The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Solidarity demo for Gaza

Around 500 demonstrators gathered in front of the Press Syndicate today, to denounce the Israeli military operations in Gaza. The protestors, mostly nationalists and leftists, chanted against Israel's assault on Gaza, the US support for Tel Aviv, and against the Egyptian Mukhabarrat whose agents are involved in mediations between the Israelis and Palestinians.

(UPDATE: See pictures of the demo by photographers Victoria Hazou and Nasser Nouri. You can also see one by Tara Todras-Whitehill after the jump.)
The demonstrators, led by the two Kamals (Kamal Khalil and Kamal Abu 3eita), also chanted against Mubarak, his son, and the Egyptian businessmen who have links with Israel. The demonstrators called for war against Israel, abolition of the Camp David agreement, and halting the Egyptian cement and iron exports to Israel (some of which go into building the illegal Zionist settlements in the Palestinian Occupied Territories).
The chanting and the singing went on for an hour, on the doorsteps of the syndicate. Cars driving through Abdel Khaleq Tharwat Street where slowing to watch the demonstrators, and some flashed signs of support.
The Central Security Forces conscripts surrounded the syndicate, but allowed access to the demo site. The brigades of plainclothes thugs were also stationed around the corners standing in lines, carrying batons. Special Operations officers, plainclothes State Security agents and officers from Qasr el-Nil Police Station were also present, but did nothing except monitoring the event.
Kamal Khalil, one of the Revolutionary Socialists' leaders, called for the release of Sharqawi, Sha3er, Dr. Ayman Nour, and the Muslim Brothers detainees. Kamal reiterated the socialists' line on Palestine: "The road to Jerusalem, passes through Cairo," he shouted addressing the crowd. "Our liberation from Mubarak's rule in Cairo, is linked to the Palestinians' struggle for liberation from Zionist control, is linked to the Iraqi armed resistance to the American invasion. Every blow we strike against Mubarak here in Cairo, is a plus for the Palestinians and Iraqis. And every blow they strike against the Americans and Israelis is a boost for us. It is obvious now America is not interested in democracy. We never had an illusion to start with they were sincere about their proclaimed goals. Down with America! Down with Israel! Down with the Arab regimes!"
An hour later, the protestors got into the syndicate, where Fathi Hammad, member of Hamas' politburo gave a speech, describing the plight of the 10,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. "We have no other means, but kidnapping occupation soldiers to free our people from Israel's prisons," he said. "There are women and children incarcerated. Talks never brought us anything. The Israelis promised to free the prisoners before, but all what they did is releasing common criminals or those whose sentences are about to finish."