Lacy MacAuley

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a home for my pen, projects, and passions

Egypt has been due for an uprising!

I know that two very inspiring labor leaders I worked with last year, Kamal Abu 'Eita (far left) and Kamal Abbas (far right), are in the streets of Egypt right now, demanding revolution! Photo by Lacy MacAuley.

In Egypt, there are tanks on fire, thousands of people in the streets of Cairo and Suez, and a dictator whose days are numbered. I’m glad to say that I have been telling people of the coming uprising for about a year! Brave Egyptians have been violating Mubarak’s protest ban, starting as early as 2004. Their numbers increased dramatically throughout last year, culminating in the inspiring revolution that’s happening in Egypt right now.

Last year I had the opportunity to work with Kamal Abbas and Kamal Abu ‘Eita, the heads of a labor groups that have been calling protests since 2004. These two leaders were receiving a prestigious award from the AFL-CIO on behalf of all Egyptian workers, and receiving training and resources that would help them in their struggle for fair pay, good jobs, and basic human rights. Over tea and baklava, I chatted with these two inspiring men (and reporters) about the coming Egyptian uprising!

They had been invited to DC by the Solidarity Center, the international affiliate of the AFL-CIO. The center had just released The Struggle for Worker’s Rights in Egypt, a report that showed that protests were on the rise. I worked to make reporters aware of the study, which documented the growth of an Egyptian movement of resistance. The New York Times took notice (as did AP, the BBC, and the Wall Street Journal), featuring the article on the front page of its “WORLD” section with a full-color photo, stating:

“Nearly every day since February, protesters have chanted demands outside Parliament during daylight and laid out bedrolls along the pavement at night. The government and its allies have been unable to silence the workers, who are angry about a range of issues, including low salaries.”

Today, the New York Times referred again to the Solidarity Center’s report:

“From 2004 to 2008 alone, about 1.7 million workers have engaged in 1,900 strikes and other forms of protest, demanding everything from wage increases to job security in state-owned industries that were privatized.”

It’s incredibly exciting to see the news from Egypt, knowing that we were right this past year that the Egyptian people were due for an uprising! I know that Kamal and Kamal, some of the most vocal opponents of Mubarak’s regime, are out there now in the streets, calling for revolution!

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One Response

  1. hamish wilson says:

    Let’s hope change occurs without too much more blood, and democracy arrives (including for women) in countries without oil.
    http://www.grimmy.com/editorials.php was good…

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