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Tunisian forces tear gas protesters: Tear gas fired and live ammunition shot into the air to disperse protesters in the town of Kasserine


Tunisian security forces have used teargas and fired live ammunition into the air to disperse a crowd of more than 3,000 protesters in central-west Tunisia, official and union sources said.

Wednesday's violence in the town of Kasserine took place as members of Tunisia's interim government formally resigned following the formation of the country's first-ever elected constituent assembly.

Protesters said that they took to the streets because they felt the country's new authorities had failed to recognise local people's contribution to a revolution earlier this year which inspired the "Arab Spring" uprisings.

The clashes underlined the tough task facing the new government, elected in the country's first democratic vote last month, in meeting expectations for jobs and better living standards in poor provincial towns.

"Young men are burning tyres in the street," one resident, Bouraoui Sadaoui, told the Reuters news agency from the town, which is about 300km southwest of the capital, Tunis. "They are throwing rocks and surrounding the town jail.

"They want to set fire to the prison ... The military fired into the air and are using tear gas to disperse the people," he said. "Several people have been injured by tear gas."MORE


Back to Tahrir Square

When former Vice President (and intelligence chief) Omar Suleiman announced on state television last February 11the transfer of power from Hosni Mubarak to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), millions of Egyptians began celebrating in the streets the culmination of their revolution that rid them of their dictator. The demonstrators’ chant then was ‘the people and the army are one.’ Indeed, the role of SCAF in refusing to crack down on protestors and forcing the resignation of Mubarak proved decisive in the three-week revolt.

Nine months later, hundreds of thousands of Egyptians are back in Tahrir Square and streets across the country. Ironically, their chant is now ‘The police and the army are one,’ in a clear rejection of the violent tactics employed by the police against the demonstrators. In three days of confrontation since November 20 at least forty people were killed and more than 2,000 injured at the hands of the security forces. But this time the Egyptian youth will not pack up and go home. They are determined to reclaim their revolution and force the transfer of power from the military to a real civilian government.

But how did we get from there to here?MORE


Unfinished Revolution:An interview with Sherif Joseph Rizk, Yehia El Gammal and Shahira Abouellail


The second wave of the revolution has come back to Tahrir Square, with thousands of people coming together to reoccupy the space until the ruling military council steps down. Lillian Boctor speaks to three Egyptian activists about what their experiences over the past week [MP3 – 12.2MB].

The second wave of the Revolution has come back to Tahrir Square. After the massive demonstration on Friday, 18 November 2011, calling for an end to military rule, about 200 people, mainly family members of martyrs who died in the January 25 uprisings and people who were previously injured, staged a sit-in at Tahrir Square. Central Security Forces and Egyptian military police violently dismantled the sit-in, and since then, thousands have come together to reoccupy Tahrir Square. The police and military continue to attack protesters with live bullets, extremely potent tear gas and invisible gas, bird shot, rubber bullets and other ammunition.

As of Thursday 24 November 2011, the Egyptian Ministry of Health has confirmed at least 38 dead and thousands wounded. The protesters vow to continue their occupation of Tahrir Square until the ruling military council, or SCAF, steps down. Protests against ongoing military rule are happening throughout Egypt, and security forces and the military are reacting violently to those protests as well.

MORE

Guardian Live Blog: Blogging the Uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa

Egypt

• An Egyptian demonstrator was killed early this morning outside the cabinet building in Cairo, where pro-democracy protesters camped overnight to block the entrance of the newly appointed prime minister, Kamal al-Ganzouri. Egyptians flocked to Tahrir Square yesterday for a huge demonstration against the military rulers. The number of people gathered in the square, the heart of pro-democracy protests, was estimated at more than 100,000. There have also been smaller protests in Alexandria, Damanhour, Mahalla Al-Kubra, Mansoura, Suez, Sohag and Tanta.

...

Syria

• Syria has missed a deadline set by the Arab League for it to allow in international observers or face a vote on sanctions. The league meets today to decide on sanctions, said deputy secretary-general Ahmed Ben Heli. The punishments could include halting flights and imposing a freeze on financial dealings and assets.

...

Morocco

• A moderate Islamist party has claimed victory in the Morocco's parliamentary elections. Government officials have yet to confirm the Justice and Development Party's assertion. Turnout was reportedly low amid calls by pro-democracy campaigners for a boycott.

Yemen

• Mohammed Bassendoua has been nominated to form the new government in Yemen, according to al-Arabiya citing opposition sources. He will be the country's new prime minister.MORE

Recall that a couple of days ago, Yemen's pres finally decided to step down after 33 years in power: Yemen's president steps down

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh signed a deal today under which he stepped down from 33 years in power and 10 months of protests against his rule that have brought the country to the edge of civil war.

Celebrations erupted in Yemen as Saleh signed the deal which made him the fourth leader to be forced from power following the Arab Spring's 10 months of mass protests. Yemenis voiced joy and exhilaration, dancing in the streets and waving flags.

Under the agreement, signed with the Yemeni opposition at a ceremony hosted by Saudi King Abdullah in the capital Riyadh, Saleh transferred his powers to his deputy, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, ahead of an early election. In return he will receive immunity from prosecution.MORe

Opinion: Tides of the Arab revolutions

As calls for intervention increase, ask not who will replace dictators and when, ask what replaces the regimes and how.

The ebb and flow of the Arab revolutions is revealing political storms that could flood the Arab world with chaos. The people and their organised opposition groups mustn't fall prey to the dictators' ultimatums of "me or the flood".

It is a false choice. The Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions have shown a third way forward; one that no longer considers dictatorships as a fait accomplis, nor a spiralling descent into civil war, nor to become dependent on international protection.

This is not to say that all situations and challenges are one and the same, and revolutions must evolve like carbon copies of each other. Circumstances are, of course, different among Arab states.

But behind the specifics of each Arab society and polity there are also commonalities worth considering, without generalisation.

Three dimensions or general guidelines should, in particular, be examined.

Numbers speak louder than words

Some of the regimes, as in Libya or Syria, have had bloody records during the years, and their violent crackdown in recent months has pushed people to arm themselves or to ask for international intervention or protection.

But the militarisation of the Libyan revolution and the international intervention in Libya has proven costly. Before the intervention started, the estimated deaths stood at one to two thousand people.

By the time it ended several months later, tens of thousands were dead. Some put the figure at 20,000, others more than
double that.

The huge difference in the estimates underlines just how bad and messy things have become.

Those Syrians asking for international intervention must consider the terrible cost paid by the Libyans.

Moreover, the oil-rich North African nation might be able to pay for reconstruction, but it won't recover the terrible "collateral damage" in human losses and injuries.

Syria, meanwhile, is not only poor, it's also a complicated society with growing ethnic tensions and deep societal polarisation. It's not clear how imposing a no-fly-zone in Syria could ease the regime's crackdown. The Syrian military is heavily deployed among the population centres and would be hard to hit without terrible cost to citizens.MORE
BAHRAIN Thousands march in Bahrain to protest against gov't re: report thatpointed out that torture, rape and other nasty methods were used to suppress the uprising earlier this year. Also, pointed out that the uprisees had legitimate grievances.
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