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Arabica Robusta

Egypt's regime moves to outlaw January 25 revolution | ROAR Magazine - 0 views

  • What’s their plan? It’s simple and clever. Make people think the Revolution was a conspiracy, cooked up by the Muslim Brotherhood and some misguided kids. Get the people to give you a mandate to get rid of the Brotherhood, who actually reached power thanks to their alliance with the army. Then declare war on terrorism, pick off your rivals one by one, crush anyone who opposes you. To get the people to take your side, cook up some laws to suit yourself.
Arabica Robusta

Pan-African News Wire: Egyptian Women Detainees Released In Desert Following Clashes - 0 views

  • The interior ministry justified the dispersal, saying the gathering broke a newly enforced protest law since the organisers did not notify authorities of their actions as the new legislation stipulates.
  • The interior ministry justified the dispersal, saying the gathering broke a newly enforced protest law since the organisers did not notify authorities of their actions as the new legislation stipulates.
Arabica Robusta

Comrades from Cairo: "we don't need permission to protest" | ROAR Magazine - 0 views

  • On November 26, 2013, we saw the first implementation of a new Egyptian law effectively banning any and all protest not approved and regulated by the Ministry of Interior. This is the same Interior Ministry whose soldiers have killed thousands of protesters, maimed tens of thousands and tortured unknown others in recent years. This security apparatus is acting with renewed arrogance since the July coup that returned the Egyptian Army to a position of direct authority.
  • Hours later, the “No Military Trials for Civilians” campaign organized a protest against the new anti-protest law as well as the inclusion of military trials for civilians in the constitution currently being drafted. This time, the police beat and arrested dozens, among them some of Egypt’s most renowned activists, the same people who fought the injustice and oppression of Mubarak, the SCAF, the Muslim Brotherhood, and now Abdel Fattah al Sisi and the puppet civilian government in place since the coup.
  • Hours later, the police stormed Alaa Abdel Fattah’s home without a search warrant, beat him and his wife and kidnapped him; all this for charges of organizing the protest on the 26th. The following morning the prosecution questioned him at the Cairo Security Directorate and extended his detention to four days pending investigation.
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  • We will not protest at the whim and convenience of a counterrevolutionary regime and its armed enforcers. After the generals’ latest attempt to co-opt the revolution by kidnapping the June 30 protests for their own desire for power, the January 25 Revolution has returned to the streets. We will oppose the system everywhere we can. Stand by our side. This system must fall.
Arabica Robusta

ROAR Magazine - powered by FeedBurner - 0 views

  • On November 26, 2013, we saw the first implementation of a new Egyptian law effectively banning any and all protest not approved and regulated by the Ministry of Interior. This is the same Interior Ministry whose soldiers have killed thousands of protesters, maimed tens of thousands and tortured unknown others in recent years. This security apparatus is acting with renewed arrogance since the July coup that returned the Egyptian Army to a position of direct authority.
  • Hours later, the “No Military Trials for Civilians” campaign organized a protest against the new anti-protest law as well as the inclusion of military trials for civilians in the constitution currently being drafted. This time, the police beat and arrested dozens, among them some of Egypt’s most renowned activists, the same people who fought the injustice and oppression of Mubarak, the SCAF, the Muslim Brotherhood, and now Abdel Fattah al Sisi and the puppet civilian government in place since the coup.
  • Hours later, the police stormed Alaa Abdel Fattah’s home without a search warrant, beat him and his wife and kidnapped him; all this for charges of organizing the protest on the 26th. The following morning the prosecution questioned him at the Cairo Security Directorate and extended his detention to four days pending investigation.
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  • We will not protest at the whim and convenience of a counterrevolutionary regime and its armed enforcers. After the generals’ latest attempt to co-opt the revolution by kidnapping the June 30 protests for their own desire for power, the January 25 Revolution has returned to the streets. We will oppose the system everywhere we can. Stand by our side. This system must fall.
Arabica Robusta

Why the Western Media are Getting Egypt Wrong - 0 views

  • As the day went by, the 30 June anti-Morsi demonstrations turned out to probably be the largest ever in Egyptian history, with Egyptians from all walks of life peacefully, yet audaciously, denouncing the Brotherhood’s rule.
  • The Egyptian people’s defiance of Brotherhood rule is a serious popular challenge to the most significant strategic reordering of the region perhaps since the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916.
  • As the Egyptian army stepped up its game midday on Monday, and checkmated Morsi by issuing a forty-eight-hour ultimatum to respond to the people’s demands, these same media circuits started a concerted effort to bring the “coup d’état” discourse, sometimes forcefully, to the forefront of the discussion about events in Egypt.
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  • It is both ironic and sad that while mediocre analysts, to say the least of their understanding of the changing Middle East, make frequent appearances in two-minute on-air interviews in newsrooms, the voices of other academics and experts with serious research backgrounds and true expertise of the region remain largely unheard.  Serious analysts are not in demand, not only because they have long overcome this Orientalist paradigm in analyzing the politics of change in the Middle East, but also because they don’t have the talent of crafting those superficial, short, studio-made answers to questions of news anchors.   
  • The United States, Britain and many other counterparts have heavily invested in the empowerment of a tamed Islamist rule—spearheaded, of course, by the Muslim Brotherhood—to take over the Middle East from post-colonial populist regimes living long past their expiry dates. American and British ambassadors to the region have been carefully weaving this vision and reporting back home that this is simply the best formula for the protection of their interests in the region.

    That such a formula would lend itself to the protraction of another cycle of vicious human rights abuses and continued economic injustices is, naturally, of little concern to them.

Arabica Robusta

Cycles of violence in Egypt | openDemocracy - 0 views

  • Despite the chaos, opposition groups are learning from each subsequent wave of protest. As the state repeats its familiar tactics of repression, NGOs and activist organisations are becoming more adept at evidencing the brutality of the regime, from filming and capturing events on camera to uncovering and exposing false autopsy reports. Recent widespread civilian action in Port Said, ranging from government workers to microbus drivers, indicates a growing impatience that spans all sectors of society. It is common to hear people sitting in ahwas (street coffee houses) speaking of their latest plans to demand better conditions at work through strikes and walkouts. This culture of protest has been present in Egypt for years within certain groups and sectors, but now appears to be more prevalent than ever.
    • Arabica Robusta
       
      Cultures and strategies of protest.
Arabica Robusta

IPS - Egypt's New Unions Face Uncertain Future | Inter Press Service - 0 views

  • The dictator’s downfall, however, gave union activists more room to operate. Workers have set up over 500 independent syndicates in recent months. The majority have affiliated with two autonomous labour bodies, the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions (EFITU) led by Abu Eita, and the Egyptian Democratic Labour Congress (EDLC) headed by former steel worker Kamal Abbas.
  • ETUF is proving to be a multi-headed hydra. The mammoth organisation was weakened by rulings that dissolved its executive board, put its leadership under investigation for corruption, and pulled the plug on 15 million dollars in annual government subsidies. Yet its core remains intact.
  • Many activists believe Egypt’s two main powers, the military and the Muslim Brotherhood, are trying to rebuild ETUF as a counterweight to newfound syndical liberties. They claim the generals – opposed to organised labour – have sought to contain worker movements by criminalising strikes and preserving Mubarak-era labour laws.
Arabica Robusta

Arab Spring: flowers faded, harvest to come | openDemocracy - 0 views

  • In a way counterrevolution started already mid-March 2011 when Saudi and Emirati troops invaded Bahrain to put an end to the movement. Precisely at the same moment NATO forces struck Gaddafi. Cracking down on the uprising in Bahrain, while supporting Benghazi ?
  • It was an Arab movement in the sense that it happened from the Atlantic Ocean to the Persian-Arabian Gulf, which constitutes a cultural and linguistic zone, even if the local dialects are different, a significant number of people have a mother tongue other than Arabic (Tamazight, Kurds…) or do not consider themselves Arabs. A region stretching out from its common destiny.
  • Through the policies of infitâh (economic opening) and the process of privatization, the coherence of the system built post independence has vanished. Neoliberalism has deepened the differences between rich and poor. For the oligarchies, privatization was the opportunity to plunder and control the benefits of oil and other raw materials but also to snaffle the grants of foreign aid. In each country the gap between oligarchy and society has widened. And rage has accumulated.
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  • New forms of action developed in the 2000s.
  • The Islamists are (provisionally) the great beneficiary of a movement they call “Islamic awakening”. The main Islamist parties have abandoned the revolutionary utopian goal of the Islamic State and progressively transformed into conservative political parties accepting the parliamentarian game. These parties are rooted in urban middle class, professionals, civil servants, etc. the kind of people who aspire to law and order more than to the turmoil of Islamic  revolution.
  • The future and the past are still competing.
Arabica Robusta

Egypt's revolution won't end with the presidential election - Mail & Guardian Online - 0 views

  • The apartment blocks on my street in downtown Cairo have accommodated many cycles of Egypt’s political tumult in the past 18 months.

    A stone’s throw from Tahrir Square, they have been enveloped in teargas, pockmarked by Molotov cocktails, pressed into use as urban barricades by both revolutionaries and pro-Mubarak militias and provided the backdrop for some of the post-Mubarak military generals’ most violent assaults on the citizens they swore to protect.

  • There are a million empirical holes that could be picked in this chronicle – the only results we have so far (from Egyptians voting abroad) put Moussa and Shafiq in fourth and fifth places respectively while the lazy insistence of characterising Aboul Fotouh as an unreconstructed Islamist (and hence automatically anti-Tahrir) bears little relation to the substance of his support on the ground.
  • Two misapprehensions underpin much of the discussion about the revolution.
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  • The first is that the metric of revolutionary success lies solely in the formal arena of institutional politics and the development of democratic mechanisms within it. The second is that Tahrir, along with the ludicrously titled “Facebook youth” who populated the square in January and February last year, is the only alternative space in which pressure on the formal arena is thrashed out.
  • And it’s that energy, that those who benefit from the status quo, from western governments to multinational corporations, really fear. Little wonder that there has been a rush by the world’s most powerful entities – from Hilary Clinton and David Cameron to Morgan Chase and General Electric – to simultaneously venerate Tahrir (as long as the demands voiced within it don’t overstep the mark), echo the generals’ calls for “stability” (shutting down broader discourses of dissent in the process) and form links with the largely neoliberal Muslim Brotherhood (whose policies, despite anguished op-eds in Washington think-tank journals, pose little threat to American interests, and indeed offer up many opportunities).
  • What they’re less keen to acknowledge – because it carries the revolution out of its sheltered borders – are the other trenches that are increasingly being etched at the margins of Egyptian society, dividing those who have reaped pharaonic-esque riches as a result of 20-odd years of “structural adjustment” from those left behind in zones of neoliberal exclusion.
  • Forget Shafiq’s advertising hoardings – the revolution is everywhere and it is potent.
  • As the sociologist Asef Bayat has argued, actions that appear to be individualistic strategies for survival and not explicitly political attempts to bring down elites can, in the right circumstances, become unstoppable and interlinked channels of mass rejection, a struggle for real agency in an era of globalised corporate cosmopolitanism that strives to deny it to so many.
Arabica Robusta

Pambazuka - African world view on revolutionary ruptures and pace of change in 2012 - 0 views

  • There is a lot to be learnt from the last capitalist depression during the 1930s when some economists and political leaders believed, that militarism and investment in military capital could resolve the crisis. Indeed, some economists today credit the militarism of the German society with ending the crisis without mention of the huge price paid by humans in the Second World War.
  • Anti-imperialist and progressive forces on the ground in Kenya and even those involved in the political game will have to be strategic in their planning, just as our forces have been strategic in Nigeria. There is a reason why we interred Tajudeen Abdul Raheem in Funtua, in the North of Nigeria. Tajudeen had worked tirelessly against the manipulation of religious differences and we should be publicising the book of the writings of Tajudeen in this revolutionary moment. We must keep his ideas alive as one part of our arsenal.
Arabica Robusta

Pambazuka - Glimpses of the Tunisian revolution: The victory of dignity over fear - 0 views

  • We expressed our admiration and solidarity and we offered our support and the promise to carry their stories, their struggles and their aspirations with us and share them in whatever ways we could as our commitment to contribute to imagine and construct a better world, more just and equal, each of us in the places where we live and work.
  • We also explained that we wished to explore the viability of a regional and continental Social Forum in Tunisia to celebrate the revolution and support the transition.
  • Enthusiastic citizens discussed and negotiated their differences, exchanged their experiences, disagreed vehemently, even shouted their frustration and disappointments contributing to give form to their visions and inspiring in each other actions and daily practices towards the establishment of a new society.
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  • In a large hall, over hundred people gathered to welcome us. In the intense atmosphere made hazy by the smoke of cigarettes inhaled with anxiety and pain, mothers, sisters, fathers, brothers and friends told us their tragedies, their losses, their suffering, their fight, their hope. In a more intimate setting on the third floor of the big building, we met later with others who lost their beloved and cried for justice, who were tortured and demanded their rights.
  • we asked each other with incredulity how we could tell the genuine from the demagogic and the demagogic from the outright false among the rhetoric that seemed to express the same discourses of liberation and the same aspiration to justice and development for all?
  • Facebook was in everyone’s mouth, Al Jazeera’s journalists were praised for their courage and dedication (though, some told us, ‘in the long run we can’t forget they are islamists’).
  • But while nobody denied the supportive role of new social media, the general understanding was that though they helped they were certainly not the determining factors pace the international media (perhaps too eager to stress how western technology democratizes the world).
  • the Italian Prime Minister and his delegation met their Tunisian counterparts in Tunis to discuss an agreement on the migrant crisis which involved shutting down Italy and Europe and send back the thousands deluded migrants who thought hospitality was one of the values of a continent that likes to preach to the world cosmopolitan ideals. If those migrants knew that in Italy a debate rages on the extent to which the boats that carry them, in which they risk their lives and die by the dozens, can be shot at to prevent their landing on national shores!
  • This revolution may have already changed the stereotypes of the submissive, agency deprived, Arab. But as the transition processes develop they may contribute to the elaboration of new democratic practices whose resonance exceeds the national boundaries and make the Tunisian youth rise to the secular Pantheon of historical revolutionaries.
Arabica Robusta

Pambazuka - 'Walk to work' and lessons of Soweto and Tahrir Square - 0 views

  • The memory of Tahrir Square feeds opposition hopes and fuels government fears. For many in the opposition, Egypt has come to signify the promised land around the proverbial corner. For many in government, Egypt spells a fundamental challenge to power, one that must be resisted, whatever the cost.
  • Many asked whether the Egyptian revolution will spread South of the Sahara. And they responded, without a second thought: No! Why not? Because, media pundits said, sub-Saharan societies are so divided by ethnicity, so torn apart by tribalism, that none can achieve the degree of unity necessary to confront political power successfully.

    This response makes little sense to me. For this answer resembles a caricature. Nowhere in the history of successful struggles will you find a people united in advance of the movement. For the simple reason that one of the achievements of a successful movement is unity. Unity is forged through struggle.
  • Soweto was a youthful uprising. In an era when adults had come to believe that meaningful change could only come through armed struggle, Soweto pioneered an alternative mode of struggle.
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  • The potential of popular struggle lay in sheer numbers, guided by a new imagination and new methods of struggle.
    • Arabica Robusta
       
      a mode of non-violent social movement: numbers, imagination and methods.
  • Biko forged a vision with the potential to cut through these boundaries.

    Around that same time, another event occurred. It too signaled a fresh opening. This was the Palestinian Intifada. What is known as the First Intifada had a Soweto-like potential. Like the children of Soweto, Palestinian children too dared to face bullets with no more than stones.
  • Even though the Egyptian Revolution has come more than three decades after Soweto, it evokes the memory of Soweto in a powerful way. This is for at least two reasons.
  • First, like Soweto in 1976, Tahrir Square in 2011 too shed a generation’s romance with violence.
  • The second resemblance between Soweto and Tahrir Square was on the question of unity. Just as the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa had uncritically reproduced the division between races and tribes institutionalised in state practices, so too had the division between religions become a part of the convention of mainstream politics in Egypt.

    Tahrir Square innovated a new politics. It shed the language of religion in politics, but it did so without embracing a militant secularism that would totally outlaw religion in the public sphere. It thus called for a broader tolerance of cultural identities
Arabica Robusta

Is Cameroon Next After Libya? | TPMDC - 0 views

  • "There's no doubt in my mind that the current situation in the Middle East that this has sort of spurred in recent days opposition members to speak out," he said. "There's always an appearance of stability when there's no serious opposition... but you only need something like what happened in Egypt or Libya or Tunisia or Bahrain to see that atmosphere of contentedness and happiness on the surface doesn't go deep."
Arabica Robusta

Pambazuka - Ethiopia: Any lesson from Tahrir Square? - 0 views

  • how prepared are the people of Ethiopia to stage a peaceful revolution? Will we succeed or could the country be thrown into chaos?
  • One would hope we would have learned a thing or two from our Egyptian counterparts and choose the peaceful route. One would also hope the Ethiopian armed forces would be magnanimous enough not to use lethal force on their compatriots.
  • Like Egypt, Ethiopia has a track record of using plainclothes security personnel, who will stop at nothing to crush dissent. This regime is even willing to foment ethnic and religious strife in order to preempt possible opposition. Given these circumstances, it is absolutely pertinent for activists to take notice of recent events in Egypt, as there is a lot to be learned there.
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  • One of the promising signs of the demonstrations in Egypt has been the people’s ability to remain peaceful while disobedient. For decades, peaceful disobedience has been a proven tactic in bringing some semblance of decency to societies. Interestingly, authoritarian regimes prefer violent dissent, which they are confident of disrupting, as they hold the monopoly in violence.

    Imagine the impression it leaves on the Arab world when Muslim and Christian Egyptians march shoulder to shoulder to demand their rights. It is a remarkable achievement when you consider, just a few months ago, these two communities were openly feuding.
Arabica Robusta

David Porter: The Triumph of Leaderless Revolutions - 0 views

  • It is the slowly-accumulating momentum of hundreds of thousands of confrontations with local officials and elites, the organizing efforts of mutual assistance (including even Egyptian soccer clubs, as Dave Zirin points out), individual and group assertions of women’s rights, tireless attempts to solidify common stands of workers against bosses (as in the great waves of strikes in the textile city of Mahalla), students’ rejection of authoritarian school conditions, and efforts to defend local neighborhoods— almost always in the shadows out of sight of foreign media—that slowly develop the courage, confidence and essential horizontal networks bubbling below the surface of seemingly fixed political landscapes.
  • Without that growing accumulation of willful resistance by hundreds of thousands already at the grassroots level, no appeals by Twitter or Facebook, by liberal, radical or revolutionary organizations, or by charismatic national figures will inspire millions to risk the bloodshed and torture implied in confrontation with the harsh face of the regime’s police.
  • When certain “spokespeople” for the movement or independent “power brokers” become fixed in place—encouraged by negotiators for the old regime or by the media or by their own self-promotion—it is doubtful that those deep levels of revolutionary aspirations will be heard. This will be a key dynamic to watch in Egypt in the weeks to come.
Arabica Robusta

Social movements for politics and welfare: Egypt and Haiti - 4 views

Egyptian history of local empowerment is much less known (or at least I do not know as much about it) than the Haitian experience. However, it is clear that the anti-regime demonstrators have orga...

social movements intervention human rights development egypt haiti

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