The Tunisia effect: where next?

Submitted by Mark. on January 29, 2011

On twitter

Syrians inspired by both tunisia and Egypt are planning a collective protest against their corrupt Government on #Feb5

Calls for anti-regime protests in #Algeria on 12 February http://bit.ly/fUx1SZ (in Arabic)

The Syrian and Sudanese have set their revolution dates already?! Four down, eighteen more to go! #ArabRevolutions

Spanish TV TVE just reported troops in #Morocco were mobilised from Sahara to #Rabat & #Casablanca.

The first of these protests will be in the Sudan

KHARTOUM, SUDAN —

A group of young Sudanese activists proclaim January 30, 2011 to be the beginning of peaceful demonstrations to bring down the military regime in Sudan. This campaign is calling on all sectors of Sudanese to get out January 30th and demonstrate in the streets of Sudan's most populated cities. The largest assembly and demonstration will take place on Palace Street, which is located a few meters from the presidential palace of Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir. The invitation for the demonstration excludes the leaders of the traditional opposition parties who are not willing to confront the Islamic military regime, which has been ruling Sudan since 1989.

The call for this action came one day after the leader of the Umma Party, Mr. Alsadiq Al-mahdi, announced that he would continue peaceful dialogue with the current government. His speech is widely regarded by most young Sudanese, including members of the Umma party, as disappointing and lacking insight into the systematic destruction of the country by Al-Bashir`s government. His political views show that he continues to disengage himself from the issues vital to Sudanese activists.  This call for demonstrations coincides with the 116th anniversary of the liberation of Khartoum by Imam Mohammed Ahmed al-Mahdi on January 26, 1885, great grandfather of Mr. Alsadiq Al-Mahdi. Their intent is to peacefully express anger at the decades of corruption, violence, and human right violations, which led to the separation of the South and which could lead to the potential separation of the West.

It is no secret that the young people who have called for the demonstration have seen what has happened in Tunisia and Egypt, where young generations have loudly spoken against unemployment and political marginalization.

We would like to be clear that this is a call for removal of this government.

In a statement, on its Facebook page, the Liberal Democratic Party, represented by Mr. Adel Abd Atti and Ms. Noor Tour, invite all members to participate in the demonstration, planned for January 30th.

It is time to change the face of Sudan and to end decades of injustice, marginalization, and corruption.

Yesterday there was a demo in Mauritania in support of the uprising in Egypt.

Plusieurs centaines de Mauritaniens ont manifesté vendredi soir à Nouakchott pour exprimer leur soutien aux manifestants égyptiens, a constaté un correspondant de Xinhua.

Deux marches piétonne et motorisée ont parcouru l’avenue Nasser, principal artère de la capitale mauritanienne, scandant des slogans hostiles au président égyptien Hosni Moubarak.

Les manifestants ont également appelé le président Moubarak à "quitter le pouvoir et à laisser au peuple égyptien la liberté de choisir ses dirigeants". Les marcheurs qui se sont rassemblés devant l’ambassade d’Egypte à Nouakchott ont condamné la répression policière, dont ont été victimes les manifestants égyptiens avec lesquels ils ont exprimé toute leur solidarité.

Ces marches, qui se sont déroulées dans la discipline, étaient suivies par les forces de l’ordre.

rooieravotr

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by rooieravotr on January 30, 2011

From Raw Story, based on AFP:

More than 10,000 protesters marched against authorities in Algeria's northeastern city of Bejaia on Saturday, organisers said, in the country's latest rally inspired by neighbouring Tunisia.

Demonstrators marched peacefully in the city in Algeria's Berber-speaking Kabylie region, shouting Tunisia-inspired slogans such as: "For a radical change of the regime!," a lawmaker with the opposition Rally for Culture and Democracy (RCD), Mohamed Ikhervane, told AFP.

"The protest gathered more than 10,000 people," said RCD leader Said Sadi, whose group organised the rally.

Police were out in force around the city but protesters dispersed calmly, Ikhervane said.

Separately, pro-democracy group the Algerian League for the Defence of Human Rights (LADDH) said it plans a new march in Algiers on February 12.

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on January 30, 2011

Report on the EA liveblog

0900 GMT: Reports coming in of an anti-Government demonstration in Sudan. A participant, who says there were up to a 100 protesters, sends the message, "Riot police attacked us. Numbers started to build up. Protesters are spreading into smaller groups in internal streets."

http://twitter.com/simsimt

CNN: Sudanese police, students clash in the capital http://bit.ly/enpk3q #Sudan

Thousands? RT @ykhogaly: Thousands of demonstrators are still in the center of Khartoum regrouping after tens of arrests, tear gas & beating

Epic moment of demo: college girl shouting at employees watching from distant at bank's doorstep: Why don't you join us? Aren't you men?

http://sudan30january.blogspot.com/ (in Arabic)

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on January 30, 2011

Facebook for Syria protests (in Arabic)

http://www.facebook.com/pages/ywm-alghdb-alswry/147151028676674?v=wall

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on January 30, 2011

Breaking news: The facebook-organized protests have begun in Khartoum. Stay tuned for continuous updates

Edited to add:

Whether this will actually blow up to the same level we’ve seen in Tunisia and Egypt is something that remains to be seen. After all these recent events, nothing seems far fetched anymore.

There’s real anger, and rising prices and economic hardships are starting to sting people including those who are usually politically apathetic. Plus, with the results of the referendum, the South going bye bye, and weak opposition parties remaining, Northerners realize they’re going to be left all alone to deal with the government.

We’ve done it before twice, toppling two military dictatorships in 1964 and 1985, and it may just happen again if the people rise up.

UPDATE: Here’s a recently uploaded video of students from Khartoum University’s Faculty of Medicine protesting.

[youtube]Hj5-Z9EkgTo[/youtube]

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on January 30, 2011

Sudan police clash with protesters (Al Jazeera)

Anti-government demonstrators in Khartoum faced riot police in protests inspired by those in Egypt and Tunisia.

Sudanese police have beaten and arrested students as protests broke out throughout Khartoum demanding the government resign, inspired by a popular uprising in neighbouring Egypt.

Hundreds of armed riot police on Sunday broke up groups of young Sudanese demonstrating in central Khartoum and surrounded the entrances of four universities in the capital, firing teargas and beating students at three of them.

Police beat students with batons as they chanted anti-government slogans such as "we are ready to die for Sudan" and "revolution, revolution until victory".

There were further protests in North Kordofan capital el-Obeid in Sudan's west, where around 500 protesters engulfed the market before police used tear gas to disperse them, three witnesses said.

"They were shouting against the government and demanding change," said witness Ahmed who declined to give his full name.

Sudan has a close affinity with Egypt - the two countries were united under British colonial rule. The unprecedented scenes there inspired calls for similar action in Sudan, where protests without permission, which is rarely given, are illegal.

Before Tunisia's popular revolt, Sudan was the last Arab country to overthrow a leader with popular protests, ousting Jaafar Nimeiri in 1985.

Groups have emerged on social networking sites calling themselves "Youth for Change" and "The Spark", since the uprisings in nearby Tunisia and close ally Egypt this month.

"Youth for Change" has attracted more than 15,000 members.

"The people of Sudan will not remain silent any more," its Facebook page said. "It is about time we demand our rights and take what's ours in a peaceful demonstration that will not involve any acts of sabotage."

The pro-democracy group Girifna ("We're fed up") said nine members were detained the night before the protest and opposition party officials listed almost 40 names of protesters arrested on Sunday. Five were injured, they added.

Opposition leader Mubarak al-Fadil told Reuters two of his sons were arrested on their way to the central protest.

Editor-in-chief of the al-Wan daily paper Hussein Khogali said his daughter had been detained by security forces since 0500 GMT accused of organising the Facebook-led protest.

Pro-government newspapers carried front page warnings against protests which they said would cause chaos and turmoil...

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on January 30, 2011

The Syrians are watching (Al Jazeera)

In the tea shops and internet cafes of Damascus, Syrians are asking what events in Egypt may mean for them.

In one of Old Damascus' new cafes, text messages buzzed between mobiles in quick succession, drawing woops of joy and thumbs up from astonished Syrians.

Suzan Mubarak, the wife of the Egyptian president, had flown into exile with her son - so the rumours went - driven out of the country by days of unprecedented protest against the 30-year rule of her husband.

The news from Cairo brought a flutter of excitement to this country, founded on principles so similar to Egypt that the two nations were once joined as one.

Like Egypt, Syria has been ruled for decades by a single party, with a security service that maintains an iron grip on its citizens. Both countries have been struggling to reform economies stifled for generations by central control in an effort to curb unemployment among a ballooning youth demographic.

Could the domino effect that spread from the streets of Tunis to Cairo soon hit Damascus? ...

Submitted by Mike Harman on January 31, 2011

Mark.

[youtube]Hj5-Z9EkgTo[/youtube]

That chant sounds suspiciously like "No ifs, no buts, no education cuts". Someone with better (i.e. at all) video skills than me should make a compilation video.

Mark. did you change your username recently? If so would you pm me your old one?

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 1, 2011

Mike - I've sent you a pm.

Sudan student dies in clashes (Al Jazeera)

Protesters say he was beaten by police amid anti-government demonstrations in Khartoum and died of his wounds.

A student who was beaten by police during violent anti-government demonstrations in Khartoum, Sudan's capital, has died of his wounds in Omdurman hospital, protesters have said.

"Mohammed Abdulrahman, from Ahlia University, died last night in Omdurman hospital as a result of his ... wounds after he was beaten by police," said an activist who took part in Sunday's protests.

"This morning (Monday) both Ahlia University and the Islamic University of Omdurman have been closed by a government decision," said the activist, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Two other students said Abdulrahman had fallen during the clashes and was taken to the hospital, where medics informed them that he had died early on Monday.

"Medical sources confirmed to us that the student died yesterday from his injuries inflicted by security forces," said Yasir Arman, the top official in the north of south Sudan's main party, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM).

Arman condemned the use of force and said the students were trying to hold peaceful demonstrations.

The Omdurman hospital morgue declined to comment on the death.

Witnesses said at least six universities in the capital and Sudan's regions were surrounded on Monday by hundreds of heavily armed police, preventing students from leaving the grounds.

University students in three towns in the north tried to escape to protest but were quickly arrested or beaten back by armed police, they said.

Sunday's demonstrations followed calls by the "30 January" Facebook group for Sudanese youth to take to the streets and stage peaceful anti-government rallies across Sudan.

The Facebook group, which has around 17,000 members, confirmed Abdulrahman had died, referring to him as a "martyr" who followed in the footsteps of another student killed in the October 1964 popular uprising that toppled the military regime then in power.

"Al-Gorashy was a martyr for us. And you are our martyr now, Mohammed Abdulrahman," it said in large red lettering. 

Protesters on Sunday were confronted by a heavy police presence in different parts of Khartoum and Omdurman, and in El-Obeid, aabout 600km west of the capital.

The ensuing clashes resulted in at least 64 arrests and left many wounded.

...

The demonstrations came after nearly a week of turmoil in Egypt, and coincided with the first complete preliminary results from this month's vote on independence for south Sudan, which confirmed a landslide for secession.

In Omdurman, just across the Nile from Khartoum, around 1,000 demonstrators shouted slogans against Omar al-Bashir, the president, and hurled rocks at riot  police, who retaliated with tear gas and batons.



At the medical faculty of Khartoum University, security officers tried to prevent about 300 student protesters from leaving the campus, but they eventually forced their way out onto the street, shouting: "Revolution against dictatorship!"



Police and security officers attacked them with batons, arresting several and forcing the students back inside the university compound, which was later surrounded by more than 20 police trucks.

On Monday, journalists said security forces prevented the opposition Ajras al-Huriya and the independent al-Sahafa newspapers from being distributed after they wrote about the protests.

"Security came to the printing press and stopped the paper going out," said Fayez al-Silaik, deputy editor of Ajras al- Huriya, adding his paper was targeted because it had a front page article on the protests.

Dozens of students including two sons of opposition politician Mubarak al-Fadil were arrested and many remain detained, activists and opposition officials said on Monday.

Widespread economic and political discontent has provoked sporadic street protests in north Sudan in recent weeks, with the security forces maintaining tight control in Khartoum.

Like Egypt, Sudan is also deep in economic crisis after a bloated import bill has eaten up foreign currency and forced an effective currency devaluation which sparked rising inflation.

This month the government cut subsidies on petroleum products and sugar, a key commodity in Sudan, sparking smaller protests throughout the north.

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 1, 2011

Thousands of Syrians vow a protest against al-Assad

Thousands of Syrians have joined a Facebook group to call for a protest against their president on Friday, February 4, echoing Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution and Egypt’s Day of Rage on January 25. 


The group named “the Syria Revolution 2011,” is planning rallying young people in a march to protest against the Ba’thist regime led by Bashar al-Assad after Friday’s prayer.

The group described al-Assad’s rule as dictatorship and showed torture YouTube videos of political dissident in the country.



The group also called for civil disobedience, and encouraged “all of the brave Syrian youth, from all factions and social classes and from all provinces” to “not be silent about oppression.” ...

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 1, 2011

Algeria: confirmation of march In Algiers, 12 February. Call out by "National Coordination for Change and Democracy, which groups the autonomous unions, opposition movements and civil society organisations".

La marcha del 12 de febrero en Argel, una apuesta por un cambio social en Argelia

Finalmente la marcha por el cambio ha sido fijada para el 12 de febrero en Argel por la Coordinación nacional para el cambio y la democracia, que agrupa al sindicalismo autónomo, a movimientos de oposición y organizaciones de la sociedad civil.

Esta coordinación, nacida el 21 de enero a raíz de las revueltas de principios de enero que provocaron cinco muertes y más de 800 heridos, había anunciado su intención de organizar una marcha en torno el 9 de febrero, fecha aniversario de la proclamación del estado de urgencia en Argelia.

El Presidente de honor de la Liga argelina para la defensa de los derechos humanos (LADDH), Ali Yahia Abdenour, anunció la fecha de la marcha para el sábado 12 de febrero, tras la reunión celebrada el viernes 28 de la coordinación, con participación de más de 200 personas en una reunión de aproximadamente 200 personas, viernes. El cambio de fecha se debe a que el sábado es día festivo por lo que la participación de l@s trabajador@s puede ser mucho mayor.

A partir de la reivindicación central, el levantamiento del estado de urgencia, instaurado hace 19 años, el planteamiento fundamental es “le départ du système", es decir, el cambio. Basándose en los ejemplos de Túnez y Egipto, se ha decidido adoptar el lema " sistema dégage" , haciendo hincapié en las reivindicaciones económicas y sociales, incluido el desempleo de los jóvenes (más del 20% de parad@s) y la escasez de vivienda, causas de la mayoría de las revueltas.

La marcha comenzará el sábado 12 de febrero a las 11 de la mañana en la plaza 1º de mayo para ir hasta la Plaza de los Mártires, al puie de la Casba y junto a Bad-el-oued, aunque el itinerario concreto se comunicará dios días antes, ya que se espera que la marcha sea prohibida, como lo fue la del RCD del día 22 de enero...

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 1, 2011

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010–2011_Arab_world_protests

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 1, 2011

Oman protestors call for fight against corruption

Around 200 Omanis took to the streets on Monday [17 January] to demonstrate against corruption and high food prices, it has been reported.

Despite protests and trade unions being largely prohibited in the Gulf, police did not intervene in the protest, said the newswire AFP.

Protesters chanted slogans calling for an end to corruption and carried banners saying “Rising prices have destroyed the dreams of ordinary citizens”.

The crowd, which gathered outside the housing ministry, were reported to have been calling for higher wages and fixed costs for basic food items, which have dramatically risen amid the global downturn.

The Omani demonstration comes days after a revolt in Tunisia which toppled the 23-year presidency of Zine Al Abidine Bin Ali.

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 1, 2011

Sudan follow-up: more protests on Monday, big march called for Thursday

After Sunday's protests of hundreds throughout Sudan, with at least one student dying in clashes, some development on Monday....

Journalists said security forces prevented the opposition Ajras al-Huriya and the independent al-Sahafa newspapers from being distributed after they wrote about the protests.

A Facebook hub for the opposition posted messages of demonstrations such as "Launched demonstrations now in Kosti". Later postings spoke of a protest, starting from Jackson Square in Khartoum, honouring the funeral of Mohamed Abdelrahman, the demonstrator killed on Sunday. There were claims, via a Twitter activist and via Facebook, of beatings by police and more detentions in both Kosti and Khartoum.

The activists have now called for marches on Thursday, posting the following message:

We are young men and women of Sudan

We call on all to bring down the system, which has become an obstacle to the development of the country and we demand a pluralistic democratic system...for all states of Sudan, finding a just and comprehensive solution to the issue of Darfur and holding accountable perpetrators of crimes in this region.

We call on citizens to live with a decent resolution of economic hardship and for the alleviation of the suffering with an adjustment of prices and an end to unemployment.

We call on the junta to try to end corrupt and recover the people's money and to restore freedom and the dignity of our citizens.

The main image on the Facebook site mobilising protest has altered, featuring this message, "We won't let you die in vain --- Mohammad Abdel Rahman, martyr of the popular intifada. May God have mercy on his soul."

ocelot

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on February 1, 2011

re Algeria

le Parisien: Début d'une série de grèves en Algérie

Even if the street seems quiet since the riots in early January, Algeria bubbles also. A series of strikes is scheduled to begin this Tuesday across the country. movements of paramedic and education staff claiming wage increases are announced while the opposition is calling for a march on February 12 in Algiers, to demand "the departure of the system."

The Union of Algerian Paramedics (SAP) wants to pressure the Ministry of Health in providing the minimum service in major hospitals. The staff of Education followed suit in calling for a rally outside the department. They particularly wanted a salary increase and a rise in perfromance bonus.

The unemployed are to provide their share on February 6 with a protest outside the headquarters of the Ministry of Labour in Algiers, where they intend to file a platform of demands.

These movements of discontent occur at a crucial moment for the country where the revolution in Tunisia and Egypt is being scrutinized by the government which fears a serious contamination. The all-new National Coordination for Change and Democracy, which includes opposition movements and civil society organizations, called for a big march in the capital on February 12.

Unauthorized demonstrations

This coordination, born January 21 in the wake of riots in early January that killed five people and injured over 1000, demands the lifting of emergency rule, established 19 years ago, but especially "the departure of the system .

The coordination, which includes the Rally for Culture and Democracy (RCD Opposition) expects government approval for the march to be refused. The Algerian Interior Minister Dahou Ould Kablia recalled Sunday that no contract shall be authorized by the authorities in Algiers, in an interview with French daily Liberté. The Minister explained that the ban on marches were justified by security reasons.

On 22 January, a demonstration of the opposition RCD, was severely repressed by the authorities. Clashes between protesters and security forces have made a fifty wounded including seven policemen.

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 1, 2011

Sudan update

Sudanese students defied arrests and beatings on Tuesday, pressing ahead with anti-government protests inspired by demonstrations in neighboring Egypt.

Opposition activists blame the government for rising food prices and have been protesting since Sunday around the country. They plan more demonstrations on February 3.

On Tuesday, some 200 students demonstrated outside al-Nilein university in Khartoum before hundreds of police beat them back and surrounded the university buildings with 20 vehicles.

Late on Monday students in Gezira, Sudan's farming heartland, and young people in the busy Khartoum suburb of al-Kalakla gathered chanting slogans against rising prices and repression.

"These ongoing rights violations are a pattern to silence dissident voices and limit access to information," the African Center for Justice and Peace Studies said in a statement.

"The responses undertaken by police forces...exemplify the extent to which the (ruling party) are unwilling to tolerate any other voices on the road to democratic transformation."

It said police had detained more than 100 people on the first day and arrests were continuing with people also being taken from their homes and offices. Activists are struggling to keep track of how many of their members have been detained...

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 1, 2011

Syrian revolution on facebook

The Syrian Revolution 2011 الثورة السورية ضد بشار الاسد GO To Twitter Now and Share Our Page PLEASE!!! http://on.fb.me/Syrians Dont Forget the hash's #sharek #SyrianRevolution
Also please Send SMS Now To the Syrians By the country code 009639 Follow by any 8 Random numbers. Tell them we are going after the Friday Prayer for the Syrian Anger Dyay For Your FREEDOM infront of all Syrian Embassy's...DO IT NOW!! also in twitter...GO!

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 1, 2011

Senegal government seeks to avoid the Tunisian scenario

Friday, 14 January 2011

As Tunisians await the outcome of their rather rewarding protests, after weeks of demonstrations that ended the rule of their authoritarian leadership, the government of Senegal is searching for a suitable way of avoiding a similar situation.

President Abdoulaye Wade has reportedly tasked his government to figure out proposals to lower prices of basic commodities. This announcement was done Friday, as the Tunisian protest on similar grounds approached its climax.

Wade, according to a statement released by the cabinet, "expressed great concern about the high prices of essential commodities." The statement said he had therefore instructed his prime minister, Souleymane Ndene Ndiaye and the ministers of finance and commerce "to promptly submit possible proposals suitable to lower prices to relieve households."

Amid threats of action by the authorities, opposition politicians have since been nursing the idea of taking to the streets in protest of the rising prices of basic food stuffs in the country. The latest date for that protest has now been put at Tuesday.

Rise in prices of foodstuff and gas, which is mainly used for cooking, coupled with the country’s prevalent electricity problem, could be a perfect recipe for unrest in a country that is already engulfed in a messy political situation.

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 1, 2011

Mid-East contagion fears for Saudi oil fields

"Yemen, Sudan, Jordan and Syria all look vulnerable. However, the greatest risk in terms of both probability and severity is in Saudi Arabia," said a report by risk consultants Exclusive Analysis.

While markets have focused on possible disruption to the Suez Canal, conduit for 8pc of global shipping, it is unlikely that Egyptian leaders of any stripe would cut off an income stream worth $5bn (£3.1bn) a year to the Egyptian state.

"I don't think the Egyptians will ever dare to touch it," said Opec chief Abdalla El-Badri, adding that the separate Suez oil pipeline is "very well protected". The canal was blockaded after the Six Days War in 1967.

There has been less focus on the risk of instability spreading to Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province, headquarters of the Saudi oil giant Aramco. The region boasts the vast Safaniya, Shaybah and Ghawar oilfields. "This is potentially far more dangerous," said Faysal Itani, Mid-East strategist at Exclusive...

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 2, 2011

Libya: calls for protest on 17 February

Sandwiched between Tunisia, as it surmounts the impossible, and Egypt, as it wakes the sleeping giant, Libya has been, for the last 41 years, seemingly acquiescent to Gaddafi’s regime, despite its remarkable, historical struggle for independence against Mussolini’s Italy. Since the earliest days of the Tunisian uprising, many people have speculated as to whether the Sidi Bouzid contagion would infect the Libyan masses. When news of unrest over a ‘housing situation’ leaked via YouTube, many scrambled to follow further developments.

And then it was silent.

Libyan citizens, activists and members of the media struggled to navigate the Libyan black hole, eager to confirm any information that trickled out.  It became exceptionally difficult to discern whether or not a Libyan uprising was in the making and to distinguish rumor from reality.  Even under ‘normal’ circumstances, sources inside of Libya are scarce.  As the potential for mass protests mount and the regime continues to execute its counter strategy, those sources have become even harder to access.  As Egypt absorbs the majority of the world’s attention, there are promising developments that could bring us good news—the real possibility of Libyans demanding what they have been denied for decades as more and more Libyans inside and outside the country call for nationwide protests on February the 17th.

...

And finally, there has been some activity on the internet and on-the-ground suggesting that Libyans are organizing a day of protest, similar to that seen in Egypt, for the 17th of February.  Students in Benghazi, for example, have posted a press release calling on all Libyans to join them on the 17th. A Facebook page has recently been established in support of this day of solidarity.  There are also reports of protest supporters in Tripoli.  The large distances between Tripoli and Benghazi, both in regards to space and living conditions, have historically prevented uprisings that start in Benghazi to spread to Tripoli or even those that start in Libya’s south to spread northward.  Support in Tripoli is, therefore, promising news.

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 2, 2011

Facebook page for revolution in Morocco

Enough torture, enough oppression, enough monarchy. We the people of Morocco want a revolution to overthrow King Mohammed VI. We want freedom and democracy. Just like our sisters and brothers in Egypt and Tunisia we will rise against the tyrant regime.

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 3, 2011

[youtube]ijG0CXxlSrk[/youtube]

xslavearcx

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by xslavearcx on February 3, 2011

is there anything significant happening in saudi??

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 3, 2011

Nothing I've heard of as yet though I haven't really looked for information. There has been unrest from the Shia minority in the past and I've seen the suggestion somewhere that the Iranian government's position of support for the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt is linked to an attempt to destabilise Saudi. I don't know enough to say whether there's any truth in this.

xslavearcx

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by xslavearcx on February 3, 2011

thanks mark :)

Entdinglichung

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on February 3, 2011

therer were some protests by unemployed teachers in early January:

http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2011/02/03/saudi-arabia-riddle-of-the-regime/ & http://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFTRE7081FW20110109

Boris Badenov

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Boris Badenov on February 3, 2011

3 February - Algerians are active planning for protests similar to those in Tunisia and Egypt. A great march is announced for 12 February. But the Algiers government threatens to react as harshly as Mubarak in Egypt.

Several opposition groups in Algeria have called for mass protests in the Algerian capital Algiers on Saturday 12 February. The call comes from the political opposition, human rights groups, trade unions, student organisations and an association of the unemployed.

The groups' main demand is the lifting of Algeria's 19-year-old state of emergency, which has allowed the regime to limit political activities and human rights. They further demand the widening of the right to establish political parties, improved social welfare and democracy.

Contrary to most of the earlier unrests in Algeria - which regularly are violently suppressed by the army - it is neither the Berber minority nor the large Islamist opposition standing behind the call for protests. It is the same population groups that organised the Tunisia and Egypt protests.

This was also made clear in choosing a Saturday for the announced Algiers protest marches, not a Friday, which easily could have mobilised Islamists after the Friday prayers. The new opposition seems mostly secular and Arab.

Potentials for a social upheaval in Algeria are seen as enormous. While labour conditions have rapidly improved over the last years, youth unemployment is still exceeding 20 percent, according to official statistics. Most observers believe it is much higher, although below youth unemployment rates in other North African countries.

Early in January - responding to the unrest in Tunisia and triggered by significant price increases of basic food items - spontaneous protests broke out in Algeria. "But the authorities were able to take rapid measures to reduce these prices with the temporary elimination of custom duties and the value-added tax on those items," according to Algiers IMF mission head Joël Toujas-Bernaté.

But not only these social polices paused the Algeria unrests. On 22 January, police were ordered to stop and disperse protesters in Algiers. Several were injured in the clashes as police troops made it clear they would not allow any dissent.

The 22 January manifestations had demanded wider democratic and human rights in the country, with slogans calling for the freedom of assembly and expression. Further slogans called for President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

The announced slogans for the planned 12 February protests are less provocative, but still call for wider political and human rights.

But Algerian acting Prime Minister Nouredine Yazid Zerhouni yesterday made it clear that such protests would be treated heavy-handedly, emphasising they were illegal. Whoever called for the protests later must "take on responsibility if damage should occur or if things get out of control," he warned in front of journalists.

Mr Zerhouni added that it was necessary to maintain the age-old state of emergency in place, given the threat of Al Qaeda and other militant Islamist movements in Algeria. The state of emergency originally was put in place during an Islamist uprising, 19 years ago, which was brutally crushed by the army, leaving over 100,000 dead.

The Algerian army, mostly seen as very loyal to President Bouteflika, has a long history of crushing revolts and uprisings. Most significantly, it fought a brutal civil war against - even more brutal - Islamists in the 1990s. But it has also crushes several local riots, often organised by the mostly rural Berber people.

Many therefore fear that a popular uprising in Algeria could become especially bloody. Others however hold that Algerian army privates would react in the same way as in Egypt if ordered to shoot at people like themselves.

Algeria has one of North Africa's most liberal media policies, with critical media existing, good access to foreign broadcasters such as 'Al Jazeera' and uncensored internet and mobile phone net access. There are repeated attacks on critical journalists, but generally, Algerians are free to receive information. The unrest in Egypt is well known and watched with great interest in the country.

The brutal attacks on protesters in Cairo yesterday however could spread fears about the consequences of a popular uprising in Algeria. The Algerian population to a large degree is exhausted by decades of insecurity, although mostly fed up with the Bouteflika regime.
http://www.afrol.com/articles/37221

Valeriano Orob…

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Valeriano Orob… on February 3, 2011

The groups' main demand is the lifting of Algeria's 19-year-old state of emergency, which has allowed the regime to limit political activities and human rights.

It has already been lifted according to al-arabiya breaking news i posted in the egypt thread and it has just been confirmed in al-jazeera live stream too.

Valeriano Orob…

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Valeriano Orob… on February 3, 2011

It keeps being confirmed in al-arabiya stream by all contributors

ocelot

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on February 3, 2011

random opinion from Saudi

The Arab Revolution’s effect on Saudis

With what’s going on right now in Yemen, Jordan, Syria, Tunis and Egypt, I get a lot of questions about how Saudis are taking it and what’s the reaction. The short answer is they are shocked and captivated but haven’t made up their minds about any of it.
[...]
They are watching, though. All over the country, all these Saudis who rarely watch or read the news and their only interests in doing so are for more local social openness or conservativeness (depending on their background), are now carefully observing what’s going on in neighboring countries. Saudis who didn’t know what the channel number for AlJazeera News was on their receivers now have it saved on their favorites list. University and high school students are now watching the news and social media feeds in their study breaks instead of an episode of Friends. It’s a new atmosphere. The thing lacking is analysis or a discussion on what it means for us.

Entdinglichung

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on February 3, 2011

Morocco?

http://www.spsrasd.info/en/detail.php?id=16315

Rabat (Morocco), February 2, 2011 (SPS) - Following the developments in Tunisia and Egypt, Moroccan youth groups have started organising the first protest marches in the country to demand political reform and greater human rights in Morocco, afrol News reported Tuesday.

The first mass protests have already been organised in Morocco. On Sunday, the group ATTAC Morocco staged a larger demonstration in the northern city of Tangiers, with protesters focusing on "the deterioration of social conditions and high basic food prices."

The Tangier protest however was brutally stopped by security forces, according to eyewitnesses. Batons and tear gas were used to disperse demonstrators who had gathered in the Square of Nations in central Tangier. Protesters had chanted slogans of solidarity with the people of Tunisia and Egypt, demanding a "right to employment, housing and a decent life."

But Moroccan protesters have not given up, despite the brutal response by security forces. Today, there are reports from the capital, Rabat, about demonstrations in front of the Egyptian Embassy, with hundreds of protesters chanting slogans in solidarity of their counterparts in Egypt.

Further protests are now being prepared by a magnitude of groups in Morocco.

A group of young Moroccans is currently spreading the protest call through the social network Facebook, calling for demonstrations on 27 February "in front of the prefectures and the wilayas in all regions and central authorities in cities and villages, to demand the freedom of political organisation, the alternation of power and human rights."

The so-called "Movement for Freedom and Democracy Now" in a statement specifies that this protest is "part of a spontaneous global transformation that aims at giving people their rightful place in society," further calling for democracy, freedom and the adherence to popular will.

According to the statement, there is a list of demands including "the abolition of the current constitution, dissolve parliament and government, parties who have contributed to the consolidation of political corruption and take immediate real action for a political transition."

The organisers further refer to "the terrible conditions of poverty, unemployment and human rights violations and restrictions on freedom of press" in Morocco. Morocco is known to be the poorest and least developed state in North Africa, facing enormous social problems.

Also other organisations are calling for protests. A grouping of the political opposition, trade unions, human rights organisations and an association of the unemployed has issued a statement calling for rallies and demonstrations to be held next Saturday, 5 February.

Also, the Labor Council of the Democratic Labour Confederation of Morocco has called for Sunday 6 February to be a day of protest. Marches are planned for in the south-eastern town of Ouarzazate "to protest the inhumane living conditions in Morocco."

As the calls for protests are widening in Morocco, the regime is increasingly insecure. King Mohammed VI has met with French government officials and his most trusted military leaders in his private chateau outside Paris to discuss the security situation.

Several unconfirmed reports from Morocco and occupied Western Sahara agree that security forces now are being pulled out from the occupied territory to be deployed in Morocco-proper in preparation of a possible popular revolt.

The reported regrouping of Moroccan troops may leave Western Sahara - a territory whose indigenous Saharawi population is always ready to revolt - open to rebellion. Security forces stationed in Western Sahara are famed for great brutality against civilians, which could bode unwell for protesters trying to organise marches in Morocco. (SPS)

baboon

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on February 3, 2011

According to the ICC's French website a strike by hundreds of phosphate workers in Algeria started yesterday over pay and conditions. The day before saw strikes of paramedics and education workers followed by between 80 and 100% of the workers involved from the country to the cities.
Thousands of students have taken to the streets denouncing the "assassins" of the government and shouting slogans against corruption.

Mike Harman

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on February 4, 2011

Not sure if it was on here yet, but Senegal implemented price adjustment measures, didn't see any sign it was in response to protests in Senegal, looked more like a 'just in case' measure, but that's the first I've heard from sub-saharan Africa in terms of responses.

Light relief, nice animation but the voice over is lacking:

http://www.markfiore.com/political-cartoons/watch-egypt-middle-east-revolution-mubarak-yemen-saudi-arabia-animated-video-mark-fiore-animation

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 4, 2011

The Syrian Revolution 2011 الثورة السورية ضد بشار الاسد For All Major European Cities, Canada & USA & Australia: We Are going to Protest Today on the 4th of Feb For the Syrians Freedom. Starts at 1pm In front of All the Syrian Embassies there. Go now and tell all your friends to be there EVEN if they are not from Syria. Thousands of confirmed Protesters are coming. SPREAD THE WORD! Today at 1PM..... GO!

Khawaga

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on February 4, 2011

I think the Angry Arab had something on Bahrain as well. Can't find it now though... I should've posted it when I read it. Seems like the Bahraini govt. is trying to preempt protests by increasing food subsidies...

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 4, 2011

Angry Arab correspondent on Bahrain

Bahrain Online on facebook

February 14 statement

We, the Bahraini youth, from all different sects and backgrounds, call the people to unify their position and demand their rights. We call on Bahrainis to take to the streets on Monday 14 February in a peaceful and orderly manner. The time of waiting has ended, and the time of action is now. If we do not demand our rights by our own hands then no one will grant them to us. We have witnessed our brothers in Tunisia and Egypt carry the banner of freedom and justice. For what is the value of life without freedom? And how will we have our dignity without justice? Change will not come without sacrifice, so let us sacrifice for the sake of our future and the future of our people...

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 5, 2011

Algeria opposition bent on protest despite government move

Algerian opposition groups said on Friday they would probably go ahead with a planned protest march next week despite promises from the president to heed some of their demands and allow more political freedoms. President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, keen to stop uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia spreading to his energy-exporting state, said on Thursday he would give the opposition air time on television and soon lift a 19-year-old state of emergency.



"I believe we will march as Bouteflika's new measures did not convince us," said Rachid Malawi, head of the independent union of civil servants and one of the protest organizers.



"I don't think this government is serious about implementing democracy in Algeria," he told Reuters.

A coalition of civil society groups, small trade unions and some opposition parties had been planning to hold a protest march in the capital on Feb. 12 to demand a change of government and reforms including the lifting of emergency powers.



The protest is not backed by Algeria's main trade unions or the biggest opposition forces -- the FFS party and Islamist parties which were banned in the early 1990s but still retain some influence.



Officials have said they will not give permission for a march for reasons of public order, potentially setting the stage for clashes with riot police. The authorities have said the protesters can instead hold a protest in a designated venue.



"We will march because Bouteflika did not accept our demand to lift the state of emergency without conditions," said Mohsen Belabes, a spokesman for the opposition RCD party.



"Algiers is the safest city in Algeria but Bouteflika is against allowing marches in Algiers.

"

The state of emergency had been cited as the grounds for banning marches across Algeria, but Bouteflika said on Thursday that restriction would stay in force in the capital.



Several members of the opposition coalition told Reuters they would meet in the next few days to reach a final decision on the protest and what form it would take…

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 5, 2011

Palestine snapshot: will Egypt and Tunisia examples bring change? 

Hamas worried upheaval in Arab world will spill into Gaza

Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip are concerned about the effects of the upheaval in the Arab world, as Facebook messages call on Gaza residents to demonstrate against Hamas rule on Friday [4 February].

Several thousand people have joined the Facebook group calling for a protest against Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip. Another Facebook group is calling for protests against the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. Far fewer people have expressed interest in that page, but Palestinian leaders in the West Bank also recognize that the protests in Tunisia and Egypt could spill over into Palestinian territory.

...

In Gaza City, Hamas police used force earlier this week to disperse a small rally showing solidarity with Egyptian protesters. Police officers dressed in civilian clothing arrested six women and detained some 20 others, according to Human Rights Watch.

The women were taken to a police station, where policewomen insulted them and slapped one of them during an interrogation, according to the report. The protesters were told not to demonstrate again without Hamas police authorisation...

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 5, 2011

[youtube]5eqyOSWfZ0k[/youtube]

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 6, 2011

Police beat and tear gassed students protesting in Sudan's Sennar state

Around 200 students, protesting against price rises and calling for change, tried to rally outside Sennar university on Thursday afternoon, before officers moved in with batons and then surrounded the compound, witnesses told Reuters.

Sudan has used armed riot police to disperse a series of demonstrations by young Sudanese across the north of the country in recent weeks.

Protests earlier last month focused on food prices and human rights abuses and broadened to include calls for political change after images of massed protests in Cairo, Tunis and other cities were broadcast across the world...

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 5, 2011

Saudi women demonstrate to demand release of longtime prisoners

About 40 women staged a rare demonstration in the Saudi capital Saturday, demanding the release of prisoners being held without trial as part of the kingdom's efforts to fight al-Qaeda insurgents, activists said.

The black-clad women gathered in front of the Interior Ministry in central Riyadh amid a heavy police presence. One held up a poster reading, "God, free our prisoners."

Activist Mohammed al-Qahtani said later that the women's focus was on those imprisoned in a campaign against terrorism in 2003-04. "Many people have been held for a long time without trial or have nothing to do with al-Qaeda," he said.

In another unusual sign of rising discontent in Saudi Arabia, a group of Saudi Web activists has launched an online campaign calling for political reform in the world's biggest oil exporter.

The campaign, launched Jan. 29 on Facebook, calls for a constitutional monarchy, an end to corruption, an even distribution of wealth and a serious solution for unemployment, among other demands.

"Before it is too late, I call the government, and the king, to reform the country and heed our requests ... if they wish to continue ruling this country," one group member, Safaa Jaber, posted on the group's Facebook wall Friday.

Activists in Egypt have used social media Web sites to rally supporters and coordinate protests.

Saudi Arabia does not allow public dissent. Last month, police detained dozens in the port city of Jiddah after they protested against poor infrastructure following deadly floods.

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 5, 2011

[youtube]GJgW5aJFFds[/youtube]

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 6, 2011

EA liveblog

1523 GMT: Police in the Algerian capital Algiers have broken up a protest of the National Committee for the Rights of the Unemployed (CNDDC) in front of the Ministry of Labour.

A large police presence dispersed demonstratations soon after they started chanting, "One, Two, Three, Where is Algeria?".

Demonstrations were also held in cities such as Ouargla, Ghardaia, and Laghouat.

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 6, 2011

Bahrain blocks facebook group

In a new violation of freedom of opinion and expression and publishing, and in a step that reflects a state of confusion, apprehension and anticipation – the Bahraini Authorities block an electronic group on the social network Facebook which calls upon people to go out and protest against the policy of the Authority on February 14th, similarly to what happened in Egypt and Tunisia.


Two days after it was launched on Facebook, the Information Affairs Authority blocked the page of a group called – The Revolution of 14th February in Bahrain – and which is a group on Facebook that urges citizens to go down to the streets and protest against the policy approached by the Authority in the political naturalization, sectarian discrimination, and continuous arbitrary arrests of those opposing the Authority’s policy and in order to demand social justice. At a time where the people standing behind this call are not known, it has spread widely among the youth in the Bahraini areas and villages that suffer marginalization and discrimination. That group selected the coming 14th February to be the start of those protests, and which coincides with the tenth anniversary of the National Action Charter…

Khawaga

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on February 7, 2011

Jordan next?

JORDAN: Tribesmen slam Queen Rania, warn of revolt

February 7, 2011 | 6:29 am
Three dozen members of powerful Jordanian tribes have lashed out at the country's glamorous Queen Rania and denounced what they called a "crisis of authority," calling for political change and justice against those involved in corruption in the Arab kingdom.

in a joint statement issued over the weekend, the 36 tribal figures also issued a stern warning: If political reform isn't implemented soon, Jordan is likely to face a popular uprising similar to those in Egypt and Tunisia.

"Political reform is now an urgent matter that cannot be delayed, holding the corrupt and thieves accountable and freezing their assets, prohibiting them from traveling are all part and parcel of political reform," said the statement carried on the Jordanian website Ammon News.

On the topic of corruption, 40-year-old Queen Rania drew particularly harsh criticism from the tribal figures, who accused her of stealing from the country and manipulating and interfering in national politics.

"The queen is building centers to boost her power and serve her interests, against the will of Jordanians," they said. In an unflattering comparison, they likened her to Leila Trabelsi, the wife of ousted Tunisian President Zine el Abidine ben Ali, who was widely known for her lavish lifestyle and high-end hobbies.

Those involved in corruption in Jordan, said the tribesmen, should be brought to justice and stand a "trial of the corrupt who have looted the country and public funds" regardless of their political or business position.

There has reportedly been no response from the royal palace, but Ammon News complained that international hackers had targeted the site after it posted the statement, removing the communique, according to CNN.

If powerful tribal figures turn against the royal family and the government, it could mean big trouble for Jordan. No less than 40% of the Jordanian population is represented in the tribes, and their support and loyalty to the Hashemite ruling family is crucial to the royals, especially in times of crisis and turmoil.

For the last month, Jordan has watched as domestic demonstrations, inspired by the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, erupted against high commodity prices, unemployment and corruption. After weeks of protests, King Abdullah II decided to sack the country's prime minister, Samir Rifai, and dismiss the Cabinet.

The powerful Muslim Brotherhood movement and its political arm, the Islamic Action Front, have turned down an offer to join the new government, saying they won't take part until Jordan has fair elections.

"We exclude taking part in the government at this juncture and believe we can serve our country better in the opposition," IAF Secretary-General Hamzeh Mansour told the German news agency DPA.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/babylonbeyond/2011/02/jordan-tribesman-slam-queen-rania-warn-revolt.html

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 8, 2011

Togo

"Nous sommes tous Egyptiens, nous sommes tous Tunisiens et le vent qui souffle sur ces pays soufflera sur le Togo"

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 9, 2011

Iran

Mehdi Karroubi, an Iranian opposition leader, said Tuesday that a demonstration planned in Tehran next week, nominally in solidarity with the protest movements in Egypt and Tunisia, was a test both for the Iranian government and its opponents.

Since Tehran is painting events in Cairo and elsewhere as the long-awaited regional blossoming of its own Islamic Revolution, to deny a permit for such a march would show that its position in support of the Arab movements is fake, Mr. Karroubi said in a rare interview from Tehran, conducted via an Internet video link.

For the Iranian opposition, events in Cairo mirror the post-election protest movement in Iran in 2009, not the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and could give new life to the Green movement for political reform, which Mr. Karroubi said had largely been battered into submission by government oppression.

"Any kind of event that involves the rise of the people and the fight against dictatorship in the Muslim world and in the Arab world is in our benefit," said Mr. Karroubi, 72, speaking in Persian from his home, where he is largely isolated. "Next Monday will be a test for the Green movement - if the government issues a permit, there will be a huge demonstration and it will show how alive the Green movement is." ...

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 9, 2011

Sudan: call for more demonstrations in Khartoum

A group using internet social media sites to mobilize youth across northern Sudan said they are planning demonstrations beginning Saturday against what they call ‘’bad governance and economic hardship.”

The group, which calls itself Al Intifada, is using Facebook and Twitter to get the word out to youth across the country for demonstrations in Khartoum, Medani, and Al Fashir...

ocelot

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on February 9, 2011

Al Ahram: Israel aims to head off strike over soaring prices

Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu met on Wednesday with union officials in a bid to stave off rising public anger and a general strike threat over spiralling food and petrol prices, officials said.

During the talks with Histadrut chairman Ofer Eini and the heads of the manufacturers' association and the local authorities' union, Netanyahu laid out a package of cuts aimed at staving off public discontent over rising prices.

The emergency session was convened after union leaders threatened to call a general strike in protest at government inaction over rising prices.

Over the past year, the price of bread has risen by 10 percent, petrol has jumped 13 percent and water has soared by a massive 134 percent, with the population also under pressure from a rise in housing and transportation costs as well as indirect taxes.

But union officials quoted by business news website Globes, said the talks had failed. "The meeting with the prime minister ended with no results," the website quoted a Histadrut official as saying, adding that Netanyahu offered "no concrete actions" to ease the current crisis.

Histadrut officials were not immediately available to confirm the report, but Netanyahu's office said an evening press conference to announce the easing measures had been postponed.

Union officials were to meet later in the day and expected to press ahead with plans to declare a general strike on Thursday that would take effect in two weeks, according to Globes.

Speaking on Israel's public radio, MP Moshe Gafni, who heads the parliamentary finance committee, warned that the spiralling prices were likely to cause civil unrest.

"We cannot live with these increases, there is a risk of a social rebellion," he said.

The rising cost of living was one of the key issues which sparked a massive anti-government uprising in Egypt, where protesters are pushing for the removal of President Hosni Mubarak.

Economic issues were also at the heart of an uprising last month in Tunisia that ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 9, 2011

Gaza students hold Egypt solidarity rally

Several hundred Gazan students rallied in central Gaza on Wednesday in a show of solidarity with the ongoing anti-government protests in Egypt, AFP correspondents said.

"Gaza salutes the Egyptians" they shouted, denouncing embattled President Hosni Mubarak as "an American collaborator."

Waving Egyptian and Palestinian flags, they also shouted angry slogans against Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman and Prime Minister Ahmad Shafiq.

Earlier on Wednesday, Egyptian immigration officials told AFP they had been ordered to bar Palestinians from entering the country.

An official at the Palestinian embassy in Cairo confirmed the ban but said he had been told it was a "temporary measure."

[…]

Shortly afterwards, the Egypt-Gaza border was closed, leaving several hundred Palestinians stranded on the Egyptian side, most of them who had made the trip for medical reasons, Palestinian officials said.

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 9, 2011

China police stop spread of Egypt news

Police in southwest China have barred activists from distributing leaflets about anti-government protests in Egypt and Tunisia, deeming the news too sensitive, one dissident said Wednesday.

Activists in Guizhou province tried to hand out information about the demonstrations over the weekend, but police told them this was an "unusual period" and gave them 3,000 yuan ($450) to stop, Chen Xi told AFP.

The police paid the money to compensate for losses incurred from the printing costs, and when the activists tried to distribute more information in Guiyang city on Monday, police again barred them from doing so, Chen said.

"We do this (hand out leaflets) all the time but the police believe it's an unusual time right now -- they don't want to let Chinese people know about the situation in North Africa," he said.

"Most of the time, they tolerate us, but this information they cannot tolerate."

[…]

In China, online discussion about the protests has been muffled in a sign that the unrest is worrying Beijing, which censors content seen as a potential challenge to the legitimacy of the ruling Communist Party.

A search under the word "Egypt" on the microblog of popular web portal sina.com on Wednesday yielded a message saying the search result cannot be shown "based on the relevant laws, regulations and policies".

State-run newspapers and television are reporting on the events in Egypt and Tunisia, but readers are not allowed to post comments at the bottom of online news stories on Egypt. On web portal netease.com, a message says the comment section has been closed...

aloeveraone

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by aloeveraone on February 9, 2011

From SignalFire

afrol News, 8 February – University students in Algeria have started an “indefinite strike”, denouncing the poor quality of teaching. Meanwhile, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is trying to stop the large protest marches announced for Saturday.

Students from several faculties in Algeria have decided to embark on an “indefinite strike”, with manifestations in cities including Algiers, Oran, Tlemcen and Annaba. The students, according to the usually well-informed Algerian daily ‘El Watan’, principally are protesting the poor quality of education and a new qualification system, but are loosely connected to the general North African protest movement.

...

The organisations preparing the 12 February protest march, despite authorities’ rejection, today still say the popular manifestation will go on as planned in Algiers and other Algerian cities.

Outside Algiers, the protest marches however already have seen their small beginnings. On Sunday, the biggest protest so far in the country was organised in Annaba, a coastal city close to the Tunisian border, where hundreds of unemployed took to the streets and expressed their dissatisfaction with the Bouteflika government.

Around 300 protesters attacked the provincial government (wilaya) offices in Annaba, shouting slogans against the government and demanding jobs. Police forces confronted the protesters and dispersed the group, threatening to use force.

Also in Algiers, there was a smaller demonstration on Sunday in front of the Labour Ministry, estimated at around 100 participants. Also this protest was violently dispersed by police forces, detaining several of the protesters for some hours.

Tojiah

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Tojiah on February 10, 2011

Some background on the impending Histadrut strike in Israel: just a few weeks ago, the head of the Labor Party, Ehud Barak, headed off a developing attempt to oust him by splitting off from Labor to form a new faction called "Independence", taking five other Labor Members of the Knesset with him. The rest of Labor is now running around like a headless chicken waiting for someone to take up leadership. Ofer Eini is considered a prime candidate, either to become head of the party or to further his position as Labor kingmaker. A set-piece strike showing off his leadership might be just what he needs.

Submitted by waslax on February 10, 2011

Tojiah

A set-piece strike showing off his leadership might be just what he needs.

So do you discount this:

Speaking on Israel's public radio, MP Moshe Gafni, who heads the parliamentary finance committee, warned that the spiralling prices were likely to cause civil unrest.

"We cannot live with these increases, there is a risk of a social rebellion," he said.

?

Or do you think that there is a bit of both? I.e. both genuine will to struggle against declining purchasing power, and the machinations from above?

Submitted by waslax on February 10, 2011

Mark.

Iran

Mehdi Karroubi, an Iranian opposition leader, said Tuesday that a demonstration planned in Tehran next week, nominally in solidarity with the protest movements in Egypt and Tunisia, was a test both for the Iranian government and its opponents.

Since Tehran is painting events in Cairo and elsewhere as the long-awaited regional blossoming of its own Islamic Revolution, to deny a permit for such a march would show that its position in support of the Arab movements is fake, Mr. Karroubi said in a rare interview from Tehran, conducted via an Internet video link.

For the Iranian opposition, events in Cairo mirror the post-election protest movement in Iran in 2009, not the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and could give new life to the Green movement for political reform, which Mr. Karroubi said had largely been battered into submission by government oppression.

"Any kind of event that involves the rise of the people and the fight against dictatorship in the Muslim world and in the Arab world is in our benefit," said Mr. Karroubi, 72, speaking in Persian from his home, where he is largely isolated. "Next Monday will be a test for the Green movement - if the government issues a permit, there will be a huge demonstration and it will show how alive the Green movement is." ...

This sounds really interesting. The regime in Tehran may have made a big mistake by trying to portray the events in Egypt as an "Islamic Revolution". Hopefully opponents of the regime have been inspired by events in Cairo, Tunis, etc. Looking forward to what happens Monday.

ocelot

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on February 10, 2011

I confess, the inclusion of the Histadrut story in a "Tunisia effect..." thread without any commentary was perhaps a little mischievious. But as a fan of overdetermination and suspicious of over-simplistic frames (e.g. "Arabs revolt against dictatorship"), I liked the article for it's expressed link between the two things around the economic link. I don't want to fall into the trap of economic determinism, but I think the pressure of rising commodity* prices, both soft (food) and hard (fuel) is one of the contributory drivers. Where I differ from the more conventional interpretation, is I don't see rising wheat and fuel prices as "external factors" (e.g. environmental and weather shocks to supply and increased demand in emergent economies), but immanent to the whole ongoing global political-economic systemic crisis. That is, that rising wheat prices are equally both symptom and cause of the decline of US hegemony as the revolts themselves. Anyway, blah, blah, blah..., I intend to write something properly on this in the next few days.

Also I can't help but feel the idea of a Histadrut strike being part of the Sidi Bouzid wave just basically offends all the right people...

* in the capitalist sense, rather than the marxist

Samotnaf

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on February 10, 2011

8th Feb:
Algeria: beginning of the paramedics strike mentioned before.
In the Naciria area, 45 kms. from Boumerdès, young unemployed block the RN12 (main road). Cops intervene, violent confrontations develop, bringing in, bit by bit, other local areas. In the village of El Harrouch, 30km to the south of Skikda, demonstrators block the RN3 (another main road) to express their grivances. Cops intervene: 13 gendarmes and 3 demonstrators hurt before the road is unblocked. About 100 unemployed block the 2 main access routes to Chaïba close to the Sider HQ and that of the new estate AADL, in the Sidi Amar commune. Other unemployed block traffic at Borj
Menaiel and workers at a dairy in Tazmalt protest against redundancies.

9th Feb, Algeria:
At Naciria the unemployed youths renew their blockade of the RN12 demanding training and work.
In Oran, the HQ of the recently inaugurated Public Records Office, was wrecked by angry demonstrators before the cops evacuated it (don't know the reason for this action).

9th Feb, Morocco:
Public sector strike against the higher cost of living and the suppression of work. A sit-in in front of the HQ of the Ministry for the modernisation of public services.

Taken from:
http://www.kalimadz.com/fr/
http://juralibertaire.over-blog.com/

__________

Submitted by Tojiah on February 10, 2011

waslax

Tojiah

A set-piece strike showing off his leadership might be just what he needs.

So do you discount this:

Speaking on Israel's public radio, MP Moshe Gafni, who heads the parliamentary finance committee, warned that the spiralling prices were likely to cause civil unrest.

"We cannot live with these increases, there is a risk of a social rebellion," he said.

?

Or do you think that there is a bit of both? I.e. both genuine will to struggle against declining purchasing power, and the machinations from above?

Oh, I'm not trying to discount it entirely. It's a little of both. After all, the reason he thinks this is a good tour de force is that it responds to real issues; nevertheless I've just seen these union operas come and go, and they don't leave a more powerful working-class (or any actual change in living standards for most workers).

I'm not sure how much the Israeli working class would be informed by the Sidi Bouzid wave directly (they seem to take the government narrative of "unstable Arab world bad" to heart). I have not heard of wildcat strikes and popular uprisings in Israel lately. That's the context in which you should put Eini et al.

ocelot

I confess, the inclusion of the Histadrut story in a "Tunisia effect..." thread without any commentary was perhaps a little mischievious. But as a fan of overdetermination and suspicious of over-simplistic frames (e.g. "Arabs revolt against dictatorship"), I liked the article for it's expressed link between the two things around the economic link. I don't want to fall into the trap of economic determinism, but I think the pressure of rising commodity* prices, both soft (food) and hard (fuel) is one of the contributory drivers. Where I differ from the more conventional interpretation, is I don't see rising wheat and fuel prices as "external factors" (e.g. environmental and weather shocks to supply and increased demand in emergent economies), but immanent to the whole ongoing global political-economic systemic crisis. That is, that rising wheat prices are equally both symptom and cause of the decline of US hegemony as the revolts themselves. Anyway, blah, blah, blah..., I intend to write something properly on this in the next few days.

I think you are discounting the success of the Zionist ruling class in inculcating the Jewish-Israeli working class with a complete disconnect from their fellow proletarians. I also don't think that posturing by a union federation leader is the same kind of animal as widespread wildcats and riots.
ocelot

Also I can't help but feel the idea of a Histadrut strike being part of the Sidi Bouzid wave just basically offends all the right people...

It just doesn't seem to be a well-founded connection, is all. It seems like the Sidi Bouzid wave, in the sense of military dictatorships being overthrown by popular struggles resulting from the global deterioration in living standards and rising food costs is not relevant to the situation in Israel, which is closer to a bourgeois democracy, and yet has somehow not gone through the massive protests and strikes we've seen in Western European democracies in the past few months. I am not sure how to explain that, to be honest, but I don't see the Jewish-Israeli working class taking lessons from those it has been so successfully been trained to think of as dangerous enemies out to destroy him. If anything this will feed into the process of marginalization and criminalization of Palestinian-Israelis, as well as further attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.

baboon

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on February 10, 2011

I think that the situation of "where next", with all due qualifications of specifities is absolutely relevant to Israel over the medium and long term - just as it's absolutely relevant to Britain, France, Italy, the USA and so on.
I generally agree with Ocelot's position and the more we distance ourselves, denounce even, the leftist position of the "Arab revolution" the better.

Concretely expressed, in the revolt around Egypt, we've seen the unity of interests of Hamas, Fatah, the military dictatorship of Egypt and the democratic governments of Israel, the United States and others in the face of revolt and the growing involvement of the working class.

Khawaga

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on February 10, 2011

Thanks for those comments Tojiah.

Submitted by Tojiah on February 10, 2011

baboon

I think that the situation of "where next", with all due qualifications of specifities is absolutely relevant to Israel over the medium and long term - just as it's absolutely relevant to Britain, France, Italy, the USA and so on.

Absolutely. I was just arguing about the short term vis-à-vis posturing by Eini. Perhaps ocelot and I aren't quite in disagreement. Workers throughout the world, specifically throughout the Mediterranean are feeling the same underlying pressures: decreasing public wages through social support, decreasing private wages through cuts and inflation, rising food costs, etc. It's just that with different social organizations in each country, the popular and proletarian responses are different. Therefore, I think looking at it as coming from Tunisia towards Israel ignores certain very real nationalist boundaries that exist and inform the conceptions of Jewish-Israeli workers.

Those most likely to receive a specific push from this string of uprisings are the Palestinian workers, who do not have this Jewish-Arab barrier. And indeed we see public protests, or at least attempts thereof, in the West Bank and Gaza, and even support protests inside of Israel, predominantly by Israeli Palestinians. But the immediate segregation in Israeli society, made stronger by the two Intifadas which caused there to be less and less personal and proletarian interaction between Israelis and Palestinians, both inside and outside the Green Line, will make it difficult for this to leak into the Israeli working-class. If anything you would think that they would be more informed by what is going on in Europe, although, again, it seems like that hasn't manifested yet, and I can't quite explain why.

baboon

I generally agree with Ocelot's position and the more we distance ourselves, denounce even, the leftist position of the "Arab revolution" the better.

I think most correspondents to this forum have done so quite well so far.
baboon

Concretely expressed, in the revolt around Egypt, we've seen the unity of interests of Hamas, Fatah, the military dictatorship of Egypt and the democratic governments of Israel, the United States and others in the face of revolt and the growing involvement of the working class.

So we have. But the Israeli working-class doesn't see this, as far as I know. Or at least hasn't made any concrete steps to express such an understanding.

Khawaga

Thanks for those comments Tojiah.

Sure. Whatever I can do to try and help make sense of things.

aloeveraone

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by aloeveraone on February 10, 2011

From the EA Liveblog:

1210 GMT: In Sudan, security forces have arrested prominent government critic Mariam al-Mahdi, daughter of the Prime Minister ousted by President Omar al-Bashir in a 1989 coup.

Al-Mahdi, of the Umma Party, was arrested as she went with a group of activists to petition the security forces for the release of protesters detained almost two weeks ago.

baboon

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on February 10, 2011

Yes, thanks for those comments T. I generally agree with the qualifications you make about the present situation

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 11, 2011

Guardian live updates

11.46am: Giles Tremlett writes from Morocco about the reaction to Hosni Mubarak's speech and whether any similar pro-democracy movement is likely to take root in that country:

At the Chelah restaurant in the Moroccan capital of Rabat bewildered guests found themselves waiting for their food last night as waiters surged towards the TV set to listen to Hosni Mubarak's speech.

The Egyptian presdient's appearance was greeted with silence, but it only took a few minutes before the first angry viewer threw his hands in the air and stomped off. "He is staying!" shouted one.

By the end of the confusing speech, the joke was about which part of the 92-year-old president was staying and which part was going.

But some in Morocco saw progress. "Little by little," said Rachid, an economist who supported the democracy protesters.

Is the wind of change blowing west towards Morocco? It is not needed, according to the presenters and guests on the pop-based French language Hits Radio that I listened to this morning as I drove north to Tangier.

"We are fortunate to belong to such a beautiful country, so wonderfully led by our king," said one guest with what sounds like exaggerated enthusiasm. But Facebook-organised nationwide demonstrations are being called for 20 February. They will provide a public test of how enthusiastic Moroccans really are about their government and regime.

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 11, 2011

Algeria tomorrow

Algeria prepares for day of protests

The Guardian

Algeria, the oil-rich, military-dominated north African state, braced itself for a day of pro-democracy protestson Saturday, despite a ban on demonstrations in the capital, Algiers, and a large security presence intent on containing any uprising inspired by Egypt or Tunisia.

A key energy exporter and the biggest country in the Maghreb, Algeria used its powerful armed forces last month to contain several days of rioting, triggered by price rises for sugar and cooking oil. At least five people died and around 800 were injured in demonstrations against youth unemployment, poor housing and corruption, including several people who set themselves alight.

Now a hastily formed umbrella group of civil associations, independent trade unionists and small political parties has called for a national day of protest on Saturday , under the slogan "Changing the system". It is calling for an end to 12 years of authoritarian rule by Abdelaziz Bouteflika and his generals...

Algeria moves to stave off unrest

Al Jazeera

Thousands of police are reportedly being drafted into the Algerian capital ahead of planned pro-democracy marches, opposition groups have said.

Said Sadi, the head of the Rally for Culture and Democracy (RCD), said authorities were moving to prevent Saturday's protests in Algiers from taking place.

"Trains have been stopped and other public transport will be as well," he told the AFP news agency.

According to Sadi, around 10,000 police officers were coming into reinforce the 20,000 that blocked the last protest staged on January 22, when five people were killed and more than 800 hurt in clashes…

Le siège du RCD à Alger assiégé par la police

TSA

Les forces antiémeute ont assiégé, vendredi en fin de journée le siège du RCD, l’un des partis qui ont appelé à la manifestation de ce samedi 12 février, a-t-on appris auprès de témoins sur place. Plusieurs dizaines de policiers encerclent depuis 17 heures le siège de ce parti à la rue Didouche Mourad pour contenir les manifestants, environ trois cents, rassemblés devant le siège.

Selon un responsable du parti, la tentative de manifester dans cette rue est intervenue après l’annonce de la chute du président égyptien Hosni Moubarak par les télévisions du monde entier. Certains passants n’ont pas manqué d’exprimer leur joie...

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 12, 2011

From the Moor Next Door

More incomplete thoughts on the Algerian situation

The fall of Egypt’s long time dictator Husni Mubarak may have an impact on the demonstrations planned for 12 February in Algeria. Most assessments appraising the likelihood of a popular revolution in Algeria have been grim: Algeria’s civil society is too weak, its political parties too divided and unpopular to inspire or direct an Egyptian or Tunisian-style mass movement. Protests and uprisings are often localized and spontaneous rather than organized as previous Egypt’s 6 April and Kifaya movements were. Its urban geography, some wrote, is more restrictive than Cairo’s or Tunis’s, lacking large public squares where demonstrators might camp out or confront security forces. These are all valid points and reflect keen observations of Algeria’s political scene. One would be surprised if Said Sadi could turn out large masses of Algerians beyond Algiers and Kabylia. The other factions making up the Coordination nationale pour le changement et la démocratie (CNCD) are small, though each has its own constituency. The Algerian security services have been preparing to swallow up the 12 February protests over the last week (if not more), particularly since the state denied the organizers’ application for a permit to assemble. Because the protests have been associated with the RCD, many doubted the legitimacy of the protests and their intentions; in particular the FFS, the RCD socialist rival in Kabylia, refused to participate as well as have other opposition parties. Some have speculated as to the motivations behind the protests given Said’s links to the DRS. That the demonstration permit was denied lends the demonstrations additional credibility. (the CNCD also includes groups like SOS disparus (an advocacy group for the families of people disappeared during the Civil War), Tharwa Fatma N’Soumer (a group opposed to the 1984 Family Code and especially interested in women’s empowerment) and several independent labor unions.) If 12 February is a success in the sense of turn out it will not be due strictly to the work of the CNCD: it will owe to a whole climate of dissatisfaction and frustration. And the regime’s efforts to smother the protests may have the opposite of their intended effect.

The fall of Husni Mubarak might inspire some politically minded Algerians to go out and join the march in Algiers or elsewhere; but to draw the comparison between the Egyptian movement which focused on Mubarak and “his regime” and Algerian political problem is somewhat difficult. The Algerian regime is more effective at managing popular protests and riots than either Tunisia or Egypt, having done so for the last twelve years. The slow official response to the January demonstrations (as compared to the relatively fast and repetitious public statements from the former leaders of Tunisia and Egypt) helped the regime deprive demonstrators of public targets in the form of the the President or the Prime Minster. This was like partly a learned feature (the aggressive and callus statements from former Interior Minister Yazid Zerhouni during the April 2001 events had a radicalizing effect not unlike Mubarak’s, though very different in tone) and the result of Algerian decision-making processes which ordinarily takes a great amount of time.

The regime already faced a significant popular protest movement in 1988. The response to that crisis is often remembered in terms of the 1992 elections, called after a period of impressive liberalization and aborted when Islamists looked likely to win. The years of suffering that followed are well known to most. The motivation for the transition has been revealed (and debated) in the commentary and memoirs of contemporaries having been the survival of the old regime by writing the electoral law to favor mass-based parties like the FLN so that the former single party could run younger, more religious candidates and co-opt voters’ religious preference while allowing the ancien regime to maintain its hard grip on the country with a popular mandate. The FIS, modeling itself on the FLN benefited from the new electoral law, though. Chadli failed and Army generals visited him in the Presidential Palace and talked him into resigning and giving them control of the country. The regime that came after, a junta, used Chadli’s strategy: it advanced Liamine Zeroual in the 1995 presidential election. The genealogy of Bouteflika’s leadership comes out of that process; internal competition between factions within the regime reflects the same institutional rot that afflicts other long-standing Arab regimes rather than ideological distention. Because Algeria’s core elite is divided between elements of the military and the president’s loyalists there is a possibility that the deep state may attempt to use 12 February as an opportunity to expand their role own power; encouraging or allowing violence to occur would give the security forces a louder voice in government. It might also give them a means of getting concessions out of the civilian leadership in economic policy and on certain political questions. But the regime as a whole understands how dangerous excessive force could be in the current regional climate. That one or the other elite faction might try to exploit the demonstrations for internal leverage is perhaps the greatest risk for both demonstrators, officials and their allies. Practically all key players understand the importance of avoiding the steps that led to the “national tragedy” though those in power see this as meaning maintaining power for themselves more shrewdly than Mubarak or Ben Ali did. In their view this requires a willingness to do just about anything, violent or otherwise.

Keep in mind that the Algerian regime has something neither Tunisia nor Egypt has: piles and piles of gas money ready to be dumped on the right opposition and social players as needed. The government can buy off political figures and their bases; it can attempt to pacify religious and tribal leaders by dumping money and infrastructure on them. Algeria’s leaders may benefit from the country’s status as a major energy exporter to Europe and America in the event of serious street struggle.

The RCD’s headquarters in Algiers was has already been surrounded by police after three hundred people reportedly congregated there to demonstrate their satisfaction with the fall of Mubarak. What kind of affect early obstruction might have will depend on how many people turn out in force to begin with: the masses of police on the streets may have a serious psychological impact on smaller demonstrators and if the demonstrations are as easily dispersed as on 22 January its unlikely that much else will follow. And while many Algerians are thoroughly dissatisfied with Bouteflika, most understand the real political challenge is the whole system, the politicized military leadership, the economic oligarchs, the  not mere personalities. Many Algerians have been impressed by the fall of Mubarak, though. Buses of people are heading to Algiers from the surrounding cities and provinces, blocked by the police. By cutting out those seeking to protest peacefully (and with a limited popular appeal) the regime is increasing the likelihood of spontaneous, violent demonstrations which may indeed be to the government’s advantage. While the opposition is weak and without strong popular credentials (not wholly committed to the 12 February movement) there is more potential for something much bigger than previously anticipated as a result of recent events and the anxiety they may cause in the security services and the government at large. Mubarak’s fall has raised the stakes for Algeria’s 12 February march. But his fall does not necessarily make Bouteflika’s imminent. More to come.

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 12, 2011

From Al Jazeera

1:54am Moroccans also celebrate the demise of Mubarak by waving Egyptian flags in the streets of the Moroccan capital Rabat.

1:25am Lebanese and Egyptians are celebrating together in front of the Egyptian embassy in Beirut.

1:06am In the streets of New York's "Little Egypt" Egyptian expatriates join their countrymen celebrating the fall of Mubarak. Dozens of people are blocking off a street, waving Egyptian flags and banners while chanting, "Praise be Allah" and "We live for Egypt to be proud."

12:35am Palestinians in Gaza are waving Egyptian flags and chant 'Long live Egypt' in a rally of thousands to celebrate Mubarak's resignation.

Entdinglichung

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on February 12, 2011

http://juralibertaire.over-blog.com/article-marche-contre-le-regime-en-algerie-12-fevrier-66997589.html

Samotnaf

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on February 12, 2011

Under Algerian and Tunisian government pressure, transmission of Radio Kalima - a non-State Algerian radio station - has been blocked.

Mike Harman

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on February 12, 2011

Someone on twitter just flashed up that both twitter and facebook are blocked in Algeria at the moment. No link because it literally popped up in alerts and I didn't catch the username.

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 12, 2011

New thread on Algeria protests

http://libcom.org/forums/news/unrest-spreads-algeria-12022011

Samotnaf

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on February 13, 2011

This, from today's Guardian :

Syria, too, has been moved to respond. The Ba'athist state took the surprise step of unblocking the social media sites Facebook, Twitter, Myspace and YouTube, all of which had been used during the Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings. The Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, has offered around $400m (£250m) in heating fuel subsidies to the county's lower income earners.
The effects of the revolution have also been felt in Iraq, where the prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, has said he will not stand for a third term. Maliki has ordered three mega-generators to be installed in Baghdad to deal with the city's chronic electricity shortages.
"He is terrified about electricity," said one senior Iraqi official. "He is convinced that with the zeal alive in the region now, it will bring his government down if he doesn't fix it."

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 13, 2011

Could Bahrain be next?

Cyber activists in Bahrain have declared Valentine's Day a "day of wrath" in the kingdom. It is also the 10th anniversary of a referendum in which Bahrainis approved a national charter promising a new political era after decades of political unrest.

Organisers chose this date to signal their belief that the authorities had reneged on the charter's promise. Taking a cue from the protests in the wider Arab world, their stated aim is to press the authorities on their political and economic grievances.

The day of wrath's Facebook page passed 10,000 supporters within a few days, and a declaration in the name of Bahraini Youth for Freedom is being widely circulated online...

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 13, 2011

Uganda

Rosebell Kagumire

The Tunisian revolution, entirely engineered from within, spread ripples to the rest of the Arab world and protests have been going on ever since. Africans have largely followed the protests in Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Yemen and Sudan through different media. In Uganda where local TV stations air direct feeds from Al Jazeera and other international networks, many people especially in the capital have watched in disbelief. They have hardly seen determined people standing up to a regime without the help of a gun.

Many Ugandans in the social networks have facebook status and tweets warning or wishing the same could happen in Uganda. I have refused to be optimistic about the events in North Africa. However a good look at Zimbabwe, Angola, Cameroon, Congo-Brazzaville to Uganda you would understand the excitement.

The first post I made when Ben Ali was ousted by Tunisians was “the African club of dictators has lost a member and they will be doing some rethinking.” May be I should have been more specific on which leaders. So far only Sudan’s Omar al Bashir, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, Algeria’s Abdelaziz Bouteflika and to some extent, the self-baptised Africa’s king of Kings, Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi are feeling the quakes and tremors…

Museveni must go! And all the rest!

Ssebo

As the world watches events unfold in Egypt, the fates of other autocratic leaders in sub-Saharan Africa seem to have been relegated to fourth page news. However, it is worth considering the similarities and differences, particularly for Uganda where the incumbent President of 25 years will face re-election on Friday 18th February.

[...]

At the moment people here have not crossed the fear barrier, as they did in Egypt on January 25th. Rumours abound that on election-day, 18th February, and for several days following, Internet and mobile phone services will be down. Both protestors and autocrats are learning from the events unfolding. In Uganda people have not yet realised that their differences, religious and tribal, are less than what they have in common. However, this common experience of being marginalised while the corporate and political elite exercise domination over them is more important. It will not be long before a majority speak out and tell Museveni to go, and his son who he is grooming for the Presidency, and the rest of the parasites!

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 13, 2011

Iran

Both sides are continuing to implement their preparations for Monday, when the opposition has called for a rally in support of the Egyptian and Tunisian uprisings. The regime is continuing with its detentions of journalists and activists and its disruptions of communications, while groups --- university students, political parties, and labour unions --- inside Iran are matching the support outside the country with statements backing the rally…

L'Anarchiste F…

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by L'Anarchiste F… on February 13, 2011

Algiers

In the Algerian capital of Algiers on Saturday, riot police scuffled with anti-government protesters who were defying a ban on demonstrations, inspired by recent historic events in Tunisia and Egypt.

There was a demonstration yesterday, here in Paris too, supporting the protesters in Algiers.

Parisian Demostration

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 13, 2011

Algeria opposition to hold weekly rallies

Several hundred protesters, inspired by revolts which overthrew entrenched leaders in Egypt and Tunisia, defied a police ban and protested in Algiers on Saturday. But thousands of riot police blocked a planned march through the city.

The coalition of civil society groups, some trade unionists and an opposition party which organized the rally decided to repeat the rally weekly on Saturdays and in the meantime to recruit more supporters to their cause.

"We will continue to march until the regime steps down. Each Saturday we will maintain the pressure," said Mohsen Belabes, a spokesman for the RCD opposition party which helped organize the protest on February 12...

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 13, 2011

Twitter feeds for the Bahrain protests tomorrow

http://twitter.com/angryarabiya

http://twitter.com/search?q=%23Feb14

Plz follow events in Bahrain tomorrow. We're a small population & we need all the help we can get. thx

Bahrain protests to add to pressure on government

Anti-government protests by Bahrain's marginalised Shi'ite majority on Monday are not likely to rival the Egyptian revolt, but will add to the pressure on the king to make more concessions to his people.

Gulf states are not expected to face full-scale revolts thanks to a golden bargain under which their rulers trade a share of their oil wealth for political quiescence, but Bahrain is among the most vulnerable to popular pressure.

"There's a deep sense of frustration among large segments of Bahraini society," said Toby Jones, professor of Middle Eastern studies at U.S.-based Rutgers University.

"If there was one place in the Gulf that I was going to predict that there would be something similar (to Egypt), it would be Bahrain," he said.

Bahrain is a small oil producer with a majority Shi'ite population that has long complained of discrimination by the ruling Sunni al-Khalifa family, well before popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt emboldened activists across the region.

Across their island country, Bahrainis sounded car horns and waved Egyptian flags on Friday night when news broke that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak had stepped down.

The first protests in Bahrain since the events in Egypt and Tunisia unfolded are expected to take place on Monday.

King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, trying to defuse the tension, said he would give 1,000 dinars ($2,650) to each local family, and the government has indicated that it may free minors arrested under a security crackdown last year...

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 13, 2011

Libya

In the wake of the resignation of Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, online activists are threatening to test one of the Arab world's most repressive regimes: Col. Moammar Gadhafi's Libya.

Expatriate activists and an amorphous group of bloggers and social-network users—it isn't clear how many of them are in Libya—are calling for protests across the oil-rich North African nation on Thursday. They are hoping to draw momentum from the revolts in Egypt and Tunisia and to commemorate two of the grislier events in Col. Gadhafi's nearly 42-year reign.

On Feb. 17, 1987, nine young Libyans were publicly executed after being convicted of plotting to kill Libyan and foreign officials. The executions—some by hanging, some by firing squad—were repeatedly aired on state TV.

On the same day in 2006, Libyan security forces fired on demonstrators outside the Italian consulate in Benghazi, killing more than 10…

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 13, 2011

Sudan

A group of women demonstrated in the Sudanese capital on Sunday to demand the release of scores of protesters arrested last month, as three journalists were detained in a separate rally.

Around 50 women, among them relatives of those held since anti-government protests on January 30, protested outside the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) building despite a heavy police presence, shouting: "No to terrorism, no to injustice."

As many as 130 anti-riot police were deployed near the demonstrators, who carried pictures of their loved ones and vowed to stay as long as they could.

"We're not going to stop, because this is a bad case of injustice," said Habab Mubarak, daughter of a leading figure in the opposition Umma party.

"We have received information about the detainees being tortured. We heard they are being sprayed with water and electrocuted," she told AFP, adding that around 70 of those arrested in the recent protests, including her two brothers, were still in custody...

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 14, 2011

Bahrain opposition in protest call

Bahrain's security forces have set up checkpoints to monitor people's movements as opposition groups blanketed social media sites with calls to stage the first major anti-government protests in the Gulf since the uprising in Egypt.

Units patrolled shopping centres and other key spots in a clear warning against holding Monday's rally, which has been the focus of social media appeals and text messages for more than a week.

One cartoon posted on a Bahraini blog showed three arms holding aloft a mobile phone and the symbols of Facebook and Twitter.

The decision by Shia-led opposition groups and others to call for demonstrations on February 14 is symbolic as it is the anniversary of Bahrain's 2002 constitution, which brought some pro-democracy reforms such as an elected parliament.

A Facebook page calling for a revolution in Bahrain on Monday has nearly 14,000 followers, and an emailed schedule of protests and demonstrations is also being circulated.

The developments came as the AP news agency reported that riot police had clashed with a small group of youths who staged a march following a wedding ceremony in Karzakan, a Shia village in the west. 

An AP photographer said he had seen several people injured and others gasping from tear gas.

Sunday's wide-ranging clampdown appeared directed toward Bahrain's Shia majority, which has led the drive for Monday's rallies.

Bahrain's Sunni rulers have already given out cash and promised greater media reforms in an effort to quell discontent.

In an open letter to the king, the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights has called for wide-ranging reforms to avoid a "worst-case scenario", including the dismantling of the security forces, the prosecution of state officials for abuses and the release of 450 jailed activists, religious leaders and others.

The tiny kingdom is among the most politically volatile in the Gulf and holds important strategic value for the West as the home to the US Navy's 5th Fleet.

Bahrain's Shias , which account for nearly 70 per cent of the total popualtion, have long complained of systematic discrimination by the ruling Sunni dynasty, whose crackdown on dissent last year touched off riots and clashes.

[…]

On Friday, hundreds of Bahrainis and Egyptian nationals went out in the streets chanting and dancing near the Egyptian Embassy in Manama moments after Hosni Mubarak stepped down as Egypt's president.

Bahraini authorities quickly set up roadblocks to contain the crowds.

The chances for confrontation in Bahrain have been further elevated by the ongoing trial of 25 Shia activists - including two charged in absentia - accused of plotting against the state.

The detainees have alleged police torture and being made to sign forced confessions, but the court has moved ahead with the proceedings. The next session is scheduled for February 24.

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 14, 2011

Guardian on Bahrain

10.10am: The Guardian's Middle East editor has provided some interesting analysis of the situation in Bahrain and the prospects of the protests escalating:

Bahrain's Day of Rage today is unlikely to take on the dimensions of the unrest in Cairo, but it will be closely watched to see if the small island state lives up to its reputation for being the odd man out in the Gulf.

It is not the first time that riot police have fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesting youths in villages around Manama but the mood has sharpened since the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. Twitter and Facebook have again been getting out the crowds and a solidarity demonstration is planned by Bahraini exiles in London. Another sign that trouble is expected is a flurry of pre-emptive announcements from the government – smoothly distributed by expensive western PR firms.

9.31am: Video has been emerged of a peaceful protest in Nuweidrat, in Bahrain, this morning where police used teargas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds

[youtube]Mn60gnXaS7E[/youtube]

8.57am: At least 14 people have been injured in clashes on Bahrain's "Day of Rage" Reuters reports:

Police clashed late on Sunday with residents in Karzakan village, where security forces regularly skirmish with Shia youths, and one protester was injured, witnesses said. Police said three officers were hurt.


In the village of Nuweidrat, police used teargas and rubber bullets on Monday to disperse a crowd demanding the release of Shia detainees, witnesses said, adding that 10 people were slightly injured.


"There were 2,000 sitting in the street voicing their demands when police started firing," 24-year-old Kamel told Reuters, declining to give his full name. Nearby, streets were littered with teargas canisters and rubber bullets.


The scene was different in Manama, where government supporters honked car horns and waved Bahraini flags to celebrate the 10th anniversary of a national charter introduced after unrest in the 1990s.

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 14, 2011

EA liveblog on Iran

1010 GMT: Where Is the Security? A reliable EA source from Tehran says that there has been no security presence in the centre of the city this morning, calling the absence of police "strange".

0943 GMT: A Protest? Green Voice of Freedom is reporting that people are gathering at Sadeghieh Square in Tehran.

Sadeghieh is a lower-middle class area far off the official itinerary for today's march. There is a large metro station there.

The website claims there is still no sign of Revolutionary Guards on Tehran's streets.

0940 GMT: Remain Indoors. Saham News claims that office workers have been offered overtime if they remain at their desks until 6 p.m. today.

0934 GMT: Security Moves. Saeed Ahmed of CNN reports, "About 50 riot police in bikes were headed toward Azadi Square. Another 100 are at Ferdowsi square. No protests yet."

0555 GMT: Conflicting accounts on the position that the Revolutionary Guards will take towards any large rally....

There were reports yesterday that the Guards will not confront any rally but just "control" it; however, commmander Hossein Hamadani was talking tough, “The conspirators are nothing but corpses. Any incitement will be dealt with severely.”

0525 GMT: It is 8:55 a.m. local time in Iran. The rally for this afternoon --- which still has not been formally denied permission by the Minister of Interior --- is not scheduled until 3 p.m. (1200 GMT) in Tehran and up to 40 other locations across Iran.

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 14, 2011

Bahrain

http://twitter.com/angryarabiya

#Bahrain video of what happened today morning in nuwadrat after attacking peaceful protest #Feb14 #Bahfeb14 http://bit.ly/gqsnFP

News just in of clashes in Duraz

I counted at least 30 bullet shots !! MOI official statement says only 2 !! #Karzakan http://t.co/7ckEKNU

Crowdvoice: Human rights crackdown in Bahrain

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 14, 2011

Guardian on Iran

10.52am: The Iranian security apparatus is out In force on the streets of Tehran already in anticipation of the planned opposition rally, Reuters reports.

"There are dozens of police and security forces in the Vali-ye Asr Avenue ... they have blocked entrances of metro stations in the area," a witness told Reuters by telephone, referring to a large thoroughfare that cuts through Tehran. Another witness said police cars with windows covered by black curtains were parked near Tehran's notorious Evin prison.

Mir Hussein Mousavi's website Kaleme said security forces had set up a road block, refusing access to the opposition leader's residence in southern Tehran. It said both mobile and landline telephone communications with Mousavi's house were also cut.

"It seems these newly-set restrictions are aimed at preventing Mousavi and his wife (Zahra Rahnavard) from attending the rally," Kaleme said. Plain-clothes police stopped Rahnavard leaving the house, another opposition website reported....

Authorities deny rigging the 2009 election and accuse opposition leaders of being part of a Western plot to overthrow the Islamic system. "They are incapable of doing a damn thing," the hardline Kayhan newspaper quoted Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi as saying, echoing words used by revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to refer to the United States. The opposition is "guided by Iran's enemies abroad", Moslehi said.

More reports on the protests in Iran:

http://crowdvoice.org/opposition-protests-in-iran

Entdinglichung

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on February 14, 2011

another liveblog on Iran: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbureau/2011/02/iran-live-blog-25-bahman-14-february.html

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 14, 2011

[youtube]6hXXn2r-72I[/youtube]

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 14, 2011

Guardian on Iran

3.44pm: CNN reports that "thousands" marched along Revolution Avenue in Tehran in a largely peaceful procession but also says that security forces fired paint-ball guns and teargas at protesters outside Tehran University.

3.27pm: It's almost 6.30pm Tehran time and reports from various sources suggest that protesters succeeded in gathering in scattered groups in various parts of the capital, mostly in central areas such as Sadeghieh square, Enghelab Square and Vali-e-Asr.


Eyewitnesses told opposition websites that the riot police used tear gas and wielded batons to disperse protesters. They said that the security forces have blocked the streets to Azadi (freedom) Square where the protesters had planned to gather at the end.


At the same time, protesters in the cities of Shiraz, Isfahan, Rasht, Mashhad and Kermanshah have given accounts of the presence of hundreds of people in streets.


Eyewitnesses from Tehran told BBC Persian TV that gunshots have been heard in different places and "significant" numbers of protesters have gathered despite the ban.


Access to the websites of opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi has been restricted.
Videos of today's protest, posted on YouTube, showed protesters chanting "Khamenei, shame on you!" and "Death to dictator".

2.41pm: Reuters is also reporting teargas being used against protesters in central Tehran:

Iranian security forces fired teargas in central Tehran on Monday to disperse opposition supporters marching in a banned rally inspired by popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, a witness said. "There are thousands of people marching ... not chanting slogans ... Security forces fired teargas to disperse them near Imam Hossein square," said the witness.

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 14, 2011

Guardian on Bahrain

3.24pm: There are still reports of clashes and people having been injured in Bahrain.

Many direct head injuries in protesters more than 20 people carried to hospital by ambulance including many women #bahrain #feb14

Around 300 people just got attacked at human rights activists march #feb14 they just fired straight at our car

2.20pm: A reader has sent us an account from Bahrain of gunshots and reports of casualties:

I have just got home to to my compound by a village hotspot/poor Shia neighbourhood) and can hear sporadic gunfire. A friend has just reported trouble along Budaiya highway (big hotspot/poor Shia neighbourhood) with gunshots.

There are helicopters flying overhead. and sirens. Now there are so many car horns going off. The shooting in Karzakan last night may inflame. It's alleged that a wedding party was fired on unprovoked with one dead and at least six injured (rumours flying around and depicted on Facebook 'Bahrain Day of Rage' and Twitter).

Most office workers in Manama fled around 2pm local time as have been advised that many villages protesting and roads getting blocked off. The protests are meant to be all day. Not sure if anyone will be going to mosque at sundown due to it kicking off now; usually if anything is going to kick off it does then. Distinct impression (Karzakan) security forces are coming down very hard. They have (apparently) already arrested lots of people. Again. This will add to the hundreds already sitting in prison.

I expect this is all going to be just a little news item as the protesters are surely going to be quashed as quickly as they rise up. On my way home the local english radio station was playing Irish banjo music and the DJ talking about a swimming competition. I am too frightened to tell you who I am or where I live for fear, rational or otherwise, of being found out.

Entdinglichung

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on February 14, 2011

some strikes and workers' protests in Iran during the last days: http://iranenlutte.wordpress.com/2011/02/13/protestation-quotidienne-pour-le-paiement-des-salaires/

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 14, 2011

Bahrain

http://twitter.com/angryarabiya

Askin the ladies if they'll be joinin the protest again, "we'll try, last time they beat us and threatened that they wud arrest and rape us"

Hundreds of riot police come to sitra on buses. It seems they won't let people come out on the streets.

Lungs burning, eyes burning. All I can think is: Perfect timing to be runnin low on batteries.

"We were shouting we are peaceful we will not do anything! They shot at us anyway" an injured protester

The shots are getting closer and closer to the house we're in.. The children here are afraid that the riot police might break in

The men are out regrouping everytime they are attacked, we're in the houses with the injured.

Every time the protestors in Sitra regroup the riot police attack again.. One of the protestors was seen injured & was taken away in a car

Police attacked the protest in Sitra with tear gas after protesters were chanting & clapping peacefully

Sitra protest attacked. Hiding with ppl in a house. Children crying, men fainted on the floor

Sitra crowds. Anticipating attack the hundreds of women have been ased to move back http://twitpic.com/3zq90d

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 14, 2011

Bahrain - the shooting starts

[youtube]R3LazFJ0wa4[/youtube]

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 14, 2011

Iran

[youtube]3Pm6wbnaLOA[/youtube]

Entdinglichung

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on February 14, 2011

one demonstrator killed in Tehran according to http://iranenlutte.wordpress.com/2011/02/14/un-mort-et-250-arrestations-a-teheran/ ... more reports on demonstrations in Iran here: http://www.astreetjournalist.com/2011/02/14/minute-by-minute-reports-of-february-14-25-bahman-%da%af%d8%b2%d8%a7%d8%b1%d8%b4-%d9%84%d8%ad%d8%b8%d9%87-%d8%a8%d9%87-%d9%84%d8%ad%d8%b8%d9%87-%d8%a7%d8%b2-%d8%b1%d8%a7%d9%87%d9%be%db%8c%d9%85/

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 14, 2011

Also one demonstrator killed In Bahrain

http://twitter.com/angryarabiya

**warning: graphic photo**
first martyr of this revolution, Ali: http://yfrog.com/h4k6gqtj We will never 4get u Ali. Those who killed u mercilessly, WILL pay the price

Crowds still gathered outside the Salmaniya Medical Complex where the martyr's body is.. A helicopter is circling above..

I'm at the hospital, news confirmed. One martyr due to direct shot in the back

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 14, 2011

From the Guardian

8.26pm GMT: There are rumours – and let us stress, just rumours at this point – of more deaths in Bahrain following today's protests.

In the meantime the Bahraini government has acknowledged the death of protester Ali Abdulhadi al-Mushaima, with the the official Bahraini news agency, BNA, announcing the news and the minister of interior expressing his condolences.

7.20pm GMT: A major development in Bahrain where there are reports that one person has been killed by security forces during a protest:

According to sources in the hospital, and confirmed by Nabeel Rajab from a Bahraini human rights organisation, Ali Abdulhadi al-Mushaima, 27, was shot in the back with live ammunition. Protesters are incensed

4.54pm GMT: Here's an informative if depressing email from a reader in Bahrain with valuable insights into the protests going on in the Gulf state:

First of all, the protests in Bahrain were never about changing a regime. They are a demand by the majority of the people of Bahrain for human rights which have been eroding swiftly since just before the elections in October last year and continue to decline. All the progress made by the government has been reversed and then some.

The riot police, almost entirely non-Bahraini, have been preparing for today's protests since they were announced. The intention was always to quash the protests before they could gather any steam and to isolate the hotspots to prevent the protestors consolidating. The emphasis seems to be on swiftly resolving the uprisings, and as such the police (if you can call them that) are attempting to disperse peaceful gatherings with rubber bullets, teargas, soundbombs and by beating civilians with batons. By the end of today, hundreds if not thousands of innocent, poor Bahrainis will be languishing in prison for as long as the security apparatus deems fit. There have been scattered reports that additional foreign special forces were flown in specifically to help deal with today's protests, primarily from Pakistan, though they cannot be confirmed.

The main source of news seems to be Twitter, though anybody putting their name to any information that can be viewed as damaging the image of the Kingdom in the eyes of the international media are either brave or stupid. There have been reports that ... they are actively preventing anybody, civilian or otherwise, from taking any photos or footage of the clashes. These protests will, the establishment hopes, be swept under the rug as briskly and harshly as is effectively possible...

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 14, 2011

The Guardian on Iran

10pm GMT: PBS's Tehran bureau's blog has some gripping eyewitness accounts of the protests in Tehran today:

When I reached Eskandari Street it looked like a war zone: smoke, dust, teargas, screaming people, flying stones and regular attacks by the well equipped motorcycle riding guards. A petite young girl with a green wristband and a small backpack was walking to my left. Just before we reached Navab Avenue the guards charged from behind, one of their clubs hit my left leg but three of them attacked the girl relentlessly. She screamed and fell to the ground, but the guards kept hitting her. I ran towards them, grabbed the girl's right hand and released her from the grip of the guards. She was in a daze and crying unstoppably. I pushed her north into Navab Avenue towards Tohid Square away from Azadi Avenue when the guards charged towards us. This time the crowd fought back and stones of all sizes were directed back at them. This gave me a bit of time to ask one of the restaurants to open their doors and let us in. The girl was in shock and pain. I got her some water and asked how she was. Her clothes were dusty, her backpack was torn and her hands were shaking. "Why?" she kept asking.

9pm GMT: The Guardian's Saeed Kamali Dehghan reports on today's protests in Iran:

Supporters of the Green movement appeared in scattered groups in various locations in central Tehran and other big cities in what was seen as the Iranian opposition's first attempt in more than a year to hold street protests against the government.

The riot police and government-sponsored plainclothes basiji militia used teargas, wielded batons and opened fire to disperse protesters who chanted "death to the dictator", a reference to both Iran's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, and the president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Witnesses told the Guardian that despite a heavy security presence, small groups of people succeeded in gathering in main squares leading to Azadi ("freedom") Square – a chosen focal point.

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 14, 2011

EA liveblog on Iran

2035 GMT: A First-Hand Account. We post this from a correspondent for Tehran Bureau with caution, especially about the crowd estimate; however, if it is even halfway to the truth, it is significant testimony to the force of the turnout today:

It was beyond anything we had expected. They didn't shut off the mobile phones so word spread quickly [that they were not cracking down hard] before they shut them off around 4 p.m.

It seemed like the Basij were ordered not to act until ordered. They just stood around looking bewildered. When the riot police would drive by on their bikes, they just put the fires out.

Rarely did they arrest. I saw 10 people arrested; this means probably up to 1000 were arrested [across Tehran].

I was all over on foot and on the rapid transit buses. The crowds were EVERYWHERE. They were remarkable for their peacefulness. They filled a radius of about half a kilometer to 400 meters on both sides of Enghelab Avenue. It looks like for the first time people from working class areas were involved too.

I left two hours ago but the crowds were still out there. The security presence was large, perhaps 13,000.

There may have been some killings. We saw two people beaten to a pulp. The first [beating was administered] by intel ministry officers, the second by Sepah [Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps]. Overall people worked hard to stop the beatings of the regime forces.

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 14, 2011

Iraq

Iraqis have been venting their anger at the lack of jobs and government services such as electricity in small-scale protests across the country. The protests are not nearly as large as those that toppled leaders in Tunisia and Egypt, but are nonetheless embarrassing for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and highlight the many challenges facing his fragile government faces.

"We want reforms to take place," said Hanaa Adwar, an activist from the nonprofit watchdog group, al Amal. "We have witnessed the popular revolution carried by Tunisian and Egyptian people that led to the toppling of their regime." She vowed that there would be more protests if the government did not bow to people's demands.

Despite sitting on some of the world's largest oil reserves, Iraqis endure electricity shortages that make summer almost unbearable and leave them shivering in winter.

There are also water shortages, and garbage is often left on the streets. At the same time, Iraqis are infuriated by the high salaries earned by their elected officials, compared with ordinary Iraqis.

Many of the demonstrators carried banners that bore the image of a broken red heart, alluding to the fact that the protest took place on Valentine's Day. They shouted slogans saying Iraq's oil wealth should go to the people but goes to thieves instead.

"Government, you should take lessons from Egypt and Tunisia," demonstrators shouted as they walked through downtown.

Across the Middle East, people emboldened by the protests in Tunisia and Egypt have staged demonstrations calling for change.

The gatherings in Iraq have been small in scale, although organizers are promising a much larger event on Feb. 25…

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 15, 2011

Mourner killed in clashes at Bahrain protester funeral

Police in Bahrain clashed with mourners at the funeral of a Shi'ite protester shot dead during an anti-government "Day of Rage" and one person was killed in the melee, witnesses and police said Tuesday.

Witnesses said the clashes broke out when around 2000 people set out from the hospital to slowly escort the body of slain protester Ali Mushaima through narrow alleys of Shi'ite villages on the outskirts of Bahrain's capital towards his home, where his body was to be washed before burial.

The death of the mourner enraged others at the funeral, who began chanting anti-government slogans inspired by protests that toppled the rulers of Egypt and Tunisia: "We demand the downfall of the regime," they chanted.

Diplomats say Bahrain's protests, organised on the internet, may gauge whether a larger Shi'ite base can be drawn to the streets to raise pressure on the state for reforms that would give Shi'ites a greater voice and better economic prospects.

Analysts say large-scale unrest in Bahrain could also embolden fellow marginalised Shi'ites in nearby Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter.

Mushaima, the 22-year-old man being buried Tuesday, was killed Monday in clashes in Daih village as security forces clamped down on Shi'ite areas in the Gulf Arab kingdom, where a Sunni family rules over a Shi'ite majority that complains of discrimination.

Ibrahim Mattar, a member of parliament from the Shi'ite opposition group Wefaq, told Reuters that police had tried to disperse the funeral procession using tear gas, but that mourners then regrouped and continued their procession.

Wefaq's Mattar said the man killed Tuesday had been shot...

http://twitter.com/angryarabiya

protesters are NOT clashing with police, protesters are being ATTACKED by riot police using excessive force.

Ppl carrying posters saying "we met them with peace, they met us with death"

"Kill ten kill 100, we want our civil rights" people chanting near cemetery #feb14 #bahrain http://yfrog.com/h2dyvorj

The body of the first killed by riot police being carried to cemetery #feb14 #bahrain http://yfrog.com/gyg4msvj

Can we drop the moral equivalency now and stop saying "Both sides need to ..." ? There is only one side that is killing people

martyr has been taken 2 his families house. Mourners stand waiting 4 prayer. They'll bury him after. #bahrain http://twitpic.com/401i2k

procession is so long I have no idea where it starts or ends. Ppl chanting "let the palaces hear us, we are not afraid of ur prisons"

I have seen sunni frnds amongst the protesters. I see us all as 1 ppl, n tired of being asked if its shia or sunni protests.

Guardian

An angry crowd of up to 20,000 people have gathered in Bahrain at the funeral of Ali Abdulhadi Mushaima, who was killed in yesterday's protests, according to an eyewitness in an audio interview.

The witness, who did not wish to give her full name, said:

The scene is just unbelievable. There are thousands upon thousands on the road ... There were definitely chants against the regime. The crowd was getting angrier and angrier. A lot of signs said they are peaceful, and this is what we get in return.

It has been peaceful, but people are angry, they are very frustrated. I am assuming that people are going to keep marching. It has been announced that people will be marching again tomorrow for the funeral of the second guy who was killed today.

This is definitely a lot more than people expected when we heard there was going to be some protests. Nobody expected this much turnout.

They are just chanting they want reform, that's all they want. I can see people as far as my eyes can see. There could be 20 [thousand].

Global Voices: Bahrain: a second man killed as police attack first victim's funeral

Photos

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 15, 2011

Q&A: Student activist in Tehran

February 14th, 2011
Ali is a student activist at Amir Kabir University in Tehran. He organized a student demonstration on campus on Monday and participated in other rallies in a few locations in the capital. He spoke to Arash Aramesh of InsideIRAN.org about the clashes in Tehran.



Q: Please describe what is happening right now in Tehran?

A: Lots of people were on the streets; maybe a few hundred thousand. We started at Amir Kabir University, but security forces shut all the gates at the university. My friends and I wanted to march together so we would be in a group to reduce the risk of getting caught. Around campus, security forces split us up in two groups. There was a pro-government professor yelling and chanting against us. Some people were arrested on campus. We moved near Vali Asr Square, but police locked down the entire area. We tried to walk to Azadi Square. You could not see a single open store. It is a good hour or so walk from Vali Asr to Azadi but you did not see a single open business.



Security forces implemented their old, and well- practiced techniques. Their forces were everywhere and very well organized. I just left my friends. We are trying to get a head count and see what happened to my friends.



Q: Were there a lot of arrests?



A: They filled vans with people. They rushed us and took people away. There is a language school near Danshjoo Park. Police occupied that building and the one next to it and turned it into a temporary detention facility. Four or five officers would attack students and kidnap them and then keep them in the building.



At noon, we told everyone that we had a permit to reduce the fear and anxiety of people. Phones did not work in that area, but we still managed to get many people out. This was a very successful event. Many people showed up and not many got hurt.



Q: How did the police treat the demonstrators?

A: Some police forces were surprisingly nice, especially around Azadi Square. But other forces in other areas used brute force. I saw a man whose face was struck with something. I couldn’t tell what it was, but there was blood all over him and he fell down. The government is really worried about people with cameras and this man had a camera. He was taking pictures. The government doesn’t want any media coverage.



There was such little information about what to do and where to go. We got all our information from the internet. And there is no information about what to do next. But I am very happy about today’s turnout.



Q: What groups of people were there today?



A: We saw people from all walks of life. Many students but lots of older people. We saw people with Islamic covers and beards in our ranks. There were people who looked poor. We didn’t expect them to come. But I think they came because of economic pressure. Things have gotten worse since the subsidies reform.



Q: What is going to happen next?



A: We don’t know. Moussavi was supposed to talk to BBC, but he is under house arrest. So is Karroubi. People need information but no one is adequately covering the events in Iran. Lots of people have good internet access at work and more people have basic internet at home. But there is not any information for them as what to do.



I think people are waiting for another call to protest. People want to take advantage of internal rifts in government. The Majlis and the government cannot work together. They always insult each other. And people are fed up with this situation that nothing gets done and there is so much infighting. Everything is getting more expensive because of Ahmadinejad’s subsidy cuts. Metro tickets in Tehran are going to quadruple in price. People, especially the urban poor, cannot live like this. The same people who voted for him because of handouts are now getting tired of his policies



Q: What do you expect from Egyptian and Tunisian groups and pro-democracy forces?



A: We want them to issue statements in support of our movement. Imagine what an impact it would have if the Muslim Brotherhood released a statement in our support. Or if Egyptian youth support us, there would be great moral boost.



People don’t realize how tense the situation is in Tehran. It is very tense. It is a powder keg and only needs a trigger. People no longer consider themselves supporters of Moussavi or Karroubi. Instead, they say they are part of a movement. The Green Movement that does not belong to Moussavi but to the people.

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 15, 2011

Iran feature: Facebook and a resurgent opposition? (Habibinia)

Iran analysis: guess who's back? back again?

Of course, there will be the numbers game. Estimates of the marchers yesterday ranged from the "several hundred" offered by a BBC correspondent in London to "hundreds of thousands", put out both by activists and by two Tehran-based reporters for The Financial Times.

There is no way at this point to be sure --- given the scattered natures of the gatherings, a fluid movement of people all day as they tried to get near Azadi Square --- but from the video we received, the reports of eyewitnesses for EA and for other outlets, and signals such as the response of security forces, we believe it is safe to say "tens of thousands" were out in Tehran. And, it should be remembered: this was not just a day for protest in the capital. We have confirmation of rallies in Shiraz, Isfahan, and Arak, and others reported gatherings in Rasht and Kermanshah.

Yet to play the numbers game misses the wider political contest. The fear of activists entering yesterday was that there would be no mobilisation at all, that --- despite the direct allusion to the possibilities of Tunisia and Egypt, which were attributed in part to the Green Wave rising in 2009 --- Iranian people had been imprisoned, intimidated, and beaten off the streets for good.

The test yesterday was just to show that this had not occurred. And that challenge was met. The best evaluation of the day came from one of my EA colleagues. He linked back to 27 December 2009 and the marches on the religious occasion of Ashura, the last time that the opposition showed a significant public presence. Pulling together EA's sources and that of other reliable media, he --- and he is not prone to exaggeration or rosy views of protest --- concluded: what we had seen on Monday was comparable, but it was bigger...

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 15, 2011

Bahrain - protesters have occupied a roundabout, the Bahraini version of Tahrir Square?

http://twitter.com/angryarabiya

Never felt this way be4. We have taken over a roundabout, and for the 1st time we feel free!

Havin trouble uploadin pics. Ppl of the world revolt against oppression, it feels GREAT!

Awesome view from #Luluroundabout flyover of protestors #Feb14 #Bahrain RT@JTheIsl... http://plixi.com/p/77589170

@Nix_lloyd Lol how many times have this many ppl protested in pearl roundabout??or any ppl? How can it be an old pic. Ask any bahraini u kno

Ppl are here with their blankets. Young men cleanin roundabout, others handing out water and food

Young men holding up banners callin Aljazeera to cover the Bahraini uprising.

Now I understand wat egyptians were talkin abt when they said it feels like a concert

Three tents up n more comming. Protesters makin tea for everyone. Speaches callin for an end 2 oppression.

2 clarify. Similar 2 concert in no's, not music and celebration. Ppl still shaken up abt martyrs. Still angry, determined 2 change country.

They've brought matresses for the protesters

Guardian

5.00pm: Here is an evening summary:

• Bahrain: thousands of protesters have descended on Pearl Roundabout in the Bahraini capital Manama for a peaceful demonstration (see 1.59pm). Many have been setting up tents in echoes of Egypt's Tahrir Square and say they will stay there until their demands are met. A man named as Fadhel Salman Matrook was killed in Bahrain when security forces fired shots at a crowd of people who had gathered for the funeral of Ali Abdulhadi Mushaima, who was shot dead yesterday (see 7.53am). The king later expressed his sorrow at the deaths and announced an investigation (see 4pm). The main Shia opposition group in Bahrain, al-Wefaq, denounced the "bullying tactics and barbaric policies pursued by the security forces" and said it was suspending its participation in parliament, where it holds 18 of the 40 seats (see 10.40am).

1.59pm – Bahrain: Thousands of protesters, including children, have gathered for a rowdy protests at the Pearl (also known as Lulu) roundabout, according to live mobile phone footage uploaded to Bambuser.

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 15, 2011

Libya - protests were supposed to start on Thursday but have kicked off 2 days early

[youtube]QOqZ391dzfg[/youtube]

http://twitter.com/search?q=%23libya

Clashes in Al-Dhahra area of Tripoli

Protests have already started in Benghazi and Tripoli. They need urgent coverage.

The Internal Security Building in #Benghazi has Burned down with over 500 Protestors out in the streets! Tweet for #Libya!

Protests in City of #Shahhat #Libya have began! Keep Us In Your thoughts!

#Gaddafi Brought #Chad mercenaries to help quell current and upcoming protests, & they refused after their arrival Sources in #Libya say

Protests planned in London outside Libyan Embassy and White House USA..should attract Western Media attention.

http://twitter.com/search?q=%23Feb17

URGENT: Follow situation in #LIBYA #FEB17 about 1000 protestors reported in #benghazi right now, unconf reports some killed

Eyewitnesses: protests in Asaha AlKhadra, #Tripoli and more in #Benghazi. The revolt in Libya has begun, can't wait until #Feb17

Opposition in #Libya demanding Gaddafi resignation, 2 days ahead of planned #Feb17 http://bit.ly/ftZcfN

NOW IN BENGHAZI PPL ARE MOVING NEAR MATHABA CITY CENTER Bahrain #feb14, Libya #feb17, Algeria #feb19, Morocco #feb20, Kuwait #Mar8

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 15, 2011

Bahrain protests prompt global concerns

The BBC

Gala Riani, a senior Middle East analyst at Jane's Defence Weekly says: "Bahrain is not unused to this kind of unrest.

"The authorities will be able to handle it, as they have in the past, if it is sectarian in nature."

But that could be a big if.

Journalist Reem Khalifa, a senior editor with the Bahraini newspaper Al Wasat, says this time the protests are different.

"Young Sunni and Shia are marching together and they are shouting 'neither Sunni nor Shia but Bahraini'. We have not seen this before,'" she says.

She adds that women are much more involved in the protests. One reason is that they are less likely to be manhandled by the security forces.

Even so, Ms Khalifa says she saw one woman who had approached a security line with a Bahraini flag being roughed up.

The security police are largely non-Bahraini. They are Sunni Muslims recruited from Pakistan, Yemen, Syria and Jordan.

Fast-tracked to citizenship and given preferential treatment, they are infuriating protesters.

One protester told me: "Some of [the security police] don't even speak Arabic. They have no respect for the people.

"They have no loyalty to the flag. Their only loyalty is to their paymasters."

Meanwhile, American president Barack Obama may have another headache on his Middle East plate. The Fifth Fleet is seen as a bulwark against the rising threat of Iran.

As in Egypt, US policy has been to ignore the often legitimate grievances of Bahrainis in favour of stability and support for a repressive regime.

But if these protests transcend the sectarian divide and the Bahraini government responds with ever more brutal tactics, Washington will be put in a very difficult place - to support the government will be to deny the democratic aspirations of yet another Arab nation.

And Saudi Arabia is even more nervous - a causeway links the kingdom to Bahrain.

An expert with close ties to the powerful Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef told me the Saudi government will intervene if the situation "gets out of hand".

Gala Riani of Jane's Weekly concurs, saying the Saudis would not be loath to lend support - and in a worst-case scenario to intervene directly - should the Bahraini authorities not be able to control the demonstrations.

That would add a nightmarish twist to Barack Obama's growing Middle East dilemma at a time when instability is rapidly outpacing American strategy in the region.

"We don't recognise leaders"

When someone got onto the make-shift podium, already occupied by some turbanned gentlemen and started reading “The Youth’s Demands” he was shouted down by the crowd that they do not recognize him or any others who install themselves leaders. One shouted “our movement does not have leaders, get down!”

That made my day, especially with the turbanned lot wanting to take centre stage in this event...

Valeriano Orob…

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Valeriano Orob… on February 15, 2011

"We don't recognise leaders" that's ace! Even more considering the long authoritarian tradition in the area. I expect to listen to it more often. These upheavals are being already amazing.

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 16, 2011

From the Angry Arab blog

Bahrain today

A comrade from Bahrain today: "I took part in the demonstrations today. Below is what I saw there. You can quote me in your blog, but please don't mention my name:

My friends and I took part in occupying the Lulu roundabout. It's packed with tens of thousands of people by now. I could tell that the Islamists are mostly represented by the shia ones, and that only the secular ones are cross-sectarian, but there was only what I'd consider the bare-minimum sectarian-neutral religious chants, which didn't really bother me. It seems that they have learned their lesson from Tunisia and Egypt well.

On the roundabout, a little village very quickly began to take on a life of its own. People distributed food and beverages and picked up garbage. Personally, I helped with the latter. Some of my friends went back and forth to the malls nearby to buy rolls of plastic bags for garbage collection and fruits to distribute to people. 

Ibrahim Sharif of the secular and left-leaning Waad was there too. I met and talked to him for the first time. I asked him if he thinks that calls for an elected a Prime Minister to replace of the incumbent Khalifa bin Salman are realistic. He said if there was ever a time to realize such demands, now is it. I then asked him about the mysterious absence of the police, which were present at first but then disappeared; he said that they can't even fire a teargas canister at us at this point because doing that alone would lead to a stampede and therefore many deaths. This probably won't happen because of all the international attention we're getting, he said.

As the sun was setting, the protesters began setting up a speakers and a stage. Major opposition figures gave speeches. But what was interesting is that the stage was entirely open to us, the youth, to speak our minds. And some did. Through them, two important announcements were made: 1) there has been a third death -- don't know its details yet --  and 2) one of our fellow protesters has volunteered to buy us all dinner. All around us, tents have been set up. It was clear that the roundabout will remain occupied until further notice.

Ibrahim Sharif was giving a speech as my friends and I were leaving. He addressed the logistical problems of our new little village: we need a youth committee to clean up the place, another to provide food, another to provide shelter to those willing to stay overnight, etc. I'm back home now, but my friends tell me they have set up a projector and a screen to follow the international media and a canteen to distribute food. The level of civility and self-organization I have witnessed today is profoundly impressive. After it became evident that the police weren't about to attack such an increasingly big number of protesters under the noses of the international media -- they were nowhere to be seen, as a matter of fact -- my fear of being gassed, beaten or both had subsided. In its stead, I experienced a feeling of liberty and a real sense of community, both of which I've never known before.

We plan to set up our own tent soon. We're also working on forming a coalition of secular and left-ish/ leftist protesters. Will update you on that later, if you're interested...

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 16, 2011

Al Jazeera liveblog - Bahrain

12:08pm Our correspondent says that there are rumours of a third person dying after being injured in protests yesterday. he said that protesters are very angry about this, but it was still unconfirmed.

11:14am Funeral processions ends with burial of the deceased. Some of the protesters reported to head back to Pearl roundabout from the cemetery

10:35am Policemen behind the killing of two protesters in Bahrain have been arrested pending investigation, AFP news agency reports the interior minister as saying, while thousands of protesters continue their demonstration in the centre of Manama.

10:24am Activists say they also want the release of political prisoners, which the government has promised, and the creation of a new constitution.

8:12am Pearl roundabout, a major landmark of the city is occupied by thousands of people. They are very well organised and are saying that they will make this Bahrain's version of Egypt's Tahrir Square.

There are no police officers on the roundabout - they are standing some 700 meters away. A group of protesters will march from the roundabout while others remain and keep it occupied. 

Mark.

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 16, 2011

Violent protests break out in Libya

Al Jazeera

Protesters have clashed with police and government supporters in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, reports say.

Demonstrators gathered in the early hours of Wednesday morning in front of police headquarters and chanted slogans against the "corrupt rulers of the country", Al Jazeera's sources said.

Police fired tear gas and violently dispersed protesters, the sources said without providing further details.

The online edition of Libya's privately-owned Quryna newspaper, which is based in Benghazi, said the protesters were armed with petrol bombs and threw stones.

According to the newspaper, 14 people were injured in the clashes, including three demonstrators and 10 security officials.

In a telephone interview with Al Jazeera, Idris Al-Mesmari, a Libyan novelist and writer, said that security officials in civilian clothes came and dispersed protesters by using tear gas, batons and hot water.

Al-Mesmari was arrested hours after the interview, unconfirmed reports say.

Anti-government protesters have also called on citizens to observe Thursday as a "Day of Rage". They are hoping to emulate recent popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia to end Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's 41-year-old rule.

The rare protests reportedly began after relatives of those killed in a prison massacre about 15 years ago took to streets. They were joined by scores of other supporters.

The relatives were said to have been angered by the detention of Fathi Terbil, human rights lawyer and official spokesman of the victims' families, who was arrested by the Libyan security forces, for no apparent reason.

However, Terbil was later released, according to reports.

Twelve-hundred prisoners were killed in the Abu Slim prison massacre on June 29, 1996, after they had objected to their inhumane conditions inside the prison.

Those killed were buried in the prison's courtyard and in mass graves in Tripoli. The families of the victims have been demanding that the culprits be punished.

Mohammed Maree, an Egyptian blogger, said "Gaddafi's regime has not listened to such pleas and continues to treat the Libyan people with lead and fire."

"This is why we announce our solidarity with the Libyan people and the families of the martyrs until the criminals are punished, starting with Muammer and his family."

Libyan state television reported that rallies were taking place all over the country early this morning “in support of the rule of the people by the people”…

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 16, 2011

http://twitter.com/search?q=%23Feb17

http://twitter.com/search?q=%23libya

reports of two or more deaths and multiple injuries in benghazi demonstrations yesterday

FB group for #Libya protests confirming that Tripoli protests are gaining steam. http://ow.ly/3Xmic #feb17

Reports of Helicopters circling the city of #Benghazi, hang in there guys #Libya #Feb17 security being further tightened

just heard Tripoli youths are moving towards city centre .. We have to wait & see

First martyr of the #Benghazi protests against #Gaddafi is a 17 year old boy from the Nabbous family. Please pray for him, and for #Libya.

BREAKING: Reports that ruling "People's Committee" building in #Benghazi on fire

Angry protests in #Benghazi this morning, though in #Tripoli there have been pro-govt demonstrations

Entdinglichung

13 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on February 16, 2011

a call for revolution by a tribal Libyan opposition group: http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article20274

baboon

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on February 16, 2011

Tremours must be occuring within the offices of US imperialism over Bahrain. As Mark says above there's a massive extension of the 5th Fleet facilities going on that is due to take years, firstly to reinforce US presence overall and secondly to encircle Iran. Much has been made of the split between the Shia majority and the minority Sunni Bahraini regime with its mercenary special forces but for one Iran is not involved in stirring things up - it has too much on its plate (its called a demonstration to support the state on Friday) and secondly, this appears to be a wider based movement. Bahrain has no oil and is reliant on US/Saudi support. There are large numbers of construction workers here both local and immigrant labour and the regime has announced a payment of $2700 for every family - with strings of course.

Britain also has a naval base here that it tends not to talk about.

ocelot

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on February 16, 2011

It's not just the 5th fleet. There's a potential Saudi dimension to the Bahrain struggle as well. Despite their violently intolerant Wahhabi brand of Sunni islam, Saudi actually has a 15% Shia majority, most of whom are concentrated in the Eastern province in the areas of the old Al-Bahrayn province which includes Al-Hasa, Qatif, etc (and historically stretched from Basra in the North to Oman, being the home in 10th CE of one of the more fun Shia lunatic sects, the Qarmatians). The Eastern Provice of Saudi Arabia also happens to contain most of the big oil-fields and oil infrastructure. You can be sure the prospect of a Sunni herediatary ruler being overthrown by the hated Shia, right in the middle of their main oil region, will drive the al Saud regime absolutely hysterical, and not in a funny-ha-ha way.

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 16, 2011

[youtube]q9Bw45P2zGs[/youtube]

.

[youtube]XK6h8LBRwz0[/youtube]

http://twitter.com/search?q=%23libya

http://twitter.com/search?q=%23Feb17

13 year old boy shot dead in Baida #Libya today, evidence of how ruthless #Gadaffi is.

Word on the street: Beida is escalating we need MORE media coverage live fire being used! ppl reported dead

there are a handful of deaths in #benghazi & #beida but nobody knows exactly due to lack of independent news agencies present

In #Tripoli: SMS messages being sent out warning those who go out tomorrow will be shot

EA liveblog

2010 GMT: Al Jazeera English reports that hundreds of protesters "torched" Libyan police outposts in the eastern city of Al-Bayda (see video at 1745 GMT), while chanting: "People want the end of the regime."

In the southern city of Zentan, 120 km (75 miles) south of Tripoli, hundreds of people marched through the streets and set fire to security headquarters and a police station, then set up tents in the heart of the town

Police reportedly fired tear gas and violently dispersed protesters, arresting 20, in Benghazi. Families of those arrested are reportedly planning to gather outside the city's security directorate to demand their release.

Guardian

7.48pm GMT - Libya:

Here's a round up of the protests and reaction being reported in cities across Libya. Because of reporting restrictions imposed by the Libyan government reliable eyewitness reports are hard to come by so this is an amalgam of social media and opposition reports via third parties in other Arab states, including Tunisia:

• The city of Beyida has seen some of the heaviest clashes between protesters and security forces, with police stations set on fire. Police responded by rounding up activists. Lately there have been repeated claims of the use of live fire by security forces, with some witnesses seeing snipers in the security headquarters wounding several people.

• Benghazi: Protests continued into a second day in the countries second largest city, with police using rubber bullets and water cannon on protesters following by the arrest of a human rights activist there, although the numbers involved are said to be small. Witnesses said the protests were peaceful but were attacked by Gadhafi loyalists.

Reuters quotes a "Libyan security official" saying that 14 people, including 10 policemen, were injured. The official also accused protesters of being armed with knives and stones.

• In Zentan, south of Tripoli, hundreds of protesters marched through the streets and set fire to a police station and government offices, before establishing a camp in the centre of the city modelled on Egypt's Tahrir Square.

More updates on Libya at http://www.libyafeb17.com/

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 16, 2011

EA liveblog on Iraq

2015 GMT: Reuters report three people were killed and about 30 wounded in Kut in southern Iraq as about 2000 protesters demanding better basic services fought with police and set government buildings on fire

1530 GMT: Reports are coming from Kut, a southern Iraqi province, that at least one person has been killed in clashes between security forces and protesters.

Around 2,000 people had attacked government offices in Kut in protest over poor services. 27 people are also reported as wounded. The protests began at 0600 GMT.

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 16, 2011

Washington Post on Bahrain

In Bahrain, demonstrators again packed Pearl Square, a central traffic circle in the heart of Manama's financial district, in an effort to replicate the fervor that engulfed Cairo's Tahrir Square, the central staging ground for protests that led to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's ouster earlier this month.

A parade of speakers at the roundabout called for more freedoms as local merchants lent a carnival atmosphere to the day by selling popcorn and sandwiches amid a light police presence, witnesses said. The second of the two protesters killed was buried earlier Wednesday.

Although the U.S. State Department expressed concern about the mounting tensions in Bahrain - a pivotal American ally in the Persian Gulf that hosts the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet - President Obama on Tuesday threw his support behind demonstrators' demands for more freedoms and a better life.

[...]

Regional experts predicted that if demonstrations spin out of control, Saudi Arabia could intervene to ensure the al-Khalifa family remains in power. Already on Wednesday there were unconfirmed reports that Saudi police had come across the causeway to combat protests...

Edit: Reading through this article I've got doubts about how accurate it is.

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 16, 2011

http://twitter.com/search?q=%23Feb17

Eyewitness on the ground: a local of Benghazi just been killed! SPREAD THE WORD PPL WE NEED YOUR HELP

CONFIRMED: a man was killed moments ago in #Benghazi #Feb17 #Libya heavy clashes taking place in city center

Eyewitness on the ground, all streets blocked in #Benghazi, and clashes in maydan al shajara (city center)

guys maydan al shajara is a small Italian style square in the city center, its focal point is the tree (shajara)

3 protesters dead and 4 injured in Albaida, east of #Benghazi, Libyan security officers using live ammo

http://on.fb.me/f6Y3YO not long ago, police station burning in beida +police cars

Pictures of #Gaddafi burnt throughout #Benghazi

internet is going to be shut down as of tomorrow. we must make as much connections as possible before then.

Word on the street, revolution guard in gar younis southern benghazi working their way to city center, expect clashes tonight

Another man killed in Benghazi

reports coming in, another unarmed youth killed in Al #beida, seems Qaddafi will shed a lot of blood before he goes

38 Injured in clashes yesterday in #Benghazi according to Jazeera

can we rely on our army like #Tunisia and #Egypt? I very much doubt it

http://twitter.com/search?q=%23libya

Confirmed guy on the ground in maydan al Shajara, huge clashes now taking places, guns involved

CONFIRMED: Revolutionary guard are trying to run over protesters in Maydan Al Shajara #Libya #Feb17 all this with not one tv station

CONFIRMED: at least 2 buses packed with revolutionary guards heading to maydan al shajara carrying guns and leathal weapons

Maydan al shajara and the uni hospital are blocked off in #Benghazi by support troops

tents are appearing in the city of albaydah, this means the libyans mean to stay put and that their protests are serious.

AlMadar 1of2 gov't owned cell providers sending out mass texts to subscribers taunting and challenging if they dare to rise up

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 17, 2011

[youtube]S0f6FSB7gxQ[/youtube]

Edited to add this comment from the Arabist

Following up on my previous post on Morocco, here is the video made ahead of the February 20 protests for constitutitional reform (and muche else), but with subtitles this time.

The Moroccan press and most of the political parties are on full-fledged attack mode against the organizers of the 20 February movement, accusing them of either being irresponsible, extremist or actually traitorous. The narrative emerging from the inimitable Minister of Communications, Khaled Naciri (effectively the government spokesman) is that some wayward Moroccan youth are being led astray by a call from Facebook that is probably initiated by an American-Iranian-Algerian-Polisario conspiracy.

Another line the regime has taken is that it's ridiculous to want to imitate Tunisia or Egypt because Morocco has always been considerably freer. This is untrue, some regime figures have had the temerity to claim that people have been free to protest since the 1960s, which is an insult to the memory of the victims of the "years of lead." In any case, a confusion has been deliberately created that the February 20 protests are about overthrowing King Muhammad VI, which they are absolutely not about: they are largely about socio-economic grievances and the need for the reforms that the regime has pretended to undertake to actually be implemented, starting with constitutional reform to make Morocco into a genuine constitutional monarchy rather than an absolute one that disguises what it is by calling itself an "executive monarchy".

For the past two weeks, the regime propaganda machine has created an outpouring of affection from Muhammad VI. Much of it is based on genuine respect for the institution of the monarchy as well as the man himself, but it is dangerous to play with the king's image in this way. One possible backlash is that on February 20 the protestors will get attacked as traitors. Street violence can get pretty savage in Morocco — I dread to think what might happen. And that's on top of official and covert repression organized by the state. And the regime is taking steps like boosting subsidies (which begs the question — if they were not thinking of doing it before, are they only doing it now because of the threat of protests?)

I've been in touch with activists are there are reports of Youtube and other social media accounts being hacked, everyone involved is changing their passwords. Nonetheless, I am seeing organizing committees in about 10 cities thus far, mostly in the north. What's not clear right now is how things might play out in Western Sahara, where protests took place only last November (ending in a riot, partly because of the army's intervention). Since one of the main arguments used against the protestors is that they are putting Morocco's territorial integrity in danger (even though the protests have nothing to do with Western Sahara, but nevermind). This is the line being put out by anti-protest bloggers, whose motivation against the protests are utterly confounding: if these are just normal protests, and Morocco is a free country where one can express oneself, then what's the worry? Take a look for instance at Robin Des Blogs and BigBrother.ma — in the French-language Blogoma, long the most stalwart defenders of the Makhzen. For the other side, see Larbi or Vox Maroc. There are many more of course on either side, but I don't follow that many blogs myself. I am curious what my friend Ibn Kafka will say when he decides to intervene, though.

To summarize, I think these protests hint at the malaise that has taken over Morocco in the last few years in the face of the mounting political and economic micro-management from the palace (and accompanying corruption), the king's unwillingness to move away from a neo-feudal system of governance that relies on his own symbolic power combined with backdoor negotiations led by the Makhzen, as well as disgruntlement with the result of this style of management: high unemployment, inability to carry out educational reform, political disaffection, etc. The 20 February movement has strong elements from the hard left and from Adl wal Ihsan, the largest Islamist movement. These have long been the monarchy's most outspoken critics, but their ideologies often alienate others. From what I've seen so far, I'm not sure that large parts of the apolitical urban middle class youth will join in, either because of fear, brainwashing of simply discomfort with these groups. Even so, these protests could put the question of constitutional reform back on the table, and remind the regime that it cannot continue to claim to be reformists while not carrying out any fundamental reforms in the last five years.  

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 16, 2011

Libya - it looks like protests are being met with more open force than they were in Tunisia and Egypt. Live firing and a lot of people killed.

http://www.libyafeb17.com/

Twitter highlights:

"Helicopters have reportedly been used to shoot protesters in Al Bayda"

"Large number of tweets confirming that the protestors have some control over Benghazi town centre"

"Reports that Benghazi has currently turned into a war zone as the protestors are fighting back to take control"

"Reports of water and electricity being switched off in some parts of Libya"

"Claimed sightings of Snipers on top of buildings in Benghazi"

http://twitter.com/search?q=%23Feb17

http://twitter.com/search?q=%23libya

Reminder: Protests planned in London Thursday 17th February 2011 @ 13:00: Libyan Embassy 15 Knightsbridge SW1X 7LY

Protest in #London tomorrow in solidarity with #Libya. A Call to all #Brits who can be there, #Feb17 outside the Libyan Embassy 1pm to 4pm.

NOW: Reports coming from the ground: benghazi is now a war zone, fire everywhere rocks flying all over

Reports from the town of Cyrene East #Libya, they have burnt down the HQ of Revolutionary guard and the interior security HQ

Demonstrations in #Benghazi on Gamel AbduNasr St., over 5000 demonstrators

reports coming in, Youth in #Benghazi have ambushed the pro #gaddafi thugs between omar binal'as st and jamal st

Libyans are receiving anonymous SMSes warning them not to demonstrate #Libya #feb17 #Benghazi http://twitpic.com/40jiun

Unconfirmed: Sniper fire attacks protesters in #Bayda and #Benghazi

Helicopters used to shoot demonstrators in #Bayda, 3 CONFIRMED dead

Demonstrations in Zintan, Headquarters of Gaddafi's Revolutionary Committee in Zintan burnt down

Protesters are out on the street in the East Libyan city of Ajdabiyah

Demonstrations in Ban Walid yesterday and today

Thugs of #Gaddafi are firing live bullets on protesters in #Benghazi. Batons, water cannons and tear gas have also been used.

PLS HELP. PROTESTORS SHOT IN #Benghazi

Eyewitness to #aljazeera: 13 killed and over 20 injured in what he describe as a massacre in #Beida

Map of the protests

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 17, 2011

http://www.libyafeb17.com/

[youtube]WV07MH8XbH0[/youtube]

Disappointment with the media increases

Posted on February 16, 2011 by admin
As the night continues and more people are allegedly injured, people are growing increasingly disappointed with the media coverage the protests in Libya have received so far.

@LibyanDictator People in #Libya are dying by the dozens – media has up to now failed to seriously cover this #Feb17 @alarabiya_ar @BBCWorld @guardiannews

@EnoughGaddafi: CONFIRMED: Demonstrations in #Derna, chantin “Ya sa7afa, waynkum waynkum” “Media! Where are you? Where are you?”

@Libyan4life: Confirmation of reports of demonstrations in #Derna #Libya of protesters asking where is the media presence. #Feb17

The lack of coverage makes it really difficult to confirm the snippets of news we are getting. Especially when it concerns news of protesters being injured or even killed as many of the people are tweeting.

ocelot

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on February 17, 2011

Riot cops waded into Pearl roundabout in Bahrain at 3am local time (midnight GMT). Reports of 2 to 3 dead, hundreds injured.

So far absolute deafening silence from US and EU.

AJ Bahrain liveblog

Guardian live updates

Reuters

Unrest spreads as Bahrain cracks down on protesters
Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:20am GMT

MANAMA, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Bahrain police stormed a Manama square on Thursday to clear activists camped out there as anti-government protests in the Middle East and North Africa, inspired by revolts in Tunisia and Egypt, gathered pace.
[...]
In Bahrain, police firing tear gas and rubber bullets cleared hundreds of people from the central Pearl Square in the early hours as they tried to end three days of protests.

At least two protesters were killed and armoured vehicles were later seen heading to the area.

"Police are coming, they are shooting teargas at us," one demonstrator told Reuters by telephone. Another said: "I am wounded, I am bleeding. They are killing us."

Thousands of overwhelmingly Shi'ite protesters took to the streets in Bahrain this week demanding more say in the Gulf Arab island kingdom where a family of Sunni Muslims rules over a population that mostly belongs to the Shi'ite sect.

Hundreds had camped out at Pearl Square, a road junction in the capital that they sought to turn into the base of a protest like that at Cairo's Tahrir Square which led to the downfall of Egyptian President Mubarak.

But the square appeared nearly empty of protesters early on Thursday after police moved in and was littered with abandoned tents, blankets and rubbish. The smell of teargas wafted through the air.

"I was there ... The men were running away, but the women and kids could not run as easily," said Ibrahim Mattar, a parliamentarian from the main Shi'ite opposition Wefaq party, which has walked out of parliament.

"It is confirmed two have died," he said. "More are in critical condition."

On Wednesday, the party demanded a new constitution that would move the country toward democracy.

Bahrain's Interior Ministry said on Twitter that security forces had "cleared Pearl roundabout" of demonstrators, and a section of a main road was temporarily blocked.

The religious divide that separates Bahrain's ruling family from most of its subjects has led to sporadic unrest since the 1990s, and Bahrain's stability is being closely watched as protests blow through North Africa and the Middle East.

It is considered the state most vulnerable to unrest in a region where, in an unwritten pact, rulers have traded a share of their oil wealth for political submission.

WARNING ON "HEAVY-HANDED REPRESSION"

Regional power Saudi Arabia, and the United States -- which bases its Fifth Fleet in Bahrain -- both view the ruling Khalifa family as a bulwark against Shi'ite Iran.
[...]

edit: confirm, 3 dead.

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 17, 2011

BBC live updates

Security forces in Bahrain have used tear gas and batons to disperse thousands of anti-government protesters in Pearl Square, in the capital Manama. At least three people are reported to have been killed.

1014: More from our correspondent in Bahrain: Ambulances have been turned away and the centre of Manama is "effectively shut down".

1011: A BBC correspondent at Salmaniya Hospital in Manama, Bahrain, has confirmed that three people have been killed and 300 are injured following clashes with police.

0950: A report coming from Yemen says at least 12 people have been injured in clashes in the capital Sanaa. An AFP reporter says about 2,000 protesters - mostly students - left Sanaa University headed for the city centre when they ran into regime supporters and fighting broke out.

0941: Geneva-based rights group Human Rights Solidarity is quoting witnesses in Libya who say snipers on rooftops have killed as many as 13 protesters and wounded dozens more.

0932: As our live coverage of protests across the Middle East and North Africa gets under way, AFP news agency quotes witnesses as saying that dozens of armoured military vehicles are being deployed near Pearl Square in central Manama.

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 17, 2011

Some background on Bahrain

From the comments:

There’s some news coming out of saudi that a demonstration is set to take place on Thursday in the Shia town of Awamiyah. The Shiites in the eastern province of saudi arabia enjoy cultural and tribal ties with their counterparts in Bahrain, and they are livid.

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 17, 2011

Angry Arab blog

A comrade who should remain anonymous:

The following numbers are straight from the hospital in Bahrain

5 dead, 2000 young adults injured, 400 elderly injured, 250 women injured, 70 children injured... 300 of the mentioned in critical condition

Police have attacked ambulance crews

blood donors heading to the hospital attacked.  Only people that can safely go to the hospital are doctors and nurses with IDS

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 17, 2011

Libya

http://twitter.com/search?q=%23Feb17

http://twitter.com/search?q=%23libya

SMS in #Benghazi down, this is the method news was spread across the country

ok an update on the situation, it looks like East #Libya has no net & electricity out in some places #Feb17, he is planning something today

Reports from #Benghazi, Benina airport is closed, and now the net seems to be off, he has started the shut down

Security now searching for those who called AJ from Bayda city in #Libya yesterday. Source http://ow.ly/3Y6Yj

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 17, 2011

Bahrain

http://twitter.com/angryarabiya

another 2 dead bodies found in Qufool that raise total of today killed to 6 and total since #Feb14 to 8

Doctors at Salmanya hosptl protesting against minister as no ambulances available #Bahrain #lulu #14Feb http://plixi.com/p/78000060

Eye Witness: all the salmaniya staff are out on a march including doctors and nurses demanding the resignation of the minister of health

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 17, 2011

Guardian

10.54am – Bahrain: In the comments, goonerinoman, who works at a university in Bahrain, posts the following first-person description of Pearl roundabout this morning:

Today I should be celebrating Arsenal's fantastic win last night and reading all about it. Instead I have been driving around seeing what's going on here. My first port of call was the supermarket to buy some batteries for my camera. The supermarket was packed with people filling up. Normally there would be two or three people in the supermarket, today there was around a hundred, my joke about it looking like armageddon did not go down to well with the Aussie women in front of me. Everybody had trolleys filled with essentials. Salmaniya Medical Centre where I think some of the bodies were taken. It was very quiet I saw a handful of youths and the only thing that alerted me to there being something different was that one of them had a Bahraini flag draped around him.

From there I drove down to the Pearl roundabout. I was surprised that the road was open, as I drove down on the other side of the carriageway there were bricks scattered all over the road. I saw a lot of broken glass and some heavily bloodstained areas. I got half way down the road and there was a police blockade maybe 100 armed police with rubber bullets and tear gas and machine guns. I went right and after some crazy driving and driving over some waste ground I arrived at the roundabout. It was surrounded by more police. There are bulldozers ripping up the tents and a huge clean-up operation. I did not see any tanks. There were a lot of cars smashed up and lots of debris on the ground. The tents that have survived are being ripped down and taken away. It is like the scene a day or two after the end of Glastonbury. There are lots of roadblocks.

As I was leaving I saw eight ambulances being allowed through one of the blockades. I have no idea where they were going and it was impossible to follow. I do not know if there are clashes on the other side of the Pearl or in another part of Bahrain but it was eerily quiet around the roundabout. I said it would get messy I did not think this quickly. Tomorrow will be very interesting funerals and Friday prayers. Hold on to your hijabs.

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 17, 2011

EA liveblog

1035 GMT: The New Yorkk Times's Nickolas Kristof writes: "Nurse told me she saw handcuffed prisoner beaten by police, then executed with gun." He continued: "One Bahraini ambulance driver told me a Saudi army officer held gun to his head, said wld kill him if helped injured."

...which raises the question of possible Saudi involvement in the repression.

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 17, 2011

Bahrain - I'm not sure if these are recent reports or from earlier today

http://twitter.com/angryarabiya

i just saw the abmulance driver who are beatin they have broken arms and heads banded

Eyewintness:the army are firing shots at the protestors near the pearl roundabout

Salmaniya have instructions not to treat any injured ppl, the bahraini nurses are helping out. injured are being rejected treatment

ocelot

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on February 17, 2011

Comment from an Arsenal fan working in a university at Bahrain, who finished his account thusly:

Today I should be celebrating Arsenal's fantastic win last night and reading all about it. Instead I have been driving around seeing what's going on here.[...]

As I was leaving [Pearl roundabout]I saw eight ambulances being allowed through one of the blockades. I have no idea where they were going and it was impossible to follow. I do not know if there are clashes on the other side of the Pearl or in another part of Bahrain but it was eerily quiet around the roundabout. I said it would get messy I did not think this quickly. Tomorrow will be very interesting funerals and Friday prayers. Hold on to your hijabs.

quite.

ocelot

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on February 17, 2011

12 hours later, the UK finally makes a public statement.

12.18pm – Bahrain: The UK foreign secretary, William Hague (left), has called on the authorities in Bahrain to "exercise restraint", reports the Press Association:
[...]
"We urge all sides to avoid violence and the police to exercise restraint..."

Despicable. Still not a word from the US.

ocelot

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on February 17, 2011

G

12.44pm – Bahrain: About 60 people are missing after yesterday's raid at Pearl roundabout, a Shia opposition MP said, according to Reuters, [...]

Mattar said the whereabouts of about 60 people remained unclear, hours after police forced demonstrators to abandon Pearl roundabout, an intersection in Manama which they had hoped to turn into a protest base similar to Cairo's Tahrir Square. "Are they in prison or did they escape and are now hiding in houses? We don't know," he said, adding that his figure was based on telephone calls received from worried relatives.

AJ

17:02pm [GMT+3] Al Jazeera's correspondent says that three more bodies are being kept in the morgue of Salmaniya hospital. Two more children are fighting for their lives. There are also a lot of missing people. A source told our correspondent that the army may have taken away bodies in a refrigerated truck.

Submitted by flaneur on February 17, 2011

ocelot

12 hours later, the UK finally makes a public statement.

12.18pm – Bahrain: The UK foreign secretary, William Hague (left), has called on the authorities in Bahrain to "exercise restraint", reports the Press Association:
[...]
"We urge all sides to avoid violence and the police to exercise restraint..."

The talk of both sides needing restraint always reminds me of this.

rooieravotr

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by rooieravotr on February 17, 2011

Grin
http://iwpr.net/report-news/azerbaijan%E2%80%99s-opposition-warns-egyptian-scenario

As Hosni Mubarak’s grip on power faded in his own country, opposition leaders in Azerbaijan stepped up calls for a statue of the Egyptian president to be removed from their capital.

The opposition leaders drew comparisons between the situation in their own country and the wave of popular protests in Egypt, saying events in Cairo should serve as a warning to other authoritative regimes.

The statue of Mubarak was erected in 2007 in Khirdalan, a suburb of the Azerbaijani capital Baku, and a local school was dedicated to the Egyptian leader’s wife at the same time.

“As if we don’t have enough idols and dictators of our own,” Panah Huseyn, a member of parliament until the November 2010 election, said in a statement.

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 18, 2011

Warning: graphic footage

[youtube]B6RCBOC-MAM[/youtube]

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 18, 2011

Arms sales to Bahrain

Foreign Secretary William Hague has said there is no evidence Bahrain is using British-made products to crack down on protesters.

Mr Hague demanded Bahrain's leaders involve opposition politicians in reforms, and said the UK's "strict" export criteria aims to prevent governments providing weapons for internal repression.

He told Radio 4's Today programme: "We have no evidence that they have been used."

Mr Hague added: "I'm not relaxed about it - we have very strict export licensing criteria in this country.

"We do not sell material to other countries that are likely to be used for internal repression or to fuel regional or international conflicts." ...

So what is he expecting arms to be used for then?

Bahrain
Bristol against the arms trade

In 2010, equipment approved for export included tear gas and crowd control ammunition, equipment for the use of aircraft cannons, assault rifles, shotguns, sniper rifles and sub-machine guns. No requests for licences were refused.

UKTI DSO has listed Bahrain as a key market for UK arms exports.

Bahrain was invited to attend the UK arms fairs: the Farnborough Airshow in 2010 and Defence and Security Equipment International in 2009. UKTI DSO supported the Bahrain International Airshow 2010, where it organised an outdoor event.

UK armed forces have been used in support of sales efforts, demonstrating arms to the Royal Bahrain Artillery.

Meanwhile in Abu Dhabi...

The International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) is the largest defence and security event in the Middle East and North African region.



In 2011, the 10th edition of IDEX, takes place from Sunday 20th - Thursday 24th February, at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.



Retaining the prestigious honour, IDEX 2011 will be held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

List of exhibitors at IDEX

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 18, 2011

Bahrain uses UK-supplied weapons in protest crackdown
The Guardian

Last night, the Ministry of Defence was unable to say what role the British military has supporting or advising the Bahraini defence forces through secondments or training programmes. Military analysts said the anglophile nature of the Bahraini elite made it likely. "The Bahrain military employs a number of British citizens as advisers on organisation and strategy in the ministry of interior and the ministry of defence," said Jonathan Eyal, the director of international security studies at the Royal United Services Institute.

According to the Foreign Office's own records and the Campaign Against the Arms Trade, the UK has also supplied Libya – which has warned in an SMS message that it will use live ammunition against protesters – with similar weapons and ammunition. Sales to both Bahrain and Libya were actively promoted by the UK government's arms promotion unit, the UK Trade & Investment Defence & Security Organisation.

Despite the widespread unrest throughout the Middle East and North Africa, British arms manufacturers this weekend will be attending IDEX, a major arms fair in Abu Dhabi, to promote sales throughout the Middle East region.

Examination by the Guardian of pictures of the injuries of the dead and injured taken at hospitals in Bahrain showed the tell-tale blast pattern of shotgun pellets, including on a young, seriously injured child who appeared to have been shot in the ribcage at close range. Credible witnesses to both Thursday's assault and a similar attack on a funeral procession in Manama describe police using shotguns, alleged to have been responsible for the death of mourner Fadhel Ali Almatrook.

Other licences granted for export to Bahrain by the UK included small arms ammunition and submachine guns.

Despite the warnings from HRW and other organisations of a worsening rights situation in Bahrain, the Foreign Office's own statistics reveal that the number of arms exports licences continued to increase in 2010 from 34 to 42 with no licences being refused. Arms exports to Libya, where lethal force has already been used against demonstrators, appear to have followed a similar pattern with exports last year including tear gas, and £3.2 million worth of ammunition including for crowd control...

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 18, 2011

Al Jazeera

2:08pm Pro-government rallies being held in Bahrain's capital, despite ban on such gathering by police. Al Jazeera reporter says that strong police presence in other areas of city, with helicopters patrolling overhead.

12:27pm Friday prayers are over and strong police presence on some streets. Here is a picture that was uploaded on Twitter that shows tanks in the streets.

11:09am The funerals are taking place before the Friday prayers. Al Jazeera's reporter in Bahrain says that people taking part in the funeral processions fear for their lives

10:07am Thousands now gathering at grave yard for the funeral ahead of Friday prayers.

9:58am Funeral for some of those killed yesterday is now underway. People are very sad, but also very angry.

8:35am No sign of security forces in area where funerals are to be held. Hundreds have gathered and the funeral procession is preparing to start. 

8:23am The funerals of four people killed in Thursday's pre-dawn raid in Manama are expected to be held today and could well serve as a rallying point for protesters.

baboon

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on February 18, 2011

Hague says he has "no evidence" of British arms being used to murder. He hasn't wanted to look at any of course and this makes his statement factually correct.

Reference Mark above, the British have finally stated that they have a naval base in Bahrain and Hague's visit last week showed him visiting a British army garrision. Where there's soldiers, there's special forces and these latter, along with MI6, have likely been "advising" the regime. The British ruling class once again accomplices to murder.

Valeriano Orob…

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Valeriano Orob… on February 18, 2011

spain sells a lot of light weapons to israel. In libya's case spanish' stablishment must be hysterical, cos lybia is the most lucrative bizness for repsol-ypf: http://www.webislam.com/?idn=6124

ocelot

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on February 18, 2011

More Bahrain killings this evening near Pearl roundabout.

Guardian

4.01pm: Mark Tran has been speaking to Martin Chulov in Manama. He says:

The worst fears have played out to some extent. A small group of villagers marched to Pearl Square ... They were beaten back. There were a large numbers of shots fired. Most of them were warning shots fired in the air ... We're told it was only 100 or so villagers walking on the area; that was perceived as being something far more significant by the security forces, who had laid siege to that part of town, which is in central Manama. We understand that the shots were fired in the air, but we also believe that a couple of people have been injured ... They absolutely will not tolerate any dissent and nor will they tolerate demonstrators returning to Pearl Square ... It appears that [now] they [the security forces] have retreated back to their positions.

BBC

1612: A witness to today's dramatic events in Manama tells al-Jazeera English: "[There were] only bullets. They didn't give us any [indication] so that we could just run away from them. They just started shooting us. Now there are more than 20 injured in the hospital. One guy, he has already passed away because he got shot in his head. And there are more than three injured. They will pass away in a few hours because... they have got shot... near their chest or near their heart."

AJE

The circumstances of the shooting after nightfall on Friday were not clear.

A former Shia lawmaker said troops shot at the protesters and wounded several.

Jalal Firooz, of the Wefaq bloc that resigned from parliament on Thursday, said demonstrators had been elsewhere in the city, marking the death of a protester killed earlier this week when riot police had fired tear gas at them. The demonstrators then made for the roundabout, where army troops are deployed.

A doctor of Salmaniya hospital told Al Jazeera that the hospital is full of severely injured people after the latest shootings.

"We need help! Our staff is entirely overwhelmed. They are shooting at people's heads. Not at the legs. People are having their brains blown out," a distraught Dr Ghassan doctor said, describing the chaos at the hospital as something close to a war zone.

He said the hospital was running short of blood and appealed for help to get more supplies.

Police had no immediate comment.

[...]

Entdinglichung

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on February 18, 2011

Iran: http://antifateheran.blogsport.de/2011/02/18/iran-news-diese-woche-2/

„Senior officers in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have written a letter to their commanding officer demanding assurances that they will not be required to open fire on anti-government demonstrators.
Following the recent violence that occurred during anti-government protests in Egypt, the officers argue that it is against the principles of Shi‘ite Islamic law to use violence against their own people.
In a suggestion of a major split within the Islamic Republic’s ruling hierarchy over its handling of anti-government protests, the letter has been circulated widely throughout the ranks of the Revolutionary Guards, the body responsible for defending religious system.“

ocelot

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on February 18, 2011

Re Bahrain shootings

G

4.32pm - Bahrain: Martin Chulov is tweeting from Salmaniya hospital in Manama. A man admitted with gunshot wounds has just died, Martin says.

• @martinchulov Just seen one man in hosp hit with live round in the head. In terrible shape. Not expected to live.

• @martinchulov Man shot in the head just died.

4.24pm - Bahrain: Lots of tweets flying around about medical treatment being denied in Manama. Reports unconfirmed as yet.

ocelot

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on February 18, 2011

Meanwhile, news from elsewhere via le Parisien

> In Jordan, witnesses and hospital sources assure that eight people were injured during a pro-democracy rally, calling for "political reform", an "elected government" and "end to corruption" .

These are the first recorded instances violence since the start of the protest movement in Jordan in January. Unlike other Arab countries, the protests had up until now taken place peacefully.

> In Syria, according to an opposition website which broadcasts from Dubai, all4Syria.info, hundreds of people demonstrated Thursday for more than three hours, in the heart of Damascus, to protest against the brutality of policemen deployed against an inhabitant . The rally quickly turned into a denunciation of police corruption.

The protesters remained more than three hours on site, blocking nearby streets. They asked the Minister of the Interior, who came to see them [!?!] to arrest the officers involved and bring them to justice, according to the website.

> In the Sultanate of Oman, Muscat, the capital, some 300 people, including women, demonstrated peacefully to demand wage increases and political reforms. Participants in the parade, the second of its kind in a month, traveled Central Avenue departments with banners proclaiming: "Stop the rise in prices," "Increase wages", "Allow Islamic banks' .

Couldn't say as to reliability of that source re the Syrian story. In the words of the acerbic comment reputedly passed on by Orwell from his war days in the Ministry of Propaganda - "good if true".

ocelot

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on February 18, 2011

BBC - Kuwait

1703: Some news now from Kuwait: Dozens of protesters are said to have been arrested in a big demonstration by stateless people demanding citizenship, Reuters reported

AJE - Basra

Violent protests have taken place at various locations in Iraq, with anti-government protesters rallying against corruption, poor basic services and high unemployment.

In Basra, the country's second largest city, about 1,000 people rallied on Friday, demanding better service delivery from the government, jobs and improved pensions.

They called for the provincial governor to resign, and blocked a bridge for an hour. Protesters shouted slogans saying that while Friday's protests would be peaceful, ones held in the future may not be.

"We're living in miserable conditions, no electricity, dirty, muddy streets. We have to make changes. We should not be silent," said Qais Jabbar, one of the protesters.[...]

Basra, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman... That's the length of the historic Al-Bahrayn region. The Saudis must be going spare.

Not to mention Yemen and Jordan. With the exception of the UAE and Qatar, there's not a country bordering Saudi that isn't in some kind of instability.

baboon

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on February 18, 2011

BBC eight o'clock tonight reports that anti-aircraft cannon (Britain supplied similar ordnance) was fired from military trucks over the heads of protesters in Bahrain. 300 doctors walked out of the hospital (and went back to work I should imagine); 60 protesters still missing (Channel 4 reports helicopters firing on demonstrations).

In Yemen the crowd were kettled by the police who then opened up and let the thugs in, directing operations.

There's reports on the former of demonstrations occuring in Tripoli, the home base of the regime. And there is another (one above I think) of soldiers joining the protest. All Libyan youth have to do some form of national service and it's certainly not a mercenary force like Bahrain. These, as much as anywhere in the region, will be mainly the sons, brothers, cousins, uncles, etc., of protesters. Unemployment here is at least as great as anywhere in the region.

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 18, 2011

Reports of protests in Djibouti

Al Arabiya

Thousands of opposition supporters, mainly students, gathered in Djibouti Friday to demand President Ismael Omar Guelleh step down, witnesses said.



The rare demonstration in the tiny Horn of Africa country was organised amid mounting opposition to the president, who last year had the constitution amended to allow him to seek a third mandate in upcoming April elections.



"IOG out", read one banner, using the president's initials, as most Djiboutians do. "No to a third mandate", read another banner.



Amid a tight police deployment, the demonstrators gathered at a stadium with the intention of staying there until their demands are met.



Officials from the Union for Democratic Change, an umbrella group of three opposition parties, gave speeches calling for Guelleh's resignation.



The group's leader, Ismael Guedi Hared, told AFP before the demonstration that Guelleh should leave power and called for a sustained protest movement akin to those that have swept the Arab world in recent weeks.



"For the moment, our goal is to remove Ismael Omar Guelleh from power," he said.



Asked if he hoped for an Egypt-like scenario, he said: "Yes, that's it." ...


Businessweek reports a claim that police opened fire on demonstrators but this seems to be unconfirmed

Police have opened fire on demonstrators in Djibouti, the Horn of Africa nation that hosts the only U.S. military base on the continent, according to the leader of an opposition party.

“The police are confronting demonstrators,” Mohamed Daoud Chehem, head of the Djibouti Party for Development, said by phone from the protest in the capital, Djibouti. “They have opened fire,” he said, without being able to specify if anyone was injured or what type of ammunition was used.

Chehem earlier said that as many as 20,000 people had joined the protest

[...]

Exiled Djiboutian opposition leader Abdourahman Boreh, who is currently in London, put the number of protesters today at as many as 5,000. The demonstration may extend beyond today, he said in a phone interview.

“We will see how it goes,” Boreh said. “This is the first day. We will see how the government reacts.”


The U.S has had a base in Djibouti since 2001, while former colonial power France also has 3,000 troops stationed in the country, which is smaller than the U.S. state of Massachusetts. The republic borders the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden and is seen as a strategic location in the U.S.-led fight against terrorism and piracy.

Last month, Boreh called for elections scheduled for April to be delayed by as much as a year and for international monitors to oversee an electoral roll that includes 130,000 to 140,000 of the population of about 865,000.

Edit: BBC live updates, this is sounding more serious

1954: Witnesses in Djibouti says the area facing the interior ministry has been blocked to traffic following Friday's unrest. Burned-out cars can be seen near the el-Hannan hospital and there are other damaged vehicles nearby

1744: There's a report of unrest in Djibouti. An AFP correspondent says police fired tear gas and clashed with thousands of youths calling for the president to step down.

radicalgraffiti

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by radicalgraffiti on February 18, 2011

Video of bahrain army shooting protesters

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwnUQcKXmMM&feature=youtu.be

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 19, 2011

Kuwait

Al Jazeera

At least 1,000 stateless Arabs have demonstrated in Kuwait demanding citizenship, leading to dozens of them being arrested by police, witnesses have said.

Ambulances rushed an unspecified number of wounded protesters and security forces away from the scene, with a witness telling the AFP news agency that at least five people were hurt, one of them seriously.

The protest in Jahra, northwest of Kuwait City, on Friday was the first in the Gulf Arab state since a wave of unrest began sweeping across the Middle East in December.

Security forces dispersed the demonstration, using smoke bombs and water cannon after protesters refused warnings to leave.

[…]

Stateless Arabs, estimated at more than 100,000, claim they have the right to Kuwaiti citizenship, but the government says that ancestors of many of them came from neighbouring countries and they are not entitled to nationality.

Kuwait launched a crackdown on them in 2000, depriving them of their essential rights in a bid to force them to reveal what the authorities say are their true identities.

Authorities said that following the crackdown, some 20,000 of them disclosed their original citizenship and were given residence permits like other foreigners.

Many of them have no right to a driver's licence, cannot get birth certificates for their babies or death certificates for the dead. They are also banned from getting their marriage contracts attested.

Due to stringent government restrictions, a majority of them are living in dire economic conditions in oil-rich Kuwait, where the average monthly salary of native citizens is more than $3,500.

Most of the stateless claim to be Kuwaitis whose forefathers, who lived as Bedouins in the desert, failed to apply for citizenship when the state first introduced its nationality law in 1959.

Comment on the Guardian live updates

To whoever is doing the live blog: I received reports from Kuwait that the state security had closed off all entrances and exits to Taima, Jahra where the Bedoon protests were taking place ''until security has been restored.'' - eg. they will brutally repress all dissent. 150 were reported as being arrested and 50 hospitalised. Police and state security were using tear gas, rubber bullets, water cannons and stun grenades - I posted footage of the water cannons firing on the protesters earlier, but it can also be found on Twitter and You Tube. 



And the vast majority of Kuwaitis, as well as Bedoon, are ''descendants of desert nomads'' so that is not a point of differentiation between them (nor is religion in case anyone's curious) - Kuwait was only colonised in the early 18th century by the Bani Utbah. The vast majority of Bedoon have been there as long as Kuwaiti citizens - you can find out more about their history here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_bidoon_in_Kuwait

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 19, 2011

The view from Saudi

Remember, in a former post, when I said that Saudis were captivated and shocked by what happened in Tunis and Egypt but hadn’t collectively made up their mind about it? Well it appears that they have. Everywhere I go and everything I read points to a revolution in our own country in the foreseeable future. However we are still on the ledge and haven’t jumped yet.

I know that some analysts are worried particularly of Saudi Arabia being taken over by Al Qaeda or a Sunni version of the Iranian Islamic Revolution. Calm down. Besides my gut feeling (which is rarely wrong), the overwhelming majority of people speaking out and calling out for a revolution are people who want democracy and civil rights and not more of our current Arab tradition based adaptation of Sharia. My theory of why that is, is that Al Qaeda has already exhausted its human resources here…

In Qatif, a Shia majority area in Eastern Saudi, there is talk that there was a protest demanding the release of political prisoners yesterday…

Samotnaf

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on February 19, 2011

Although these updates are confined to movements in the North African region, wouldn't you say that in fact, the movements have had a rippling effect globally - in Wisconsin and Ohio, for instance? And - who knows? - France had an effect on Millbank which had an effect on .... ?

Also, and more importantly, given that we're along the path to a new epoch of global revolts, it now seems essential to develop nuanced critiques of leftist parties/organisations and trade unions (independent or otherwise), given their very different histories in different countries, if we're not to end up very brutally (and brutalisingly) defeated yet again - and defeated in a way that doesn't learn new mistakes and successes.
But perhaps this is not the thread to be doing that in.

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 19, 2011

Confirmation of the Saudi protest

Saudi Shi'ites have held a small protest in the kingdom's oil-producing eastern province, close to Gulf Arab neighbour Bahrain where unrest has cost six lives, local Shi'ite sources said on Saturday.

They said a group of Shi'ites staged a protest on Thursday in the town of Awwamiya, near the Saudi Shi'ite centre of Qatif on the Gulf coast, to demand the release of fellow Shi'ites held in prison without trial.

Top OPEC exporter Saudi Arabia fears that unrest in Bahrain, where majority Shi'ites are protesting against the Sunni government, might spread to its Shi'ite minority who mostly live in the eastern province, the source of Saudi oil wealth.

Shi'ite website Rasid.com said protesters gathered in the centre of the small town but stayed silent and did not hold up any posters to avoid provoking the authorities…

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 19, 2011

Bahrain trade union calls strike from Monday

The main trade union in Bahrain, rocked by anti-government unrest this week, has called for a strike from Monday, a member of an airline trade union said.

"The Gulf Air trade union has told its members that the General Union of Bahraini Workers has called for a strike from Feb. 20," said a Gulf Air employee who asked not to be named.

Submitted by Mark. on February 19, 2011

Samotnaf

Although these updates are confined to movements in the North African region, wouldn't you say that in fact, the movements have had a rippling effect globally - in Wisconsin and Ohio, for instance? And - who knows? - France had an effect on Millbank which had an effect on .... ?

The other day I caught a local TV news report about the closure of swimming baths in Levenshulme due to cuts. One of the women interviewed, definitely just a local resident not a lefty, said they should be doing what the Egyptians were doing. So yes, the ripples are global, everyone is watching events, there aren't really any boundaries.

Samotnaf

Also, and more importantly, given that we're along the path to a new epoch of global revolts, it now seems essential to develop nuanced critiques of leftist parties/organisations and trade unions (independent or otherwise), given their very different histories in different countries, if we're not to end up very brutally (and brutalisingly) defeated yet again - and defeated in a way that doesn't learn new mistakes and successes.
But perhaps this is not the thread to be doing that in.

There's definitely a need for more discussion. A new thread would be a good idea.

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 19, 2011

Bahrain

EA liveblog

1237 GMT: Different reports now, from Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times and American ABC News's Miguel Marquez, that protesters have made it to Pearl Roundabout and police have pulled back.

1225 GMT: Renewed reports on clashes near Pearl Roundabout, with police firing tear gas and ambulances en route to Suleimaniya Hostpital.

There are other reports, however, that police have pulled back from the other protest route on Dana Mall.

1110 GMT: The official statement from the Bahrain monarchy on the Army withdrawal from Pearl Roundabout (see 1017 GMT):

His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces has ordered the withdrawal of all military from the streets of Bahrain with immediate effect.

His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces has ordered the withdrawal of all military from the streets of Bahrain with immediate effect. The Bahrain police force will continue to oversee law and order.

1017 GMT: The Bahraini Army is withdrawing its force from Pearl Roundabout in the capital of Manama, after occupying it since Thursday's police assault on the opposition's camp.

The Roundabout, ringed with barbed wire, is now guarded by police units.

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 19, 2011

Bahrain

Al Jazeera

3:10pm Even as the crown prince appeals for calm, our correspondent in Manama reports that anti-government protesters are gathering at three locations around the Pearl roundabout, planning to march towards it. Police are also present, setting up barriers using barbed wire. 

2:54pm More details on the clash that took place after the military withdrew from Pearl roundabout. The police, who were positioned to take control of the square as soon as the military left, fired tear gas on jubilant protesters who had approached the square in their vehicles, honking their horns and waving flags. The police arrested several people at the square, with the Associated Press putting the number at 10.

2:28pm Our correspondent reports that while the military have pulled out of Pearl roundabout, they have repositioned themselves on surrounding streets.

A protest was scheduled for 4:00pm local time by doctors at Salmaniya Hospital, but people there now say that if there are casualties from the clash at Pearl roundabout, they will not hold that protest.

2:06pm Al Jazeera's correspondent confirms that only tear gas was used during the most recent clashes at Pearl roundabout, when protesters attempted to retake the square after the military pulled out.

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 19, 2011

Al Jazeera on Bahrain

5:00pm People in Pearl roundabout were seen kissing the ground, clapping, laughing and crying.

Some wore white sheets symbolising their readiness for martyrdom, while others carried Bahraini flags, flowers and signs and chanted "Peaceful".

"People want the removal of the regime," they chanted as they marched back into the square that has been the headquarters for their revolt against the Sunni monarchy in the predominantly Shiite island nation.

4:00pm Bahraini riot police retreated from Pearl roundabout and thousands of anti-government protesters streamed back into their former stronghold in Manama.

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 19, 2011

Iraq

http://twitter.com/mtawfeeqCNN

Iraq: At least ten people wounded in Sulaimaniy when hundreds of angry demonstrators rallied against KDP party and demanded other things.

Iraq: Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of #Sulaimaniya,north of Baghdad on Sat. Dozens of Kurdish security forces on stand by.

Middle East protests hit Baghdad - http://bit.ly/g9f4Q8

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 19, 2011

Tomorrow, D-Day in Morocco #fev20
The Arabist

[youtube]Lli6YpMjGO8[/youtube]

Above is the second video ahead of February 20 protests for constitutional reform, the dissolution of parliament and the formalization of the Amazigh (Berber) language(s) in Morocco. These videos have been attacked as too well produced to be the work of young Moroccans, which tells you a lot about the contempt the regime has for the country's youth. Incidentally, I think it was a mistake to add the second two requests — the last parliamentary election was fairly clean (even if money played a big role) and the question of Amazigh is a) divisive and b) something parliament can vote for. The real problem is the emasculation of parliament by a constitutional framework that gives all power to the palace. But that just my jouj centimes and I wholeheartedly support the protest movement.

Tomorrow's protest will be joined by all sorts of people, but it seems to me two groups will stand out. One is a network of mostly leftist youth that has been involved with all sorts of activism in the last few years and is close to the human rights world and the AMDH specifically. It gravitates around leftist parties such as the PSU and will probably include disaffected members of the USFP, the historic center-left party. The other group will consist largely of Adl wal-Ihsan, the largest Islamist movement in Morocco, which has long advocated constitutional reform. It is legally banned. Also present should be the wing of the legal Islamist party, the PJD, whose leaders have largely been "Makhzenized" but that has a strong figure of resistance in Mustafa Ramid, a member of parliament for Casablanca. And of course there will be tons of ordinary people with no political affiliation…

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 19, 2011

Bahrain: from the comments for the Guardian live updates

gooneriman

19 February 2011 4:28PM
Just got back from the Pearl huge party atmosphere but with lots of sadness thrown in as well. Must be about 30 or 40 thousand protesters there. There are people celebrating and people paying their respects to where people died. Lots of the protesters believe that this is the end for the Prime Minister. They believe he will resign tonight or tomorrow. Around the corner outside the City Centre shopping mall there is around 100 police vehicles. No army vehicles or tanks. I hope they are right but with such a police presence and also what has happened in the past I do worry. Yesterday was such a dark day and today is such a celebration. Lots of peace signs and lots of happiness. One man was holding the shoe of his daughter who he claimed had been shot on Wednesday night.

I really hope this is an end to it but personally I can't see the PM going without a fight and certainly now as positions have become so entrenched. What kind of a sign does this show the Saudis and the Kuwaitis and maybe even the Emiratis. Is the PM willing to give up and are the Royal Family really going to have a fully elected PM. We shall see.

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 19, 2011

Moroccans riot ahead of protests

Al Jazeera

Protesters have attacked a police station and premises linked to French firms in the Moroccan city of Tangier in a dispute over the local utility firm's management, organisers and residents have said.

Saturday's violence came a day before a planned nationwide protest to push for political reform but there was no immediate evidence of a direct link.

Riot police intervened to break up the protest in Tangier, which evolved from a sit-in in front of the city hall to a march that gathered hundreds of protesters, the Moroccan branch of the local activist organisation, Attac, said on its website.

The sit-in was organised to push for the cancellation of a utilities contract that the city has awarded to an affiliate of the French firm Veolia.

Moroccans in cities where foreign firms run utility services often complain of hefty tariffs.

Residents, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that a protest initially against utilities tariffs had developed into a march, which anti-riot police prevented from reaching the city centre.

"No tear gas, nothing was fired. They used long truncheons to disperse the crowds," one resident said.

Tanjanews.com published pictures showing the shattered windows of a police station and branches of firms affiliated to Veolia and the French bank Societe Generale, and said a branch of the latter had been set on fire...

Auto

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on February 19, 2011

I don't know if it was already mentioned, but AJE has just said that there is a strike in Bahrain tomorrow involving 65 different unions.

Submitted by Mark. on February 20, 2011

Samotnaf

Although these updates are confined to movements in the North African region, wouldn't you say that in fact, the movements have had a rippling effect globally - in Wisconsin and Ohio, for instance? And - who knows? - France had an effect on Millbank which had an effect on .... ?

From another thread...

Hieronymous

Working Class Internationalism

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 20, 2011

Guardian live updates

10.48am Morocco:
Our correspondent Giles Tremlett is in Madrid but will be in contract with protesters in Casablanca, Rabat, Marrakech and Tangier throughout the day. Here's his take on the current situation:

Today the focus for the protest movements sweeping through north Africa and the middle east moves partly to Morocco, which has been free of trouble until now. Youth groups, who began their campaign on Facebook, have called people to protest across the country this morning.

Last night Moroccan state media began claiming that the protesters had called their marches off. Reuters confirmed that a handful of leaders were now shying off, but organisers denounced a propaganda operation, claimed Facebook pages were being hacked by security forces and confirmed that the protests were going ahead at 10am (UK and Morocco time).

Although people are expected to take to the streets of many cities, the main protests are in the capital Rabat as well as in the major cities of Casablanca, Marrakech and Tangier. Early reports suggest several hundred people are out in the rain in both Rabat and Casablanca.

Protesters are calling for a rewrite of a constitution which accords King Mohamed VI vast powers. They also want action against corruption and other ills. They stress that these are to be peaceful demonstrations - calling for evolution towards real democracy rather than revolution.

There has been some police harassment of the organisers, but Morocco claims it is more liberal than the rest of North Africa and with greater freedoms - including of protest. Police reaction to the protests will, therefore, be key. It will also be interesting to see if protesters try to set up camps, as in Bahrain and Egypt, in order to keep the pressure on the regime for greater reforms.

Protests have started in Morocco

Photos and videos

liveblog in French

http://mariamsrevolution.blogspot.com/

http://twitter.com/search?q=%23Morocco

Claim on Twitter for numbers on demos. I've no idea if these figures are accurate. Some of the figures quoted on the liveblog are lower.

5000 à Rabat, 1400 à Casablanca, 1000 Agadir, 200 Hoceima, 10000 Marrakech, 1000 Oujda.

Edit: figures according to the liveblog

12h03 GMT Selon les estimations de notre correspondante, 3000 personnes défilent à Rabat, 2000 à Casablanca et 1500 à Marrakech.

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 20, 2011

Also from the Guardian

11.36am Bahrain:
Martin Chulov reports from Pearl Square in the Bahraini capital Manama:

The hub of Bahrain's anti-Government revolt resembles a folk festival today, with tents pitched, candy and juice being handed out and thousands of people continuing to stream to and from the site. Blood from the last battle to be fought here on Saturday afternoon between government forces and Bahraini youth still stains the ground in parts. But the razor wire that had barricaded the central Bahrain site has been taken away and the roundabout is again being used by traffic.

Teachers and lawyers who went out on strike today in a bid to maintain pressure on the regime, called for civic unrest until their demands of more inclusion in the affairs of state. So far the main opposition group, which walked out on the Government after a savage pre-dawn assault by loyalist government riot police on Thursday, has refused the kingdom's pleas that it join a national dialogue. However, talks seem inevitable.

For now though, the riot police are nowhere to be seen and the military has removed tanks and armoured personnel carriers from the streets of the central city. Pearl Square is festooned with Bahraini flags and peace signs.

Submitted by Mark. on February 20, 2011

rooieravotr

China. I wouldn't hold my breath - yet. Still...
A call for 'Jasmine Revolution' in China...

EA liveblog: China

1030 GMT: The Associated Press posts its summary of today's events in China: "Jittery Chinese authorities staged a show of force Sunday to squelch a mysterious online call for a 'Jasmine Revolution' apparently modeled after pro-democracy demonstrations sweeping the Middle East."

0845 GMT: Police take away a protester in Shanghai

0745 GMT: It appears that the flutter of protest is over. Police have dispersed the gatherings in Beijing. What is left are defiant messages on the Internet: "The seeds of freedom have also been broadcasting [to] the people. We tell the ruling class...to use action. The power is in the hands of the people. Their time is running out, and if we do not reform, people will come to write history."

There are still some claims of protest, such as a report that in the northern city of Harbin, police cars blocked central square as protesters moved toward the Sofia Church area.

0715 GMT: Police have been deployed at a supposed protest location, Renmin Park, in the southern city of Guangzhou.

0655 GMT: Despite the regime's efforts, there has been a gathering in Wangfujing in Beijing

0645 GMT: Suddenly, the Internet is awash with talk of protests in China.

AFP, who reported this morning that up to 15 leading Chinese rights lawyers and activists have disappeared since Saturday after  a Web campaign called for commemoration of the "Jasmine" uprisings in the Middle East.

The campaign, apparently fuelled by posts on overseas websites run by exiled Chinese political activists, called for demonstration in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and 10 other Chinese cities. Slogans would include "We want food to eat", "We want work", "We want housing", "We want justice", "Long live freedom", and "Long live democracy".

Human rights attorney Ni Yulan said, "Many rights defenders have disappeared in recent days, others are under house arrest and their mobile phones are blocked. "The police detachment outside my door has increased. They follow us if we go out." 

Searches Sunday for "jasmine" on China's Twitter-like micro-blog Weibo produced no results, and messages on the Baidu search engine said that due to laws and regulations such results were unavailable. Some Chinese Internet search pages listed "Jasmine" entries, but links to them were blocked.

In a speech on Saturday, Chinese President Hu Jintao acknowledged growing social unrest and urged the ruling Communist Party to safeguard stability as he ordered strengthened controls over "virtual society" and the Internet.

Entdinglichung

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on February 20, 2011

Iran: http://iranenlutte.wordpress.com/2011/02/20/la-raffinerie-dabadan-bloquee/

La révolte sociale et politique envers Ahmadinejab prend de l’ampleur.

La raffinerie d’Abadan, complexe clé du pétrole made in Iran, est désormais paralysée par les manifestants anti-régime. A l’abris des caméras, la dictature d’Ahmadinejab commence à vaciller.

the refiney in Abadan is one of the largest in the world, when the oil workers in Chuzistan start moving, the regime will be in serious trouble

http://iranenlutte.wordpress.com/2011/02/20/premieres-informations-des-protestations-du-20-fevrier/

http://iranenlutte.wordpress.com/2011/02/20/premieres-nouvelles-des-protestations-en-province/

http://iranenlutte.wordpress.com/2011/02/20/un-manifestant-tue-a-teheran/

Entdinglichung

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on February 20, 2011

Iranian Kurdistan:

http://iranenlutte.wordpress.com/2011/02/20/breves-des-protestations-du-20-fevrier/

Mahabad (Kurdistan) : La ville de Mahabad est en flammes. Les agents du gouvernement ont perdu le contrôle de la ville. Une très grande foule avance depuis la Place Esteghlal et d’autres lieux autour de la ville. Les agents du gouvernement sont incapable de contrôler la foule. La foule crie des slogans contre le gouvernement et jette des pierres en avançant vers les agents du régime. Les flammes sont visibles à plusieurs endroits dans et autour de Mahabad.

Samotnaf

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on February 20, 2011

More about Iran in French here.
Though Mahabad seems to be the centre of the most significant confrontation, there are also confrontations in Teheran in at least 10 differtent parts of town, with "Death to Khamenei" being shouted. Also confrontations in Marivan (in the West), demonstrations in Ispahan ("Death to the dictator" shouted), Racht (in the North) and Kerman.

aloeveraone

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by aloeveraone on February 21, 2011

From the Guardian liveblog:

9.22am – Sudan: The Sudanese president Omar Hassan al-Bashir has announced he will not stand at the next election, writes my colleague Adam Gabbatt. His pledge not to stand in the 2015 poll comes after been dozens of small protests have been staged throughout the north of the country since January, as an economic crisis began to bite and Sudanese people witnessed uprisings in other Arab countries.

"[Bashir] announced that he will not enter the coming elections to compete for the presidency," Rabie Abdelati, a senior National Congress Party official, told Reuters.
Bashir, the only sitting head of state to be indicted by the international criminal cCourt, for war crimes and genocide in the war-torn Darfur region, took power in a bloodless coup in 1989. In April 2010 he won presidential elections which many opposition parties boycotted, citing fraud.

aloeveraone

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by aloeveraone on February 21, 2011

Again from the Guardian:

1.59pm - Morocco: Giles Tremlett writes:

Yesterday's 'Day of Dignity' protests in Morocco have turned out to be both more numerous and more violent than it initially seemed, with some violence continuing today in the city of Fes, according to Tweets from a reporter at Morocco's Atlantic Radio @mathiaschaillot. Protests took place in 53 towns and cities.

Protest organisers denounce the violence and blame thugs who took advantage of the peaceful demonstrations to riot.

1.34pm - Morocco The county's interior minister said five charred bodies were found in a bank set aflame by "troublemakers" in pro-democracy protests.

Taeib Cherqaoui told reporters at least 128 people were injured, mostly security forces in unrest linked to protests a day earlier that drew at least 37,000 demonstrators in dozens of towns and cities.

The minister said that "troublemakers" vandalised dozens of public buildings, shops and banks, including one in northeastern Al Hoceima where the five bodies were found. He said 120 people were arrested.

Political campaigners said the protests were hijacked by thugs in some towns, especially by football fans leaving matches. Some 37,000 protested, according to the interior ministry.

baboon

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on February 21, 2011

Channel 4 News tonight reports that teachers have gone on strike in the Yemini capital.

ocelot

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on February 21, 2011

Don't forget to keep checking the news for Qatif. If anything starts in Saudi, it's most likely to start there. (although the current tack in Bahrain's zig-zag fishtailing reduces the pressure temporarily).

from Sunday
Reuters: Three Saudi Shi'ites released after rare protest

AWWAMIYA, Saudi Arabia, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Three Shi'ites held in prison for over a year were freed in Saudi Arabia's oil-producing Eastern province, a Shi'ite preacher and a local journalist said on Sunday, days after a rare protest demanding their release.

Shi'ites staged a small protest on Thursday in the town of Awwamiya, near the Shi'ite centre of Qatif on the Gulf coast, to demand the release of the three, who had been held without charges.

"They were released today," preacher Khoder Awwami told Reuters on the sidelines of a ceremony in a small mosque where the three were welcomed.

"I am so happy," said Muneer al-Jasas, a blogger and one of the released men.

Officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

Saudi Arabia's Shi'ite minority mostly live in the Eastern province, which holds much of the oil wealth of the world's top crude exporter.

The province is near Bahrain, scene of protests by majority Shi'ites against Sunni rulers. [ID:nLDE71J00K]

Saudi Arabia applies an austere Wahhabi version of Sunni Islam and Shi'ites say that, while their situation has improved under reforms launched by King Abdullah, they still face restrictions in getting senior government jobs.

The government denies these charges.

Awwamiya, a town visibly less affluent than the rest of the country, was the scene of protests for weeks in 2009 after police launched a search for firebrand Shi'ite preacher Nimr al-Nimr, who had suggested in a sermon that Shi'ites could one day seek their own separate state.

The secessionist threat, which analysts say was unprecedented since the 1979 Iranian revolution provoked anti-government protests, followed clashes between the Sunni religious police and Shi'ite pilgrims near the tomb of Prophet Mohammad in the holy city of Medina.

Since then, Shi'ites say the situation has calmed down but they are still waiting for promised reforms to be carried out.

Officials say Shi'ites make up 10 percent of the Saudi population, although diplomats put it closer to 15 percent.

Aside from Qatif, the other name to keep an eye out for would be Hofuf - although it's unlikely, anything there would be prelude to armageddon.

rooieravotr

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by rooieravotr on February 21, 2011

Ocelot:

Aside from Qatif, the other name to keep an eye out for would be Hofuf - although it's unlikely, anything there would be prelude to armageddon.

What makes Hotuf such a sensitive location? Trying to follow all this, and would like to know more.

Then again, I would think that the Saudi rulers would unleash Armageddon as soon as anything big occurs in that country, no matter where exactly. Like the Bahreini rulers, and even a bit like Khadaffi, they don't have anywhere to go, and there is not much room for compromise. An institution that at least 'looks' neutral (like the army in Egypt), that can dump the dictator while retaining the regime's structure, is not really there, is there? Just wondering.

Submitted by ocelot on February 22, 2011

rooieravotr

Ocelot:

Aside from Qatif, the other name to keep an eye out for would be Hofuf - although it's unlikely, anything there would be prelude to armageddon.

What makes Hotuf such a sensitive location? Trying to follow all this, and would like to know more.

Then again, I would think that the Saudi rulers would unleash Armageddon as soon as anything big occurs in that country, no matter where exactly. Like the Bahreini rulers, and even a bit like Khadaffi, they don't have anywhere to go, and there is not much room for compromise. An institution that at least 'looks' neutral (like the army in Egypt), that can dump the dictator while retaining the regime's structure, is not really there, is there? Just wondering.

Hofuf (or anywhere in the al-Hasa area) would be dynamite because it sits on the Ghawar oil field. That's the largest oil field in the world, by far. And historically the al-Hasa oasis area was part of the old Al-Bahrayn kingdom, although the Saudis have, afaics, made a special effort to bring in Sunni/Wahabi population to outweigh the Baharna population, which is why it is unlikely.

Just on the Wahabi thing, I find it bizarre that certain commentators seem to worry about the possibility of Saudi becoming an Islamic fundamentalist country. Hello?

rooieravotr

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by rooieravotr on February 22, 2011

Ahaa, I see. Thanks! And yes... the Saudi monarchy is fundamentalist enough , one would think... they subsidized the Taliban coming to power in the nineties, members of the ruling class subsidize all kind of fundamentalist outfits. The current revolts not only put fear intu o Western capitals, but in these kind of outfits as well, by the way. Their funding is threatened, and there message seems more irrelevant as ever. Who needs Al Qaeda when one can make a revolution oneself?

Spartacus

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Spartacus on February 22, 2011

here are all the reports i've come across on the china 'jasmine' protests:

The Secret Politburo Meeting Behind China’s New Democracy Crackdown http://bit.ly/i7ReyI
China acts to stamp out call for 'Jasmine Revolution' likely inspired by Egyptian protests http://bit.ly/gefOtX
China cracks down after calls for protests http://bit.ly/fILKOd
Mideast Protests a Concern for Party, not Police http://on.wsj.com/fxyZjO
China state-run media play down protest calls http://bit.ly/h0Uua7
China Crushes Internal Dissent http://bit.ly/h0pvU4
Pro-Democracy Protest Repressed in China http://bit.ly/fa2fH9
Authorities in China stage swift response to crush mysterious calls for 'Jasmine Revolution' http://nydn.us/fZUwV8
Chinese police snuff out planned Arab-inspired protests http://reut.rs/hYjkgn
Analysis: Discontent, but no revolt in China _ yet http://wapo.st/fA3Xm9
China police show up en masse at hint of protest http://lat.ms/f1Mgt3
Activists Detained as China Web Users Call for ‘Jasmine Revolution’ http://bit.ly/gYFBf0
China's 'Jasmine Revolution' draws small crowds http://bit.ly/dI8tSd
Clampdown on "Jasmine Revolution" http://bit.ly/htfM4n

so yeah, so far not much in terms of a comparable movement arising, although this month there have been a couple of the usual village uprisings over land disputes and a bus drivers strike. apparently media controls have been tightened recently though, so it's possible even fewer reports of events like this are getting out than before. there's also been this:

China Deletes Egypt Song http://t.co/YHQ6NcY

china is rather different from the middle eastern countries though - the state is far more sophisticated in it's response to dissent, and those at the top have certainly read marx (albeit through the distorting prism of maoism) and listen less to the us and europe for advice on maintaining stability, which seems to have worked for them so far. the economy there has also been doing pretty well so far, and so holds out enough of a mythical carrot of self-improvement through hardwork still. also, if things did kick of in a big way there, my understanding is that since 1989 the army has undergone major reforms, making it even more politically tied to the party than it was, and no longer based on conscription, which could be a problem.

on the other hand, prices are rising, the number of unemployed workers is rising, complaints tend to be dealt with heavily despite the rhetoric from the top, corruption is rife, despite tight controls there is an ever-growing section of the population that uses the internet to spread news and critical views, the cities will soon have a greater share of the population than the country (if that isn't already the case) and thanks to the ccp, there is no credible or effective opposition party or union that could coopt any outburst in an effective way.

btw, thanks to everyone contributing to this and other middle east threads, they've been really helpful

Spartacus

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Spartacus on February 22, 2011

zimbabwe?

Arrests in Zimbabwe for Seeing Videos http://nyti.ms/ewFEcw
Zimbabwe police arrest 46 attending lecture session on uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia http://bit.ly/hn4V9u

Spartacus

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Spartacus on February 22, 2011

re: the global spread of struggles, i've been thinking for a while since seeing this site that it would be good to have something similar for the whole world, both to visualise the geographical and chronological developments of the proletarian response to the crisis and to emphasis that they are not isolated.

so today i set one up: http://workerstruggles.crowdmap.com/

at the moment it's just a very rough draft version to see how it would work and whether it would be useful - hence the rather arbitrary categories. if others think it's a good idea, i'm happy to add them as admins and maybe start a thread somewhere else on stuff like categories and how to decide a report is reliable etc.

Submitted by squaler on February 22, 2011

Mark.

Al Jazeera article on the prospects for uprisings in sub-saharan Africa

In search of an African revolution

I'm not sure how trustworthy the global voices site is... I referenced their report on Gabon earlier in the month, the same report the al jazeera article references, but afterwards a friend who just got back from zimbabwe told me they were heavily partisan and not to be trusted. My friend is smart and trustworthy, so I would naturally pay attention to what she says, but it might be this global voices site is simply not to be trusted about zimbabwe. I'm not sure, but thought I'd drop that caveat

Mike Harman

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on February 22, 2011

This looks a bit different from what we're seeing elsewhere - if the protests are indeed pro not-in-office-elected government as opposed to more generall anti in-office-un-elected government. But you never know what might happen:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/21/ivory-coast-protesters-laurent-gbago

Ivory Coast protesters killed calling for Laurent Gbagbo to step down

Ouattara's government has called for an Egyptian-style revolution to remove Gbagbo, but attempts to demonstrate have been thwarted by security forces. Residents reported gunfire all morning in pro-Ouattara neighbourhoods of Abidjan, as soldiers and paramilitaries broke up attempted demonstrations.

Residents of the Koumassi district said soldiers fired on protesters from machineguns mounted on military vehicles. Djate Traore, a local resident, said at least three demonstrators were killed, and reported seeing the bodies.

An official at the mayor's office who asked not to be identified said three people were killed and 14 wounded in the city's Treichville neighbourhood, adding that he saw the dead and helped evacuate the wounded to a clinic.

There was no immediate comment from the military.

Similar attempts to demonstrate at the weekend were crushed by pro-Gbagbo forces, who witnesses said killed at least five people when they opened fire on attempted gatherings.

Army spokesman Babri Gohourou told state television at least four soldiers or police officers had been lynched by protesters on Sunday, three of them killed by having their throats cut.

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 23, 2011

Let’s turn Syntagma into Tahrir Square

Wednesday 23d of February, day of general strike and demonstration in the centre of Athens. As the time passes it becomes increasingly obvious that the general strikes called by the [bureaucratic trade unions] GSEE and ADEDY are not just “empty shots” but a field for the release of the increasing social discontent and rage: from the costless protests of parts of the demonstration to the dynamic practices of those parts which attempt to approach parliament, clash with the riot police or hurdle marble and molotovs against the forces of repression. This is confirmed by the fact that the question of an Indefinite General Strike has never come up; it is confirmed by the “weird” dates chose for general strikes, it is confirmed by the huge time lapses between one strike and the following one. After each demonstration, even when there are many people, a strong pulse to it and the expression of confrontational attitudes, we are always left with a question hanging: “and now what?”

At the same time however this choice of the side of authority is a game with fire. Whether the situation remains at an “acceptable” level, spatially and chronologically limited, or whether it will escape this “fencing off” to take on the unpredictable character of a blaze, is always unknown and uncertain.

This Wednesday we could try something slightly different, utilising the experiences from the revolts in the Arab world, such as in Egypt. We can show tolerance and insistence that would be much greater than the government bodies could ever imagine. We can flood, along with thousands of other demonstrators, Syntagma square. We can encircle parliament and wait. To hold on and not leave. We can turn Syntagma into Tahrir Square. And from that point on, we’ll see what happens…

Not only in Africa or the Middle East, revolt must spread across the world.


See you on Wednesday at 11am, at the [Archeological] Museum.

“See you at the airport?” As Gaddafi counts his last hours in power, could Papandreou be next?

Gaddafi seems to be next in the domino of dictators toppled across the Mediterranean. We should not forget: Mubarak was a member of the “Socialist International” – of which George Papandreou is the president.  Gaddafi did good business with the Greek regime. And the anger of the people across the Mediterranean basin keeps growing… Only a few hundred kilometres from Crete, the revolted of Benghazi have shown the way. On Wednesday, the first General Strike of 2011 might be our golden opportunity to make something bigger than a ritualistic demonstration can ever be.

Everyone to the streets, where anything is possible!

Live updates

baboon

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on February 23, 2011

Reuters reports a demonstration of 100,000 workers through Delhi protesting against rising prices and corruption. While the demonstration is linked to the trade unions and established political parties, I think that this development belongs in a "where next?" thread.

Entdinglichung

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on February 23, 2011

construction workers strike in Mekka/Saudi Arabia: http://translate.google.de/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rf-news.de%2F2011%2Fkw08%2F22.02.11-in-mekka-streiken-600-bauarbeiter-seit-2-tagen&sl=de&tl=en&hl=de&ie=UTF-8 (dodgy machine translation of a dodgy German maoist page)

aloeveraone

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by aloeveraone on February 23, 2011

EA Liveblog:

0933 GMT: Reuters reports that Sulaimaniya in Iraqi Kurdistan has turned into "a militarized city" amidst anti-government protests.

About 3000 people demonstrated on the streets on Tuesday and thousands of students rallied at Sulaimaniya University against corruption and the local government.

Three people have died so far and more than 100 have been wounded in clashes between protesters and heavily armed militia forces linked to the two Kurdish ruling parties.

0930 GMT: Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, who has been abroad for medical treatment, has announced a series of economic reforms including housing and other benefits.

The social security budget will be increased by 1 billion riyals and housing fund by 40 billion riyals, with a 15% cost of living allowancefor government employees made permanent.

aloeveraone

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by aloeveraone on February 23, 2011

From SignalFire

Protest plan in Angola draws warning from ruling party
Posted on February 23, 2011 by mat

Is Dos Santos just another domino?
LUANDA — An anonymous call for a mass protest in Angola on March 6 has drawn a warning from the ruling MPLA party, which threatened to take “serious measures” against anyone seeking power in the streets.

Rumours have been circulating on the Internet for several days of a protest against President Jose Eduardo dos Santos who has been in power since 1979.

According to a Facebook page called “The Angolan People’s Revolution”, the protest will take place at midnight on March 6 (2300 GMT) at Independence Square in the capital city, Luanda, and throughout the country.

Under the pseudonym Agostinho Jonas Roberto dos Santos — the first names of the leaders of Angola’s three independence movements and the surname of the current president — the organiser called on Angolans to “march with posters demanding the departure of Ze Du (Dos Santos’ nickname), his ministers and his corrupt friends.”

The call has been picked up by several Internet sites, but no opposition or civil society leaders have publicly endorsed the plan, and the Facebook page currently has just 100 members.

A spokesman for the MPLA, the party that has ruled Angola since independence in 1975, declined to comment on the planned protest, saying there was “nothing formal” about it.

“There are a lot of lies and a lot of truths on the Internet. We only comment on serious matters,” MPLA spokesman Rui Falcao Pinto de Andrade told AFP in a telephone interview Tuesday.

But the party’s secretary general on Sunday issued a call on state radio “not to confuse what is happening in north Africa with the reality of Angola”.

“In these circumstances (a protest), serious measures can be taken, because power cannot be in the streets,” said Juliao Mateus Paulo Dino Matross.

and

Cameroon fears mount closer to protest day
Posted on February 23, 2011 by mat
Will Cameroonians answer opposition’s call to protest against President Paul Biya’s regime? The country is anxiously waiting for the people’s reaction despite intimidation attempts by government forces yesterday.

In the past 24 hours, police forces have been regularly patrolling the streets of the capital city, Yaoundé. Tension will mount on the evening of 23 February, a date chosen by some opposition leaders to equal the Tunisian protests that ousted President Ben Ali. Four opposition parties have chosen the same date to launch the ‘week of martyrdom’ in commemoration of the youth killed during food protests in February 2008.

The country is plunged in a climate of fear as anti-government flyers have been filling the streets of major cities in the past few weeks. They call for the end of Paul Biya’s 28-years rule. Two days ago officials in one of the capital’s public schools argue for hours to remove a graffiti saying “Let’s get rid of Biya” from their walls.

Calming the public
The graffiti, which made the headline of the daily newspaper Le jour, triggered comments among the public. “Cameroon will be like Tunisia”, said a man sitting in a bar in Yaoundé. “If people want to get rid of Paul Biya they shouldn’t vote for him in the next elections”, said another sitting next to him. “Who is going to vote since people are not registering? Elections are rigged” the newspaper vendor added.

Terror
Yesterday was marked by public appearances by government officials. The Communications Minister held a press conference to calm the population. Talking about the North-African protests, which seem to inspire Wednesday’s events, Issa Tchiroma insisted that “what is happening there, has already happened here”. He referring to the socio-political unrest that shook Cameroon in the early 1990’s.

Comment on facebook
Jacques Fame Ndongo, Minister of Higher Education and Communication Official for the ruling party, used the national radio to reassure people. “I am sure that on Wednesday everyone will go about their daily routine”, he said. He invited opposition leaders to challenge President Biya through the polls, saying that “democracy is not in the streets”.

The Governor of the Littoral province, home to the economic capital Douala, was also on the radio. During his speech during the one o’clock news flash, he stressed that necessary security steps were taken to ensure the normal flow of business. “Anarchy is not the solution”, he concluded.

Meanwhile, many like writer Partice Nganang, are calling for a popular uprising. Nganang wrote on Facebook: “It is the morning of our future because this February 23rd. We fight for the future of our country! [...] Let’s show him that we are citizens not slaves! Let’s all bring Biya down!”

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 25, 2011

Iraq

EA liveblog

0907 GMT: CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq reports that, in Hawija, north of Baghdad, angry protesters attacked the city council's offices and set the building on fire.

0840 GMT: Al Jazeera is reporting two killed and 10 injured in the protests in Kirkuk in northern Iraq.

There is an unconfirmed claim that security forces have opened fire on protests in Mosul.

0830 GMT: Reports from Iraq now streaming in, including demonstrations of 1000 in Baghdad, amidst a heavy military presence, chanting, "[Prime Minister] Nouri al Maliki is a liar!", and 2000 people in rally in Basra. There are claims that the Governor of Basra has resigned and three protesters have killed in Kirkuk.

CNN

Five people were killed after clashes erupted between demonstrators and security forces in at least two Iraqi cities Friday, police said.

Two people were killed and 20 people were wounded Friday morning when Iraqi security forces opened fire on demonstrators who tried to force their way into a provincial council building in central Mosul, police said.

In the town of Hawijah -- located about 60 kilometers west of Kirkuk, Iraq -- three protesters was killed and 12 others were wounded Friday morning when Iraqi security forces opened fire on protesters after hundreds threw stones at police and troops there, Iraqi Army Capt. Mohammed al-Angood said.

Demonstrators also amassed in other cities around the country Friday.

Helicopters hovered and security forces stepped up their presence in Baghdad as nearly 1,000 demonstrators gathered in the city's Tahrir Square to protest corruption and poor government services.

Iraqi security forces opened fire to disperse crowds after protesters tried to enter the provincial council building in Anbar province. Security forces also opened fire to disperse crowds in two small towns in Salaheddin province, wounding eight protesters, police said.

In Basra, about 550 kilometers south of Baghdad, the governor submitted his resignation just a few hours after hundreds gathered outside his office demanding that he step down. In Falluja, about 60 kilometers west of the country's capital, hundreds demonstrated outside a city council building...

Al Jazeera

Hundreds of Iraqis have converged on Baghdad's Liberation Square as part of an anti-government rally named the Day of Rage, organised mainly through the social networking site Facebook.



About 600 protesters are said to have already gathered on Friday, which comes after weeks of scattered protests around the country calling for an end to corruption, shortages of jobs, food, power and water.



More people are expected to join the demonstrations after Friday prayers.

Unlike recent uprisings across the Arab world, Iraqi protesters have not called for the ouster of al-Maliki's
 Shia-led coalition government.

Instead they have demanded an end to corruption, replacement of local officials and an end to shortages of food, electricity, and other basic amenities in a country still trying to get back on its feet eight years after the US-led invasion.

Edit: 'Seven killed' in Iraqi 'day of rage' (AFP)

rooieravotr

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by rooieravotr on February 25, 2011

EA liveblog

1440 GMT: EA has learned that in Saudi Arabia on Thursday, approximately 1000 people protested in Qatif demanding the release of all Shia prisoners. Qatif is on east coast of the peninsula and has the greatest concentration of Shia in the country.

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 26, 2011

Mauritania

Guardian

8.09pm GMT: The waves of protests have even spread to the impoverished state of Mauritania, where hundreds of people took to the streets of the capital Nouakchott.

Reuters has a correspondent there:

A handful in the crowd of 1,000-1,500 mostly young people who took part in the peaceful protest demanded the departure of President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, but they were in the minority and there was only a light security presence.

"The president has to respect his people. Aziz has always said he's the president of the poor; now the poor are in front of you asking for dialogue," said Mocktar Mohammed Mahmoud, a social worker who said he had got involved through Facebook.

According to Reuters, a number of protesters "said they had heard about the march through Facebook and other social networking sites".

The Moor Next Door: Some Mauritanian responses to the Libyan crisis

Edited to add

Global Voices: Pro-democracy protests break out in Nouakchott

Reuters

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 26, 2011

Saudi Shi'ites stage another protest in oil province

Dozens of Shi'ites gathered on Thursday night in Qatif, the main Shi'ite town in the Eastern province, to demand the release of fellow prisoners held for long periods without trial, resident Shi'ite sources said on Saturday.

There was no official confirmation of the demonstration which was also reported by Shi'ite website Rasid.com. It said protesters had carried pictures of prisoners whose release they demand.

Last week, Saudi authorities released three prisoners after Shi'ites in Qatif's neighbouring town Awwamiya staged a small protest, according to resident Shi'ites.

Analysts say top OPEC exporter Saudi Arabia would be worried if protests in Bahrain, where majority Shi'ites have been demonstrating against the Saudi-allied Sunni government, spread to its Shi'ite minority who mostly live in the Eastern province, the source of Saudi oil wealth...

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 26, 2011

Saudi Arabia: First signs of uprising in world’s top oil exporter

The popular uprisings across the Middle East are sparking similar unrest in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with youth groups and workers in that country now calling for a “Day of Rage” demonstration in the capital, Riyadh, on March 11.

Already there have been protests last week in the city of Qatif and other towns in the country’s oil-rich Eastern Province demanding, among things, the release of political prisoners and a raft of social reforms. There are also reports of prominent Shia clerics being detained by the Saudi Sunni authorities, and security forces mobilizing in anticipation of further protests.

Sadek al-Ramadan, a human rights activist in Al Asha, Eastern Province, said: “People here are watching closely the protest movements across the region, which are tapping into long-held demands for reforms in Saudi Arabia.”

Al-Ramadan said that there are “deep frustrations” in Saudi society over high levels of poverty, unemployment, poor housing and perceived widespread corruption among the rulers of the world’s top oil exporter whose Gross Domestic Product last year is estimated at $622 billion.

An indication of the concern among the Saudi monarchy about growing unrest in the country was a closed meeting this week between King Abdullah and King Hamad al-Khalifa of Bahrain. The latter travelled to Riyadh to greet his 87-year-old Saudi counterpart on his return from the US and Morocco, where the ailing ruler had been receiving medical treatment. On the same day, Wednesday, the Saudi government unveiled a $37 billion social fund aimed at tackling youth unemployment and chronic shortages in affordable housing. A 15 per cent hike in salaries for government employees was also announced.

Al-Ramadan said that while the country’s minority Shia communities have “felt discrimination and repression most keenly over many decades, their grievances are also being shared increasingly by the majority of Sunni people”. Saudi Arabia’s population is estimated at around 19 million, with an expatriate workforce of some eight million.

“Unemployment is as high as 50 per cent among Saudi youth, whether Shia or Sunni, and there is a serious shortfall in housing and education facilities,” said Al-Ramadan. “People want more transparent governance, an end to corruption, and better distribution of wealth and welfare.”

He said that there was widespread recognition that reform in Saudi Arabia is badly needed. “The question is: how far will the call for reforms go?”

The Saudi authorities are undoubtedly mindful of the rapid escalation of anti-government protests in the neighbouring Persian Gulf island state of Bahrain, which is only an hour’s drive away from the Eastern Province across a 25-kilometre causeway. Noticeably, the last two weeks have seen a big fall in the numbers of Saudis who usually come to Bahrain for a weekend getaway, with reports that Saudi officials have been turning away would-be visitors trying to cross the causeway.

Before the recent rallies began in Bahrain on February 14, small groups of Bahraini protesters were calling for relatively mild constitutional reforms. But after a week of heavy-handed repression resulting in seven civilian deaths and hundreds of injured, the protest movement in Bahrain is now bringing up to 200,000 people on to the streets every night demanding the overthrow of the al-Khalifa monarchy.

In the coming weeks, the Saudi rulers face a difficult balancing act. Too little reform or too much repression by the authorities could set off the kind of full-blown uprisings sweeping the Middle East. And there is a lot at stake for the kingdom’s rulers. Up to 90 of the country’s oil production and processing is located in its restive Eastern Province, where the state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco has its headquarters in Dhahran. Some 80 per cent of Saudi Arabia’s national income is due to its oil and gas sectors.

Middle East analyst Ralph Schoenman said: The oil wealth of Saudi Arabia is concentrated almost entirely in the Shia-dominated Eastern Province - that sector of Arabia where popular disaffection is as profound and political alienation as explosive as it is in Bahrain.”

Schoenman added: “Beneath the appearance of calm, the Saudi royal family and King Abdullah have been consulting frantically with the other Gulf Sunni feudal sheikhdoms - from Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates to Qatar and Oman.”

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 26, 2011

Oman

A raft of minor reforms have been floated "in the public's interest" by the sultan of Oman, as protesters stopped traffic and broke street lights in the country's largest industrial city.

A crowd of 500 protesters, demanding democracy and jobs, gathered on Saturday outside a shopping mall in the city of Sohar, barricading vehicles and shoppers.

"It has been going on for hours now,' said resident Mohammed Sumri.
"They are at the Globe roundabout blocking traffic."

Though protests are rare in the country on the south-eastern tip of the Arabian peninsula, the police did not intervene, witnesses said...

aloeveraone

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by aloeveraone on February 27, 2011

EA Liveblog:

1620 GMT: Amidst continuing demonstrations, Bahrain’s General Federation for Trade Unions has called for the Government to be dissolved, a day after Bahrain’s king swore in five new Cabinet ministers.

The unionists said that the new appointments do not reflect “the ambitions and popular voices” of Bahrainis, and they called for a transitional government that will meet the “demands of the people” and bring about “real political change”.

1125 GMT: Two people have been killed and at least five injured in the protests in Sohar in Oman (see 1040 GMT). Tear gas and rubber bullets were used on about 1000 demonstrators who were throwing stones.

A police station and Government were reportedly set on fire.

On Saturday Oman's ruler, Sultan Qaboos bin Said, changed six ministers in his cabinet in "the public's interest" and announced that social benefits for students would be boosted.

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 28, 2011

Trouble in Oman (al-bab.com)

With Gaddafi on the way out, the mantle of longest-surviving Arab autocrat will shortly pass to Sultan Qaboos, the British-backed ruler of Oman. Or perhaps not, since his regime is now coming under popular pressure too. 

Protests have been reported this weekend in two Omani cities at opposite ends of the country – Suhar in the north-east and Salalah in the south-west – as well as in the capital, Muscat.

The disturbances in Suhar (or Sohar) were met with plastic bullets and at least two people are reported to have been killed. Vehicles were set alight and there seems to have been an attempt to storm a police station...

http://angryarab.blogspot.com/

A source who does not want to be identified sent me this:  

Oman is on fire and al-Jazeera is quiet, and so is al-Arabiyya who only reported on points lost in Oman stock market. And of course Omani channels are not saying a word.  Reuters reported this yesterday:  but the number of protesters was higher, around 3000; the police used tear gas and the protesters reacted by attacking the police injuring a high ranking one and sending him to hospital. The road to al-`Ayn in the Emirates was temporarily closed.  And this is what is not being reported:

Yesterday there was a demonstration in Sour and a police center was burned. Today: more protests in Sohar and the police used live ammunition killing a 15 year old boy. Banks are closed in Sohar now. The Wali of Sohar came out with other tribal leaders to calm people down but they were attacked and ran away. A police station was put on fire. It seems tanks are deployed there now. There are protests in Salala too. I don’t know if you know this, but Omani police and mukhabarat get much of their training in Jordan. How did I get this info?... is sending me updates. info is reliable (my ... People are spreading he news there be telephoning each other). If you report this, please don’t mention my name and try not to provide all the details.

Omani protesters block road to port after 6 die

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 27, 2011

Syria clamps down on dissent with beatings and arrests

Tensions are mounting in the Syrian capital, Damascus, after the third peaceful demonstration in three weeks was violently dispersed on Wednesday. There are increasing reports of intimidation and blocking of communications by secret services in the wake of violent unrest in neighbouring Arab countries.

Fourteen people were arrested and several people beaten by uniformed and plainclothes police on Tuesday after about 200 staged a peaceful sit-in outside the Libyan embassy to show support for Libya's protesters…

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 28, 2011

'Facebook Generation' continues Mauritania protests

Young Mauritanians pushing for social and political reforms continued a sit-in Saturday in the capital a day after a street protest demanding change.

Police dispersed hundreds of protesters early Saturday, but after a few hours the crowd returned to spend the night at Blocat Square in Nouakchott's city center, despite one earlier arrest and the possibility of forces returning.

"The purpose of the youth demonstrations that we are leading (is) aimed at pushing the ruling regime to make urgent social, economic and political reforms for the sake of better life conditions," said protester Mohamed Ould Sidie. "We don't belong to any one of the political parties, and we don't want to.

"Mauritania is a very rich country, but unfortunately the huge riches of the country, including gold, oil, minerals, fish, are mismanaged by the corrupt, political regimes," said Sidi. "It's time to make a change."

Protesters carried banners calling for job creation, economic and political changes and an end to corruption.

The organizers declared the birth of what they called "Youth Coordination" and promised to continue the protests over the next days...

Thoughts re: Mauritania’s protests (The Moor Next Door)

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 28, 2011

Opinion piece in the Jerusalem Post

I would prefer that the occupation ended in orderly fashion, without chaos, with the settlers living near the Green Line feeling unthreatened and the others having plenty of time to relocate. Unfortunately, this is not happening; I’d hoped the Obama administration would pressure Israel out of the West Bank, but nobody’s pressuring it out of anything. The 43-year status quo becomes more entrenched each day.

Still, the bad blood has been rising – among the Palestinians, the Arabs, Europe, liberal America, and the bad blood in Israel has been rising in kind. Something’s going to blow, I figured, and my guess was that Israel would start one war too many, maybe against Iran, or Lebanon, or Gaza, and masses of Israelis as well as foreigners would die, and when the smoke cleared it would be recalled that we started it, and the world would finally run out of patience with us and we would get out of the West Bank in a lather to avoid being ostracized, to save ourselves from becoming a Jewish North Korea.

Again, not my preferred way of ending the occupation. But no “good” way was presenting itself.

And then came Tunisia. And Egypt. And Iran, and Yemen, and Bahrain, and Libya, and no one knows where this is going to stop.

And it became pretty clear to me that this is how Israeli rule in the West Bank is going to end – through Palestinian people power. Masses of Palestinians, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, marching to IDF checkpoints and outposts, marching to Israeli-only roads, to settlements, to the security fence – to the nearest Israeli presence and screaming, “Out! Out!”

And refusing to leave.

WHAT THE hell is the IDF going to do then? Shoot them? Arrest them? With the whole world not only watching but, for the first time, already won over by other unarmed Arab masses facing down their oppressors? What will the IDF do under the eyes of a world that, for the first time, is seeing Arabs as people like themselves who want freedom, who deserve it and who are earning it, to say the least, with their courage?

How will the IDF and the Palestinian Authority police – those who don’t defect – get all these people to go back home and stay there?

I don’t see it. I think we’re going to have grand-scale anarchy on our hands – and we won’t be able to solve it by force, and the world will be on the side of the anarchists.

Impossible? If you say this is impossible, you’ve been on Mars for the last month. If you’ve been on Earth, the idea of the Arab revolt not reaching the West Bank is what seems impossible. To me, it’s inevitable. I’m only surprised it hasn’t started already.

It’s a matter of time. Maybe it’ll start Friday with the Palestinians’ “Day of Rage” against the US veto of the UN resolution against settlements. If not Friday, it’ll start soon. Something will set it off...

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 28, 2011

Lebanon

About 500 people waving flags and chanting for national unity have gathered in Beirut in a protest inspired by the wave of demonstrations across the Middle East.

Organizers used Facebook to publicize the demonstration, which was peaceful and dispersed by midday. Protesters called for a secular government…

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 28, 2011

Why I can't say Saudi Arabia is a haven of peace

I'm in Qatar for a couple of days for a workshop on the Egyptian revolution at the Qatar Foundation, but surprises have followed me all the way. First there was the news that a group of Qataris are calling for a Day of Rage on March 18, and a group of Saudis for a similar day on March 11. Then I heard the news of the protests in Oman on Saturday and Sunday…

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 28, 2011

Saudi

Democracy activists in Saudi Arabia say the government is closely monitoring social media to nip in the bud any protests inspired by uprisings that swept Arab countries, toppling leaders in Egypt and Tunisia.

Activists have set up Facebook pages calling for protests on March 11 and 20, with over 17,000 supporters combined, but police managed to stymie two attempts to stage protests in the Red Sea city of Jeddah last month, highlighting the difficulties of such mobilisation in the conservative kingdom.

In one case around 30 to 50 people were detained by police when they gathered on the street, eyewitnesses said. In the second, security forces flooded the location of a protest that had been advertised on Facebook, scaring protesters away.

"They are watching closely what people are saying on Facebook and Twitter," said Saudi blogger Ahmed al-Omran. "Obviously they are anxious as they are surrounded with unrest and want to make sure we don't catch the bug."…

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 28, 2011

Oman

Protesters have taken to the streets in the Gulf state of Oman for a third day to call for political reforms.

Hundreds of people blocked roads in Sohar, Oman's main industrial centre, while others maintained a vigil at a central roundabout.

A supermarket was set on fire by protesters and looted, and state property was damaged…

There have been reports of protests in other cities. Reuters said two demonstrations were held in the capital Muscat…

Al Jazeera

Residents in the northeastern Omani city of Sohar have reportedly looted a supermarket damaged in protests, as demonstrations over economic woes carried on into a third day.

Security forces sealed off main roads to the city on Monday and hundreds of protesters reportedly stormed a police station, while protests spread throughout the city.

Sohar, a city about 200km northwest of the capital of Muscat, was the scene of protests over the weekend, as demonstrators demanded higher salaries, jobs for the unemployed and the removal of some government ministers.

But police did not respond to Monday's protests, witnesses said, and appeared to have withdrawn from the scene of the looting.

"It's a free for all," said one man who watched while people grabbed food and other goods, piling their hauls into stolen trolleys and heading away from the burnt Lulu Hypermarket, according to a report from the Reuters news agency.

"There's no security ... I want to live," said a 28-year-old Omani, who identified himself as Youssef, walking away with 10 bottles of juice.

One woman was seen stacking up slightly burned cartons of eggs, powdered milk, orange juice and cream cheese on her trolley and calmly leaving the supermarket.

Elsewhere, hundreds of protesters blocked access to an industrial area that includes the port, a refinery and aluminium factory...

Protests in Salalah: What do we want?

On most days my office windows look out onto beautiful mountains, palm trees, pretty government buildings, and quiet Salalah traffic. This week, however, the view is a little more interesting. It includes protesters, banners, tents and police vehicles.

A few weeks ago I would have laughed off the mere thought of an uprising in Oman, let alone the peaceful town where I live. Nonetheless, on Friday hundreds of protesters marched from the Grand Mosque in Salalah to the central area of town where most government offices are.

Banners with clear demands were plastered to the gates of the Minister of State's headquarters and the protesters set up camp for the night opposite the gates. It has been four days already and from what I can see it doesn't look like they're going anywhere soon. Not only have they increased in numbers, but they've actually set up one of the most organized protest camps I have ever seen. The quiet collection of donations and the distribution system for food and water is something to be admired. When I drove by last night, the protesters were sitting in groups, talking quietly.

So what is it that they want? Well, some of the demands seem perfectly realistic and feasible to me, whereas others may seem a little ambitious for the time being (canceling all personal and housing loans?). First and foremost, protesters are demanding an end to administrative and financial corruption in the government and private sector. Believe it or not, Omanis finally want to crack down on wasta (influence). I never thought I'd see the day…

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 28, 2011

Morocco

Almost 1,000 people rallied amid a heavy police presence in Morocco's biggest city Casablanca on Saturday to demand political reforms and a new constitution, a witness told AFP...

Red Marriott

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Red Marriott on February 28, 2011

Continuing in Oman...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011
International
Oman Unrest
Protesters block road to port
Death toll tops 6

Reuters, Sohar

Omani protesters demanding political reforms blocked roads to a main export port and refinery yesterday and a doctor said the death toll from clashes with police in the Gulf Arab sultanate had risen to six.

Hundreds of protesters blocked the entrance to the industrial area of the northern coastal town of Sohar, which includes a port, refinery and aluminum factory. They pushed back four army vehicles that had been observing the scene.

"We want to see the benefit of our oil wealth distributed evenly to the population," one protester yelled over a loudhailer near the port. "We want to see a scale-down of expatriates in Oman so more jobs can be created for Omanis."

The unrest in Sohar, Oman's main industrial center, was a rare outbreak of discontent in the normally sleepy sultanate ruled by Sultan Qaboos bin Said for four decades, and follows a wave of pro-democracy protests across the Arab world.

Oman's government, trying to calm tensions, promised on Sunday to create more jobs and give benefits to job seekers.

A main supermarket in Sohar was burning yesterday after being looted, witnesses said. Protesters stormed the town's police station on Sunday to try to free detainees before burning it. They had also set two state offices alight.

As well as those demonstrating outside the industrial area, hundreds more were at the main Globe Roundabout, angry after police opened fire on Sunday at stone-throwing protesters demanding political reforms, jobs and better pay.

Graffiti scrawled on a statue said: "The people are hungry." Another message read: "No to oppression of the people."

Nearby, sidewalks were smashed and office windows broken. Troops deployed around the town but were not intervening to disperse protesters.

"There are no jobs, there's no freedom of opinion. The people are tired and people want money. People want to end corruption," said Ali al-Mazroui, 30, who is unemployed.

Marine traffic and exports of refined oil products from Sohar's port, which ships 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) of a range of products, were continuing although the flow of trucks into the port was blocked, a port spokeswoman said.

"It is true the protesters are making a very non-violent protest," the spokeswoman told Reuters. "Marine traffic in and out is not affected at the moment."

A doctor at Sohar's main hospital said the death toll had risen to six. Witnesses had earlier put it at two, some saying police had fired live ammunition, while others said they had used rubber bullets.
http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=175911

Red Marriott

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Red Marriott on February 28, 2011

An updated map of these disturbances would be good.

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on March 1, 2011

Protests in Qatif on Friday

[youtube]5NduS6ea-DE[/youtube]

[youtube]jOoK0PuaOK4[/youtube]

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on March 2, 2011

Iraq

Sami Ramadani

As the walls of fear are being knocked down in one Arab country after another, the ugly concrete walls "of separation and intimidation" erected by the US-led forces in Iraqi cities have become a target of protesters. During last Friday's "day of rage", 29 people were killed by security forces. Another day of protest is planned for this Friday (4 March) "to honour the 29 martyrs". The regime's tactics – which include the shooting of peaceful demonstrators – show that the post-occupation edifice built by the US is not much different from the assortment of American-backed dictatorships across north Africa and the Middle East.

...

Extraordinary measures were taken to prevent people converging on the capital's Tahrir Square. All of Baghdad's many bridges over the Tigris – linking the two halves of the city – were closed, all vehicles and bicycles banned. New concrete blast walls sealed off Jamahiriya bridge, which leads to the hated Green Zone. A city of over 6 million people had been turned into a massive site for police and army encampments and fortifications.

For its part, the world's biggest US embassy – the power behind the throne – took the unprecedented step of broadcasting in Arabic, on state TV, a thinly veiled threat to protesters not to go too far in their demands. The US, it stressed, fully backed the "democratically elected" regime, while supporting the right to peaceful protest. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama must be pretty confused as to which dictatorship they should now abandon and which to prop up...

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on March 2, 2011

Updates on Syria: http://syriaintransition.com/about/

Entdinglichung

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on March 3, 2011

http://www.spsrasd.info/en/detail.php?id=16742

OCCUPIED TERRITORIES / REPRESSION
Dozens of Sahrawis injured or arrested in clashes in occupied El Aaiun

El Aaiun (Occupied Territories), March 2, 2011 (SPS) - Dozens of Sahrawi citizens were injured or arrested in the occupied city of El Aaiun, after the forceful intervention of the Moroccan forces to disperse a sit-in, calling for the immediate and unconditional release of all Saharawi political prisoners languishing in Moroccan prisons.

The clashes resulted in injuries including: Deidi Yazid (elderly), his daughter Degna, Soulmani Mohamed Ali, Ahmed Deya, Houssein Soueilem, Habib Salhi, Albouhmadi Mouloud, Mahmoud Houssein, Ahmed Salem al-Khalil, Nafii Deya, Vala, Sarakh Zeina and Zubair Hassana, according to a preliminary assessment released by the Ministry of Occupied Territories and Saharawi Communities Abroad.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing plainclothes elements, suspected of belonging to the police forces, brutally tortured the Saharawi, the source indicated. (SPS)

062/090/TRA 021 600 MARCH 11 SPS

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on March 4, 2011

Saudi Facebook activist planning protest shot dead (unconfirmed report?)

Saudi activists alleged Wednesday that state security shot dead a leading online activist, who was calling for a 'Day of Rage' on March 11 in the oil-rich kingdom.

Faisal Ahmed Abdul-Ahadwas, 27, was believed to be one of the main administrators of a Facebook group that is calling for protests similar to that have swept North Africa and the Middle East.

The Facebook group, which has over 17,000 members, is calling for nationwide protests and reforms, including that governors and members of the upper house of parliament be elected, the release of political prisoners, greater employment, and greater freedoms.

Online activists said they believe Abdul-Ahadwas was killed by state security and that his body was taken by authorities to 'hide evidence of the crime.'

They argued he was killed because of 'his commitment to a better future for his country.'

Although these allegations could not independently verified, the religiously and socially-conservative kingdom has moved in recent days to quell a possible uprising similar to those in nearby Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain and Yemen…

Reuters

Around 100 Saudi Shi'ites staged a protest in Saudi Arabia's oil-producing Eastern Province on Thursday, demanding the release of prisoners they say are being held without trial, witnesses said.

Mostly young men marched through the small town of Awwamiya, near the Shi'ite centre of Qatif on the Gulf coast...

EA liveblog

1127 GMT: Eyewitnesses tell a CNN reporter that a protest is happening now in Saudi Arabia in the Eastern Province town of Al-Hassa, calling for the release of Shi'ite prisoners.

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on March 6, 2011

Iran

Labour protests in Tabriz and Tehran

More than 1,800 construction workers at Tabriz Petrochemical Complex have been staging labour protests since Thursday March 3, while in Tehran, hundreds of workers reach their fifth day of protests at Kian Tyre factory.

The Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA) reports that workers at Tabriz Petrochemical Complex are demonstrating against hiring practices and in favour of improved benefits and higher wages that keep up with inflation.

According to ILNA, Tabriz Petrochemical Complex was one of Iran’s 100 most profitable companies last year. In the northwest region of the country, it ranks third in size and profitability.

In the meantime, the opposition website Saham News reports that labour protests have been underway at Kian Tyre Factory since March1.

The report indicates that hundreds of workers and their families have been staging sit-ins in front of the factory. Human rights websites report that "workers at this factory have been gathering inside the factory, putting up protest banners on the plant’s fences and chanting protest slogans around a bonfire."

The workers are reportedly calling for job security, an end to child labour and the release of incarcerated labour activists.

Samotnaf

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on March 7, 2011

This newish development reported on March 1st, about Tanzania, is possibly the beginning of something new there (though I know nothing about the situation in Tanzania, so maybe someone reading this could elaborate a bit):

Mwanza — The Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo's (Chadema) 'people power' slogan last week captivated residents of the Lake Zone regions, who could not resist putting their different political ideologies aside.... people from all walks of life turned out to a series of demonstrations and rallies organised by Chadema.
The demonstrations were indeed not for Chadema members and supporters alone, but rather for all Tanzanians, who intended to vet their fury against the ever rising cost of living, erratic power, grand corruption, haphazard ammunition explosions and you name it....
A number of demonstrators carrying banners with some of the placards portraying strong messages some in an abusive language against the government and CCM did not prevent the demonstrations from being held peacefully... a similar Chadema demonstration ... left three innocent people killed and about 30 others injured on January 5, this year.
Thousands of hands were raised each time the Chadema national chairman, Mr Freeman Mbowe, and the party's secretary-general, Dr Willibrod Slaa, dared to ask the crowds if they would support a revolt as is the case with Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.
With the exception of less defiant and rebellious messages, Furahisha and Mukendo grounds in the city and municipality, respectively, temporarily turned into Cairo's Tahrir Square.
The demonstrations prompted analysts to ponder over whether the North Africa's 'people power' can inspire the sub-Saharan Africa to remove malfunctioning governments from power.
Matthew Tostevin, a political analyst, argued that the dynamics of the sub- Saharan Africa are different from those of the North Africa.
Ethics dissection, less urbanised populace and poor communications make it hard for mass actions to successfully take place in sub-Saharan Africa, he said. Another analyst, Robert Mkosamali, a PhD candidate at Saint Augustine University of Tanzania (Saut), concurred with Tostevin.
The living condition in Tanzania though is worse compared to those in northern Africa, the 'people power' ideal is still premature in the East African country, he explained. The ongoing bickering among religions leaders in Tanzania, for instance, was not being dealt with constructively, he said, observing that some politicians were being victimised along those lines.
"We can see some of the so called 'religious leaders' tactfully teaming up to stop the public from holding leaders from their sects accountable," he explains. The Singida East MP, Mr Tundu Lissu, however, asserted that President Museveni's victory through vote rigging reflected the 'people power' fear haunting long-time dictators on the continent.
Thinking the rural populace was politically passive was not only incorrect, but ignored vivid evidence, he says, arguing that Chadema had been performing well in rural constituencies in general elections' history of Tanzania.
Citing the Kigoma North MP, Mr Kabwe Zitto, and the former Karatu MP, Dr Willibrod Slaa, Mr Lissu said urbanisation could not inhibit 'people power'.
The shadow chief whip said time would tell if the ongoing bickering among religious leaders would have any significance in 'people power'. "Mind you, it is the same Tanzanians, who jointly fought against colonialism and played pivotal role in sub-Saharan Africa's liberation and the fight against apartheid.
"It is just because they are not yet that much angry. I assure you, these people will jointly rise again when they are fed up with what is happening in the country," he said.Standing by the size and mood of the crowds that took to the streets in Mwanza, the fury Mr Lissu is predicting probably is still not yet born in Tanzanians' minds.

- from here.

rooieravotr

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by rooieravotr on March 7, 2011

Swaziland...

"This is the time we have to regroup. In fact, we have to stand up now and fight the enemy. The enemy here is the system of governance. Change is inevitable in the country. Let the government consider happenings in Libya, Yemen, Tunisia and Egypt. Don’t say such things cannot happen in Swaziland. A revolution is an easy thing," said Dumisani Ndlangamandla.

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on March 11, 2011

Angola - around 20 people arrested in the early hours of the morning ahead of today's protest in Luanda, including journalists from Novo Jornal and rapper Brigadeiro Mata Frakus

AFP: Angola on standby for protests

Soldiers patrolled the Angolan capital on Sunday as Angolans watched to see if plans for a Monday mass protest against the 31-year rule of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos would materialise.

Since last month, rumours have been circulating on the Internet of north Africa-style protests scheduled to begin on March 7.

Many have dismissed the anonymous call to protest as a charade, but the ruling party, the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), has treated it as a credible threat, organising large pro-government demonstrations Saturday in Luanda and several other cities in a bid to show its strength...

Edit: protests fail to materialise after arrests

Edit: from the Guardian

Monday's short-lived protest in Luanda is in no way comparable with the extraordinary scenes witnessed in Cairo's Tahrir Square. Very few protesters showed up. However, people in Luanda say the atmosphere was extremely tense. There was a heavy police presence throughout the city and most people stayed at home fearing trouble…

In a bid to bolster confidence and outmanoeuvre the critics, MPLA officials organised pre-emptive "pro-peace" rallies across the country on Saturday. State radio said 500,000 supporters took to the streets of Luanda waving MPLA flags, wearing MPLA T-shirts and drinking MPLA-funded beer and fizzy drinks. The Associated Press estimated a lower figure of 20,000 participants. Whatever the number, this was not an authentic outpouring of adoration for the regime. State employees were ordered to attend, and beyond the capital all did not go well. For example, in the north-east diamond-rich province of Lunda Norte, MPLA supporters were attacked by other members of the public, and the provincial governor, Ernesto Muangala, fled to safety...

Komar

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Komar on March 7, 2011

Remember protests in Sulemanyeh, Iraqi Kurdistan for a few weeks ago? well the people have been gathering in The "maydany Azadi" évery single day since then.

Today was day Twenty of Protest here in Sualimany, Iraqi Kurdistan. The Protesters held their protest as usual at Maidany Azadi, meanwhile, down two street from the square, in front of PUK headquarter (Patriotic Union of Kurdistan), about a hundred feet from KDP’s headquarter in which the shooting of the Protesters on February 17th took place, the supporters of PUK held their own rally.

Sulemanyeh

http://themovingsilent.wordpress.com/

ocelot

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on March 8, 2011

Kuwait

1.09pm - Kuwait:

Photograph: Mixa/Getty Images/MIXA A planned day of protest in Kuwait has seen a peaceful start with Kuwaitis handing out watermelons to MPs heading into parliament. The Associated Press explains:

The significance was not spelled out, but in local parlance, a person who has a lack of understanding or holds an unrealistic point of view sometimes is called a watermelon.

In Kuwait, six members of the Kuwaiti youth group Kafi (Enough), gave watermelons to a few lawmakers as a signal of their political dissatisfaction in a country that has the most outspoken parliament in the Gulf Arab region.

The demonstration marked a tempered start to a planned day of unauthorised protests by youth groups demanding the removal of Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser al-Mohammad al-Sabah, a member of the ruling family, and greater political freedom.

A potentially larger rally was expected later, inspired by spreading Arab protests that toppled leaders in Tunisia and Egypt before sparking the insurrection in Libya and spreading to other Gulf countries including Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on March 8, 2011

Morocco

[youtube]fxR7dkocjec[/youtube]

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on March 8, 2011

Iraq

URGENT. Call for action regarding 3 young media people arrested in Baghdad 7 March.

Three young reporters were arrested yesterday around midday after attending Monday's demo to report. 

It is unknown where these three people are being held.

The demo was about jobs, labour rights and political reforms, end to corruption and basic services.

Iraqis are exercising their rights, as enshrined by Iraq's constitution, demanding job opportunities, political reforms and end to corruption. They are not calling for the overthrow the state.

They left Tahrir Square around midday heading home but they never got to their homes.

Their families tried to phone them several times but got no answer,

The names of the three young reporters are: 

Maan Thamer Ismail 
Ali Saihood
Ali Abd-Al Zahra

They were arrested by the Iraqi security forces. 

Please send letters of protests to the government of Iraq demanding the immediate release.

They committed no crimes except doing their jobs and exercising democratic rights guaranteed by Iraq’s constitution. 

Please help if you can.


Abdullah

GFIW [General Federation of Iraqi Workers]

Samotnaf

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on March 9, 2011

Possible food riots predicted in the USA:

commodities of all kinds are soaring...It was ... in November ’10, that Agricultural prices began to explode higher...
This in turn has resulted in riots and revolutions worldwide. Already we’ve seen this occur in Tunisia, Algeria, the Ivory Coast, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Iran, and now Saudi Arabia. We’ve also seen the start of this in China....
The reasons the US hasn’t been gripped by riots are the following:
1) The security nets (food stamps, welfare, etc) continue to keep lower income Americans afloat… for now.
2) Food in the US is so processed that increases in agricultural prices don’t pass through as rapidly into higher food prices.
Neither of this will last much longer. Regarding #1, the US Government is broke. In fact they’re so broke than an aid to Nancy Pelosi (who I can’t stand) has revealed that the US Government might actually shut down at some point in the near future.
As for #2, commodities will be spiking even higher

Samotnaf

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on March 9, 2011

UK?:

LONDON (AP) - A senior economist at HSBC has warned that Britain could experience riots if food prices continue to soar in line with the cost of crude oil.
Karen Ward told Sky News that amid "very low" wage growth in the developed world, failing to compensate workers for recent rises in food and energy prices could provoke social unrest in the U.K.
Energy markets - where prices are near their highest levels since 2008 as battles rage in oil-rich Libya - are "a significant contributor" to higher food prices, Ward told Sky Tuesday.
Food price inflation has helped spark the uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East that toppled longstanding rulers in Tunisia and Egypt.
Last week, the United Nations said food costs are at their highest point since the agency began tracking them 20 years ago.

Entdinglichung

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on March 10, 2011

Burkina Faso: http://juralibertaire.over-blog.com/article-burkina-faso-les-eleves-sur-les-sentiers-de-la-liberte-68989412.html

Samotnaf

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on March 10, 2011

Report here on Burkina Faso in English:

Africa: Burkina Faso: Protests Over Deaths
Students in Burkina Faso demonstrated in several cities to protest the deaths of a student in police custody last month and of other marchers killed in later protests, according to a local human rights group.

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on March 10, 2011

Why Syria is not next ... so far

As millions of Arabs stir their respective countries with demonstrations and slogans of change and transition, certain Arab states have been generally spared, including some oil rich countries and Syria. Syria stands out as a powerful regional player without the benefit of economic prosperity and with a domestic political climate that leaves a lot to be desired. Some say it combines the heavy-handedness of the Tunisian regime, the economic woes of Egypt, the hereditary rule aspects of Morocco and Jordan, and a narrower leadership base than any other country across the Arab world. Why, then, is all relatively quiet on the Syrian front? ... 

ocelot

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on March 11, 2011

Kuwait

Guardian/Reuters

10.53am: Reuters reports on unrest in Kuwait:

Kuwait riot police fired tear gas on Friday to break up a small, peaceful demonstration by stateless Arabs, who were demanding greater rights in the small, oil-rich Gulf nation.
Police in protective gear advanced on around 200 protesters who had gathered in a district of Kuwait City following morning prayers. They then fired volleys of tear gas at the crowd, sending the group running for cover.

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on March 12, 2011

Azerbaijan

Several hundred opposition protesters held a rally in downtown Baku for a second day today, RFE/RL's Azeri Service reports.

The protesters chanted slogans against President Ilham Aliyev, calling for his resignation. They also demanded the authorities release youth activists arrested in recent days...

The demonstration in Baku follows the March 11 rally organized by Azeri youth activists via Facebook. Inspired by popular uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia, and other Arab nations...

Is Azerbaijan ready for its own revolution?

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on March 12, 2011

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on March 12, 2011

[youtube]IZdyiK-Z5Do[/youtube]

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on March 14, 2011

This doesn't sound good. I wonder what the international response will be.

Bahrain

Saudi forces are preparing to intervene in neighbouring Bahrain, after a day of clashes between police and protesters who mounted the most serious challenge to the island's royal family since demonstrations began a month ago.

The Crown Prince of Bahrain is expected to formally invite security forces from Saudi Arabia into his country today, as part of a request for support from other members of the six-member Gulf Co-operation Council.

revolut

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by revolut on March 14, 2011

According to Al-Jazeera, 1,000 Saudi troops have already been sent to Bahrain.

baboon

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on March 14, 2011

According to Channel 4 News the US administration is OK with it.

Samotnaf

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on March 14, 2011

Yemen:

Governor of Yemeni northeast province of Marib was stabbed in the chest while he was trying to break up anti-government protests on Monday, a local security official told Xinhua.

Submitted by Valeriano Orob… on March 15, 2011

Samotnaf

Regarding #1, the US Government is broke. In fact they’re so broke than an aid to Nancy Pelosi (who I can’t stand) has revealed that the US Government might actually shut down at some point in the near future.
As for #2, commodities will be spiking even higher

[/quote]

That's a bit crazy, ain't it? What does it mean that "the us government might shut down"? does it mean a welfare program or what?

Samotnaf

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on March 15, 2011

I didn't write that, I was quoting it from zero hedge.I suspect it's slightly over the top, but the prediction of food riots has a ring of truth to it.

Samotnaf

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on March 15, 2011

Apologies if this is a derailment, but I should add that all these stock market/currency predictions are pretty much gobbledeegook to me; for all I know the site is trying to manipulate things for its own financial reasons...

Samotnaf

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on March 15, 2011

Oman (not at all sure what this is about):

events occurred in Wilayats of Ibri and Dhank including assaults against public and private properties by burning, vandalising and cutting off the main roads

Maybe a continuation from the beginning of the month.

the swerve

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by the swerve on March 15, 2011

Syria: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/syria-revolution-revolt-against-bashar-al--assads-regime/2011/03/15/ABrwNEX_blog.html

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on March 15, 2011

Martial law in Bahrain

At least two people were killed in fighting between the civilian protesters and government-backed security forces that included Saudi soldiers invited into the kingdom on Sunday.

Hospitals were again teeming with wounded demonstrators in scenes reminiscent of earlier clashes in February, that severely tested the legitimacy of the US-backed government.

Soldiers were active in numerous areas that had been flashpoints in past clashes. Doctors and medical staff reported that troops had taken over a medical centre in the Sitra area and, in some cases, prevented them from tending to casualties. Doctors in the medical centre claimed they were being prevented from leaving by troops stationed outside.

"They are shooting at us, they are shooting," one doctor told the Guardian. "Get help, get the international community to help."

Up to 200 people were reported to have been treated at some point during the day, which is being seen as the start of a new phase in the increasingly bitter clashes that are steadily gaining a regional dimension in the Gulf.

Villages throughout Manama stationed militiamen at entrances and crossroads in attempts to keep security forces away. However, they were unarmed, outnumbered and unable to stop soldiers taking over neighbourhoods to search for demonstrators...

Links to videos, photos and reports from the Angry Arab blog

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on March 15, 2011

Oman

Believe it or not, the peaceful sit-in that started in Salalah on February 25th is still happening. Every morning for the past three weeks, I've had to drive through throngs of sleeping protesters and placards demanding an end to corruption in order to get to my office. Meanwhile, a plethora of smaller peaceful protests have erupted at many major institutions in Salalah including the university and colleges. As for the rest of Oman, every major organization seems to be on strike, and everyday I hear of yet another sit-in happening at some ministry or other. Many of the demands seem perfectly logical to me, while others completely contradict the idea of a 'new' Oman. The protest situation may have gotten a little out of hand, but who can blame us? For the first time in decades, we've been allowed to criticize the way this country is run. Discovering that the government will tolerate our protests is unbelievable, but I suppose with recent events in the Middle East they have no other choice. Once the thrill of staging protests wears off, hopefully things will calm down… but then what?

bootsy

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by bootsy on March 16, 2011

General Strike in Bahrain:

Voice of Bahrain - special
Revealed a senior official in the Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) stopped yesterday the company for the export of oil to the outside through the port, as a result of the general strike declared by the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions and trade unions in solidarity with the demands of protesters in the Pearl Roundabout.
The sources emphasized that the losses "BAPCO" to stop the export of between 96 to 120 million dollars a day.
On the other hand, the lower the share price of Aluminium Bahrain, Alba yesterday (Monday) 20 fils at a rate of 2.17 percent, to 900 fils per share, its lowest level since its inclusion on the Bahrain Stock Exchange in the (November 30, 2010).
Alba and lost market value yesterday on the Stock Exchange about 28 million, because of investor fears that the protests affect the productivity of the company and then backed down revenues, and profits distributed to shareholders.
http://manamavoice.com/index.php?plugin=news&act=news_read&id=6674

ocelot

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on March 16, 2011

AJE: Bahrain forces attack protesters

Security forces in Bahrain have driven out pro-democracy protesters from the Pear Roundabout in the capital Manama.

Helicopters hovered overhead as troops backed by tanks stormed the site - the focal point of weeks-long anti-government protests in the tiny kingdom - early on Wednesday, an Al Jazeera correspondent said.

Multiple explosions were heard and smoke was seen billowing over central Manama.

Our correspondent said the police backed by the military attacked the protesters from all sides and used tear gas canisters to disperse the crowd.

Protesters, intimidated by the shear numbers of security forces, retreated from the roundabout, he said.

Hospital sources said two protesters had been killed and hundreds of others injured in the offensive. The Reuters news agency said three policemen had also been killed.

Ali Al Aswad, a member of the opposition Wefaq party, told Al Jazeera that the government used Apache helicopters to shoot at peaceful protesters.

He said the situation was very bad and Bahrain was heading towards a disaster.

"The security forces are killing the people, we call upon UN to help us," Aswad said.
[...]

current reaction from US & EU - not a whisper.

ocelot

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on March 16, 2011

Detail from Al Jazeera English liveblog of Bahrain crackdown

10:00am The AFP news agency is reporting that Bahrain's stock exchange has been closed until further notice; so are schools and universities.

Entdinglichung

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on March 17, 2011

Swasiland: http://www.times.co.sz/News/26811.html

Mark.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on March 18, 2011

rooieravotr

13 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by rooieravotr on March 18, 2011

Swaziland, almost 7000 protesters, in a land of one million inhabitants.

Mark.

13 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on March 18, 2011

Syria again. It looks likes serious protests have finally started.

bootsy

13 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by bootsy on March 18, 2011

The claws are coming out in Yemen. Al Jazeera:

Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Yemeni president, has declared a nationwide state of emergency, after a violent crackdown on anti-government protests killed at least 41 people, and left scores more wounded, in the capital Sanaa.

Saleh said on Friday that the decision to impose the state of emergency was made by the country's national security council, but there was no immediate indication of how long it would last.

...

Al Jazeera correspondents in Sanaa reported that many protesters were shot in the head and neck; most of the injured were shot with live ammunition.

That last part would seem to suggest that the protesters were fired on by snipers, meaning the Yemeni authorities intentionally planned on killing large number of protesters rather than just dispersing them with random gunfire as appeared to be what happened in Bahrain. In any case it seems that Gone-daffy has set a precedent, skip the recuperation and move straight on to ruthless repression.

Mark.

13 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on March 19, 2011

Syria

Al Jazeera

Police in Syria have sealed the southern city of Daraa and fired tear gas at crowds of people gathered to mourn the deaths of two men killed by security forces, according to witnesses.

Thousands of mourners gathered in the centre of the city on Saturday, marching behind the coffins of Wissam Ayyash and Mahmoud al-Jawabra, who were killed when security forces opened fire on protesters a day earlier.

Mazen Darwish, a prominent Syrian rights activist, said police had sealed the city with people being allowed out but unable to enter.

He cited residents who did not want their names published for fear of reprisals.

Inspired by the revolts sweeping through the Arab world, protesters on Friday had called for political freedoms and an end to corruption in Syria, which has been ruled under emergency laws by the Baath Party for nearly half a century.

Three to four thousand people leaving the city's Omari mosque after midday prayers chanted "God, Syria, Freedom" and slogans accusing the president's family of corruption, residents said.

But in the most violent response in years to protests against Syria's ruling elite, five people were killed when security forces opened fire on the protest.

Smaller protests also took place in the central city of Homs and the coastal town of Banias, home to one of Syria's two oil refineries, activists said.

A crowd briefly chanted slogans for freedom inside the Umayyad Mosque in Old Damascus before security forces closed in.

The Syrian security forces, which stepped up arrests of dissidents since the Arab uprisings began in January, have a history of crushing dissent.

In 1982, Hafez al-Assad, the father of current President Bashar al-Assad, sent troops to put down a rebellion in the city of Hama, killing thousands.

Three to five killed in Deraa demonstration, unrest spreads

Egyptian Chronicles: Syria - the start of revolution

Entdinglichung

13 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on March 20, 2011

more on the protests in Syria on http://supportkurds.org/ (Syrian Kurdish solidarity page)

Samotnaf

13 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on March 20, 2011

Worst police truck ever from Yemen.

In fact, the cops could have run over the protesters - but it looks like they chose to just get away in the end. So "best police truck" ever ...

Mark.

13 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on March 20, 2011

Syria

Al Jazeera

Crowds have set fire to the courthouse and other buildings on a third straight day of demonstrations in the southern Syrian city of Daraa.

Residents said one person was killed and scores injured when security forces used live rounds against protesters. Witnesses said dozens were also taken to be treated for tear gas inhalation at the main Omari mosque.

Thousands took to the streets on Sunday, calling for an end to corruption and 48 years of emergency law and to protest the killing of five civilians in a similar demonstration two days earlier.

The headquarters of the ruling Baath party was set ablaze as well as two phone company branches. One of the firms, Syriatel, is owned by President Bashar al-Assad's cousin Rami Makhlouf, who is under specific US sanctions for what Washington regards as public corruption.

"They burned the symbols of oppression and corruption," an activist said. "The banks nearby were not touched."

An AFP correspondent said protesters also tried to march on the home of the town's governor, but security forces used warning shots and tear gas to stop them.

Samotnaf

13 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on March 21, 2011

ocelot

13 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on March 21, 2011

re Bahrain:

NYT: Crackdown Was Only Option, Bahrain Sunnis Say

...those dirty Shias, they had it coming! Another truly disgusting piece from the NYT, never failing to pimp the Israeli foreign policy line. But yet more evidence that the deal done at the end of last week for the Arab league to greenlight air attacks on Libya, was on the basis of a quid pro quo allowing them to crush Shia dissent in Bahrain and on the East coast of the Arabian peninsula (Operation Peninsula Shield).

Authored on
January 29, 2011