Trade unionists, MPs and campaigners have launched the open letter below to build solidarity across the labour and trade union movement around the world with the uprisings in Sudan and Algeria. Find out more about how you can get involved in this campaign below.
The revolutions in Sudan and Algeria are reaching a critical juncture. Millions have taken part in street protests and strikes over the past few months, bringing down dictators whose rule lasted decades. Yet the demands of the uprisings for real democratic change and social justice are still a long way from being fulfilled, as the military and security apparatus of the old regimes attempts to hold onto political power.
The question of solidarity with our sisters and brothers who are risking everything to fight for peace, freedom, social justice and democracy cannot be an abstract one. Governments around the world have empowered the regimes’ repressive capacity, through supplying arms and equipment used for military and security purposes, and through cooperation around ‘counter-terrorism’ and border controls.
On international workers’ day this year, we saw trade unionists attacked by the police in Algiers using tear gas as they attempted to march. Meanwhile in Sudan, the deputy head of the military junta, General Mohamed Dagalo of the notorious Rapid Support Forces militia, said the thousands of peaceful protesters including members of the independent unions affiliated with the Sudanese Professionals’ Association were causing “chaos” which would no longer be tolerated.
Workers’ organisations are fighting back. In Algeria, independent union federations launched a call for a general strike on the first day of Ramadan (7 May). Sudanese doctors have escalated their strike action, workers in Port Sudan and other groups of workers are joining protests and declaring their support for the revolution every day.
We need your help. Will you join us in:
- sending greetings to trade unionists in Algeria and Sudan who are mobilising support for the popular uprisings’ demands through strikes, protests and sit-ins, and fighting to create democratic, independent unions and break the control of regime supporters over workers’ and professional associations.
- calling on the trade union movement around the world to mobilise solidarity with the sit-ins, strikes and protests in Sudan and Algeria.
- campaigning against military or security co-operation with the old regimes (and other individuals and groups responsible for human rights violations); opposing our governments supplying them with arms or equipment for repression.
- declaring solidarity with the struggle to establish genuine democracy in Sudan and Algeria, and opposition to all forms of military rule.
Initial signatories include:
Vidal Aragonés, Member of the Catalan Parliament, Catalonia
Safak Ayhan (Teachers’ union Egitim Sen Bursa/Yenisehir branch), Turkey
Patrick Bond, Distinguished Professor of Political Economy, University
of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Richard Boyd Barrett, People Before Profit TD (Member of the Dail), Ireland
Christine Buchholz, Member of the Bundestag, Die Linke, Germany
Maria Carvalho Dantas, member of the Spanish Congress (MP)
Gerry Carroll People Before Profit MLA (Member of the Legislative
Assembly) Belfast, Ireland
Petros Constantinou, councilor, City of Athens, Greece
Merve Diltemiz (Peace academic purged by state of decree, the teachers’ union Egitim Sen, Ankara University), Turkey
Yang Dong-gyu, Vice-President of the KCTU, Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, South Korea
Carolyn Egan, president of the United Steelworkers Toronto Area Council, Canada
Arghyri Erotokritou, GC member, Federation of Hospital Workers Unions
Oihana Etxebarrieta, Member of the Basque Parliament for EH Bildu
Sara Vilà Galán, member of the Spanish Senate
Panos Garganas, editor, Workers Solidarity, Greece
Orestis Ilias, councilor, Vrilissia municipality, Greece
Kim Jong-hoon, MP Minjung Party, South Korea
Ronnie Kasrils, former Minister, South African Government
Senol Karakas (Co-chair for DSIP, the Revolutionary Socialist Workers Party)
Costas Katarahias, chair Hospital workers union, Ag. Savvas cancer
hospital, Athens, Greece
Alex Kenny, National Executive Member, NEU, UK
Gino Kenny People Before Profit TD, Ireland
Ferda Keskin (Peace academic, Sosyal-Is union, Bilgi University Istanbul)
Zanetta Lysikatou, GC member, Federation of Hospital Doctors Unions
Cllr Tina MacVeigh, People Before Profit, Dublin City Council, Ireland
Costas Mantaios, chair SFEA (Association of prisoners and exiles during
the Junta 1967-1974), Greece
Cllr Eamonn McCann, People Before Profit, Derry , author and journalist, Ireland
Rasigan Maharajh, PhD. Professor Extraordinary: Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Oskar Matute, MP in the Spanish congress for EH Bildu
John Molyneux, Editor Irish Marxist Review
Yildiz Onen (“No to racism – we are all refugees” campaign), Turkey
Cagla Oflas (Anticapitalists platform), Turkey
Meltem Oral (Co-chair for DSIP, the Revolutionary Socialist Workers Party), Turkey
Can Irmak Ozinanir (Peace academic purged by state of decree, the teachers’ union Egitim Sen, Ankara University)
Prokopis Papastratis, professor, History dept, Panteion University,
Katerina Patrikiou, councilor, Petroupoli municipality, Greece
Eleni Portaliou, professor, School of Architecture, National Technical
University, Athens, Greece
Serafeim Rizos, councilor, Chania municipality, Greece
Sid Ryan, past president of the Ontario Federation of Labour
Sadik Sahin (Teachers’ union Egitim Sen Istanbul branch), Turkey
Nita Sanghera, UCU Vice-President, UK
Han Sang-gyun, Former President of the KCTU, Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, South Korea
Woo Seok-kyun, Co-representative of Korean Federation of Medical Activist Groups for Health Rights, South Korea
Brid Smith People Before Profit TD, Ireland
Vasilis Sylaidis, EC member, Athens Labour Centre, Greece
Ozan Tekin (Editor for Marksist.org daily website), Turkey
Katerina Thoidou, councilor, Nikaia municipality, Greece
Kiri Tunks, Joint President, NEU, UK
Baha Uzbilek (Health workers’ union SES, Izmir branch), Turkey
Prof. Salim Vally, Faculty of Education, University of Johannesburg, Director: Centre for Education Rights & Transformation (CERT), South Africa
What you can do:
- Email email@example.com to add your name to a public version of this letter
- Read more on the role that organised workers are playing the revolutions in Sudan and Algeria here: https://menasolidaritynetwork.com/2019/05/07/algeria-and-sudan-workers-action-at-the-heart-of-the-revolutions/
- Forward this letter on to your networks and contacts, asking them to do the same
- Download a version of this letter to print and circulate at union meetings [Sudan_algeria_openletter]
- Send a message of solidarity to Sudanese and Algerian trade unionists – email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Pass a resolution in your trade union branch containing the demands above