Protests have been held across Britain in solidarity with the Egyptian revolution. Reports, video and images from London, Newcastle and Nottingham.


Report by Fran Legg, images by Feyzi Ismail

Over 1,000 people marched in London on Saturday to show their solidarity with the Egyptian and Tunisian people in their struggle for freedom and democracy.
The demonstration began outside the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square, where the crowd listened to eyewitness reports from Cairo and speeches from Tariq Ali, Bernard Regan (PSC), Donnacha DeLong (NUJ) and others.

The mood was lively. People were very angry and vocal, but also hugely excited about the revolution. Everyone present was saying the Egyptian revolution is the people’s revolution. Egyptians from all walks of life are fighting together: Muslims, Christians, students, workers, the Left, those with political affiliations and those with none.

In a country where the security forces and the network of secret police numbers around 3 million, the Egyptian people have shown huge courage and bravery in the face of massive state repression. Hundreds have been killed, thousands injured and still the people of Cairo, Alexandria, Mahalla and elsewhere have vowed not to end their protests until Mubarak has gone and real social, economic and political change brought to their country.

Video playlist of speeches and protest – use the arrows at the side to navigate through clips

The Mubarak regime has been isolated by its people, yet it remains in power due to the financial and diplomatic support it has historically received from the West. Because of this, it is our responsibility to take action here in the UK; as one of the speakers said: the Egyptian revolution has the potential to “alter the whole imperial architecture of the Middle East”.

In recent days mass protests have been held in Jordan, Yemen, Lebanon and Palestine. And in Tunisia, where the revolutionary process has entered a new phase, the Tunisian people continue to fight.
It is also up to us to do what we can here to support the Egyptian people, and all people in the Middle East, in their struggle for freedom and democracy.
The demonstration was called by Stop the War Coalition, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, British Muslim Initiative and others.


Images, Video and report by Tony Dowling

At least 80 people turned out, at very short notice, for an emergency Egypt solidarity rally in the centre of Newcastle on Saturday 5th February.

A number of Egyptians living in Newcastle, along with socialists and anti-war campaigners, addressed a mixed crowd which included a loud and lively Egyptian contingent

The rally was part of the international day of solidarity with the continuing revolutionary movement in Egypt. Earlier in the afternoon around 300 people had attended an anti-cuts rally organised by Northern Region TUC.

Rana Salem, a young graduate of Alexandria University, explained the emergence of the remarkable popular movement in recent weeks. She spoke of both the authoritarianism of Mubrak’s regime and the economic problems – unemployment, insecurity, poverty – driving the revolt. She said of the Egyptian people, “they really are making history – it’s not just a saying”.

Newcastle solidarity with EgyptHassan Ebeid, also from Egypt, called on supporters to pressure our own politicians and demand they break from Mubarak.

Alex Snowdon, for Tyneside Stop the War (which organised the rally), said: “The US and UK have backed the Mubarak regime for many years. It fights with American weapons. Egypt is the second biggest US ally in the region after Israel. The politicians and generals in Washington are terrified – and so they should be.”

Mahmoud Kurdi, a longstanding local anti-war activist, said: “Daily Mail columnist Melanie Phillips tried to scare us on Question Time, saying revolution will bring a backward Islamist regime. Some people want to create fear in this way, but it is the people’s revolution and we should stand up for the people in Egypt”. Socialist activist Elaine Brunskill urged solidarity for a movement that continues to deepen its revolution and which needs international solidarity.

Newcastle protest

An Egyptian woman read out the names of some of those killed in the attempted bloody counter-revolution, with their ages, occupations and how they had died. This was followed by a minute’s silence for all those killed by the security forces and Mubarak’s hired thugs.

There were Egyptian flags, numerous homemade placards and chants of “People of Egypt, we’re with you” and “Yascot, yascot [down, down] Hosni Mubarak!” An Arabic poem denouncing tyranny and the message on supporting the Egyptian uprising from the Cairo Conference were both read aloud.

A number of speakers referred to Tunisia’s revolution too and noted the spread of popular revolt across Yemen, Jordan, Algeria and beyond.

A range of speakers pledged to continue building the solidarity camapign. A Stop the War Coalition pubic meeting was announced for this Monday (7 February). It is at Muslim Welfare House, 6 North Terrace, Newcastle, at 7.30pm.

Speakers at Monday’s meeting – Revolution in Egypt: imperialism, resistance and the Middle East – are Rana Salem, Alex Snowdon (Tyneside Stop the War), Hassan Ebeid and Mahmoud Kurdi (Muslim Welfare House).


By Stewart Halforty

Vodafone protest NottinghamVodafone collaborated with Mubarak to close down the mobile network across Egypt in an attempt to prevent information getting out of the country, and to make organising more difficult. It didn’t work.

Vodafone have been a target of the Ukuncut movement due to dodging tax bills. It seemed logical to target them as an irresponsible corporation, although I think we were the only city that done it.

We called the demo at very short notice after more than one hundred people came to Old Market Square on Friday to support the Egyptian revolution. After the demo people gathered to plan next steps and Vodafone was clearly a hate target.

Not only had they closed the network, but they sent a text to all customers supporting the Mubarak regime.

Young protestor Vodafone NottinghamChants of ‘Tax avoiders go to hell, take Mubarak there as well’ rang out in the busiest shopping street in Notts as shoppers stopped to listen and take leaflets. These demos are important as people in Egypt need to feel that they are being supported by workers and students around the world.

We have tweeted to our Egyptian comrades that we have held this protest, and hope that UKuncut take up the issue.

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