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Dallas Protesters Demand that Mubarak Leave

By staff

Dallas, TX – About 150 people gathered here, Feb. 5, to remember the victims of Egyptian government repression and demand that Hosni Mubarak leave. The protesters came out in spite of the icy roads and heavy pre-Super Bowl traffic. Protesters declared that not only Mubarak but also his vice president, Omar Suleiman, are responsible for the hundreds of murders committed by police and gang members hired by the Mubarak government and that neither one of them could be allowed to oversee Egypt's transition to democracy.

The same protesters insisted that the future of Egypt must be decided by the Egyptians, and that Egypt must have a government which can provide bread and jobs for its people.

A speaker read the names of some 45 people known to have been killed by the Mubarak regime in recent days, together with whatever other information was available about each victim. An Iranian speaker drew a parallel between the Egyptian protesters and the protesters who overthrew the Iranian Shah. Other speakers linked the struggle of the Egyptians to the struggle of the Palestinians and laid the blame for the Mubarak dictatorship at the door of U.S. imperialism.

The speeches were punctuated by the energetic chanting characteristic of protests concerning Middle Eastern issues in Dallas. Chants included, “Thirty years is long enough; pack your bags and take your stuff,” and “Mubarak, Mubarak, you're a clown; get the hell out of town.” At one point, a man in a cowboy hat led the crowd in singing the Egyptian national anthem.

The rally was led by a coalition of local groups, including local Muslim student associations, the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, the El Centro College chapter of Students for a Democratic Society, the African People's Socialist Party and the International Socialist Organization.

After one young Egyptian man told the story of a neighbor of his who was murdered by Mubarak's forces in the last few days, protesters also launched helium balloons into the sky. The red, black and white balloons were in memory of the fallen and to symbolize the hope of some that the souls of the victims would reach heaven. Red, black and white are the colors of the Egyptian flag.

The meeting was closed with solemn prayers for freedom and peace in Egypt lea by a local religious leader.

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