Protests continued across Egyptian university campuses last week, as revolutionary activists organised rallies in commemoration of the battle of Mohamed Mahmoud Street in 2011 and mobilised in solidarity with jailed colleagues. A march organised by the “Revolutionaries” coalition in Cairo on the anniversary of the Mohamed Mahmoud protests drew thousands into the streets. The clashes in 2011 saw at least 40 people killed, as the police and army attempted to force protesters to withdraw from Tahrir Square and the nearby streets, dousing them in lethal tear gas and using snipers to target demonstrators’ eyes.
The protests marking the second anniversary of the clashes are part of a wider battle to resist the Egyptian military’s efforts to clampdown on protest and crush resistance to the restoration of key elements of the old regime. On the university campuses this means a return to the pre-revolutionary era of fear and intimidation by thugs from the secret police.
Medical student Ahmad Farash, from Al-Mansoura University was arrested on 19 November on charges which included “distributing leaflets”. Farash, a member of the Revolutionary Socialists and the Revolutionaries coalition, was handed over to the police by the President of the University, according to a statement from the group. He was later bailed.
In Ain Shams University, students from the Engineering Faculty declared a strike on 22 November (video above) which brought hundreds out in demonstrations calling for the release of detained students. Similar protests and strikes are planned in the Engineering Faculties in Helwan University and Suez Canal University over the coming week.
What you can do:
- Sign the statement launched by UCU and NUS activists in the UK protesting at the clampdown on the right to protest and academic freedoms in Egypt (leaflet about the campaign also available).
- Get your student union or trade union branch to pass a resolution in solidarity with the campus protests in Egypt