Medea Benjamin / Code Pink & Rae Abileah / Code Pink – 2011-02-02 21:56:43
Not Leaving Until Hosni Does
Medea Benjamin / Code Pink & WarIsACrime.org
CAIRO (February 3, 2011) — Tonight our CODEPINK delegation in Cairo returned to Tahrir Square after the terrible events of this afternoon, when Mubarak’s thugs busted up their peaceful protest with rocks, sticks and molotov cocktails. Hundreds have been wounded–their hands, legs, arms wrapped in bloody bandages. Despite the beatings, thousands of people are still camped out in the square–absolutely determined to stay there until Mubarak goes.
Despite the danger on the streets, we went to the square carrying with two big banners. One said “World Says Time To Go, Mubarak!” and the other said “Solidarity With Egyptian People” in both English and Arabic. When the people in the square saw us and discovered we were Americans, they erupted into cheers. “Thank you, thank you,” they cried. “We love you.” We were crying as well. It felt so good to help lift their spirits after such a terribly violent day.
I saw a friend who is a professor at the American University in Cairo. He had a big gash in his head. “Please, help us tell the world what is happening. Tell them how we were viciously attacked,” he said. “Tell them we will die here if we have to, but we will NOT turn back.”
I couldn’t believe that after today’s attacks, there were still women in the square who planned to spend the night. A group of young women ran up to us and started hugging and kissing us. “You don’t know what your presence means to us,” one of the students said. ” Please tell Obama that we need him to do more to push Mubarak to go NOW, before more of us get killed.”
One way Obama can send a stronger message to Mubarak is to announce that the United States will cut off all aid to this regime. For 30 years the U.S. government has been supporting this autocratic, repressive state. Cutting aid now will send a clear signal that the U.S. government is finally distancing itself from this regime.
Tomorrow, a group of us will go to the U.S. Embassy with this message. We will sit outside the Embassy, despite the risks of being attacked by government thugs, and call on our government to immediately stop all aid to Mubarak’s regime. Please join us by taking the same action back home.
Now is the time that the Egyptian people need our solidarity. Don’t let there be one more “Made in the USA” teargas canister hurled at these people. Don’t let there be one more US bullet or US weapon aimed at them.
The Egyptian people are writing a beautiful chapter in the history of nonviolence revolutions. Let’s show them we are on their side.
Campaign for Peace and Democracy
2790 Broadway, #12 | New York, NY 10025
US Activists on the Ground in Cairo:
Eyewitness Accounts of Mubarak Unleashing His Thugs on Peaceful Egyptian Protesters
Rae Abileah and others / Code Pink
CAIRO (February 2, 2011) — Human rights activists with CODEPINK, including Sharat Lin of Fremont, California, joined Egyptian protesters this week in Cairo as perhaps the only international solidarity delegation on the ground in the country. They have been in the streets with the Egyptian people for the last five days.
Several members of the group of nine activists are available by phone for interviews this week. Tomorrow the delegation plans to do a solidarity action at the US Embassy.
Medea Benjamin, a leader of the delegation and co-founder of CODEPINK Women for Peace, is currently available by cell phone in Cairo at 011 20-107148431. Sharat Lin is the president of the San Jose Peace and Justice Center and first visited Gaza and the region in 1973. He will return to the Bay Area by the end of the week.
San Francisco Bay Area groups are planning a protest and march to stand in solidarity with the people of Egypt and Tunisia this Saturday, February 5th at 1 pm at the UN Plaza (Market and 8th in San Francisco), and a march across the Golden Gate Bridge on Sunday, February 13.
The activists report that Egyptians have been excited to see their message of solidarity from the American people. Many Egyptian protesters are carrying signs that say “My address is Tahrir square until Mubarak leaves” and they are holding firm.
The activists also report that many Egyptian youth seem ecstatic that President Obama has acknowledged their voice in Egypt’s political affairs but they want him to put more pressure on Mubarak to step down.
Women are in the streets and have played a major role in the grassroots movement for democracy in Egypt. Today, as violence towards peaceful demonstrators escalates, the activists said rumors have circulated that the pro-Mubarak agitators are paid supporters of the dictator.
The international CODEPINK delegation had been en route to Gaza via Egypt but with the Rafah border closed they are unable to enter Gaza, and remain in Cairo. The activists will stay in Cairo until they can safely make their way to Gaza, where they intend to continue their delegation for peace.
The delegation includes people from the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, Switzerland and India. This is CODEPINK’s ninth trip to Egypt and Gaza in the past two years.
CODEPINK is calling on the President, State Department, and Congress to stop funding the Mubarak regime, which currently receives over $1.8 billion dollars in military assistance annually from the US.
* See photos from CODEPINK delegation in Egypt here: http://bit.ly/idIODQ
* For more information on CODEPINK in Egypt, see the latest news and e-alerts at: www.codepink.org
* For more information about the delegation to Gaza: http://bit.ly/f9Ca2X
This Saturday, thousands of community members from the San Francisco Bay Area will stand in solidarity with Egyptians, Tunisians, and all the people in the Arab world fighting for freedom and dignity. The International Solidarity Day events in San Francisco will include live interviews with journalists on the ground in Egypt, and a march to call upon the American government to take a firm stance in support of the Egyptian peopleâ€™s just demands.
Endorsers of the demonstration on Saturday include ANSWER Coalition, Arab Resource and Organizing Center, Berkeley Egyptian Students Association, Berkeley Muslim Students Association, Berkeley Students for Justice in Palestine, Cafe Intifada, CODEPINK Women for Peace, Jewish Voice for Peace — Bay Area, Middle East Children’s Alliance, San Jose Peace & Justice Center, South Bay Mobilization, Stanford Says No War, Stanford Students Confronting Apartheid, and US Palestinian Community Network.