I suppose everyone who reads this already knows, but the popular revolutions in northern Africa are incredibly inspiring. The people are rising against tyrants and they aren’t letting martial law stop them. And the revolutions there don’t give a shit about US foreign policy. They don’t seem to give a shit about the formal “opposition party” leaders. They just want to be free. May the rebellion spread.
5 thoughts on “Fire In Cairo”
“In another extraordinary audio report Jack Shenker in Cairo reports on signs that the police are siding with the protesters. He saw a senior police officer discard a teargas canister to signal to protesters that he was on their side. Will the regime fall he asked a state journalist. ‘It’s already falling, it can’t stop,’ Jack was told.”
“We are in East Alexandria. Immediately after prayer, the people came out of mosque with banners and started marching, shouting ‘we are peaceful, we are peaceful’. Security arrived and immediately began shooting teargas and rubber bullets at peaceful protesters, about 600. Then one-hour rock throwing clash, but police didn’t advance more than one block and kept being pushed back. Then a massive column of protesters came from the other direction and blocked in police, holding up their hands and shouting we are peaceful. Right now police is held up in the yard of mosque and protesters all around, police can’t move. They repeatedly ran out of teargas and begged protesters to stop, protesters telling them to join them.”
now there’s something you don’t see every day!
though it’s worth keeping in mind there’s a fairly strong chance this won’t end well. there’s already word that the Muslim Brotherhood has been setting up illegal checkpoints and armed Neighborhood Watch committees to protect private property. as one message board poster puts it: “basically the MB taking steps toward monopolizing revolutionary dual power.”
there’s also reports of plainclothes cops and Mubarak loyalists looting and generally causing havoc in an attempt to discredit the protesters and make people side with the existing government, feeling they have to rely on them for protection.
oh yeah, and this:
“Residents of the poor al Sabtia neighbourhood, brandishing knives and home-made weapons, poured onto the streets to chase away looters who had ransacked a large mall and threatened to storm a commercial luxury tower. The residents took stolen goods back from the looters and put them in a local mosque until they can be handed to authorities once order is restored, witnesses said.”
It’s true that it might not end well. I have a feeling it won’t end -worse-, though of course I could be wrong. But I expect that the people of Egypt will remember this for a long time, remember that they have the power and can withdraw it if they feel the need.
I’m actually of mixed emotions about the vigilantes who oppose the looting. While not a big property-rights kind of person, I’m glad people, for example, are getting together to protect the museums. And I certainly can’t blame people for protecting their homes and neighborhoods. The fact that at least some portion (likely large) of the looters is made up of police makes this opinion easier for me to hold. And besides, as an anarchist, self-organization is what I’m looking for. It’s hard, because I do believe in the redistribution of wealth, but I also believe that people self-organizing to protect their homes and neighborhoods is a beautiful thing.
Totally. I feel very much the same way. It’s a tough issue. I mean, it’s not as if random looting is really “redistribution of wealth” in any just or meaningful way anyway… it’s sort of just “might makes right”… a mad grab for wealth in the same way capitalism is. And when it comes to securing long term economic equality, it’s really who owns the land and the means of production that’s important, not… you know… everybody gets a free TV haha