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Revolutions throughout the Middle East!!!
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Strange Famous Forum > Social stuff. Political stuff. KNOWMORE

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Alan Hague



Joined: 05 Sep 2008
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Excellent piece on the recent demonstrations in Egypt and how they were influenced by events in Tunisia. Also, a warning on how Western media/elites will try to limit the opposition to consisting of only "radical Islamists," which is nonsense. The secular component to these protests has been one of the most inspiring and noteworthy things about it.


Full article here: http://socialistworker.org/2011/01/26/egypt-reaches-a-boiling-point


"In the past, the police would sometimes tolerate demonstrations, but then control them through violence or arrests. This time, they failed. Some protesters converged at the parliament building and attempted to storm it. Some turned out at the radio and TV headquarters, where they attempted to go in. The largest protest in Cairo was in Tahrir Square in the city center.

The second problem for the police was that they didn't expect the numbers. They thought the demonstration in Cairo would be a few thousand, but there were at least 10,000 in Tahrir Square, and more in other places.

I'm not sure who put the call out for a national strike. But what happened on January 25 in the textile city of Mahalla is telling. A demonstration that started in the morning with 200 people had, by the end of the day, reached 45,000 people."
Post Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:22 pm
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crash



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Quote:

Twice now, the Muslim Brotherhood has abstained from any call for a national strike or a national demonstration. First in 2006, and again this year, it didn't support the day of anger.

They are still the biggest political force in the country, but they refuse to enter into a confrontation with the government. It's really the workers' movement and the radical youth that are the driving force, not the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood is still the main opposition party with the most clout, but it isn't behind this at all.

A lot of young people and workers coming into the movement in the last two weeks are open to democratic and socialist ideas. Even a lot of the young supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood are open to a different analysis--one that doesn't just see the conflict as Islam vs. the West. On one protest, for example, an obviously religious man carried a sign that said it doesn't matter if you're Muslim or Christian, join the struggle.

That's a big change from January 1, when violent attacks on Christian churches made it seem like the country was on the verge of civil war between Muslims and Christians. Last year saw more attacks on Christian churches than any time in modern Egyptian history. But today, there are many Christians who have joined in common struggle with Muslims against the police and corrupt state, even though church leaders called on them to stay away from the protests.

All this means that there is an opening for the left--especially the socialists--to grow. There is new blood in the movement, and the Muslim Brotherhood isn't fighting. It's the left that is taking up this fight, along with new radicals.

I think this analysis is somewhat misleading. The only reason the Muslim Brotherhood isn't officially endorsing these protests is because they know the government would immediately crackdown on their organization. They’re already banned from participating in elections, forced to run as “independents.” They’ll only throw their weight behind the movement when they’re relatively sure of its success.

If this movement succeeds in toppling the government or forcing it to enact sweeping reforms of the election system, the Brotherhood will be big winners in the next election. I’m sure the socialists would also do better than they have in the past, but I don’t think they can compete. The Brotherhood has been the only effective opposition to the National Democratic Party for the last 20 some years. They run hospitals and have substantial influence in the Lawyers Association, student unions, etc. People are not going to walk away from them just because they didn’t lead these protests at the beginning.

It’s safe to say that if free and fair elections were to be held right now, the government would be substantially more Islamic than it is now. Not that that’s a bad thing necessarily, but it should be pointed out.

That was a good article though. I just thought they over-hyped their guys in the struggle, just as any other ideological publication would.
Post Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:49 pm
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Alan Hague



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I think they were simply emphasizing that, although the Muslim Brotherhood is the strongest and most established opposition group, the protests themselves have been largely independent and secular, and that the Brotherhood has actually lagged behind the public in terms of action.

It's similar to Tunisia in that way, in that the leading opposition there was another Islamist group, but the protests themselves were of a more spontaneous mass character.

Here's the NY Times on the opposition:

[url[http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/26/world/middleeast/26egypt.html?src=un&feedurl=http%3A%2F%2Fjson8.nytimes.com%2Fpages%2Fworld%2Fmiddleeast%2Findex.jsonp[/url]

"The government quickly placed blame for the protests on Egypt’s largest opposition movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, which is tolerated but officially banned. In a statement, the Interior Ministry said the protests were the work of “instigators” led by the Muslim Brotherhood, while the movement declared that it had little to do with them.

The reality that emerged from interviews with protesters — many of whom said they were independents — was more complicated and reflected one of the government’s deepest fears: that opposition to Mr. Mubarak’s rule spreads across ideological lines and includes average people angered by corruption and economic hardship as well as secular and Islamist opponents. That broad support could make it harder for the government to co-opt or crush those demanding change.

“The big, grand ideological narratives were not seen today,” said Amr Hamzawy, research director of the Carnegie Middle East Center. “This was not about ‘Islam is the solution’ or anything else.”


Also, on Democracy Now!, their correspondent in Egypt speaks at length of the split in the Muslim Brotherhood between the younger members and the old guard - and how that prevented the group from endorsing the protests from the start. Even now, they've supported their members taking part only in an individual capacity and not as members of the Brotherhood.

The relevant piece begins at 36:55, although the whole thing's interesting :

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/1/27/guardian_reporter_in_egypt_fear_barrier


In any case, this is another tremendously exciting development.
Post Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:15 pm
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crash



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^agreed.




things are coming to a head. the government has shut down the internet and sms. even the state run paper, al-ahram, is offline. friday prayers are tomorrow and the muslim brotherhood has decided to throw it's weight (or part of it) behind the protests. a few of their leaders have been detained.

people are being shot in the street.



there are some good updates on recent developments here: http://warincontext.org/2011/01/27/on-the-eve-of-egypts-day-of-reckoning/
Post Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:55 pm
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MCGF



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its happening in yemen too:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/27/AR2011012702081.html?hpid=topnews

and all 3 dictatorships are backed by U.S. tax dollars! such a fucking disgrace.
Post Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:57 pm
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Alan Hague



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And lo and behold! The tear gas currently being used on Egyptian protestors was MADE HERE IN THE U.S.


http://www.democracynow.org/2011/1/27/egyptian_american_activist_hillary_clinton_forget


Cue the national anthem.
Post Fri Jan 28, 2011 12:33 am
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poopsnack



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very worried.
Post Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:59 am
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crash



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updates, via twitter, etc:

- a bbc reporter was beaten by security forces and had his camera taken.

- The Copts (the Christian minority) are saying that while we pray, they will watch our backs. They will wait outside the mosques to look out for our safety-“this is why I love my country so much more now” - according to a protester speaking to parvez sharma

- “Al Arabiya is reporting that some policemen are removing their uniform and joining protesters.”

- the government instituted a curfew for 6:00pm egypt time (11am EST)


I'm seeing "Fuck ElBaradei" from a lot of the protesters. He's a Noble laureate, Egypt's most famous opposition polititian, and the West loves him, but I am getting the feeling that the people on the streets of Cairo aren't too fond of him. He was mum at the beginning of the protests and only arrived in Egypt yesterday (he has been living in Europe for the past 30 years). He is now under house arrest.
Post Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:49 am
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Asterax



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http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/
Post Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:04 am
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badjerk



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are the american cable channels covering this?

i only get random channels, including the main networks and al jazeera. networks not covering anything of course, but al jazeera showing some crazy live footage in cairo. wow, shits getting nuts...
Post Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:12 am
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crash



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they've set the NPD (the ruling party) headquarters ablaze.

i think it's pretty clear that mubarak is going to have to step down, and his son (gamal) is not going be able to succeed him. the people are not going be happy with a simple change in leadership, but at the very least the mubaraks are out.

i don't know if our channels are covering this. i've been watching bbc and al-jazeera all day. i would assume they're mentioning it occasionally and looping footage they got from the bbc.

edit: for anyone in DC, there's a protest in front of the egyptian embassy tomorrow, 12-3. 3521 International Court NW

also, elbaredei has been released. the state tv building has been surrounded by protesters.
Post Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:24 am
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icarus502
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crash wrote:


i don't know if our channels are covering this. i've been watching bbc and al-jazeera all day. i would assume they're mentioning it occasionally and looping footage they got from the bbc.


They are, it's coming live on CNN. Hillary just offered a bunch of platitudes about how the Egyptian government should take this as an opportunity to make the necessary changes and yadda yadda. They're now reading tea leaves.
Post Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:32 am
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crash



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the protesters are cheering and waving on the army, and the army is waving back. it looks like the army is not going to side with the police.
Post Fri Jan 28, 2011 12:30 pm
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Jared Paul



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Jesus. This is crazy.


http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/106401/20110128/egypt-shuts-down-internet-syria-still-up.htm


Egypt Shuts Down Internet, Syria Still Up

By Jesse Emspak | January 28, 2011 2:09 PM EST

Egypt has officially cut off Internet access to the country, marking the first time in the history of the Internet when a nation-state has gone dark. Other nations, though, seem reluctant to follow suit.

Renesys, a provider of Internet marketing data and security services, gathered data from hundreds of Internet service providers and found that within an hour Egyptian telecom providers had shut down local networks.

James Cowie, chief technology officer of Renesys, said the service providers simply shut down their own networks, though they did not prevent traffic from flowing through the major fiber optic cables that go through Egyptian territory. A user in Egypt trying to pull up a Google page would get a message that the server was unavailable.
Post Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:13 pm
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crash



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i watched fox's coverage for a good 40 minutes. i didn't see single arab commentator.


good for lulz: http://twitter.com/HosniMobarak
Post Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:22 pm
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