Egypt

WRL Honors Suez Port Worker and Labor Leader Asma Mohammed

04/12/2012

The War Resisters League has awarded Asma Mohammed its 2012 Peace Award, given in the past to activists including Bayard Rustin, Bob Moses and Jeanette Rankin. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at the first WRL Peace Award event in 1958.

Mohammed’s refusal of the tear gas shipment from the Port of Wilmington, N.C., came in the wake of unprecedented use of tear gas use against protesters around Tahrir Square during the “battle of Mohamed Mahmoud," where dozens died directly from inhalation of the gas during a six-day assault by Egyptian riot police beginning on November 19, 2011. Mohammed's refusal triggered the formation of the General Independent Union of Port Workers, Egypt’s first post-revolution port worker union, which started in Suez but quickly spread across Egypt as labor activism skyrocketed following the uprising that began in January 2011.

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