مدير مباحث اسكندرية بقاله شهرين وزيادة بيبعت لماهينور المصري تهديدات انه هيقبض عليها لو ما اتلمتش #FreeMahienour
— ▲ §åm¥قائد☭ (@samy_qaid) March 30, 2013
Mahienour El-Massry, a leading member of the Revolutionary Socialists in Alexandria, Egypt, spoke to Socialist Worker about the ongoing revolution and the role that women have played in it
I started to be politically active when I was 18 years old. I joined the campaign against dictator Hosni Mubarak handing power to over his son Gamal.
I was part of the AGEG (Anti Globalisation Egyptian Group). Then I joined the Revolutionary Socialists.
I was a student and helped form the Socialist Students. It was the only political group in Alexandria University other than the Muslim Brotherhood.
It was a challenge to introduce the words socialism, communism and revolution to students. We worked with workers trying to form independent unions.
Then in 2010 18-year old Khaled Said was killed. He became the icon of the Egyptian Revolution.
We started a big campaign against state and police torture. There were huge protests in Alexandria and other cities.
الشباب بيتضامنوا مع المحامين المعتصمين في قسم الرمل اولوواقفين قدام القسم يهتفوا قولوا للسلطة تلم كلابها #ﺍﺳﻜﻨﺪﺭﻳﺔDuring the 18 days of the revolution in 2011, Alexandria was different from the great pictures of packed Tahrir Square. But it was no less revolutionary.
— Mahienour El-Massry (@Mahienour) March 29, 2013
Alexandrians were full of hatred towards the state and the police. We had big marches daily and all residents of Alexandria participated.
There have been ups and downs during the revolution.
In November 2011 only a few clung to their revolutionary beliefs. Yet since then millions have been back on the streets.
This is a lesson we all have to learn. Never lose faith in the people or the revolution.
Women played an important role in struggle long before the revolution.
In 2006 police tried to evacuate the Kamshish village to give land to the old owner, who is a big tycoon.
Female peasants stood against it. The only martyr from the clashes with the police was a woman, Nefissa El Marakby .
Women workers led strikes on 6 April 2008. They started chanting, “Where are the men? Here are the women” to mobilise other workers.
Female tax collectors played a leading role during the 2007 tax collectors sit-in.
Women and girls helped prepare for the 25 January protests that turned out to be the beginning of the revolution.
There were big protests to defend women after the military beat and took off the clothes of a woman near Tahrir Square.
Since that women have been the dynamo of the revolution.
The police harass women and threaten to rape us.
But you win when you show them you are not afraid and are stronger than them. They then have no clue how to deal with you!
Sometimes it was hard for us women to go and engage in strikes or go to villages to work with farmers.
But usually we break the ice after a while and then they deal with us with no problems.
With time society starts looking at you not as a woman who is weak and needs help, but as a human.
The Revolutionary Socialists and the Socialist Popular Alliance Party are calling for a protest at the High Court in Cairo on Saturday at 5pm to support 13 people, 4 lawyers and 9 activists, who were arrested in Alexandria following clashes between Brotherhood and anti-Brotherhood protesters on Friday afternoon.
Those arrested include Mohamed Ramadan, a lawyer; Mahienour El-Masry, the well known revolutionary activist and contributor to Ahram Online; Youssef Shaaban, a journalist for Bedaya daily website and a member of the Revolutionary Socialists and Mohamed Abd El-Fatah, brother of activist Hassan Mostafa, who was sentenced to two years in prison on 12 March for attacking a prosecutor.
The detained face ten accusations, including damaging the police station, insulting the station's personnel, attempting to help prisoners escape and spreading terror amongst citizens.
They are currently at El-Mansheya Prosecution office in Alexandria awaiting investigation.
The four lawyers who were arrested went to El-Raml police station on Friday night to represent a number of people arrested in the afternoon following clashes between pro and anti-Muslim Brotherhood supporters near the Islamist group's office in Sidi Gaber district.
As news spread, of the arrest of the lawyers and reported attacks on them by police officers inside of the station, 200 people gathered in front of the police station to demand everyone's release.
Protesters reportedly attempted to storm into the station, but were stopped by police forces.
Activist Ranwa Youssef, Shaaban's wife, wrote online on Friday that earlier in the day police forces "ran after [her and her husband], ripped [her] clothes and harassed [her]" in clashes at the station.
Tens of protesters have arrived on Saturday afternoon at the prosecution office in Alexandria where the detainees are being questioned to demand their release after unconfirmed news spread about transferring them to Borg El-Arab prison in Alexandria.
Sameh Ashour, head of the Lawyers' Syndicate, in a TV interview with ONTV on Friday night, denounced "the attack on lawyers who were attempting to do their jobs representing arrested protesters."
Meanwhile, General Amin Ezz El-Din, Alexandria's security director, said on Saturday that 12 police personnel, including an officer, were injured in clashes as protesters attempted to storm into the police statio