BAYAN, ILPS express solidarity with Egypt people's struggle

 

Plaza Fergusson, Manila

 

 February 1, 2011

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Photos courtesy of BAYAN, BAYAN-NCR and Ina Silverio as indicated by the filenames of the photos
           
     
     
     

 

WE SALUTE AND CONGRATULATE THE PEOPLE OF EGYPT
FOR RISING UP TO OVERTHROW THE MUBARAK REGIME

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson
International League of Peoples' Struggle
January 30, 2011

The mass uprisings sweeping several Arab countries have shifted their focus from Tunisia to Egypt, a country much bigger in terms of land size, population (more than 80 million) and strategic value in the conflict between the US-Zionist combine on the one hand and the Palestinian and Arab peoples on the other hand and in the US global war of terror unleashing state terrorism, wars of aggression, occupation and the rendition of US foes to the torture chambers of Egypt.

Since January 25 tens of thousands of people have poured out into the streets of major cities of Egypt in order to demand the ouster of President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak and his ruling clique. They have defied the police and military forces even as more than 150 of the protesters have been killed and hundreds have been injured by US-made weapons. In a vain attempt to appease the people, Mubarak has reshuffled his cabinet and is maneuvering to stay in power or glide into a less disgraceful exit by a promise to allow new elections according to the US formula of transition to sham democracy.

At any rate, Mubarak is apparently on the verge of losing power. His ruling party headquarters has been burnt down. He has sent out of Egypt his closest relatives and a major part of their bureaucratic loot. The police have begun to abandon their posts in several cities. And various military units are showing either a friendly or hostile face to the people in the streets. There are indications that behind the scenes the US and the generals are trying to engineer a new arrangement.

We, the International League of Peoples' Struggle, salute and congratulate the people of Egypt for rising up and striving to overthrow the US-supported Mubarak regime which has long oppressed and exploited them. The people have courageously acted to repudiate the regime for its oppressiveness, its servility to US imperialism and its conformity to the US-dictated “neoliberal” economic policy which has brought about the high rate of unemployment, decline of the economy and breakdown of social services.

While the mass uprisings have been successful at isolating and debilitating the long hated oppressive regime, the US-controlled military machinery is intact and is poised to play a key role in rearranging the political setup in the interest of the US and local exploiting classes. The Egyptian state is dependent on a wide range of economic, financial and political relations with the US and other imperialist countries. Since 1975 the US alone has poured more than USD 50 billion into Egypt in order to coopt its rulers and use them as tools of US hegemonism,

The Egyptian military is dependent on a huge amount of US military assistance amounting to more than USD 1.38 billion, which is next in size only to that given to Israel. The US also gives economic assistance amounting to more than USD 800 million. The US is highly interested in the restabilization of the situation in Egypt in order to forestall the rise of anti-imperialist forces and thus maintain a balance of forces in favor of the US-Zionist combine in the region.

At any rate, through the mass uprisings, the people are asserting and exercising their sovereign power. They are opening the way to further advances and further possibilities in the struggle for national liberation, democracy, development and social justice. The revolutionary forces have the chance to expand and consolidate their strength.

To any extent that their struggle is frustrated, derailed or hijacked by their enemies, the people of Egypt can raise the level of their fighting consciousness and capabilities and go through various forms of revolutionary struggle until they muster the strength to smash the bureaucratic and military machinery of the ruling classes.

The conditions for advancing the revolutionary struggle are more fertile than ever before on the scale of Eqypt, North Africa and the Middle East and the entire world because of the grave crisis of the world capitalist system and depredations of the US-instigated policies of neoliberal globalization, state terrorism and aggression.

It has been repeatedly demonstrated in recent history that particular despotic regimes can be overthrown, such as those of Duvalier, Marcos, Somoza, Pinochet, Mobutu and Suharto. But the subsequent false facade of democracy can only be fleeting for as long as the US and the local exploiting classes can rule through a bureaucratic and military machinery beholden to them.

We, the International League of Peoples' Struggle, are in solidarity with and support the people of Egypt in their great cause to build their revolutionary strength and wage various forms of mass struggle against imperialism and reaction. They need to defeat the armed counterrevolution and accomplish the people's democratic revolution. Thus they can move forward on the path of national liberation and social revolution.###

 

 

ILPS SALUTES THE PEOPLE OF TUNISIA FOR VICTORIOUS UPRISING AND WELCOMES THE SPREAD OF RESISTANCE IN THE MIDDLE EAST
By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson
International League of Peoples’ Struggle
27 January 2011

The International League of People’s Struggle (ILPS) salutes the brave people of Tunisia for their great victory in rising up and toppling the corrupt and repressive regime of Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali. This US-supported dictator who fled Tunisia on January 14 had ruled the country with an iron hand for 23 years.

The protests that eventually led to the ouster of Ben Ali were sparked by the sacrifice of a young college graduate, Mohamed Bouazizi. He had a college degree but unable to find work was selling fruits and vegetables in the streets of Sidi Bouzid, a city in central Tunisia. The police confiscated his wares saying he had no license. In protest, he set himself on fire in front of the city hall.

This act became the catalyst for the people’s uprising, igniting demonstrations and riots throughout Tunisia in protest against high unemployment, rising food prices, political repression and poor living conditions in the country. Weeks of street protests followed mobilizing broad sectors of society. Ben Ali declared a state of emergency in an effort to crush the uprising. But the people prevailed and Ben Ali was forced to flee into exile.

Tunisia suffers from high unemployment of more than 14%. The unemployment rate for young people is even higher at more than 31%. Tunisia’s economic problems stem from IMF-dictated neoliberal policies and aggravated by the rampant corruption of the ruling clique.

Ben Ali came into power in 1987 in a bloodless coup when a team of doctors pronounced the incumbent President Habib Bourguiba unfit to rule due to senility. Habib Bourguiba had led the struggle for independence against the French and introduced progressive socio-economic policies. The US found in Ben Ali a willing ally in carrying out the “free-market” policies that the imperialists have been trying to impose in Africa and the rest of the third world. He was also considered by the US as a key ally in the region in “fighting Islamic terrorism” and in maintaining “stability”.

The neoliberal policies promoted by the US and carried out by Ben Ali included attacks on the rights of labor, trade liberalization and privatization of public services. These policies have been responsible for the high unemployment and other economic problems in Tunisia these past years.

The protests continue despite the resignations of Ben Ali and his prime minister with the people demanding sweeping changes. They are demanding the complete clean up of government from the remnants of Ben Ali’s clique and the dismantling of Ben Ali’s party the Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD).

The US and other repressive regimes in the region are now afraid that the social turmoil in Tunisia might spread to other countries. Protest actions have broken out in Algeria over lack of housing and high food prices. In Jordan, demonstrations led by trade unions and Left parties have called for the resignation of the Rifai government over high food and fuel prices. Protesters in Egypt demonstrating in solidarity with the Tunisian people chanted “Kefaya” (enough) and “We are next, we are next, Ben Ali tell Mubarak he is next.”

The French, German and British ruling cliques had always praised Ben Ali for being a “friend” of civilized Europe for “keeping a firm hand on all those Islamists.” They are now hypocritically calling for democratic reforms in Tunisia and the rest of the region.

The International League of Peoples’ Struggle wholeheartedly supports the Tunisian people in their present struggle against unemployment, government corruption and repression and in their long-term struggle for national and social liberation from imperialism and local reaction. We welcome the spread of people’s resistance to the US and oppressive regimes in the Middle East.

We call on all progressive forces and people in th world to give their support to the legitimate aspirations of the people of Tunisia and other countries in the Middle East for national liberation, democracy, social justice, development, international solidarity and peace. ###

 

Visit: www.josemariasison.org

 

     
     
     
     
     
           

 

 

For the Egyptian Mother
by Richard R. Gappi)

The road is speaking in tongues
and even the crevices of the city whisper;
moaning the pain which the power-hungry leader
has suppressed for years.
When I saw you kissed an anti-riot police,
a branch of tree suddenly spread its wings
and a gentle wind tapped my heart --

I, who am  at the other side of the world.

How powerful is a mother’s kiss?
Aren’t these the lips which poverty has dried up
while the elite feasted on sumptuous dishes?
Aren’t these the lips which fear and violence have scared
but which are now rekindled like a new dawn?
Aren’t these the lips that sing lullaby
to her sons and daughters who slept with empty stomach?
And now, these lips are our window
to the world where from the depths of Cairo,
we can see and feel that a new life
is unleashing, breathing from your womb,
a new found hope like the first cry of a new born,
a stout rice leaf
protruding, like a laurel, in the foreheads
of buildings amid the city of forest.
This is not the kiss of death but a gentle heart’s caress
with its warmth hugging the humanity within ourselves.

Even while I’m here at the other side of the world.


(Translated by the author himself)
-Richard R. Gappi
4:33PM, 31 January 2011
Angono, Rizal, Philippines
 

 

 

Sa Ina na taga-Cairo

ni Richard R. Gappi

Nag-aapoy ang litid at ngalangala ng kalsada
at kahit singit ng syudad ay bumubulong,
iniuungol ang matagal nang alulong
na sinakal ng nauulol sa kapangyarihan.
Nang makita kong dumampi ang iyong labi
sa isang anak mong nakahilerang anti-riot police,
may kung anong sanga ang lumabay dito
at may aliw-iw na hangin ang tumapik sa aking puso –

Ako na nasa kabilang mundo.

Anong kapangyarihan ang halik ng ina?
Hindi ba't ito ang labi na natuyo dahil walang makain ang marami
habang naglulunoy sa mamantikang pagkain ang iilan?
Hindi ba't ito ang labi na pinaputla ng takot at dahas
ngunit ngayon ay singsigla ng bukangliwayway?
Hindi ba't ito ang labi na nagpapatulog sa bunsong anak
kahit ang sikmura ay nangangatal at kumakalam?
At ngayon, ang labi na ito
ang bintana ng daigdig kung saan
mula sa pinakaubod ng Cairo,
nakikita at nadadama naming isinisilang
sa inyong sinapupunan ang bagong buhay,
ang sanggol na uha ng pag-asa
ang panganay na gintong uhay
na nakausli, tulad ng laurel, sa noo
ng mga gusali sa gubat ng lungsod.
Hindi ito halik ng pagkakanulo kundi dampi ng puso
na tumatagos ang lamyos sa gulugod ng kabihasnan at pagkatao.

Kahit ako ay nasa kabilang mundo.


-Richard R. Gappi
10:43AM, Lunes, 31 Enero 2011
Angono, Rizal, Pilipinas

 

           
           
     
     
     

 

News Release
January 31, 2011

Bayan expresses solidarity with Egypt people's struggle

The umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan expressed its support for the people of Egypt in their struggle to oust the dictator Hosni Mubarak. Protests have engulfed the Middle Eastern country for 7 days now as tens of thousands demanded the resignation of Egypt’s ruler. The 82-year old Mubarak has been in power for since 1981 and is considered a staunch US ally in the region.

“The people of Egypt are justified in their demands for the dictator Mubarak to step down amid the worsening state of the economy and human rights in the country. The people of Egypt should be free to determine who their next leader will be. Having fought a similar US-backed dictatorship, we Filipinos express our solidarity and support for our brothers and sisters in Egypt. We stand in solidarity with them during these tumultuous times,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

“We also express concern for the safety of our compatriots who are working in Egypt. The safety of the OFW’s can best be assured if the current conflict ends with Mubarak stepping down,” he added.

Bayan blamed the US government for “fomenting turmoil in the region by supporting authoritarian rulers who serve as US enforcers”.

“Why was Mubarak able to hold on to power for 30 years? A huge factor is US support for his repressive regime. The US government gives Egypt some P1.3 billion in military aid yearly, the second largest in the world next to Israel. Egypt gets an additional $815 million annually in economic assistance as well,” Reyes said.

“The US has trained Egypt’s security forces and has turned a blind eye to various human rights violations including torture. The US has maintained the high level of military aid to Egypt despite knowing that various human rights violations were being committed by state security forces,” Reyes added.

The recent figures on US aid to Egypt are available on the website of the US State Department. Meanwhile, leaked US embassy cables show that the US government knew of the torture and other abuses committed by Egypt’s police force under Mubarak.

Egypt is considered by the US as a “stabilizing force” in Middle East. It has often been described as the closest “Arab ally” of the US. It has toed the US line on key issues such as the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Egypt is also important for the US policy of containing so-called “Islamic extremists” in the region.

Egypt also controls the Suez Canel, which is a major trade route between Asia and Africa.

“Bayan chapters all over the world are called on to join solidarity actions in support of the Egyptian people’s just struggle for freedom and democracy and an end to the authoritarian rule of Mubarak. Having gone through 20 years of the Marcos dictatorship, we know too well how it feels to have our rights violated with impunity. Having gone through 2 ‘people power’ uprisings, we understand clearly why collective action is needed to succeed,” Reyes said.

Egypt has cracked down on sources of information by shutting down internet service and closing the offices of the Al-Jazeera media network in Cairo. ###

 

     
           
     
     
     

 

BAYAN USA Statement of Solidarity with the Egyptian People’s Struggle
January 31st, 2011

News Statement
January 31, 2011

Reference: Bernadette Ellorin, Chairperson, BAYAN USA
email: chair@bayanusa.org

Filipino-Americans Stand with the Egyptian People in Calling for Mubarak to Step Down

Filipino-Americans under the banner of BAYAN USA are joining rallies across the United States in support of the Egyptian people’s courageous resistance and calling for an end to the US-backed dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak. BAYAN USA is equally inspired by the national protest movements unfolding across North Africa and the Middle East, beginning with Tunisia, Yemen, Algeria, and now Egypt.

Despite mainstream media’s attempts to distort the protesters as Islamic extremists, the protests in Egypt clearly represent a broad, united front of various classes and sectors of Egyptian society that have grown sick and tired over deep, longstanding socio-economic problems including rising unemployment, food prices, widespread poverty, and government corruption. These are all exacerbated under the current global economic crisis coupled with over 30 years of Mubarak’s allegiance to US foreign policy–which stresses economic liberalization and privatization in the region– over the Egyptian people’s national interests.

The Filipino people are all too familiar with how the US hegemonic hand at the root of the Egyptian people’s misery is able to be sustained through puppet leaders such as Mubarak treating government as a private business rather than as a public service, otherwise known as bureaucrat capitalism. This was the case with the former US-backed dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos, whose Iron Fist regime was no match for the popular people’s uprising known as People Power that ousted him from office in 1986. Unfortunately, this has also been the case with all the succeeding regimes in the Philippines.

The valuable lesson the Filipino people have learned from ousting two US puppet presidents through popular upsurge is that a change in leadership does not eradicate bureaucrat capitalism, domestic feudalism, nor foreign dictates. This must come from continuous struggle for structural change by way of a revolutionary mass movement.

We are endlessly inspired by the Egyptian people’s fighting spirit and self-determination, and we demand the US government to withdraw all forms of support for Hosni Mubarak, who is now heavily-isolated. This especially includes all forms of US economic and military aid to Egypt. Considered one of the closes allies to the US government in the Middle East, Mubarak’s Egypt has enjoyed being the second largest beneficiary of US military aid in the world, receiving $1.3 billion in US tax dollars annually. We also call on the US government to respect and recognize Egyptian sovereignty by not interfering with Egyptian domestic affairs.

Lastly, we call on the people in the US to show their solidarity with the Egyptian people’s struggle by holding the Obama government and US ruling elite accountable for the burdensome economic crisis they have passed on to our backs, in forms such as skyrocketing unemployment and homelessness, critical cuts to education and health care, overbearing privatization of the social services, the prison industrial complex, and the rising costs of consumer goods. We call on the people in the US to strengthen and expand our unity against the US war machine waging costly imperialist wars of aggression abroad in the bogus name of democracy and freedom. This is amongst our best acts of solidarity for the Egyptian people and all other oppressed peoples of the world.

LONG LIVE THE EGYPTIAN PEOPLE!
MUBARAK STEP DOWN NOW!
US OUT OF THE MIDDLE EAST!
US OUT OF THE PHILIPPINES!
LONG LIVE INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY!

 

 

Katie Joaquin of Anakbayan East Bay at the SF Rally in Solidarity with the Protests in Egypt and Tunisia, 1/29/11

 

Darah Macaraeg of League of Filipino Students-SFSU speaks at the SF Rally in Solidarity with the Protests in Egypt and Tunisia, 1/29/11

 

     
     
           

 

Red salute to the workers and people of Egypt in their struggle against the US-backed Mubarak regime
Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general
Kilusang Mayo Uno
International Day of Action in Support of the People of Egypt
01 February 2011


The Philippines’ genuine, militant and anti-imperialist labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno expresses its solidarity with the workers and people of Egypt in the light of their militant struggle to end the three-decade rule of President Hosni Mubarak as well as torture, corruption, unemployment and poverty in their country. The protests, which started from on-line campaigns, are now gaining numbers and intensifying militancy. The Egyptian workers and people are shaking the world by exhibiting their disgust towards a US-backed dictatorship.

We condemn the most violent reaction of government troops and the Mubarak regime to the protests. In the regime’s desperation to prolong its hold on power, it has used the most repressive methods: total blackout on communications, imposition of curfew, violent dispersals, and even direct gunning down of protesters. But the people of Egypt, determined as they are, continue to struggle for freedom and democracy in their country.

The largest imperialist countries are deeply bothered with the present unrest in Egypt. US President Barack Obama even canceled a meeting just to attend a 40-minute briefing on the situation. Both the US and Europe are very vocal regarding the political crisis for the latter threatens their political and economic interest in the Arab region. Egypt is the most populous state in the Middle East. It is the US’ key ally against Iran. As for Europe, the Suez Canal is vital for its importation of cheap oil and products from Asia.

Mubarak’s unbridled puppetry to US imperialism is the key to his overstaying dictatorship, protecting all US assets and interests in Egypt. The effect is that Egypt’s economy remains underdeveloped amidst its rich natural resources. The main cause of the protest is not just Mubarak’s corruption and tyranny but most of all the poverty due to unemployment caused by the backward economy and imperialist plunder. To reward Mubarak, the US showered him with huge US aid which go to corruption in government. Egypt is next to Israel, a favorite ally of the US, in the volume of aid that it is receiving.

The worsening crisis of the world capitalist system results in turmoil and resistance in its colonies and neo-colonies. It makes even long-standing dictatorships vulnerable to people’s uprisings. The worldwide people’s struggle against unemployment and poverty are stepping up due to the current grave imperialist crisis. Such struggles include the victory of the Tunisian people, protests in Yemen, Algeria, Haiti, Bulgaria, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and the Philippines and even in industrialized countries like Italy and France.

We raise our fist in support of the Egyptian workers and people’s struggle against tyranny, repression, poverty and unemployment for we ourselves have toppled US-backed fascist regimes and we are still fighting a new regime that serves the interests of US imperialism and its local allies. It is the task of the workers and peoples of the world to unite and build solidarity against imperialism and fight for national liberation and democracy.

We encourage the workers and people of Egypt to further strenghten and advance their unity by building progressive people’s organizations that will arouse, organize and mobilize the Egyptian workers and peoples to give the final blow to the US-Mubarak dictatorship and to US imperialism in Egypt, and to advance the struggle for genuine freedom and democracy.

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LONG LIVE THE PEOPLE OF EGYPT’S CLAMOR FOR JUSTICE AND DEMOCRACY!
END THE US-BACKED MUBARAK REGIME!
Statement of Support to the People’s Uprising in Egypt
February 1, 2011

HUSTISYA (Unity for Justice), expresses warm and fervent support to the people of Egypt who have sustained their street demonstrations for more than a week now in calling for the ouster of the three-decade dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak. As an organization of victims and families of victims of human rights violations in the Philippines, we share the people of Egypt’s yearning for freedom and democracy.
 

 

We call for justice for hundreds of people who were killed in the street protests and elsewhere, those who were disappeared, imprisoned and other victims of human rights violations in Egypt. We hold no less than the US-backed Mubarak regime accountable for such violations and decades-long suppression of its people. The decades-long military aid of the US is tantamount to the rise of human rights violations and the perpetuation of oppression and repression the people of the world, as it did in other countries like the Philippines, Israel and other neo-colonies.

The people’s uprising in Egypt is just and necessary, as it responds to the people’s basic civil and political rights, as well as emancipation from the crises perpetuated by a state that remained in power while its people continue to suffer poverty, curtailment of rights and even their basic right to life and human dignity.

We call on all peace and justice advocates here and abroad to express solidarity with the people of Egypt. The people’s uprising in Egypt should likewise serve as reminder to President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, that the people continue to be in a state of unrest as long as there is no genuine change. ###

 

 

 

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US-backed Mubarak Regime Must End
February 2, 2011
Reference: SATUR C. OCAMPO
Makabayan President & Bayan Muna President
0917-8226184

Bayan Muna (People First) Party expresses solidarity with the Egyptian people in exercising their sovereign right to oust the US-backed dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak. Sovereign power resides in the people and they have clearly spoken: the Mubarak regime must end.

Egypt’s worsening socioeconomic problems, like high inflation, unemployment and poverty, coupled with its poor human rights and democracy record, have driven its people to the streets and call for a meaningful change in government.

The 100 to 300 fatalities and 3,000 wounded in clashes with the police have not impelled Mubarak to avert more bloodshed by resigning. His ploy to quell the unrest by holding elections in September and promise of stepping down by then have been rejected by the Egyptian people.

Mubarak has reigned over Egypt the past three decades largely due to US support Since 1979, Egypt has been the second largest recipient of US foreign aid next to Israel. The US has provided $2 billion in economic and military assistance to Egypt annually.

The US has strong interests in Egypt, notably its preferential access to the Suez Canal (which is a key transit point in the international oil market) and the continued backing of Israeli aggression against Palestine. It continues to support authoritarian regimes that serve US interests. Egypt under Mubarak is a steady ally of the US and has supported the latter's so-called War on Terror especially in the Middle East.

We call on President Benigno Simeon Aquino to join international calls for an end to the Mubarak government. President Aquino should be cognizant of people power now being exercised by the people of Egypt. This is the same action that catapulted her mother, former President Corazon Aquino to power in 1986. This is the same power that has toppled authoritarian regimes, as recentlyshown by the people of Tunisia.

This is the very power that the Egyptian people are exercising and deserve our utmost support in their struggle for democracy.

We call on the Philippine government to ensure the safety of the estimated 6,569 Filipinos in Egypt who are mostly based in Cairo and Alexandria. Of this figure, an estimated 3,000 are domestic helpers, 1,674 are students in Cairo while 500 others reside in Egypt. Evacuation plans must be underway and the P 100-million emergency repatriation fund administered by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) as provided under Republic Act 8042 or the Migrant Workers Act, as amended by Republic Act 10022 must be immediately made available.#

           
     
     
     

 

Migrante to Aquino: Help end conflict, support int’l condemnation vs. Mubarak dictatorship

Amidst rising concern for the safety and welfare of at least 6,500 Filipinos in Egypt, global alliance of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) Migrante International today said that the end of the conflict in Egypt and subsequently the safety of our OFWs and Filipino nationals lie on Mubarak’s immediate stepping down from office.

“It is the Mubarak government and military that is causing deaths and curtailment of civil liberties in Egypt. There is unrest because there are widespread human rights violations and political and economic strife,” said Migrante International chairperson Garry Martinez.

“While there are present efforts by the DFA and the Philippine post in Egypt to assure the public and OFWs’ families that they are on ‘top of the situation’ and prepared for evacuation, the government also has a responsibility to make clear its position on the Mubarak dictatorship to support the mounting international pressure calling on Mubarak to step down,” he said.

“Lehitimo at makatwiran ang ipinaglalaban ng mamamayan ng Egypt. Instead of wrongly insinuating that the unrest is being caused by protesters, na para bang kasalanan ng mga nagpoprotesta na sila ay dinarahas, tinatanggalan ng mga karapatan at pinapatay, the Aquino administration should add its voice to international condemnation against the Mubarak dictatorship.”

“At this point, the latest DFA directive is sending the wrong message, as if our own government is condoning Mubarak’s draconian and militaristic measures against civilians in the absence of a categorical condemnation.”

For one, Martinez said that the Philippine government has not questioned the complete and total shutdown of Internet and other communication lines in Egypt.

“This has a clear and direct effect on our OFWs and a first in the world. We do not want this to be a precedent anywhere else in the world where there are Filipino nationals. Our government should be upfront in demanding open communication lines for our OFWs to reach their families in times of crisis,” he said.

Migrante International expressed support for the people of Egypt in their fight against the three-decade dictatorship and tyranny of the Mubarak regime. ###

     
           
     
     
     
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LFS extends internationalist solidarity to the Egyptian students and people
by Terry Ridon on Monday, January 31, 2011 at 8:12pm

The League of Filipino Students extends its warmest internationalist solidarity to the Egyptian students and people in their historic struggle to oust the 30-year US-Mubarak regime.

The Egyptian struggle against the Mubarak dictatorship has captured the the militant spirit and imagination of the Filipino students and people, which also fought and ousted in 1986 the similar fascist, US-supported dictatorship of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos.

Despite the media and internet blockade by the Mubarak regime, the world over has witnessed thousands upon thousands of students, youth, and working people trooping to the streets in different Egyptian cities, not only in Cairo, but in Alexandria, Suez, among others.

The active participation of Egyptian students and youth provides the Filipino students much impetus to fulfill its historic role in supporting and contributing to the nationalist and democratic aspirations of the Filipino people, particularly the defeat of US imperialism, domestic feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism.

The continuing struggle in Egypt today provides an opportunity for Egyptian anti-imperialists to weaken the grip of US imperialism in Egypt and reverse the neoliberal economic policies which had been entrenched because of the thirty-year collaboration of the US and Mubarak government.

The free market economics being implemented in Egypt has made millions out of work, with the youth experiencing double-digit unemployment despite high percentages of the youth graduating from colleges and universities. It had also closed down many factories and enterprises, especially in the wake of the global economic crisis.

Such pro-imperialist policies had not only enriched the Mubarak family and bureaucracy, it had enabled the US and Israel to extract superprofits from the labor and natural resources of the Egyptian people. However, these policies had also served as the basis for the growing poverty, unemployment and anti-imperialist and anti-dictatorship sentiments among the people.

In the last thirty years, the people's struggle against the US-Mubarak regime had been met by fascist attacks by Egyptian security forces. With the unraveling of the anti-dictatorship people's movement, Mubarak and his minions cannot anymore reverse the revolutionary tide against his regime.

However, while Mubarak's and his minions' days are numbered, it does not mean that US imperialism in Egypt will finally have been defeated. Absolute care must be done in dealing with the Egyptian military as it had been fully supported by US imperialism in the last thirty years, as seen by the massive military aid given by it, second only to Israel. They must reject the intervention of a US-supported military as such would only mean a continuation of the same puppetry and fascism as the Mubarak regime.

They should also not allow another US puppet to lead their country, even if such puppet appears reform-oriented or democratic-minded. An imperialist puppet shall serve his master first and foremost, and never his people.

In any event, US imperialism appears determined not to lose Egypt as its premiere semi-colony in the Middle East. Until now it had failed to condemn the Mubarak regime's crackdown of the Egyptian uprising that left more than 150 dead and thousands injured. Together with other imperialist powers, it had sent solidarity messages, not to the Egyptian protesters, but to the dictator.

The Egyptian students and people must never allow US imperialism and its agents to hijack the revolutionary gains and victories being achieved by the people's uprising at present.

Nonetheless, we firmly believe that the Egyptian people shall overcome. They shall soon defeat the Mubarak regime, and provide great opportunities for anti-imperialist and revolutionary movements to broaden their base, membership and political activities.

With clenched fists we salute the martyrs of the uprising and all Egyptian students and people who are now facing the entire weight of fascist attacks but remain fearless, resolute and resilient.

The Filipino and Egyptian peoples have a long shared history - first in the defeat of Western colonialism through revolutionary struggle, and the long, continuing people's struggle against US imperialism, and for national freedom and democracy.

We stand firmly on their side in this historic moment of their great but difficult struggle.

History has shown that even the most formidable of empires fall - even modern Pharaohs like Mubarak. And we shall be with the Egyptian people, not only until Mubarak has fallen, but until US imperialism has been defeated in Egypt, and in the rest of the world.

 

     
     
     
           
     

 

US, Egypt and being on the wrong side of history
by Renato Reyes Jr. on Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 11:42pm

I have been watching the news on Egypt with great interest and concern. Tens of thousands have flooded the streets in protest, demanding the ouster of Egypt’s president Hosni Mubarak.

Mubarak has been in power since 1981 after the assassination of then president Anwar Sadat. That’s around 30 years, ten years longer than the Marcos dictatorship. When I was still in grade school, Mubarak’s name was among the many we had to memorize during current events and social studies class. Thats how long he’s been in power. He’s now 82 years old.

Egypt is a known close ally of the United States. Any dictator hoping to stay in power for three decades can do well to get the support of the US. The US government doesn’t mind supporting dictators so long as they promote US interests. They did the same to Marcos for 16 years, after he declared Martial law. They did the same for Latin American banana republics.

Mubarak’s hold on power was boosted by continued US support, both military and economic. Next to Israel, Egypt is the second largest recipient of US Foreign Military Financing, a staggering $1.3 billion a year. (The Philippines only gets $30 million a year). Egypt also receives an additional $815 million in economic aid.

The Federation of American Scientists estimate that from 1978 to 2000, the US has poured in $38 billion in aid to Egypt. The Christian Science Monitor pegs the amount at $50 billion worth of aid since 1975.

Despite all the “aid”, Egypt has a very high unemployment rate between 9% to more than 11% during the past decade. Some 40.5% of the Egyptian population is in the range of extreme poor to near poor. Egypt’s government is also among the world’s most corrupt.

Most of the aid of course goes to state security forces which are viewed as crucial in stabilizing the region in favor of US interests. Egypt is also important for the US because of the Suez Canal which is an important trade route to Africa and Asia.

The US considers Egypt an ally against Al Qaeda, a partner in winning over Hamas, and a means to amplify US position on the Palestine conflict.

The US government has maintained a high level of military aid to Egypt despite widespread human rights violations, including torture committed by state security forces.

The 2009 US State Department report describes the situation as :

“Security forces used unwarranted lethal force and tortured and abused prisoners and detainees, in most cases with impunity. Prison and detention center conditions were poor. Security forces arbitrarily arrested and detained individuals, in some cases for political purposes, and kept them in prolonged pretrial detention. The executive branch exercised control over and pressured the judiciary.”

So far, statements by Obama administration have been lame, simply calling on the Mubarak regime to dialogue with various groups, while remaining silent on the huge aid given to Egypt. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has made references though to “transition” and “power vacuum”. Obama may find himself on the wrong side of history on this one.

The US government is responsible for the deteriorating situation in Egypt. US hegemonic policies in the Middle East is responsible for the rise of this dictator.

The people of Egypt are well within their rights to demand the ouster of Mubarak. So far, protests have entered their sixth day. As write this, thousands gather in Tahir Square. The Egyptian armed forces have moved in tanks and fighter planes have flown dangerously over the square. Still, the Egyptian military seems careful in cracking down on the people. Last week, Egyptian police were overrun by protesters. Armored vehicles were torched by the angry mob.

A lot of media reporting has focused on the looting and the chaos in the streets, the ransacking of the museum of antiquities, and the prison break-out in at least 4 jails. One analyst on TV says that the jailbreaks were deliberate on the part of government so that lawlessness will take place and the Egyptian middle class will beg for the intervention of the police and the restoration of order.

Al Jazeera’s office has been closed down by the Egypt authorities. Their permits have been revoked. Internet services have also reportedly been cut off. But these repressive measures will do little to prevent the escalation of the protests.

In response to the protest, Mubarak has fired his entire cabinet and has appointed, for the first time, a vice-president. The appointee, a member of Mubarak’s regime, was also the former intelligence chief of the military.

IN today’s rally, anti-US sentiments were clearly expressed. Many are angry or frustrated with the frle fo the US in propping up Mubarak’s regime. The guns and ammunition being used against the protesters are US-made.

Meanwhile the Philippine government has reportedly allotted P25 million to evacuate OFWs in Egypt, but at the same time said that there is no need yet to evacuate them. Other nations like the US and Turkey are preparing to evacuate their citizens. The best way to secure their safety is for the Mubarak regime to step down.

There seems to be no turning back now. The people of Egypt are determined to make sure Mubarak will be ousted. They have defied curfews and are remaining in the streets. The proverbial camel’s back has been broken.

Who will replace Mubarak? Ah, a similar question was posed to Fiipinos in the fight against Marcos, Estrada and Arroyo. The people of Egypt should be the ones to decide who they want to govern. There should be clean and fair elections. A new regime must break with the old pro-US foreign policy. Economic reforms that would benefit the people should be pursued. Human rights should be upheld.

From one nation that has gone through two ‘people power’ uprisings, we wish the people of Egypt success in the struggle for democracy. We offer our solidarity to their cause. And we remind them that toppling the dictator is not the be-all and end-all of the struggle. We should know.

     
     
     
           
 

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The world has heard Egypt's call for help, and now we are responding. We need our nations to respond equally. Today, it doesn't matter what race, ethnicity, gender, or religion you are. Today we are all Egyptian, today we are all human beings. The Egyptian people h

 

As Egypt Burns, Worry for Filipinos There and Over DFA’s Lack of Contingency Plans

By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
“The only way to ensure that Filipinos are safe in Egypt is for President Aquino to support the call of the international community to oust Mubarak,” said Garry Martinez of Migrante.

 

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