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Socialist Popular Alliance Party calls on Imbaba citizens to refuse to pay electricity bills

Egyptian leftist party and activists organise popular campaign against electricity blackouts in Imbaba, while Islamist youth calls for volunteers to clean the streets

Ahram Online , Thursday 26 Jul 2012
Hassan Yuniss
Egyptian Electricity Minister Hassan Yuniss (Photo: AFP)
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The Socialist Popular Alliance Party has launched Thursday a "We are not paying" campaign, aiming to mobilise citizens in Imbaba, a popular district in Giza, against paying their electricity bills in order to pressure the government to provide clean streets and consistent electricity after a recent spate of blackouts.

The campaign will start with human chains in Imbaba Thursday evening at 9pm. 

The Socialist Popular Alliance Party denounced on its official Facebook page how garbage has been neglected in the area and how residents are suffering continual electrical outages, despite having paid their bills, criticising the decisions of administrative authorities that the party accuses of being biased to rich areas at the expense of poorer areas in terms of electricity supply and providing clean streets.

The party also demanded the governor and heads of neighbourhoods reveal the timetable for electricity usage in the neighborhood, in order to know if electricity distribution is fair.

The party added that garbage collection was the responsibility of executive authorities and not citizens, demanding the governorate publish its contracts with garbage collection companies, which are being paid with public money. Among other demands in the statement was that the governor and heads of neighbourhoods be elected instead of appointed.

The Socialist Popular Alliance Party added that ignoring these demands would force citizens to refuse to pay electricity and garbage collection bills until the demands are met.

Activists on social media sites also called on citizens to refuse to pay their electricity bills, with online campaigns like "As long as there is no electricity, I will not pay my bill," and "We are not going to pay the electricity bill," which turned into a popular hashtag on Twitter.

In an opposing move, youth groups from the Muslim Brotherhood and Freedom and Justice Party launched a campaign in several governorates under the banner "Start with yourself," where volunteers clean the streets in support of President Mohamed Morsi's opening 100-day presidential programme that includes focusing on garbage buildup.

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