Occupy Oakland: Egyptian Protesters To Hold Pro-Occupy Rally Friday (Update)
Egyptian protesters who have camped out in Cairo's Tahrir Square are set to march to the U.S. Embassy Friday, in a rally of support for the Occupy Wall Street movement.
The news broke Thursday across Twitter, a preferred medium for protesters across the world:
The Daily Kos, which has been closely following these developments Thursday, noted that earlier in the week, Egyptian activists -- writing under the pen name "Comrades in Cairo" -- had published an open letter of support to the Occupy movements in the Guardian.
"To all those across the world currently occupying parks, squares and other spaces, your comrades in Cairo are watching you in solidarity," the letter began.
Indeed, we are now in many ways involved in the same struggle. What most pundits call "the Arab Spring" has its roots in the demonstrations, riots, strikes and occupations taking place all around the world, its foundations lie in years-long struggles by people and popular movements. The moment that we find ourselves in is nothing new, as we in Egypt and others have been fighting against systems of repression, disenfranchisement and the unchecked ravages of global capitalism (yes, we said it, capitalism): a system that has made a world that is dangerous and cruel to its inhabitants. As the interests of government increasingly cater to the interests and comforts of private, transnational capital, our cities and homes have become progressively more abstract and violent places, subject to the casual ravages of the next economic development or urban renewal scheme.
The common aims and tactics of the two movements have occasionally led to direct ties. In early October, The Huffington Post reported on an Egyptian activist from Tahrir Square who delivered a powerful speech to the Occupy crowd in downtown Manhattan.
And as Wired noted recently, Ahmed Maher, one of the leading figures of the Egyptian movement, recently came to Washington, D.C., to help organizers there extend their reach.
But after a dramatic Tuesday night in Oakland, where police officials attempted to diperse a crowd of Occupy protesters using tear gas and other non-lethal weapons, many have seen growing similarities between the two movements -- and the type of resentment they seem to stir up.
Numerous people were injured in the police action Oakland, which filled American television screens with images strikingly similar to those streaming from Tahrir square during the early days of the Egyptian uprising in January and February.
Although no one was killed in Oakland, HuffPost reported that an Iraq-war veteran was critically wounded when a projectile allegedly fired by police hit him in the head.
Update: Oct. 28, 3:04 p.m. -- Egyptian blogger and activist Mohammed Maree has tweeted pictures from today's protest march to the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, which is situated just outside of Tahrir Square. Protesters held up signs comparing President Obama to the interim military ruler Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi, whom they blame for authorizing recent military actions to suppress ongoing protests, and for delaying the transition to electoral democracy.
Other slogans were offerings of support for the protesters in Oakland, and elsewhere in the U.S., where their efforts have been met with oppression. "From Tahrir to Occupy Oakland and USA," one read. "One case, one goal, social justice for all," read another.
The website BoingBoing has posted a large selection of Maree's photos from the protest.