Sudan’s military regime has lashed out brutally against protesters demanding democracy.
Soldiers had killed at least five anti-coup demonstrators by 6pm British time on Saturday and wounded many others.
Four protesters died from gunshots and one from a tear gas canister in Khartoum and its twin city of Omdurman, according to the Sudan Doctors Committee.
The committee denounced the actions of the “putschist military council” that had fired “live rounds” at demonstrators.
Saturday had been announced as a massive show of force by people protesting against the coup that general Abdel Fattah al-Burhan launched on 25 October.
The military has killed at least 19 protesters since the coup, and probably many more.
In an attempt to keep people off the streets, soldiers fired tear gas as protesters assembled in the capital, Khartoum, and its twin city Omdurman.
But it didn’t stop the resistance. “Protests are continuing, more and more people are joining the protests, they are chanting that they don’t want the military rule,” said Al Jazeera’s Resul Serdar, reporting from Khartoum.
The military leaders are making no concession to the anti-coup movement that has mobilised over a million people in the streets while workers launched widespread strikes. Activists have blocked parts of major cities with barricades.
Last Thursday al-Burhan reappointed himself head of the Sovereign Council, Sudan’s interim governing body. And the military has given a green light for the murderous Janjaweed militias to launch a new round of looting and ethnic attacks in the Darfur region.
But the fightback goes on.
In London, around 1,000 people joined a solidarity protest with those taking to the streets in Sudan. It targeted the embassies of the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. These rotten governments have given support to the coup.
Protester Faizah told Socialist Worker, “These regimes are helping killers. They must fall too. I want people to come out on the streets in these places too.”
Shada added, “The military in Sudan are not supported by the people. They are held in power at the moment by their use of terror and the backing of other governments. It is a blood pact that must end.”
As news came through of the state violence in Sudan, angry protesters called for more resistance. Bilal said, “There can be no going back. Our martyrs must be avenged by the fall of the military and the setting up of a civilian government.
“The generals should be sitting in jail, not in high places.
In Glasgow, several hundred protesters gathered in George Square. Protester Enas Magzoub said, “'It's so important to show international solidarity. We have to demonstrate our resilience because we are connected to our people back home.
“We have to give our people a voice, especially in the wake of the internet blackout the military has imposed. These protests are so crucial.'
Around 200 people protested in Manchester’s Saint Peter's Square, calling for the overthrow of the military and for “thawra”— revolution.
And around 200 rallied in Leeds too.
The protesters bravely taking to the streets of Sudan deserve all our solidarity. But demonstrations alone will not break the military and its backers.
A general strike that paralyses Sudanese society is crucial to act as a counter-force to state violence.