Solidarity with the Al Jazeera 3 and the victims of the Egyptian dictatorship.

On saturday 28th June, a group of about 50 people gathered outside the US consulate in Auckland. They were protesting the recent jailing of three Al Jazeera journalists who were reporting on the human rights violations being enacted by the El-Sisi dictatorship in Egypt. The protesters were symbolically gagged with masking tape in order to symbolise the silencing of the world media by the Egyptian dictatorship. The protest was attended by members of the local Egyptian community, Socialist Aotearoa, Global Peace and Justice Auckland, the Mana Movement and the Internet Party. 

 The role of the United states government in the Egyptian dictatorship was outlined by Global peace and justice Auckland activist, and Mana Movement electoral candidate John Minto, who said “Egypt would not be doing this without orders coming directly from the United States because they are providing the means for Egypt to oppress its people”. Members of the local Egyptian community spoke about how political prisoners in Egypt were being denied a fair trial by the forces of the El-Sisi Dictatorship. Internet party candidate Chris Young spoke to the importance of keeping the internet free and open which is understandable considering the role of the internet in the 2011 revolution. Joe Carolan of Socialist Aotearoa spoke about the Revolutionary Socialists being jailed for organising protests. He also spoke to the pattern emerging where opponents of the Egyptian dictatorship are being systematically repressed, saying “First they came for the Muslims, now they’re coming for the journalists, then the come for the socialists and then there is no democracy, there is just the military in power.” He said taking inspiration from that famous quote from Pastor Martin Niemöller
Despite the rousing speeches it was mostly a quiet demonstration with most of the participants gagged with Duct tape to symbolise the repression of free speech by the Egyptian dictatorship. Towards the end of the protest the gags were removed and loud chants of “democracy for Egypt” and “Free all political prisoners” echoed through the street.

By Comrade Eva.


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