Protests in Egypt: A Unique Opportunity to Seek Changes at Home
The plight of Egyptian people against a militaristic and corrupt regime gives us an opportunity to communities here at home to demand that U.S. foreign relations are based on principles of respect of human rights, sovereignty, and democracy. And, as we see vital social services programs threaten by the ongoing economic crisis, it also gives us an opportunity to reflect on the waste of taxpayer dollars resulting from U.S. foreign military assistance and to demand that those resources be allocated to fund needs at home. The Fellowship of Reconciliation, along with other U.S.-based groups at the Continental Campaign Against Foreign Military Bases, issued the following statement on the ongoing protests in Egypt:
Statement on the situation in Egypt
February 6, 2011
Continental Campaign Against Foreign Military Bases U.S. Working Group
The Continental Campaign Against Foreign Military Bases U.S. Working Group supports the efforts of people in Egypt to put an end to a militaristic regime marked by corruption which maintains the Egyptian people in a condition of inequality and poverty. As a group of organizations in the U.S. that opposes foreign military intervention and works for the maintenance and promotion of peace in the Western Hemisphere, we are heartened by the peaceful and courageous stand taken by Egyptian citizens against a government closely allied with the giant U.S. military complex.
The Egyptian repressive regime could have not been maintained without U.S. active support. For several decades, Egypt has been among the top largest recipient of U.S. military aid (along with Israel and Colombia) in order to protect American economic and strategic interests.
Our Working Group notes that tear gas, tanks, helicopters, rifles and planes used by the Egyptian police to repress the civilian protest were provided through U.S. military assistance. Furthermore, the group notes that U.S. military assistance often translates into gross human rights violations, not only in the Middle East, but also in the Western Hemisphere: Colombian army brigades saw an average increase of over 50% of extrajudicial killings of innocent civilians following increases in U.S. military assistance. In Mexico, the level of violence has increased in those areas where the U.S.-supported Mexican army has been deployed.
The recent wave of non-violent civilian protest around the globe constitutes a unique opportunity for U.S. communities to demand that U.S. foreign relations be truly based on the respect of human rights, sovereignty and democracy and to reflect on the waste of taxpayer dollars resulting from U.S. foreign military assistance in light of unmet health, education, and infrastructure needs of the American people.
We support the struggle of the Egyptian people as part and parcel of a global demand for social justice.
For the Working Group:
- Fellowship of Reconciliation
- US Peace Council
- Mingas Network
- Across the Americas
- School of the Americas Watch
- Marin Interfaith Task Force on the Americas (California)
- Alliance for Global Justice
- Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America
- Colombia Vive (Boston)
- Presbyterian Peace Fellowship
- St. Louis Inter-Faith Committee on Latin America
- Campaign for Peace and Democracy