In a recent protest in Cairo, protestors chanted “"Leave, leave, Mubarak. Tel Aviv is waiting for you. We've had enough. They've raised the price of sugar and oil. They've wrecked our homes. Raise your voice, people of Egypt.”
This Friday, COSATU, with people from organisations and groups around Gauteng will protest outside the Egyptian embassy in Tshwane to raise their voices in support of the demands of the Egyptian people: Bread, Jobs, Education, Dignity, Democracy, Freedom of Expression.
In the same week that the protests in Egypt began, in Uganda openly gay human rights activist David Kato was killed. The killing of Kato and persecution of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people on our continent is an attack on democracy, equality and human rights for all. Struggles for justice and human rights are not complete without addressing state-sponsored homophobia and persecution of LGBTI people.
The speakers on the programme will give voice to
and celebrate the plurality of South African society whilst simultaneously
showing their support for the people of Egypt and send a clear message to the
Egyptian despot, Mubarak, to get out! It is also essential that when raising our voices in support of justice
at Friday’s protest that COSATU and all those present call for justice for
David Kato. We must insist that state sponsored homophobia is challenged and
that a full investigation be carried out into the death of Kato.
Furthermore the violence and oppression
against all people in Egypt cannot and must not be separated from the ongoing
homophobic stances taken by Egypt at the African Union (AU) and other
multilateral fora. It is thus both symbolic and material that an end to the
Mubarak regime and the oppression it promotes should also be a call for an end
to Egyptian state homophobia.
We acknowledge that while Mubarak has become the central figure of people’s rage, that it is what he represents that is the core issue. Unemployment, police harassment, state-sponsored violence are all central to people’s anger. The United States’ unwavering support of the Mubarak regime (it receives the second greatest amount of aid after Israel) has maintained and promoted a situation of violence against people. Egypt as a crony to the United States and the resultant violent neo-liberalism and unquestioning support of Israel and its human rights abuses should not be left unchallenged.
The Lesbian and Gay Equality Project will be part of this protest and strongly believes that In the same way that millions of ordinary South Africans took to the streets to demand an end to racism, violence and sexism and who fought to restore the inalienable right to live with dignity, food, jobs, education and democracy for all citizens; so do the Egyptian people today.
We know that our struggles in South Africa persist but we also know that the struggles of people in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and Jordan against hunger, unemployment, homophobia, corruption, police harassment are also our struggles today. We acknowledge that both oppression and resistance are interconnected and thus call for an end to all inequality including homophobia.
Join workers and people of Egypt and South Africa. Show your support.
Friday, February 4th, 14:30
270 Bourke Street, Muckleneuk, Pretoria
Call: 011 339 4911