University student unions call for general strike

University student unions call for general strike

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Sun, 05/02/2012 - 12:19

Student unions at several state-run and private Egyptian universities called for a general strike and civil disobedience starting 11 February to try to force the ruling military council to leave power and to fulfill the goals of last year's uprising.

The unions' statements on their Facebook pages mourned their members who have died in violence during the transition period.

They demanded a faster transfer of power to a civilian government through presidential elections, retribution for those involved in killing civilians since the outbreak of the 25 January revolution, and trials for former President Hosni Mubarak and officials from his regime for political crimes.

The statements called for the removal of Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri's government and holding it accountable "for all the crimes it had committed," as one of the statements put it.

Many Egyptians hold the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) responsible for several bursts of deadly violence since it assumed power last February.

The most recent violence came when 71 football fans were killed Wednesday at the end of a premier league football match in Port Said Stadium.

Activists and MPs outraged by security negligence during the game directed their anger toward the military council and the government, accusing both of failure to preserve the country's security.

On its Facebook page, the April 6 Youth Movement said calls for civil disobedience were made voluntarily by student unions rather than at the request of political groups. The group said it will share statements by other universities and institutes eager to join the action.

The Union of Egyptian Students in a statement on Saturday described the latest developments in Egypt as a "major conspiracy to undermine the Egyptian revolution." It held the SCAF and the government responsible for the current security void.

"University movements are losing patience," the statement said, warning that SCAF will bear the responsibility for the consequences of the current situation if it fails to respond to people's demands.

Student unions that made the statements included those at Helwan, Alexandria and Damanhour universities, as well as at the American University in Cairo, the British University in Cairo, the German University in Cairo, Shorouk Academy, Akhbar al-Youm Academy, Misr International University, Modern Academy, the Higher Technological Institute, and law students at the French department at Cairo University.