MANCHESTER, England — Chanting “Freedom, peace and democracy,” “We support Sudan revolution,” and “Just fall, that’s all,” some 100 protesters gathered in Piccadilly Gardens here Feb. 3. They were mobilizing in support of demonstrations across Sudan that have continued since mid-December.
Sparked by a threefold rise in the price of bread by the Sudanese government, the protests come on top of years of grinding hardship and war. Tens of thousands have marched to demand the end of the regime of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.
Answering Bashir’s claim that the protesters mainly came from the country’s Darfur region, the crowd here chanted, “Al-Bashir you arrogant racist, we are all Darfur!”
This has also been a popular slogan in the demonstrations in Sudan. Many young protesters say the Bashir government can no longer use tribal and regional differences to divide the people.
Hugo Wils, Communist League candidate for Baguley ward in the upcoming Manchester City Council elections, addressed the protest. “The Communist League stands in solidarity with the people of Sudan rising up against the Omar al-Bashir dictatorship,” Wils said.
As the CL campaigns among working people across the U.K., he said, members will raise “the need for solidarity with the people rising up in Sudan.”
Bashir’s government has met the protests with brutality. Dozens have been killed and many injured or imprisoned. Osman Ebrahim, a student from Darfur, told Wils that government authorities claimed they were releasing all those arrested. But that isn’t the case, Ebrahim said, many remain in prison.
The Bashir regime uses its so-called public order law to imprison protesters and attack the population. Under this reactionary law, women are arrested for “indecent dressing and immoral behavior.” Hundreds demonstrated in Omdurman, Sudan, Feb. 10, in a rally for women detainees.
Some at the protest looked to the imperialist rulers in London and elsewhere to step in and help their fight, chanting, “U.K., UN take action now!”
“We cannot rely on the British government for help,” Wils told protesters. “Like the imperialist rulers in Washington, Paris and elsewhere, they’ve done nothing but plunder and bring devastation to Africa.”
He said working people need to follow the example of Thomas Sankara, who led the workers and peasants in Burkina Faso to take power and established a popular revolutionary government there from 1983 to 1987.
Protesters said they are planning ongoing weekly actions in support of the demonstrations in Sudan.