World actions show solidarity with Egyptian uprising
Published Jan 31, 2011 9:45 PM
Jan. 30 — Activists and progressives around the world took to the streets
in many cities to show their support for the protests currently underway in
Egypt and to join the call for President Hosni Mubarak to step down.
At solidarity rally in Istanbul, Turkey.
Outside the Egyptian embassy in London, people rallied, chanted, hoisted
banners and demanded change. One banner read, “Arab puppet rulers must
go!” A sign, written in red ink, read, “From the Nile, to the Sea
— Egypt soon will be free! Freedom for Egypt!” Demonstrators
chanted: “One, two, three, four, we don’t want Mubarak any
“People were clearly voicing their anger at President Mubarak’s
regime, but similarly they were also very passionate about their demands for
democracy and political reforms,” said Amedeo d’Amore at the London
protest. (CNN, Jan 29)
Rafik Bedair, a doctor from Manchester, Great Britain, said, “Our point
is to show some solidarity with the people demonstrating in Egypt. We’re
calling for Mubarak to go, for people to get their freedom. The speech [he
made] yesterday was just an extension of the promises we have been hearing for
the past 30 years.” (Reuters, Jan. 29)
Protesters took to the streets in other cities throughout Europe. In Geneva
they shouted slogans in Arabic, French and English. They chanted, “Get
out, Mubarak!” according to Courtney Radsch, who participated in the
demonstration. A video showed a crowd of people carrying signs that read,
“Freedom. Social Justice. Democracy” and “Free
In The Hague, Netherlands, demonstrators held signs reading “Out
Mubarak” and “Freedom for Egypt” in front of the
International Court of Justice.
In Berlin demonstrators gathered around the Egyptian embassy. One sign they
held up read, “Say no to torture in Egypt — stop police
violence.” A demonstrator said, “Of course we want to help our
brothers in Egypt; that’s why we’re here. All of us Muslims and
Egyptians in Germany are behind you. We demand that Hosni Mubarak steps down
and leaves after 30 years. He’s brought down the country and we support
our brothers in Egypt.” (euronews, Jan. 28)
Demonstrations also took place in cities throughout Canada. Ahmed Khalifa, who
helped organize the Toronto protest, said he was encouraged by the protests in
Egypt and stressed their significance. “We are witnessing a great change
in history,” he told CTV. “We are watching Egyptian people and
Middle Eastern people telling us that ‘we want freedom.’”
In Auckland, New Zealand, protesters demonstrated in front of the U.S.
consulate demanding that the U.S. pressure Mubarak, its “ally,” to
Solidarity in Middle East
In Turkey hundreds of protesters demonstrated outside the Fatih Mosque in
central Istanbul after Friday prayers to make their voices heard in support of
the Egyptian cause.
Anita McNaught, Al Jazeera correspondent in Turkey, said the mosque had become
a focal point for activism since Israeli commandos raided a Turkish ship in the
Freedom Flotilla headed to Gaza last May. “It is very much the
organizations that we saw rise to prominence following the Israeli attack on
the Mavi Marmara that have taken to the streets today to lend their voices in
solidarity with the Egyptians.” (Jan. 28) A simultaneous rally was held
in Ankara, Turkey’s capital city.
Tunisians demonstrated outside the Egyptian embassy in Tunis, brandishing
placards with slogans reading “Mubarak Out!” and
“We are here to say that the Tunisian people are behind the Egyptian
people. They have suffered in the way that we suffered. It’s time for
change,” Monia Mechri, one of the protesters, told AFP news service.
(reported by AJ, Jan. 28).
The Progressive Democratic Party, a former opposition group that has now joined
Tunisia’s interim government, said Egypt had “called in the hour of
change for an end to injustice and dictatorship.” Their Jan. 28 statement
as reported in Al Jazeera, said, “The Egyptian people supported the
Tunisian people’s revolution. Our heart is with you and our voices never
cease to pray for victory.”
Ahmed, a blogger and activist at the rally, told Al Jazeera that what has
happened in Egypt is “very great” and that “now democracy
will be ... one effect in the Arabic world.” (Jan. 28)
Even in Doha, the capital of Qatar, where demonstrations are rare, protests
have been held in front of the Egyptian embassy.
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