8 April 2008

Protest Government Attacks
on Workers in Egypt!

The following Partisan Defense Committee letter was sent to the Egyptian Embassy in Washington, D.C., on April 8.

The Partisan Defense Committee vehemently protests the brutal police attack against protesting workers and residents in the northern industrial city of Mahalla al-Kobra. As baton-wielding riot cops viciously beat protesters, armored vehicles fired tear gas canisters and other projectiles into crowds that included women and children. Reports from Mahalla assert that police also fired live ammunition at protesters, killing at least two people.

Workers at the Ghazl el-Mahalla textile plant, the largest in the Near East and the center of the Egyptian strike wave that began in late 2006, had planned to strike on April 6 over low wages and rising food prices. Before the Sunday shift change began, plainclothes police took control of the plant and arrested some 150 workers, preventing the strike from proceeding. When thousands of workers and supporters protested later in the day, riot cops launched their murderous assault, arresting hundreds more. Further protests and repression took place the next day.

The PDC stands in complete solidarity with the struggles of Egypt’s working masses. With economic conditions deteriorating, solidarity actions with the Mahalla workers were carried out in Cairo and elsewhere despite the massive mobilization of police and security forces that arrested hundreds across the country. Cairo schools were almost completely empty on April 6, while hundreds of students demonstrated at Helwan and Cairo universities in the capital. A longtime ally of U.S. imperialism and second only to Israel in the amount of U.S. aid it receives, the Egyptian government has responded to the growing militancy of Egypt’s workers movement with an iron fist, while cracking down on oppositionists of all political stripes. The PDC demands the immediate release of all the arrested! Drop all charges! Cops out of the plant! Hands off the Ghazl el-Mahalla workers!

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The PDC calls on the international workers movement and all opponents of government repression to protest the Mubarak regime’s attacks. Send protest letters to: Egyptian Embassy, 3521 International Ct. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008; fax: (202) 244-5131 or (202) 244-4319.