Stop the military crackdown in Egypt
Solidarity with protests against oppression of Coptic Christians
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We are appalled by the murder of more than 20 people during attacks on a peaceful protest on 9 October in Cairo. Thousands of Christians and Muslims marched to the State TV buildings at Maspero, calling for an end to violence and incitement against Egypt’s Coptic Christian community. Eyewitness accounts from journalists and human rights activists at the scene make clear that army vehicles deliberately mowed down protesters, troops fired live ammunition at people and gangs of state-backed thugs attacked the Coptic hospital where injured and dying protestors were being treated.
We are disturbed to hear that while these horrific scenes unfolded Egyptian state TV broadcast distorted accounts of the events laying all blame for the violence at the door of protestors.
We condemn this brutal act of state repression against people who dared to raise their head against oppression. It is also an attempt to divide and weaken the growing movement against military rule which has brought hundreds of thousands onto the streets in protest over the past few weeks.
As trade unionists and activists in the UK we have been inspired by the Egyptian people’s courage in making the 25 January revolution. We have followed closely the strikes and protests by hundreds of thousands of workers and students across Egypt over the last few weeks for the fundamental demands of social justice and an end to corruption and repression. These strikes have united Muslims and Christians in a common struggle.
In the UK we have faced numerous attempts by the racists, the media and the state to divide our movement through whipping up hatred of Muslims and other minority groups. We know that unity in struggle can beat such attempts to divide us. We send our solidarity greetings to our brothers and sisters in Egypt now who are standing firm by the principles of the revolution, and pledge our support for their battle to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice.
John McDonnell, MP; Katy Clark, MP; Bob Crow, General Secretary, Rail Maritime Transport Union; London Transport Regional Executive RMT; Steve Hedley, London Regional Organiser, RMT; Vaughan Thomas, President, London Transport Region RMT; John Kelly, Secretary, London Transport Region RMT; Unjum Mirza, Political Officer, London Transport Region RMT and 73 other RMT reps; Sue Bond Public and Commercial Services Union National Vice-President, Zita Holbourne PCS NEC, Andy Reid, PCS NEC; Jane Loftus, President Communication Workers Union, Tony Cairns, Senior Deputy General Secretary, Communication Workers Union; Mark Bergfeld, Education Activist Network; Louise Christian, Human Rights Lawyer; Rhetta Moran, Unite Against Fascism; Mark Campbell, University and Colleges Union, National Executive Committee; Nick Grant, National Union of Teachers, National Executive Committee
More names to be published shortly.