Libcom.org publishes interview with Egyptian Anarchist

5 02 2011

Libcom.org has published an interview with an Egyptian Anarchist that provides a different perspective on the unrest.  Well worth a read.

2) The world is watching Egypt, and even moving in solidarity. However, due to the internet being cut, information was difficult to find. Can you tell me about what has happened in Egypt in the past week? What did it look like from your perspective?

The situation in Egypt is so crucial right now. It began with an invitation to the day of rage against Mubarak regime on January 25th. No one expected an invitation to a day of rage from a loose group, a Facebook page, not really organized, called “we are all Khalid Said”.

Khalid Said was an Egyptian youth who was killed by Mubarak police in Alexandria last summer. It was that Tuesday which started everything, it was the spark for the whole fire. On Tuesday big demonstrations were in streets in every Egyptian town, on Wednesday began the massacre. It began with trying to finish the sit-in in Tahrir square on Tuesday late night, and continued in the following days, especially in Suez town. Suez has special value in every Egyptian heart. It was the centre for resistance against Zionists in 1956 and 1967. In the same district that fought Sharon’s troops back in Egyptian-Israeli wars, Mubarak police carried out a massacre, at least four people killed, 100 injured, gas bombs, rubber bullets, fire guns, a strange yellow substance thrown above people (maybe mustard gas). Friday was called the Jumu’ah of Rage. Jumu’ah is Arabic for Friday, it’s the national weekend in Egypt, in many Islamic countries also, it’s the sacred day in Islam, because there are the big prayers on this day, called Jumu’ah prayer. It was planned for demonstrators to go on a march after this prayer, at noon. The police tried to prevent the marchers, with all of their power and violence. There were many clashes in Cairo (downtown, in Mattareyah (east of Cairo)), and all over Egypt, especially in Suez, Alexandria, Mahalla (in the delta, one of the centres of the working class). From noon to sunset people marched in Cairo downtown, to a sit-in in Tahrir till the removal of the Mubarak regime, chanting one slogan, “The people demand the removal of the regime”.

At sunset, 5pm CLT, Mubarak declared a curfew and brought the army into Egyptian towns. This curfew was followed by a planned escape by police, letting out the criminals and thugs which called Baltagayyah, and police planned a great escape of criminals in many Egyptian prisons to scare people in Egypt. With no police, many army troops couldn’t control the street. It scared people, and it was followed by a news jam on Egyptian TV channels, radio and newspapers, about Luddites in many towns, about thieves firing at people. People organized “people committees” to secure every street. It was welcomed by the regime to make people more scared about instability in the country, but it was also a point we could start from to build workers’ councils.

3) As of Wednesday, there have been clashes between pro- and anti-Mubarak people. Is that the correct way to describe it? Who are the “Mubarak supporters”? How are these clashes affecting the attitudes of average working class Egyptians?

It’s absolutely wrong to call it clashes between anti- and pro-Mubarak. The pro-Mubarak demonstration consisted of many Baltagayyah and secret police to attack the protesters in Tahrir. It only began after Mubarak’s speech yesterday, after Obama’s speech too. Personally I think Mubarak feels like a slaughtered ox that tries to throw its blood over its slaughterers; he feels like Nero, who wants to burn Egypt before his removal, trying to make people believe he’s a synonym for stability, safety and security. In this way he has really made some progress. The holy national alliance now has been formed against Tahrirites (Tahrir protesters) and Commune de Tahrir.

Many people are saying, especially middle class people, that the demonstrations must end because Egypt has been burned, famine has begun, and it’s not true at all. It’s only an exaggeration. Every revolution has its difficulties, and Mubarak is using fear and terror to stay longer. Personally I’m saying even if the protesters were responsible for this situation, even if this is so, Mubarak must

Read the whole interview here.

American Rosa Novarro talks about her arrest and how she and her friends were pressured by the military to confess to being journalists or spies.  It seems the latest tactic of the regime is to circulate conspiracy theories reagrding foreigners and spies infiltrating the protests.

Check out the terrible BBC coverage of the latest protests which put the numbers of demonstrators at “more than 100,000″ which is rather underestimating the turnout.  Additionally, preference and emphasis was given to Obama’s repeated speech instead of the continuing protests.  I wonder if the BBC haved decided enough is enough.





Expression

6 03 2010

A teenager has been arrested for listening to rap music in his card with the Windows down, while waiting for his mother.

Arrested for listening to explicit rap

A TEENAGER has been arrested for listening to what police deemed to be offensive rap music.

In what could be a legal test case, Nathan Michael Wilkie, 19, faces one charge of offensive behaviour after police arrested him while he was listening to music by underground rapper Kid Selzy on his car stereo.

Wilkie was parked outside a supermarket in Timboon, near Warrnambool, waiting for his mother, when he was arrested.

The Warrnambool Magistrates Court heard Wilkie was listening to rap with explicit lyrics such as “shut your f . . . . . . mouth bitch, f. . . motherf. . . . .”

The court was told the arresting officers found the music offensive and derogatory to females.

Mr Wilkie allegedly told officers: “You’re a joke, go do some real police work”.

The teenager is believed to be the first person charged under Australian law with offensive behaviour for listening to music.

Wilkie plans to plead not guilty when his case continues on June 11.

In a statement, Wilkie said he was thankful to have the support of Kid Selzy, who planned to attend the June hearing.

“As Selzy said, `I know what I mean and the people who buy it know what I mean, and that’s what really matters’,” Wilkie said.

“I have lost two of my best mates in the last couple of years in tragic circumstances and I feel that listening to his music relates to life.”

Kid Selzy, who gave his real name only as Jack, said he was astounded at the arrest. “It’s a joke that some kid’s been arrested for doing something that’s not illegal,” he said.

“It’s not illegal to have your windows down or to buy a CD. It seems to be a waste of taxpayers’ dollars. If profanity’s not your thing, don’t listen.”

And South Australian Attorney General Michael Atkinson, gets his Christian religious crazy on, yet again.

A GROUP that says video games and violence are like smoking and lung cancer has received tens of thousands of dollars in funding from SA Attorney-General and outspoken R18+ game critic Michael Atkinson.

An expert from the Australian Council on Children and the Media this week told a TV news program the link between violent games and youth violence was stronger than tobacco and cancer.

“It’s much greater than the effect of smoking on lung cancer,” psychologist Dr Wayne Warburton said.

It’s the strongest claim yet in the war of words over video game ratings which has heated up after a call for public input on the issue that drew 55,000 submissions.

A spokesman for Mr Atkinson told news.com.au his department provided an annual grant to the council under its trading name Young Media Australia.

The grant is to support a project called “Know Before You Go” that offers parents information about which films are suitable for children.

Relevance, you may ask?  Well this ties into the whole attitude of Australian instititutions towards censorship and expression.








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