2011.02.23: Labor for Egypt Statement

Labor for Egypt Statement
February 23, 2011

As trade unionists, we join our Egyptian sisters and brothers in welcoming the fall of dictator Hosni Mubarak. We salute the courage of the Egyptian people who have shed blood and endured many sacrifices in their struggle for democracy, which continues to unfold. The revolution has already inspired people from Libya, Bahrain, Yemen and Algeria to Wisconsin to resist the same system of economic injustice and repression.

The roots of this revolution are in a decade of labor revolt against policies that made Mubarak the richest man in the world, while impoverished Egyptian workers earn forty-three cents per day.

These workers toppled Mubarak and have continued to challenge a neoliberal regime of privatization, deregulation and union busting engineered — and brutally enforced throughout the region — by the United States and its allies, taking many actions including striking and forming new independent trade unions.

Moreover, Egyptians want an end their government’s complicity in U.S. wars of conquest in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and elsewhere, and in Israel’s brutal siege on Gaza.

To keep these detested policies in place, Egypt has long been — after Israel — the largest recipient of U.S. military aid. Thus, while mouthing democratic platitudes, the Obama administration backed Mubarak to the very end, even allowing him to draw on the $1.3 billion in U.S. funding that killed more than 300 democracy protesters.

First, the U.S. and Israel sought to replace Mubarak with Vice President, CIA asset and torturer-in-chief, Omar Suleiman. Suleiman, who has helped Israel to strangle Gaza, and openly threatened the revolution with a “coup.” Now, it backs the Army, which already has refused to rescind repressive emergency laws, has evicted democracy protesters from Tahrir Square, and has threatened to ban independent unions and strikes.

While Egyptians are standing firm, they need support to ensure that this revolution is not — like those in Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), the Congo (1961), Chile (1973), and so many others — drowned in a sea of blood by the U.S. and its client regimes.

Therefore, we demand that the U.S. cut off all aid to the Egyptian dictatorship — right now.

We also call on all supporters to immediately converge on Egyptian embassies, missions, consulates, and at U.S. government offices, in response to any further attack on the revolution.

We also join with millions of Egyptians to say:

No Mubarak, No Suleiman, No U.S. Puppet Dictator!
Don’t Leave the Streets!
Support Egyptian Strikers!
Free the Political Prisoners!
Arrest the Killers and Torturers!
No Neoliberal Economic Austerity!
Open the Border to Gaza!
FULL REGIME CHANGE!

——–
Labor for Egypt Resolution

Whereas, as trade unionists, we join our Egyptian sisters and brothers in welcoming the fall of dictator Hosni Mubarak;

And whereas, we salute the courage of the Egyptian people who have shed blood and endured many sacrifices in their struggle for democracy, which continues to unfold;

And whereas, the revolution has inspired people from Libya, Bahrain, Yemen and Algeria to Wisconsin to resist the same system of economic injustice and repression;

And whereas, the roots of this revolution are in a decade of labor revolt against policies that made Mubarak the richest man in the world, while 40% of the Egyptian population live on under $2 per day;

And whereas, taking many actions including striking and forming new independent trade unions, these workers toppled Mubarak and have continued to challenge a neoliberal regime of privatization, deregulation and union busting engineered — and brutally enforced throughout the region — by the United States and its allies;

And whereas, Egyptians want an end their government’s complicity in U.S. wars of conquest in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and elsewhere, and in Israel’s brutal siege on Gaza;

And whereas, to keep these detested policies in place, Egypt has long been — after Israel — the largest recipient of U.S. military aid;

And whereas, while mouthing democratic platitudes, the Obama administration backed Mubarak to the very end, even allowing him to draw on the $1.3 billion in U.S. funding that killed more than 300 democracy protesters;

And whereas, the U.S. and Israel sought to replace Mubarak with Vice President, CIA asset and torturer-in-chief, Omar Suleiman. Suleiman, who has helped Israel to strangle Gaza, and openly threatened the revolution with a “coup”;

And whereas, the Army regime has refused to rescind repressive emergency laws, has evicted democracy protesters from Tahrir Square, and has threatened to ban independent unions and strikes;

And whereas, while Egyptians are standing firm, they need support to ensure that this revolution is not — like those in Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), the Congo (1961), Chile (1973), and so many others — drowned in blood by repressive regimes backed by the U.S. government;

RESOLVED, that we support our Egyptian brother and sister workers in their struggle against the military government to demand an end to the repressive Mubarak-era emergency laws and full democratic rights;

That we support the continued protests and demonstrations to achieve those basic democratic rights;

That we demand freedom for the political prisoners of the Mubarak dictatorship who remain behind bars;

That we call for the arrest and prosecution of the Mubarak regime’s killers and torturers;

That we stand with Egyptian workers in their resistance to privatization and other pro-corporate policies pushed by the U.S., the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank;

That we support our Egyptian brothers and sisters in their call to open the border to Gaza to end the hunger and suffering created by the U.S.-backed economic blockade of 1.6 million Palestinians;

That we support Egyptian workers in their struggle for independent trade unions and a workers’ party.

Sign on below.

Initial signatories (affiliations for identification only):

Larry Adams, Former President, NPMHU L. 300; Co-Convener, New York City Labor Against the War; People’s Organization for Progress

Michael Letwin, Labor for Palestine; Former President, Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW Local 2325

Brenda Stokely, Former President, AFSCME DC 1707; Co-Convener, New York City Labor Against the War; Co-Chair, Million Worker March Movement

Monadel Herzallah, Arab American Union Members Council, San Francisco, CA

Sam Weinstein, Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA), Washington DC

Marty Goodman, Transport Workers Union Local 100, former Executive Board member, New York, NY

Stanley Heller, AFT L. 1547, Delegate, CT Central Labor Council; New Haven, CT

Joe Iosbaker, SEIU Local 73, Executive Board Member, Chicago, IL

Carol Gay, Coordinator, NJ Labor Against War and EVP, NJ Industrial Union Council

Azalia Torres, Former Executive Bd. Member, ALAA/UAW L. 2325, Brooklyn, NY

Anthony Arnove, NWU/UAW L. 1981; New York, NY

Peter Kuttner, IATSE Local 600, Chicago, IL

Dominic Renda, chief shop steward, CWA Local 1105, New York

Evalyn F. Segal, PhD, California State Employees Association and California Federation of Teachers, Walnut Creek, CA

Dennis Kortheuer, California Faculty Association, Long Beach, CA

David Boehnke, Industrial Workers of the World, Twin Cities, MN

Sherna Berger Gluck, former vice-president, CFA/SEIU 1983, California

Lee Sustar, NWU/UAW L. 1981; Chicago, IL

Mike Treen, National Director, Unite Union, New Zealand

B. Ross Ashley, former member of the Executive Council of Local 204 SEIU (now Local 1 Canada), Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Carole Seligman, member of California Teachers Association, retired

Ellen S. Sacks, Association of Legal Aid Attorneys

Mark Clinton, Massachusetts Community College Council, NEA, Holyoke, MA

Tanya Akel, United Electrical Workers of America, Los Angeles, CA

Orsan Senalp, Social Network Unionism, the Netherlands

Erin Breault, Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers, Local 400, AFT, AFL-CIO, Pittsburgh, PA

Anna Potempska, Public Employees Federation, Staten Island, NY

Peggy Dobbins, American Federation of Teachers 2165 (retired)

Additional Signatories

James Jordan, National Writers Union – Tucson, Tucson, AZ

Nagesh Rao, American Federation of Teachers Local 2634, Ewing, NJ

Gordon Glick, Industrial Workers of the World Tacoma GMB, former steward International Association of Machinists, Bremerton, WA

Noha Momtaz Tahrir Arafa, Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW 2325, Brooklyn, NY

Wren Osborn, United Steelworkers associate, El Cajon, CA

Andrew Wasser, Industrial Workers of the World, Somerville, MA

Alan Hague, AFSCME – Council 94, Local 528, Providence, RI

Heather Rasmussen, Wisconsin AFSCME, Local 68, Madison, WI

Keith Rosenthal, AFSCME Local 3650, Somerville, MA

Doug Nesbitt, Public Service Alliance of Canada, Local 901, Kingston, ON, Canada

John Kirkland, United Brotherhood of Carpenters LU 1462, Bristol, PA

Helen Scott, Delegate, United Academics:AFT-AAUP, Burlington, VT

Glenn Shelton, National Postal Mail Handlers Union, Detroit, MI

Louise Legun, National Nurses United, Blandon, PA

John Estes, National Association of Letter Carriers, Birmingham, AL

Greg King, shop steward, SEIU Local 888, West Roxbury, MA

Polly A. Connelly, UAW International Representative, Tucson, AZ

Ketty Papadima, Canadian Union of Public Employees, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Cindy Klumb, Senior Shop Steward, Local 153 OPEIU, Brooklyn, NY, USA

Sheila Dunnachie, Public Service Alliance of Canada, Mayne Island, Canada

David McNally, York University Faculty Association, Toronto, ON, Canada

Genevieve Delmaspatterson, le Syndicat des professeurs et professeures de l’Université du Québec à Montréal (SPUQ), Montreal, QC, Canada

Stanley Aronowitz, former executive council member, Professional Staff Congress, AFT, New York, NY

Eugene McGuckin, former president, bargaining committee chair, newsletter editor, Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, Local 1129, Burnaby, BC, Canada

Rogers Turrentine, Writers Guild of America West, Oceanside, CA

Debra Bergen Koster, Director Contract Administration, PSC/CUNY, Local 2334, NYSUT, AFT, New York, NY

Mike Louw, Organiser, Congress of South African Trade Unions, Cape Town, South Africa

Peter Parks, International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 8, retired, Portland, OR

Judith Ackerman, Local 1199 SEIU, AFT, UFT, AFTRA, SAG, New York, NY

Sean Petty, RN, New York State Nurses Association, Bronx, NY

Roy Nitzberg, Professional Staff Congress – CUNY, Flushing, NY

Foster Richards, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chicago, IL

Fred Couget, shop steward, National Association of Letter Carriers, Branch 36, New York, NY

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