Protest escalation in October as Sudan coup marks first anniversary

The Coordination of Resistance Committees in Khartoum state announced six marches this month, October, to mark the one-year anniversary of the October 25 military coup d’état as part of their protest escalation schedule.

The October 30 Marches of the Millions after the October 25 military coup (Mosaab Hassouna)

The Coordination of Resistance Committees in Khartoum state announced six Marches of the Millions this month, October, to mark the one-year anniversary of the October 25 military coup d'état as part of their protest escalation schedule.

In a joint statement, the coordination explained that there will be three centralised demonstrations (one big march in one location) and three non-centralised marches (in different cities on the same day) in the state.  

The coordination explained that the resistance committees and revolutionary groups will also organise other escalatory activities outside of the marches, which have been taking place regularly as 'Marches of the Millions' since the 2021 military coup but the term was already used during the 2019 anti-junta protests after the revolution that toppled the dictatorial regime of Omar Al Bashir.

The 'escalation schedule' begins on Thursday with a decentralised march and will end with central marches on October 25 and 30. The resistance committees said that October 25 would be the date to end this coup, "which was stillborn on that same day".

Revolutionary bodies in Atbara also announced protest escalation as the Atbara Criminal Court acquitted four officers accused of killing protester Tarig Ahmed Ali and three officers of the infamous General Intelligence Services (GIS) accused of killing protester Mukhtar Abdallah. 

Resistance committees

The resistance committees in Sudan emerged during the 2018 December Revolution and played an incredibly important part in Sudan’s pro-democracy movement ever since.

“The role they played in toppling [Al Bashir’s] regime ironically places a responsibility on their shoulders ‘to protect’ the revolution,” prominent Sudanese political scientist Atta El Battahani wrote for the Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI).

Following the June 3 Massacre at the sit-in at the Army Command in Khartoum in 2019, the resistance committees ‘emerged as watch dogs’ making sure that other opposition organisations, such as the Sudanese Professional’s Association (SPA), the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC), and political parties, would not compromise on the ideals of the December revolution in exchange for government powers.

The resistance committees are decentralised and hyper-localised in their ways of operating and are mainly made up of urban youth, but crossing many geographical and social boundaries of class and ethnicity.

Despite their decentralised and hyper-localised characters, the resistance committees have been working on creating a unified vision for Sudan's political future and recently merged two different charters presented by the resistance committees from Khartoum and Wad Madani.