October 2011 - USA and Egypt simultaneous protests
CAIRO: Egyptians and Americans are looking to join forces for multiple protests in October for social justice. According to a press release from the newly formed October2011.org protests, prominent activists and social justice advocates from Egypt and the United States are planning two protests, one at Washington DC's Freedom Plaza and a second at Cairo's fabled Tahrir Square.
According to the group, Egyptians Asmaa Mahfouz and April 6 Youth Movement founder Ahmed Maher will participate with Americans Noam Chomsky and Chris Hedges for the October 2011 protests.
In the US, the activists are hoping for a nonviolent takeover of the Freedom Plaza beginning on October 6.
"While our nations face many different challenges and remain thousands of miles and cultures apart, we find that we share many of the same concerns within our respective countries," protest organizers said in a prepared statement.
"Both the people of the United States and Egypt require real democracy so that the views of the people are represented," it added.0
The October2011.org protests, described on their website as a movement supporting "human needs, not corporate greed," intends to consolidate "leading progressive activists in the United States into a viable umbrella coalition that can work together towards principles of peace [as well as] social, economic, and environmental justice" that are supported by "super-majorities of Americans" yet get compromised due to political and economic pressures.
"Inspired by the courageous, nonviolent uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Greece, Spain, and elsewhere, people in the United States have come together to form the October 2011 Movement," said the organizers on their website.
The US movement comes on the heels of the "Occupy Wall Street" demonstrations that aimed to protest corporate greed. The Freedom Plaza protesters believe they can draw attention to Congressional budget talks, which they say emphasize "wasteful military-industrial spending and corporate handouts over social programs or more sensible foreign policy positions."
In their solidarity statement, both October2011.org leaders and Egyptian activists indicated the aspects of their struggles which require mutual and transnational coordination among protesters in order to achieve reform.
"Even USAID funds to Egypt have strings attached," the organizers write, "as 85% of USAID Egyptian funds since January 25 went to US organizations, with only a small fraction going to civil society organizations in Egypt."
Organizers are calling for concurrent Tahrir Square protests on the same weekend as the onset of the October2011.org occupation, as part of an binational affirmation that the United States needs to "stop leveraging its economic power to bribe other countries, [or] to force them to follow US wishes."
Given the influence that the US "will undoubtedly wield in future Egyptian aid and development efforts in the next few months, and given the potential influence that it might try to wield in electoral politics," organizers said that the need "for transnational partnerships against hegemony were especially necessary at this time."
Joseph Mayton 27 September 2011