked and phone usage (both cell and landline) is cut in advance of a scheduled day of mass, organized, peaceful demonstrations. In some cities, including Suez, electricity and water are cut off. All of this in a country that is one of the largest recipients of U.S. military aid. Egypt receives $1.7 billion military aid annually aid feeds ‘National Security’ and the weaponry being used to repress these demonstrations.

We are asking for the US to respond to these democratic movements and for a firm stance to be taken against repressive, violent regimes. This is a moment of far- reaching democratic possibility and must be supported!

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