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Sheffield Trades Union Council show solidarity with protesters in Sudan

A statement of solidarity from a network of activists and trade unionists spells out exactly why protesters need all our support.

Protesters gather in Sudan
Al Jazeera English

Sheffield Trades Union Council have signed an open letter declaring solidarity with protestors in Sudan. Several people have died in Sudan as huge crowds have come together to rally against the country’s military leadership.

The military came into power 8 months ago, and unrest has been growing for some time. The open letter came in the form of a statement of solidarity from the MENA Solidarity Network who support workers across the Middle East. Part of the statement read:

We are appalled that Western governments continue to lend legitimacy to this brutal regime which tramples on basic democratic rights, kills protesters with impunity and attacks striking workers. It is not enough to call for “full and transparent investigations” into the killings and offer “condolences” to the families of those murdered, as the UK embassy in Khartoum did on 1 July.

The Sudan Doctor’s Committee has said that 11 doctors have been wounded as security forces try to disperse protestors. MENA’s statement, naturally, focused on workers in Sudan, saying:

During the recent national strike by Sudanese teachers over pay and conditions, security forces arrested and beat striking teachers and threw tear gas grenades into a primary school, terrifying the pupils and staff.

Doctors and teachers, amongst what is likely to include many other workers, have been treated horrifically. It is all the more important, then, that the Sheffield Trades Union Council have joined the calls to protect the rights of workers to protest.

Sudan in Sheffield

As a City of Sanctuary, Sheffield has taken in refugees from Sudan over the years. Both local universities in Sheffield have Sudanese societies, and Sheffield has a growing Sudanese community.

In 2019, Now Then reported on a protest in Sheffield held in solidarity with Sudanese protests:

When Sudan rose to protest against long-serving president and western foe Omar al-Bashir earlier this year, an enclave of South Yorkshire staged one of the world's largest solidarity marches, almost matching similar events held in London.

MENA’s statement makes it clear that the West cannot continue propping up oppressive regimes:

Sudanese communities in Sheffield deserve all of our attention and support. The Sheffield Trades Union Council’s support reflects the solidarity we should all be showing. Global conflicts all have their place locally. Just as protest is under threat in the UK, we must also look out for the repression of protests overseas.

What people in Sheffield can do to support and show solidarity

Follow and support MENA’s work here and here

Support the work of Sheffield Trades Union Council here

Share the statement of solidarity

Write to your MP to urge their support for protesters in Sudan

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