Egypt: Day of rage

We ask for solidarity from our brothers and sisters around the world, writes Ahmed Younis

photo: Hossam el-Hamalawy

photo: Hossam el-Hamalawy

Egypt is a country where only the rich can afford to live. Sixty percent of wealth is concentrated in the hands of three percent of the people – who usually have strong ties with the Mubarak regime. In the wealthy suburbs you find expensive cars, exotic restaurants and luxurious stores selling international brands, while in the slums and the countryside people cannot even afford to eat.

The Egyptian masses are suffering hyperinflation, low incomes and a high rate of unemployment. Ordinary people face unimaginable problems every day, from finding decent bread (or even bad bread) to eat to getting clean drinking water – polluted water is responsible for numerous illnesses, especially among peasants in the countryside.

But those earning $1 a day cannot afford to buy medicine – unless they are willing to go without food for two weeks.

There is severe corruption in all fields, especially in the (former) public sector. The government has privatised many services, selling them off at nearly 80% below value to members of the regime or foreign companies prepared to pay the highest bribe.

President Hosni Mubarak has been ruling for 25 years by fixing elections and suppressing opposition. He has greatly increased the number of police, who are widely hated by the people. Egypt has been under emergency law since Mubarak came to power and now he is planning to hand over to his son, Jamal. No wonder there is nostalgia for the ‘socialist’ era of Gamal Abdel Nasser.

Over the past two years, not a day has passed without a protest or strike and now a coalition of opposition parties and movements has called a general strike and ‘day of rage’ against the Mubarak dictatorship for April 6. We are striking for jobs, for enough money to live on, for education for our children, for decent housing and transport, for proper hospitals, for access to medicine.

We demand an impartial judiciary, security, freedom and dignity, a better environment. We demand an end to soaring prices, bribes and corruption, police spies, torture and detention without trial. No to privatisation, to another 25 years of emergency law through rigged elections. We want a fair distribution of wealth, the removal of Mubarak from power and a better future for our children.

We are asking for solidarity from our brothers and sisters around the world. Organise protests in front of the Egyptian embassy. Do everything you can to publicise our struggle.

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