Sudan: Cuts to gas subsidy provokes street protests

Solidarity with protesting workers, youth and women!

Workers, youth and oppressed women have taken to the streets of Sudan after the hated Al-Bashir regime (National Islamic Front) doubled the prices for fuel and cooking gas on Monday by cancelling the fuel subsidy. The protesters chanted slogans which included: "The people want the fall of the regime!" and "Freedom, Freedom!"

The cut in the subsidy has also increased the price of food. Protesters have met huge and violent repression from the state.

Police responded to the protests by firing tear gas and rubber bullets. So far 60 people have been killed by the regime, with many more injured.

In the areas of Wad Nubawy, al-Thawra in Sudan’s twin capital city of Omdurman and al-Kalaklat in south Khartoum demonstrations were met with a violent response from the police.

Protesters were chased by police in cars to prevent them from blocking a main street in al-Thawra. Eyewitnesses in Wad Nubawy and al-Kalaklat said that police used live ammunition and tear gas.

They said mass arrests of young people were carried out from inside the neighbourhoods without notifying their parents. For 48 hours the internet was blocked in Sudan.

Already the situation for the mass of the population was dire. The unemployment rate is 20%. More than two million people live in poverty with an estimated 300,000 people not having access to food and water.

Repressive regime

Bashir’s National Islamic Front is a repressive regime of right-wing political Islam. When it came to power in 1989, the first thing it did was to launch the Public Order Act.

This is designed to oppress women. Article 152 of Sudan’s 1991 Criminal Act allows for the flogging of women.

It hands a disproportionate amount of power to the enforcer, rending him judge, jury and executioner all at once.

On Saturday 28 September a demonstration is going to take place in London, in front of the Sudanese Embassy, between 1pm and 4pm.

Today, Friday 27 September, the doctors’ and lawyers’ unions in Sudan are calling for a general strike after Friday’s prayer.

The trade unions, farmers’ organisations and students must arm their struggle against price rises with the demand to take Sudan’s resources into democratic public ownership and control of the economy and for a government made up of the workers and poor.

Urgent is the building of a mass independent working class movement that draws in all the oppressed sections of society.

A socialist programme will also be essential for the working class and oppressed masses to begin to resolve Sudan’s problems of under-development, war devastation, indebtedness and poverty (average income is less than $1 a day), and provide lasting solutions to the country’s various ethnic and religious conflicts.

  • Reverse the subsidy cancellation and reverse all price rises
  • Build a mass movement of the workers and poor

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October 2013