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Photo by Ehab Lotayef
About 50 demonstrators gathered January 25 in a festive show of support for hundreds of thousands of Egyptians marching in the streets of many cities, demanding a major reorganization of their country's economy and the removal of the leadership of the National Democratic Party, in power since 1952.
In this interview, community organizer Mostafa Henaway discusses the scene at the Montreal protests. Henaway also discusses reactions within the diaspora, the demands the demonstrators are making of their government and Canada's stance in the region.
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A message from Montreal demonstrators:
Egyptian Day of Protest
January 25, 2011
We, Canadians of Egyptian origin and Egyptians residing in Canada, are supporting the demands of the popular demonstrations taking place all around Egypt, today, January 25, 2011, which can be summarized in the following points:
1) We demand the government should confront the problem of poverty before it explodes. It should respect the rule law as formulated by the Egyptian judiciary: to increase minimum wage, and to improve public services, especially in the areas of health and education. The government should also provide a subsidy of up to 500 Egyptian pounds for each university graduate who cannot find a job in his/her field, for a specific period of time.
2) We demand the abolition of the state of emergency that controls the security apparatus and the arrest of numerous political dissidents to government policies and their imprisonment in detention camps, without due process. We abhor the violation of human rights and the systematic torture of civilians in police stations. We demand the implementation of the provisions provided by the judiciary in respect of the law.
3) We demand the dismissal of the Minister of Interior Affairs, Mr. Habib El-Adli, for failing to secure the Christian minority from the terrorist attacks that took place in Alexandria, on New Year's Eve and for failing to stem the proliferation of crimes that occurred at the hands of officers or agents of the Ministry of the Interior.
4) We demand that the presidential term be limited to two consecutive terms because absolute power corrupts. There is no developed country in the world, that allows its executive power to remain in office for more than two decades. It is our right, not only to choose our president, but also to oppose any attempt to prolong the term of the presidency for life, otherwise our republic will become to a kingdom.
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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.