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A version of this article was published in schNEWS….
Egyptian dissidents celebrated on Friday as Hosni Mubarak, who had been in power for over three decades finally threw in the towel after mass protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, and across the country, refused to abate. However, the Egyptian revolution is not yet won as the military have stepped in, repressed protest and threatened to declare martial law.
Inspired by events in Egypt and Tunisia, where President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was forced to flee the country on the 14th of January, popular protests have rippled through the Middle East this week in Iran, Yemen, Algeria, Libya and Bahrain. Read more of this post
The revolution in Egypt is at a turning point: with Mubarak gone and the final protesters forcefully removed from Tahrir Square by the army, the struggle now appears to be spreading more widely through the country in the form of strikes and a general refusal to let things just get ‘back to normal’. Although the first out of the seven demands of the people, the removal of Mubarak, might have been achieved, the, now ruling, army’s statement on state TV yesterday, urging an end to all political protests, made it clear that the struggle of the Egyptian people is far from over. Without underestimating the protests that happened around the country during the three week uprising, the very nature of the Tahrir occupation seem to have facilitated a fundamental and irreversible sense of empowerment in the people which will not be easy for any government to crush. What follows is a report from a night that we spent in Tahrir on the 8th of February, a quiet night which still gave plenty of examples of impressive grassroots resistance in action. Read more of this post
Last night an anarchist from Lebanon gave a report on the situation in Egypt at our social center, and I wanted to pass this information on to English-speaking comrades. This is a series of notes extracted from the talk, highlighting questions anarchists who have read mainstream coverage are likely to have about the situation. —- The person who gave the talk has been involved in organizing solidarity with people in Egypt, and as a part of the talk he skyped a friend in Tahir Square so we could ask her some questions directly. —- The revolution in Egypt has been spontaneous and self-organizing, spreading from Cairo and other major cities to the countryside, where in some areas Bedouins took up arms against the police and the military. The revolution has not been peaceful, but in most cases it has been unarmed, owing to the simple fact that most people don’t have recourse to weapons beyond stones, clubs, spray paint, and molotov cocktails, all of which have been used against police forces in abundance. Read more of this post
When the ongoing Egyptian revolution started on 25th January, a high-profile Egyptian military delegation was in the US requesting ‘help’ with technology to fight the ‘enemies’. It turns out that a US company, with Israeli origins, had already sold Egypt new technology to monitor Internet and mobile phone traffic to crack down on protesters’ communications, possibly leading to the arrest and abuse of many. Meanwhile, US-made tear gas and other anti-riot weapons were ruthlessly used against protesters in the first few days of the mass protests, resulting in many injuries and deaths. Should the multinational corporations profiting from these crimes be held responsible? Corporate Watch investigates.
Since the 25th January, when the Egyptian revolution began, there has been looting across Cairo. This has been reported as perpetrated by the anti-Mubarak rioters.
We spoke to the owner of a shop near Tahrir Square, opposite the Intercontinental Hotel, close to the US embassy who said that his shop had been looted on February 28th, the day before the police disbanded. He told us that his shop was looted, not by rioters, but by the police: Read more of this post
The most striking thing about Egypt’s ongoing revolution is the ecstatic expressions on the faces of the the people who are creating it. Everything that happens on Tahrir is the result of real self organisation. “There are no political parties present here, just people”, one man tells us , “we are doing everything for ourselves because we want to create something for the people”. The sense of empowerment this gives is nowhere more evident than in the busy medical centre located just outside the square. Normally a Mosque, the building is now buzzing with doctors and nurses who treat patients around the clock. At prayer time the building still fills up with worshippers who pray there, but once they are finished the work continues. All the medics are volunteers, many of whom have made significant sacrifices in order to be there. Being a doctor is one of the best paid professions in Egypt, but the three doctors on call did not hesitate to leave their jobs so that they could come here and treat the wounded. Read more of this post
Tuesday the 8th saw the biggest demonstration since last Friday in Tahrir Square. Coming one week after the ‘March of a Million’ (when there was a callout for one million to partisipate in the protest) some people sleeping in the square had felt a bit nervous the night before. Although the big march on 1st February was calm, the day after saw the bloodiest day yet, with the demonstators being violently attacked by pro-Mubarak forces. Yesterday proved that whatever the regime comes up with, the people’s determination to gain their freedom will not bow under the pressure. The Tahrir protestors are not going anywhere.
The next big day will be this Friday.
View short video here
8th February 2011
“First Obama said Mubarak had to go straight away. Then Mubarak, cleverly, said that if he stood down the Muslim Brotherhood would gain power… Now Obama says that Mubarak must remain in power to keep ‘stability’, and Cameron follows him”
Middle aged anti-Mubarak demonstrator
“In the square there are a million people, and a million leaders, everyone has a voice”
Tahrir Square occupier
As hundreds of thousands of people demonstated in Tahrir Square a crowd gathered outside nearby Magles Al Shaab, the Egyptian parliament, standing opposite the Ministry of Health. Hundreds of people swelled to thousands as people poured in from the square. Protestors barricaded the road and set up a volunteer checkpoint to protect the demonstration against attack. The army stood and watched as people vented their anger, an act that would have been unthinkable before the revolution began sixteen days ago. Read more of this post
Stand in solidarity with the people of Egypt and the wider Middle East and North Africa in their demands for an end to repression, for their freedom, their basic human rights, and immediate democratic reform.
And stand in defiance against all those who try to suppress the growing movement of people standing up for their rights, and for decent work, facing down injustice and offering hope for a better world. Read more of this post
by Stephen Lendman
Throughout decades of brutal rule, Mubarak remained a steadfast US ally. As a result, Washington rewarded him generously. US administrations also ignored his crimes, corruption, and lawlessness, as late January released WikiLeaks cables reveal, showing Obama knew he kept power through ruthless state terror.
On January 15, 2009, ambassador Margaret Scobey called security force brutality “routine and pervasive,” saying:
“(P)olice using force to extract confessions from criminals (is) a daily event. (US informants) estimate there are literally hundreds of torture incidents every day in Cairo police stations alone.”
Political activists and opponents are also targeted, Scobey adding:
“(T)he GOE (government of Egypt) is probably torturing (an April 6 activist) to scare other….members into abandoning their political activities.” It also referred to the “sexual molestation of a female ‘April 6 activist,’ ” and that another victim’s torture only stopped “when he began cooperating.”
Moreover, “standing orders from the Interior Ministry between 2000 and 2006 (instructed) the police to shoot, beat and humiliate judges in order to undermine judicial independence.” Read more of this post