Wednesday, February 02, 2011
INTERNATIONAL POLITICS EGYPT:
WINNIPEG SOLIDARITY RALLY FOR EGYPT:
As I write these words the issue of the protests in Egypt is very much in doubt. Protesters in Cairo's central square have been attacked by what is probably a ragtag collection of police, secret and otherwise, out of uniform, along with what are undoubtedly numerous toadies of the regime whose livelihood depends on the continuation of the dictatorship. Many have been killed or injured as the regime's thugs out of uniform are now free to commit whatever atrocities they want free from international censure. Just to reinforce this the counter-revolutionary mobs have made it a special mission to attack any identifiable foreign journalists. In tandem with this peaceful rallies of Mubarak supporters have been organized in other neighbourhoods to further develop the illusion that there is a sizable pro-Mubarak faction in the country (aside from the usual hangers-on and the ruling class).
I have to admit whatever I may think of the regime that this is a brilliant tactic. It's hard to say if the protesters can prevail in the street battles or how effective the planned general strike will be if it becomes the fallback position. The fact that the army, supposedly neutral, allowed the pro-Mubarak thugs free access to the square bodes ill for the protesters. One hopes that the protesters can muster once again an overwhelming show of numbers despite the fear that such attacks generates.
It's far too easy to be an armchair general from far away, but the most recent events make a few things plain to me. One is that it demonstrates fully and completely that the Mubarak regime which is much more than the singular person of its figurehead has absolutely no intention of surrendering peacefully. There is little room left for compromise despite the cowardly behavior of some so-called "opposition" parties in calling for same. Basically they have taken the political temperature and are positioning themselves to continue their usual role in a post-uprising Egypt, as junior partners of the regime. As for the opposition, if they fail beatings and prison terms are the best they expect as the regime reconsolidates itself. With these latest attacks there is no longer any halfway point.
The other thing that is plain is that the Mubarak regime has taken the climate of opinion in the army under consideration. Perhaps with a little "aid" from ongoing US/Egyptian army to army consultations. The fact that the soldiers were ordered to stand aside and obeyed as the thugs gathered for their attacks says that the illusion that the Egyptian army would never attack the people is just that- an illusion. This was combined with a prior army appeal for the demonstrators (not the pro-Mubarak thugs) to disperse and go home. If the anti-Mubarak forces expect to prevail they will have to take the irrevocable decision to appeal to the rank and file soldiers and the lower officer caste to basically mutiny. Nothing else is going to save them or their cause. How possible this is I don't know, but it has become a necessity unless a miracle occurs. This is an obviously hard decision as it is basically an appeal for civil war Not all of the army would join the mutiny. Without this the only options are ignoble surrender or noble defeat. To my mind both are equally unpalatable.
The time remaining is short, and the issue will be decided in the next few days. Until then there is a rising tide of international opinion in support of not just the rebels in Egypt but of those across the Arab world. This even reaches out here to the land of ten feet high snow dumps, as a rally is being planned for this Saturday in solidarity with the Egyptian people. Here's the story from the ad-hoc organizing group, the 'Winnipeg Protest For Egypt'.
Protest for Egypt At Legislative- EGYPT WANTS CHANGE!
Time Saturday, February 5 · 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Location Manitoba Legislative Building
Created By Winnipeg Protest for Egypt, Talibet-Knowledge Muslima
The When and Where finally solved, we have spoken to the organizers and officially it will be taken care off. All we need now is as much people's support as we can. We will all meet Saturday:
Where: Legislative Building
When: Saturday Feb, 5th 2011.
Why: To Make Awareness to the Regime and to Push for an END to President Husni’s Regime. To Show our support to Egypt. To stop Injustice and to stress Change.
If you own any Egyptian flags, please make sure you bring those along. Also, if you are willing to bring any small statement posters to hold up that would be great.
The protests in Winnipeg are, of course, merely an echo a worldwide surge of solidarity for the Egyptian people. Here is a call for international protests this Saturday. This is, per usual, ad hoc, and, like the Egyptian revolution itself shows all the strengths and weaknesses of such "leaderless" opposition. The word "leaderless", of course, a misnomer. The Egyptians have very much of a leadership, but it is spontaneous and temporary. All this is very much to the good, but what it lacks is not "leaders" but an organizations, tried in the struggle, with a clear perspective that can offer an unambiguous way forward. This is a "leadership of ideas", and it is something fatally missing in the Egyptian upsurge, something that, even if the rebels succeed would make them prey to organizations with a clearer idea of their goals, ideas that the rebels probably don't share.
Put it this way..,as the Egyptian ruling class either flees the country or throws its full weight behind Mubarak the opposition must bring forward a more detailed idea of a "new Egypt", beyond getting rid of one person. If they don't do that then even if they win they will lose as the so-called "opposition" struggles for place in the post-Mubarak era. It is also necessary in the present tense to inspire Egypt's working class to see a change of regime as in their economic interests as well as their political sentiments.
Here's the call for international protests.
International Day of Solidarity with Egyptian and Tunisian Peoples
Time Saturday, February 5 · 12:00am - 11:30pm
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF MOBILIZATION IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE EGYPTIAN AND TUNISIAN REVOLUTIONS
5 February, 2011
Throughout the last few days, we received many urgent calls from Egyptian activist groups seeking international solidarity since the events of the day of anger (January 28, 2011) until now. Their calls ended with this message to every person who believes in freedom in the world: "We need your solidarity to support the demand...s and aspirations of Egyptians." They also demanded us to express our anger against the Western governments which chose to back the tyrant Mubarak. We are a group of anti-colonialist and anti-war activists in the U.S. and we urge every human in the world to respond to their call.
Starting immediately, join us in protesting in front of the Egyptian embassy or consulate near you, and other centers of government.
Mainly, we call for an international day of mobilization in support of the Egyptian and Arab uprisings on February 5th, 2011. We will be holding protests, world-wide in front of parliament buildings, centers of power and collusion with the dictatorship regimes, and representative offices.
Year after year we marched, protested and fought daily for a decent life, for dignity, for independence and for freedom. We saw our lands occupied, our people invaded and murdered, our thinkers and journalists imprisoned, our activists tortured and disappeared and our very ability to live and feed our families challenged. If it wasn’t for the despotism and iron fist rule, imposed on us by colonial dictators, tyranny and genocide would not have been possible.
There is nothing random about the revolution that overthrew Zine Al Abedeen Ben Ali from his throne in less than a month. Similarly, what we see in Egypt is a culmination of people’s action triggered by utter disgust and unwavering will to live as fully dignified human beings. Egypt’s tyrant receives $1.3 billion per year in aid from the United States, which is mostly allocated towards internal security. People in Tunis and Cairo rose up for the same reasons that people in Iraq and Palestine continue to rise up. Despite arresting people, injuring thousands and killing hundreds, the Egyptian people continue to storm the streets in wave after wave. They do so for freedom, for dignity, for a developed future, for the education of their children, for having a seat at the table from which colonialism has excluded them.
These dictatorships proved precarious and brittle and exposed their brutality to the world to watch. Egypt’s tyrant, Hosni Mubarak claims that these protests are led by Islamic Brotherhood activists. In Egypt people of all walks of life, gathered more than 1,000,000 strong and pushed the police back, dispersing them with the very weapons they had used against the protesters. It is noteworthy that the riot weapons and the tear gas are made in the USA, which puts the moral onus on US citizens and government to stand in solidarity. In Tunis, the protests continue until a fairly elected government is in place. The Arab revolt has now spread from Tunis, through Algeria and Egypt, to Yemen and Jordan, and is not far from the Palestinian Authority.
We must stand in support of the Arab revolutions of 2011 against the colonial powers that try to displace, divide, and conquer us. Like Ben Ali, Mubarak’s role is to self-perpetuate while over 40 million Egyptians live and feed their families with $2/day. Mubarak corrupted all civic and state institutions while participated in the siege of Gaza.
History speaks once. Now is our time. Now is our moment. We must take to the streets and stand in solidarity with the 82 million Egyptians whose cries have long been censored and silenced. Let’s make history and join the Egyptian and Tunisian people in the streets, across the Arab world and in the centers of power. If it was not for aid from some Western governments, these dictatorships would have fallen long ago.
To join the growing movement, we call for an International Day of Mobilization in solidarity with the Arab Peoples of Egypt and Tunisia on Saturday February 5th.
Although we are separated geographically, our future is one. Our message is unified that we stand together; our pain is one and our freedom is one.
As may be expected there will be protests in other cities in Canada as well. Here's an item that is both as call and information about protests in other cities in this country.
Canada-wide protest for Egypt
Time Tomorrow at 2:00pm - Sunday at 4:00pm
Location At your campus or a campus near you or somewhere else
30 years under military law, under the same leadership. Citizens afraid to vote, polls rigged, and government opposition tortured and murdered. The average Egyptian can't afford to eat, and lives in fear of a government which abuses its power. This revolution is not a working class revolution like usual, it involves all sects of society. Religion, education, and social status is meaningless now. 1.3 billion American tax payer do...llars (of aid money) are being used by the government to increase its military strength and oppose protesters who ask for basic human rights. Starting the 25th of January 2011 Egyptians at home and abroad head out in protest asking for what is theirs.
We will also be taking part in the ONE BILLION MARCH IN SOLIDARITY TO CITIZENS OF THE WORLD
Come out and stand with us at your campus. Ask for Democracy and basic human rights. Ask for peace and a stop to the abuse of power.
More details will be added once the university confirmation list is complete. The peaceful protest will take place on Friday at your campus from 2pm until 4pm.
-Carleton University and Ottawa U will have their protest at Ottawa U campus, because it will be the Egyptian day in the international week.
-University of Prince Edward Island will join but details are not finalized.
- Windsor will protest at city hall.
-Queens and KingstOn will protest together.
-Toronto protests http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=190600287624455&ref=mf
-UBC and Winnipeg are still not confirmed(hopefully something planned by Friday)
(Done already see above- Molly )
-Winnipeg will protest on Saturday. http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=122945564444516
Also note:(Thank you Marwan Marz El Nashar)
5 Feb, Toronto, Queens park 1pm
5 Feb, London ON, Victoria park 2 pm
5 Feb, Ottawa, Parliament hill, 1 pm
-Many other Universities were invites to join but have not replied.
IF YOUR AREA OR SCHOOL ARE NOT MENTIONED HERE THEN PLEASE MAKE THE INITIATIVE AND JOIN US, AND PROMOTE THIS EVENT TO OTHERS IN SOLIDARITY WITH EGYPTIAN PROTESTERS