Tag Archives: Egypt

What’s happening in Egypt now

6 Dec

This post is from a Muslim woman in Cairo who does not like what the current government is doing. The violence is not being adequately reported. Read her post. Here’s the first several paragraphs:

Open any international newspaper today and read a misleading, watered-down version of the truth.

Muslim Brotherhood supporters clash with protestors, Morsi’s backers and rivals battle in streets of Cairo, Egypt descends further into political turmoil – these are all spins on what is really happening here.

The truth is uglier and more unsettling. This is not about two factions battling each other. This is about a well organized and devious militant militia, with members that carry pictures of al Qaida and Bin Laden, who yesterday went to disrupt a peaceful protest with guns, ammunition and gas. I saw them attacking women and men of different backgrounds who stood opposed to them, in the most violent way.

This is not about Egypt being divided. Yes, we are a diverse and populous nation and we will not all agree on everything, socially or politically. But this is about one faction that wants to bring a war against everyone who does not belong to or endorse their version of Islam. I am a Muslim woman and they label me a crusader and an infidel because I do not support their view of Islam.

We stood in peace. We came as we had come on Tuesday 4th December to express our outrage at the draft Constitution that the President and his supporters want to pass and the sweeping powers he has accorded himself, but we came peacefully. Tuesday evening and the huge march towards the presidential palace, which thousands joined, provide ample evidence of that. Crowds of us assembled, stretching as far as the eye could see. We carried lights and flags; we chanted; the atmosphere was full of hope and unity. Like the best times of the Revolution, we felt a sense of possibility for the future of our country and conviction that only by challenging Morsi’s bullying, authoritarian tactics could this possibility become a reality.

 

At OccupyDC, Egypt’s revolutionaries chide U.S. – Occupy Wall Street – Salon.com

24 Oct

Three of Egypt’s so-called Facebook revolutionaries told a crowd of 100 people who gathered Sunday afternoon in Washington’s Freedom Plaza that the U.S. government has abandoned their peaceful revolution in favor of an alliance with the country’s still-powerful military. (Video here.)

“We hoped U.S. policy would change” said Esraa Abdel Fatah, known as the Facebook girl for creating a social media page that helped mobilize a general strike over workers rights in 2008. “We hope they would support the people, not the government. But U.S. policy supports the military now, the same way it was supporting Mubarak.”

via At OccupyDC, Egypt’s revolutionaries chide U.S. – Occupy Wall Street – Salon.com.

Revolution, New Style, aka Transition

12 Feb

Dumbeks along the Mississippi

The people of Egypt are writing a new chapter in the book of revolution. The story is by no means complete. We have no way of knowing how deep the changes will go. Mubarak has stepped down. But just what it means that the “higher council of the armed forces will lead the nation,” as Mubarak’s hand-picked VP has said, we don’t know. Nor, I suspect, does that higher council, or the protesters.

What does that mean for US here in the USA? Yes, it means the Middle East and Northern Africa are in transition and we’ve got to change our foreign policy. But that’s not what I’m talking about. What I’m talking about is here, on the ground, in the USofA. What do we do about OUR government?

No, we’ve not been living under a state of emergency for three decades. And, yes, we do have democratic elections, local, state, and federal. But one can’t help but believe that the fix is in. Writing in The New York Times (of all places), Bob Herbert observes:

While millions of ordinary Americans are struggling with unemployment and declining standards of living, the levers of real power have been all but completely commandeered by the financial and corporate elite. It doesn’t really matter what ordinary people want. The wealthy call the tune, and the politicians dance.

We are being ruled by a class of people that is out of touch with life on the ground, and that has enough money that they need no longer walk the same soil with the rest of us. They look like us, talk like us, and walk like us. But more and more, they are less and less like us. They are becoming aliens. Our alien overlords.

How do we get out from under them? We don’t want violence, we don’t want bloodshed. But we want to turn the country around and march to the future, not admire our accomplishments in the mirror of the past. Those accomplishments were built on abundant resources and those resources are becoming scarce. Even as the oil runs out, the peoples of Asia, Africa, and South America are calling for their just share of the world’s resources. The world is changing and the Democrats and the Republicans in the USofA don’t know it. They’re doing their damnedest to keep the old machines running.

What happens when those machines run out of oil?

We can’t wait for them to wake. What can we do now to reclaim our lives and our future? And how to we regain control of our political system? The Egyptians have made their move in a political system that has far less room for movement than our system has. Let’s not let our relative freedom trick us into believing we can rest secure in business as usual. To quote Bob Herbert again, “the Egyptians want to establish a viable democracy, and that’s a long, hard road. Americans are in the mind-bogglingly self-destructive process of letting a real democracy slip away.”

The Egyptians have begun the arduous, but fulfilling task of rebuilding their society from the ground up. Let’s take their new beginning as a call for us to emulate them and do the same in our world.

Walk Like an Egyptian: Protest the Fat Cats

4 Feb

Writing in The Nation, Johann Hari spells out this fantasy:

Imagine a parallel universe where the Great Crash of 2008 was followed by a Tea Party of a very different kind. Enraged citizens gather in every city, week after week—to demand the government finally regulate the behavior of corporations and the superrich, and force them to start paying taxes. The protesters shut down the shops and offices of the companies that have most aggressively ripped off the country. The swelling movement is made up of everyone from teenagers to pensioners. They surround branches of the banks that caused this crash and force them to close, with banners saying, You Caused This Crisis. Now YOU Pay.

And he goes on to point out that it has happened:

This may sound like a fantasy—but it has all happened. The name of this parallel universe is Britain. As recently as this past fall, people here were asking the same questions liberal Americans have been glumly contemplating: Why is everyone being so passive? Why are we letting ourselves be ripped off? Why are people staying in their homes watching their flat-screens while our politicians strip away services so they can fatten the superrich even more?

And so a dozen British citizens decided to start protesting against Vodaphone, which had managed to to gull the government into forgiving £5 billion in taxes:

That first protest grabbed a little media attention—and then the next day, in a different city, three other Vodafone stores were shut down in the northern city of Leeds, by unconnected protests. UK Uncut realized this could be replicated across the country. So the group set up a Twitter account and a website, where members announced there would be a national day of protest the following Saturday. They urged anybody who wanted to organize a protest to e-mail them so it could be added to a Google map. Britain’s most prominent tweeters, such as actor Stephen Fry, joined in.

Could this happen in the USofA?