For Immediate Release
US Tear Gas Manufacturers & Financial Backers Targeted by Protests
The 99% Stand with Egyptians Against Use of Chemical Weapons to Repress Freedom
NEW YORK - Thursday, December 1, activists from Pennsylvania to NYC stand in solidarity with Egyptians working for freedom by protesting the manufacturers and financial backers of US Tear Gas manufacturer Combined Systems, Inc. (CSI). The Egyptian army and police rely on tear gas, bullets and weapons from abroad. In NYC and across the country, members of the Occupy Wall Street movement have endured similar acts of violence with chemical weapons. The protests at the plant in Jamestown and in NYC aim to expose and shame the businesses and institutions in our country that are aiding in the repression of the grassroots democratic movement in Egypt.
Combined Systems Incorporated, located in northwest Pennsylvania, is one of the main suppliers of such "less-lethal" weapons to the Egyptian state; their tear gas canisters have littered the streets of Cairo. CSI and their allies in the U.S. State Department, who must approve the sales of their weapons to foreign governments, are complicit in crimes against humanity. They have consistently facilitated the repression of grassroots democratic movements not only in Egypt, but also in the U.S. itself, as well as in Tunisia, Greece, Palestine, Yemen, and other places.
Pennsylvania, CSI Plant Protest, Dec. 1, 12pm
WHERE: Combined Systems, Inc. factory gate (388 Kinsman Rd., Jamestown, PA)
NYC, Rally at Egyptian Consulate and march to undisclosed location, Dec. 1, 1pm
WHERE: 1110 2nd Ave, between 58th & 59th, followed by a march with members of the Egyptian community to an undisclosed location where they will symbolically illustrate the human cost of the weapons grade tear gas being shipped to Egypt.
**Visuals at both rallies: surgical masks and goggles to show solidarity with Egyptian activists**
"Many people struggling for freedom in Egypt have died from these chemicals. We hope that the people of the United States will be equally concerned that their tax dollars are being spent on tear gas being used in Tahrir square,” says Shimaa Helmy an Egyptian human rights activist who was detained by the Egyptian Military in February 2011. "Egypt is the second largest recipient of foreign aid form the US. $1.3 billion goes to the Egyptian military."
"CSI is one among a number of U.S.-based companies who are literally suffocating movements for democratic change in the Middle East and around the world," says Ryan Harvey, one of the organizers of the rally in Jamestown. "Friends in Cairo have reported that many people there have been killed and hospitalized from the effects of tear gas produced here in Pennsylvania. This is unjust and unacceptable."
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