Hundreds of disabled education workers in Zagazig, capital of Sharqiyya province in Egypt, are appealing for solidarity after their sit-in was attacked by the police last week. The workers, who are employed by the Education Department as teachers and administrators on poverty pay are demanding permanent contracts. Umran al-Khalifa told MENA Solidarity Network that the new provincial governor was refusing to negotiate, while the deputy governor had offered him a permanent job on condition he joined the party of the ruling Muslim Brotherhood.
Fatima Musa described how the sit-in was attacked by the police. “We were just sitting there peacefully when we were attacked. Some thugs came and broke things and said we caused the damage. Then the Central Security Forces troops hit me and they dragged us away from the sit-in. We can’t survive on our wages, as prices are so high, but we are paid only 70 Egyptian pounds a month (7 UK pounds).”
Between 100 and 250 workers are taking part in the sit-in, sleeping in tents on the steps of the governorate buildings. On Sunday, six protesters began a hunger strike from inside the governor’s office Mahmud Manazm, one of the hunger strikers explained, “some of us have heart disease, some high blood pressure. We want the world to know that the Egyptian police attacked disabled people, beat them on the head and dragged them in the street.”
What you can do:
- Send messages of support to email@example.com for forwarding to the protesters
- Send messages of protest about the police attack to the Egyptian Minister of the Interior, Mr Mohamed Ibrahim (firstname.lastname@example.org) copied to the Egyptian embassy in London email@example.com. (fax and postal address here)
- Call on the Governor of Sharqiyya to provide permanent jobs at a living wage for the province’s disabled employees. Email Sharkia_gov@yahoo.com.
- Take a picture of yourself with this sign (disabled_workers_solidarity) and send it to us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/mena.solidarity) or by email