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Egyptian Solidarity Action Rocks San Francisco
by Michael Steinberg (blackrainpress [at] hotmail.com)
Saturday Feb 5th, 2011 6:22 PM
Thousands marched through the streets of San Francisco this afternoon in solidarity with the people of Egypt’s struggle for freedom.
San Francisco, February 5—Cries of “Down, down with Mubarak !” shook the windows of the federal building on 7th Street in San Francisco today as thousands marched through downtown San Francisco in solidarity with the Egyptian’s struggle to topple the 30-year old dictatorship.

For the second consecutive week, people rallied and marched in San Francisco to support the revolutionary uprising in Egypt. While last week’s action brought hundreds, this week thousands turned out.

Today’s action in SF was one of many across the nation and around the globe during this International Day in Solidarity With Egypt. Other actions reportedly happened in Tunis, Paris, London, Prague, NYC, LA, Detroit, and outside the Egyptian Embassy in Washington DC.

Today’s action here began with a rally in UN Plaza as people massed near the statue of Simon Bolivar, the liberator of South America from colonial rule.

The gathering began as a woman dressed in the black, white and red colors of the Egyptian flag led people in the singing of their national anthem.

Next a moment of silence was called for all the Egyptians who died “in past days after Mubarak unleashed a bloodbath.”

A young Egyptian woman encouraged people to “echo the voices of my friends in Tahrir Square, to speak up for those who can’t. The people who are sleeping in front of tanks, fighting to see that they be free.”

Another speaker declared, “We’re not marching and giving our lives merely to get rid of the dictator. We want true democratic reform in Egypt and across the Arab world. This Revolution is changing hearts, not just politics.

“We have to be strong and steadfast and stay on the streets until this regime is gone.”

Soon thereafter a recorded statement by US political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal boomed from the stage. Mumia has been locked up in death row almost as long as Mubarak has been dictator of Egypt. His message, in part:

“Mubarak is a creature of the military that has grown fat and corrupt on a generation of US money. And they don’t want to give it up! …That’s why you see thugs beating up protesters in broad daylight, lobbing molotov cocktails at unarmed civilians and terrorizing journalists.

“The problem of Egypt has never been just the dictator—it’s been the dictatorship, a system of repression and terrorism which has been supporedt by the US for decades.

[Such] nations are vampire states, drawing the lifeblood, spirit and dreams of the people. They are parasite states, lifeless relics of a bygone era.”

With those, and other inspiring words of local speakers still ringing in the air, the people took to the streets, first around the Civic Center, and then onto Market Street, stretching out many big city blocks, their chants echoing off tall buildings and their numbers stopping traffic along the city’s main thoroughfare.

The march moved down to Mission Street, chanting “1 2 3 4 Kick Mubarak Out of Town, 5 6 7 8, No More Violence, No More Hate!”

Then it was back to Market and UN Plaza. Muni buses and other vehicular traffic came to a complete halt for quite a while waiting for the thousands streaming below perfect blue skies to complete their show of solidarity and celebration.

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