ajnabieh: A seagull standing on a "no seagulls" sign, with the text FIGHT THE POWER (fight the power seagull)
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I've started, for my teaching and research, keeping a publicly readable GoogleDoc on news articles, blog posts, tweets, etc on gender, women, feminism and the Arab revolutions of the past year. (Most of my links are only a month or two old, at this point in time.) I thought members of this community might find it useful! Nearly all the links are in English, though some have untranslated Arabic text in images, or untranslated Arabic audio for video clips. The links don't have annotations right now, because I don't have time--but parts of them are sorted into readings for my class, so those at least have themes.

The document is here. Enjoy--and if you have other links you think I should have, pass them on!
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But someone needs to explain how a NATO strike killed him when he had been discovered in a drainage hole by rebels.


Graphic footage showing him after his death in Sirte


Muammar Gaddafi killed as Sirte falls: NTC military chief says toppled leader died of wounds following capture near his hometown of Sirte.


Muammar Gaddafi has been killed after National Transitional Council fighters overran loyalist defences in Sirte, the toppled Libyan leader's hometown and final stronghold.

"We have been waiting for this moment for a long time. Muammar Gaddafi has been killed," Mahmoud Jibril, the de facto Libyan prime minister, told reporters on Thursday in Tripoli, the capital.

Crowds took to the streets of Sirte, Tripoli and Benghazi, the eastern city that spearheaded the uprising against Gaddafi's 42-year rule in February, to celebrate the news, with some firing guns and waving Libya's new flag. 

Abdul Hakim Belhaj, an NTC military chief, said Gaddafi had died of his wounds after being captured on Thursday.

The body of the former Libyan leader was taken to a location which is being kept secret for security reasons, Mohamed Abdel Kafi, an NTC official in the city of Misrata, told the Reuters news agency.

Earlier, Abdel Majid, another NTC official, said the toppled leader had been wounded in both legs.

Sirte captured

The news came shortly after the NTC captured Sirte after weeks of fierce fighting.

 


Al Jazeera's Tony Birtley reports from Sirte

 

Fighters flashing V for victory took to the streets in pick-ups blaring out patriotic music.

"Thank God they have caught this person. In one hour, Sirte was liberated," a fighter said.

Al Jazeera's Tony Birtley, reporting from Sirte, said Libyans there celebrating the beginning of a "new Libya".


MORE



Who was Muammar Gaddafi? Video


What does Gaddafi's fall mean for Africa? As global powers become more interested in Africa, interventions in the continent will likely become more common.

"Kampala 'mute' as Gaddafi falls," is how the opposition paper summed up the mood of this capital the morning after. Whether they mourn or celebrate, an unmistakable sense of trauma marks the African response to the fall of Gaddafi.

Both in the longevity of his rule and in his style of governance, Gaddafi may have been extreme. But he was not exceptional. The longer they stay in power, the more African presidents seek to personalise power. Their success erodes the institutional basis of the state. The Carribean thinker C L R James once remarked on the contrast between Nyerere and Nkrumah, analysing why the former survived until he resigned but the latter did not: "Dr Julius Nyerere in theory and practice laid the basis of an African state, which Nkrumah failed to do."

The African strongmen are going the way of Nkrumah, and in extreme cases Gaddafi, not Nyerere. The societies they lead are marked by growing internal divisions. In this, too, they are reminiscent of Libya under Gaddafi more than Egypt under Mubarak or Tunisia under Ben Ali.

Whereas the fall of Mubarak and Ben Ali directed our attention to internal social forces, the fall of Gaddafi has brought a new equation to the forefront: the connection between internal opposition and external governments. Even if those who cheer focus on the former and those who mourn are preoccupied with the latter, none can deny that the change in Tripoli would have been unlikely without a confluence of external intervention and internal revolt.

More interventions to come

The conditions making for external intervention in Africa are growing, not diminishing. The continent is today the site of a growing contention between dominant global powers and new challengers. The Chinese role on the continent has grown dramatically. Whether in Sudan and Zimbawe, or in Ethiopia, Kenya and Nigeria, that role is primarily economic, focused on two main activities: building infrastructure and extracting raw materials. For its part, the Indian state is content to support Indian mega-corporations; it has yet to develop a coherent state strategy. But the Indian focus too is mainly economic.

The contrast with Western powers, particularly the US and France, could not be sharper. The cutting edge of Western intervention is military. France's search for opportunities for military intervention, at first in Tunisia, then Cote d'Ivoire, and then Libya, has been above board and the subject of much discussion. Of greater significance is the growth of Africom, the institutional arm of US military intervention on the African continent.
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TRIGGER WARNING FOR TRANSCRIPT OF A VIDEO THAT DEALS WITH POLICE BRUTALITY AND RAPE

So sorry I missed that the first time!

Here is the first video:
English Version: Egypt: How We Did It When the Media Would Not


On February 11, 2011 Egyptians toppled dictator Hosni Mubarak. Blogger and viral video producer Aalam Wassef was one of the many people who worked for years to make it happen. This is first in a series on the daily life of
Egypt's revolution. It's a manual on how a civil resistance was built to win.




Spanish Subtitled Version: Egipto: Cómo lo hicimos cuando los medios no lo harían


El 11 de febrero de 2011, el pueblo egipcio derrocó al dictador Hosni Mubarak. El bloguero y productor de video viral, Aalam Wassef, fue una de las muchas personas que trabajaron por años para que esto sucediera. Este video es el primero en una serie sobre la vida cotidiana de la revolución egipcia. Es un manual sobre cómo una resistencia civil fue construida para triunfar.
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The Guardian Liveblog

The battle for Libya: Key moments so far

Al Jazeera Liveblog

EDIT: ONTD POLITICAL LIVEPOST This one is awesome because people are pulling in the Twitter messages. And apparently this happened:

@lisang
Holy crap! Libyan news announcer live, holding gun threatening anyone who might take state TV goo.gl/Zb072 #Libya (via @khaladk)

...

With this weapon I will either kill or be killed today. You will not take over Al-Libiyah. Nor will you take over Jamahiriyah, or Shababiyah, or Tripoli, or Libya. All of us here are armed, and even those who aren't are prepared to be shields to protect their colleagues at the station. We are all willing to be martyrs.



Daughter of EDIT:
@SultanAlQassemi
Breaking Al Jazeera: the Libyan NTC's Mustafa Abdul Jaleel: Confirmed reports that Saif Al Islam Gaddafi has been captured


Granddaughter of EDIT:
ShababLibya LibyanYouthMovement
Saadi is now confirmed captured. 3 sons, Mohammad surrendered, Saif and Saadi captured. held in secret location by FF #Libya


Late Great Granddaughter of Edit: The rebels got the Green Square
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Honduras Indigenous and Afro-Honduran Women’s Constitutional Assembly

Proposals to radically re-formulate the constitution of Honduras need to incorporate the experiences and perspectives of indigenous and Afro-Honduran women, declared Berta Cáceres, a longtime feminist indigenous activist and an organizer of the Constitutional Assembly Self-Organized by Indigenous and Afro-Honduran Women. The historic event, which is taking place July 10-14, 2011 in Copán Ruinas, will include indigenous and Afro women delegates from all over Honduras, said Cáceres, who is also coordinator of COPINH (Civic Council of Indigenous and Popular Organizations in Honduras).

Many of these women have been front and center in the popular resistance movement against the repression following the coup d’etat in their country in June, 2009, struggling against assaults on their lands, sovereignty, natural resources and cultures. Likewise, many have been specifically targeted as leaders in these struggles with aggressive and violent assaults and detentions by police and private security forces.

Along the northern coast of Honduras, there are 48 Garifuna communities “who are suffering an accelerated expulsion from our territories that we have inhabited for 214 years,” said Miriam Miranda of OFRANEH (National Fraternal Organization of Black Hondurans) in a public letter she released after being violently detained and assaulted by security forces in March, 2011 for her role as a leader in the resistance. Communal lands of the Garifuna have been subject to widespread privatization as part of massive development plans by the government and World Bank to create big tourist resorts and “model cities.” The Garifuna are matrilocal, meaning the land has been traditionally passed along matrilineal lines, so this massive assault on communal lands has hit women particularly hard (Vacanti Brondo, 2007).MORE



Indigenous and Afro-Honduran Women: Autonomy and an End to Violence Against Us

Final Declaration of Constituent Assembly Self-Organized by Indigenous and Afro-Honduran Women

From the rhythmic beat of powerful drums and ancient spiritual songs that echoed through the sacred ruins of the Mayan Chortí in Copan in western Honduras, the three-day event ended with hundreds of indigenous and Afro- Honduran women demanding autonomy and an end to the colonization of their lands, their bodies, their lives, and ways of doing politics.

The
Final Declaration of Copán Galel of the Self-Organized Constituent Assembly of Indigenous and Afro-Honduran women denounced the “violence, repression and domination of women operating through capitalism, patriarchy and racism,” said Berta Caceres, coordinator the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), in an interview with Escribana.

Caceres was also one of the organizers of the Assembly, which took place July 11 to 13, 2011 in Copan Ruinas, Honduras. The Assembly involved an intensive dialogue on the realities of life of the 300 participating women whose cultures, lands, natural resources and the country have been under siege that intensified since the military coup in June 2009.

Since then, the government, the powerful elites and transnational corporations have been using the “
Shock Doctrine” (Naomi Klein) to promote a rapid re-engineering of business, economic policies and all policies before people have opportunity to react. (Http://www.naomiklein.org/shock-doctrine).

For Honduras, this has meant immediate and aggressive plans for mass-tourism projects, mega-projects such as hydroelectric dams and the expansion of mining, agribusiness and forestry, all involving the confiscation of indigenous and Afro lands.
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Israel Daphne Leef:How a woman in a tent became Israel's Top Story

Until recently nobody had heard of Daphni Leef. Now, everybody in Israel knows the 25-year-old's face and her cause. Just a few weeks ago, Leef was waiting tables. Now, her schedule has become such that she cannot help keeping people waiting. This interview was meant to take place at 11am but did not start until 5pm. Among things that might have distracted her was the small matter of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu putting everything on hold to respond to her demands.

Even after the interview started, we were interrupted by well-wishers, delighted to see her in the flesh sitting outside a Tel Aviv café. A young man wanted a hug; a little old lady wanted to have her picture taken with Leef. And upon hearing her voice a blind woman halted her guide dog and chatted excitedly.

So what did Leef do to bring her such national attention? She got chucked out of her flat. And then wrote on Facebook. Just over a month ago she was told that she needed to leave her Tel Aviv apartment because the building was slated for redevelopment. She started looking for a new home, and was shocked to find how expensive rents had become.

"I called up a friend and said, 'I'm setting up a tent'," she recalls. "He said I should calm down." But she did not calm down - instead she opened a Facebook "event", inviting people to erect tents in central Tel Aviv to protest against high housing prices.MORE


Dude. They profiled the originator of a protest that has seen up to 300,000 people participate....in the lifestyle section. God. DAMN.


Tunisia Tunisian women fear the Algerian way

TUNIS, Aug 5, 2011 (IPS) - A women’s group begins campaigning near La Marsa beach in Tunis to convince more women to come up and register in the electoral lists, in time for the deadline now pushed back to Aug. 14. Most of the women watching the proceedings are veiled.

The veils present more a question than a suggestion at present. One survey among veiled women conduced by journalists here claims that four in five of these women will not vote for Ennahda, the Islamist party surging ahead in popularity ahead of elections for a constituent assembly due in October.

Veils in such numbers are an unusual sight in Tunisia where women visit the beach just as comfortably in a bikini as wearing a headscarf, and just as comfortable sipping wine as a soft drink, listening to rap or traditional music.

Looks may be deceptive, one way or another. "Look around," says Khadija, an activist with the Modernist Democratic Front - a coalition of local Tunisian democratic parties - on another beachfront near the fashionable La Goulette. "Can you see these people living under Islamic law? Tunisia is not Algeria. I am sure it will never happen here."

...


Women have had successes they want to hold on to: half the candidates in the electoral lists must now be women. A strong presence of women in the constituent assembly could be crucial to women’s rights.

Women also want to consolidate the position taken by the High Commission charged to verify that the goals of the revolution are respected - namely that religion and politics will be kept separate. Ennahda has opposed this move in the transitional period. It has also opposed the transitional government’s decision that parties cannot receive funds from outside.

On another front women are fighting the undemocratic influence of former president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali in institutions such as the media. The media gives little space to women, even though they are politically active, and many will be candidates. MORE
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Kashmir: The militant in her: Women and resistance Kashmiri women defy state oppression by being on the frontlines.



Relegating women's engagement in conflict situations to the passive space of victimhood is an anticipated outcome of the unequal distribution of power in gender relations. However, this narrative obfuscates their role as active participants, which is of equal, if not greater, significance - and which has increasingly become an accentuating facet of their participation during the recent years of the conflict.

In the early stages of the armed struggle, broad-based support for the independence movement was apparent, and resulted in the creation of both dissident men and women. However, men and women formed their opposition to Indian rule largely in different ways. Men took to combat, women to facilitating the men's fight, or by registering their support for azadi through popular protest.

Women also became facilitators of combat by acting as couriers for arms, informers for militants, provided them shelter and food, and at times helped them escape capture during the sudden and dreaded Indian military raids or "crackdowns", which continue to happen in civilian areas. Their motivation came from the general feeling for independence running deep in the masses - as a result of which, the Indian Armed Forces were always looked at as the "other", and militants and other dissidents as their "own".MORE



Libya

via : [livejournal.com profile] ontd_political

Libyan Women Challenge Mindset Created by Tyranny

BENGHAZI, Libya (WOMENSENEWS)--While rebel fighters battle for a democratic future in the west of Libya, a handful of women back in the rebel capital of Benghazi are working on showing people what democracy actually means.

The small group, going by the name Abeer or Express, will be hosting its most ambitious project to date later this summer, after Ramadan is done--the First Libya Youth conference to spread the ideals of democracy.

....

The organizing group for Express is very small. It lists only six people as its core members--five young women and one young man--but its goal is ambitious: to ensure that democracy and personal freedom flourish in Libya.

For 42 years--since Col. Moammar Gadhafi's 1969 coup--the country has known mainly autocracy and secret police acting on the colonel's behalf.

Members of Express say Libyans crave democracy but aren't quite sure what it means.

Fourth-year medical student Halima ben Jomiah, 22, is the founder of the group. Two years ago, she stumbled across the subject of human development and self improvement in books like "Do Not Grieve" by Sheikh Aaidh ibn Abdullah al-Qarni and "The Leader In You," the 1936 classic by Dale Carnegie. Ever since, she's been hooked, reading about psychology and how to realize human potential whenever she could find the time.

Ben Jomiah, her sister and her friends decided that for the revolution to succeed, people have to have correct attitudes about democracy: not being afraid to speak, but at the same time, having the respect to listen.

They called their group Express in order to focus on personal expression as a form of civic participation.

As a first step, the group has interviewed dozens of Libyans to get a sense of their hopes and dreams and what is standing in the way. Express has also solicited opinions from advanced researchers in human development, such as Egypt's Sherif Araba and Libya's Omar Gnaiber.MORE


Turkey The Muslim Women’s Media Archives: Kadınlar Dünyası

In Turkey and beyond, it is a common misconception that struggle for women’s rights is a new phenomenon. This struggle is thought of as not organic to the Muslim world, but imported from “the non-Muslim West.” This particular misconception has not only nurtured the neo-colonialist rhetoric of “liberating Muslim women,” but has also played an important role in the debate surrounding whether women’s rights or feminism can ever be “Islamic.”

Unfortunately, little has been done to research historical women’s rights movements in the Muslim world, even though there were many examples that clearly disprove this misconception and could provide a lot to the debate. For instance a simple research in the archives of periodicals that were published during the last two centuries of the Ottoman Empire expose a great availability and diversity of women’s publications, some of which are very focused on women’s rights. One such magazine is Kadınlar Dünyası [“World of Women”]. While its name suggests an early-twentieth-century Cosmopolitan, it was famous for its radical rhetoric and strong emphasis on women’s rights at the time of its publication.

MORE

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Libyan rebel military leader killed.

The head of the Libyan rebel's armed forces and two of his aides were killed by gunmen Thursday, the head of the rebel leadership said.

The death of Abdel Fattah Younes was announced at a press conference in the de facto rebel capital, Benghazi, by the head of the rebels' National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdul Jalil. He told reporters that rebel security had arrested the head of the group behind the killing.

Rebel security had arrested Younes and two of his aides early on Thursday from their operations room near the rebels' eastern front.

Security officials said at the time that Younes was to be questioned about suspicions his family still had ties to Muammar Gaddafi's regime.

Younes was Gaddafi's interior minister before defecting to the rebels early in the uprising, which began in February.

Abdul Jalil said that Younes had been summoned for questioning regarding "a military matter." He said Younes and his two aides were shot before they arrived for questioning.
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Egypt Rejects IMF Conditions

CAIRO, Jun 30, 2011 (IPS) - Egypt has cancelled plans to borrow 3 billion dollars from the International Monetary Fund because of conditions that violated the country’s national sovereignty and a public outcry that warned against terms that were blamed for impoverishing many Egyptians.

According to several Egyptian newspapers, General Sameh Sadeq, member of the country’s ruling military council, said the country turned down the loans, and those under discussion with the World Bank, because there were "five conditions that totally went against the principles of national sovereignty." Gen. Sadeq didn’t detail what these conditions were.

The IMF loan would have made Egypt the first recipient of funding in the Middle East since the so-called Arab Spring movement against Western-backed dictatorships began late last year.

At a Group of Eight summit last month in Deauville, France, the IMF announced that it could make available as much as 35 billion dollars in loans to the countries of the Middle East over the next few years.

World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick in May announced 6 billion dollars in funding over the next two years for Egypt and Tunisia, the two countries where the Arab uprisings started, to help the two post-revolutionary nations modernise their economies. Egypt’s share would have been 4.5 billion dollars.

General Sadeq’s statements on Tuesday contradict statements by the government of Prime Minister Essam Sharaf and his Finance Minister Samir Radwan, who both served under ousted president Hosni Mubarak, that the new loans came with no conditions. Both officials have advocated publicly for more loans to ward off the specter of a budget deficit, a staple argument in many countries for IMF and World Bank loans.MORE


At this point, NO COUNTRY SHOULD BE BORROWING FROM THE IMF. NONE.
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World Economy: Women Weigh in on Poverty, Work and Debt


The International Museum of Women's online exhibit on women and the economy, features slideshows, podcasts, videos and essays on women from countries such as Sudan, Denmark, Philippines, USA, Costa Rica, Mexico, Argentina and how they view issues such as poverty, business, family, rights, money and much more.

Economica, IMOW's online interactive exhibit sets out to explore women's contribution in the global economy. Picturing Power and Potential, was a juried photography exhibit showing different ways in which women participate in the economy and are agents of change.

For example, the exhibit's Community Choice Award winner was Brenda Paik Suno, a third generation Korean-American who took pictures of a Jeju Granny of the Sea, a woman who is part of the tradition of female divers of the Jeju Islands who have harvested the sea for generations:


MORE



White House Communications Director Dodgey When Asked about War on Women


Daily Kos Associate Editor Kalli Joy Gray: I'd like to ask you about a different kind of war, and this is a war that I am particularly concerned about.

White House Director of Communications Dan Pfeiffer: Okay.

Gray: The war on women. [Audience applause.] We're seeing an unprecedented number of attacks on women at the state and federal level—everything from contraception to health care to food stamps, um, drug-testing of women receiving welfare in Florida. Women in Congress, including Nancy Pelosi, are talking openly about a war on women. So, I want to know if the president agrees with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and our new DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Shultz: Is there a war on women?

Pfeiffer: Well, what I can say is that there is no question that there is a sustained effort from Republicans at the federal and state level to, uh, undo a lot of the progress we've done. I think the most, uh, prominent example was the effort to defund Planned Parenthood, uh, during the government funding battle a few months ago, which the president, uh, at that point told the House Republicans that if they wanted to defund Planned Parenthood, that they were going to have to shut down the government over it. We see this in Indiana, where, uh, Governor Mitch Daniels signed into law an effort that would, uh, illegally defund Planned Parenthood, and the federal government is involved in a lawsuit to stop that. And so he, the president, is very concerned about all of these efforts, uh, and the ones on the federal level that we can play an active role to stop, including the use of the veto pen, uh, the president will do that.

[Note from Liss: Notice that Gray asked him a yes or no question: Does the president agree that there is a war on women? And instead of straightforwardly answering her question, Pfeiffer mansplains the problem to her, as if she and her audience are stupid and/or unaware of the issues affecting women. The thing is, he implicitly answers yes just by his reflexive defensiveness; there's no need to defend the president's record if you don't agree that there's a war on women—but he won't say it, because openly acknowledging there is a war on women is to then admit that the Lilly Ledbetter Pay Act ain't fucking enough. Gray, fortunately, zeroes in and does not let him off the hook.]

Gray: Yes, but we also saw during the healthcare debate that, when it comes down to it, women's issues take a back seat for the "larger" issues, so, for example, the president said that accepting the Hyde Amendment, which punishes poor women in this country, was an acceptable status quo and that we needed to put that aside for the bigger picture. So, I'll ask again: Is there a war on women?

Pfeiffer: [pause] Let's talk about healthcare for a second, which is— [Gray laughs mirthlessly at his obvious evasiveness; the audience laughs; Pfeiffer holds up his finger, gesturing to her to hold on and listen.] The, the, the Hyde Amendment— ["Just say yes!" someone shouts from the audience] The Hyde Amendment was, uh, was the law of the land, and so—

Gray: It's renewed every year. It is not the law of the land. It is renewed every year. [Audience applause.]

Pfeiffer: Right, and, and if we tried to repeal it in health reform, there would be no health reform. And that, that was, that was the choice. It was a very simple choice, and so—

Gray: It was a simple choice?

Pfeiffer: It was, well, it's, you have two options—it's simple in the fact that you have two options; it's not an easy choice! [He says this like Gray is being a jerk.] You have two choi—you have two options: And it was no health reform and make that attempt, which would've failed and would most certainly not have passed the United States Senate, so that's the choice you have to make.

[He says this in this really matter-of-fact way, as if anyone would question the decision is an asshole, and when he says "the choice you have to make," I wonder who that "you" is supposed to be, really, because it's definitely not the women who are left without any choice because of the Hyde Amendment.]
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I... didn't know that the Hyde Amendment was renewed every year. Are we for real??? Instead  of  making progress so that the damn thing LAPSES, we keep passing it like its no big thing????
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A Revolution of Equals

Women are very visible in Tunisian society. They mix freely with men, are highly educated and career-minded, and have enjoyed some of the most egalitarian legal rights in the Arab world, enshrined in the Personal Status Code (PSC) of 1957. The PSC was drawn up by Habib Bourguiba, Tunisia’s first president, directly after independence from France and even before the national constitution was written. It improved women’s rights, particularly in family law, by removing some of the more patriarchal aspects of shari’a: polygamy was abolished, the consent of both parties was now required for marriage and judicial procedures for divorce were established. Bourguiba was ousted in 1987 by Ben Ali, who extended the pro-women policies. One of the most interesting aspects of the Tunisian Revolution from a feminist perspective is that many of the women who participated in the protests that brought down Ben Ali are now campaigning to defend the rights they’ve already been enjoying for some time, fearing that the post-revolutionary period might bring a surge in popularity for the Islamist party, Al Nahda (‘the Renaissance’), and a swing towards traditionalist ideas about women.

Read more... )


Tunisia: Will Democracy Be Good For Women's Rights?

Falling tyrants and rising freedoms have been a recurrent theme of the Arab Spring. Invariably, in every discussion of democratisation in the Middle East, the question of women crops up. The key conundrum: will democracy be good for women’s rights?

 


While the social and political movements gaining momentum in the Middle East and North Africa appear to be opening the door for democracy, initially progressive revolutions do not often result in sustained improvements for women’s rights. While Arab women have been crucial in the revolutions that have shattered the status quo, their role in the future development of their own countries remains unclear. In Tunisia, for example, the fear is that women will be sucked into an ideological and religious tug-of-war over their rights, reducing the complexities of democratisation into a binary secular/non-secular battle.

 

In contrast to vivifying images of flag-waving female protesters taking over Avenue Habib Bourguiba and Tahrir Square in January and February, women are barely present in the interim governments: two in Tunisia and one in Egypt. Valentine Moghadam, an expert in social change in the Middle East and North Africa, describes the first months of post-revolution Tunisia as a "democracy paradox" - a post-protest period of democratic freedom that simultaneously witnessed the disappearance of women’s representation. The lack of female voices in Tunisia’s transitional government seemed an early warning sign of such a trend of exclusion. “Unless women are visible during the negotiations,” Moghadam argues, “a nation's new sense of freedom may not be shared by all”. Many women involved with Ben Ali’s party, the Rally for Constitutional Democracy (RCD), were excluded from the transition processes, and massive structural impediments hindered the political mobilisation of others. In the first weeks of independence, despite the high hopes for nationwide democracy, optimism for women’s rights slipped away.MORE

 



 


via: Muslimah Media
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The Maghreb Uprisings: Truth is impossible to find


With all the analysis and news on Libya, we still do not know very much about who the rebels are and where their support comes from. This week I try to shed some light on anti-Gaddafi supporters as presented by Libyan bloggers and Tweeters as well as the highlight the humanitarian crisis which has developed as a result of the intervention. Twitter accounts by far outnumber blogs and many of these consist of photo and video dairies.

...
Feb 17

By far the most informative and interesting site is Feb 17: The Libyan Youth Movement(@Feb17Libya) which has live stream updates from a huge bank of sources – western and Arab media, tweets, personal videos and photos. This report by Ayesha Daya for Bloomberg on who in OPEC and the Middle East is supporting the rebels and how the cartel plan to offset the loss of Libyan oil production – a mix of “personal politics and economic reasoning”.

MORE
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Kucinich files suit over U.S. involvement in Libya

Antiwar Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) filed suit in federal court Wednesday seeking to halt the U.S. military action in Libya, saying it is unconstitutional.

Kucinich and Republican Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina, another longtime war critic, led a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the latest challenge to the White House's authority to conduct the campaign without seeking congressional approval under the War Powers Act.MORE



White House sees no need for congressional approval on Libya


Calling the U.S. military operation in Libya "limited," the White House says that congressional authorization is not required to continue involvement in the coalition effort there.

That determination was explained in a 30-page memo sent to Capitol Hill on Wednesday, just shy of the 90th day of the engagement of U.S. assets in the Libya campaign.

Lawmakers have become increasingly uneasy over the administration's interactions with Congress about the scope and duration of U.S. involvement in the NATO-led mission.MORE


Truth dispatch: Updates from Libya

Read more... )




In Libya's Gasoline Shortage, Women Get A Break

Read more... )


Libyan rebels wrest western mountain villages

Read more... )

African Leaders Demand Halt to NATO Bombing Campaign in Libya

Read more... )
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Egypt Hunts Down the Right to Love


CAIRO, May 17, 2011 (IPS) - Abeer Fakhry, a young Christian woman, had only wanted to live with a man who would love and respect her, and not with her abusive husband. But within months of trying to escape her marriage, and her faith, Abeer finds herself chased by her family, by the Orthodox Christian Church, by the fundamentalist Islamic Salafi Group and, lately, by Egypt’s top army generals.

"I just wanted to be happy," said Abeer, who is now known by her first name, in a Youtube video that made her story famous in this country.

Abeer’s story has come to underscore the conditions of Orthodox Christian women who are subjected to domestic violence and who seek protection elsewhere, but find that the teachings of their church keeps them in permanent, and often intolerable, wedlock.

While the Church itself complains of discrimination by the country’s Muslim majority, this case also highlights denial of freedom practised by the Church itself against its own members.
MORE



Just... read the whole thing.
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Egyptian Activists Gear Up For Third Intifadah


CAIRO, May 10, 2011 (IPS) - Following the February ouster of Egypt’s longstanding President Hosni Mubarak, calls have been circulating in Egypt and throughout the region for a ‘Third Intifadah’ to begin May 15.

"Unlike the first two Palestinian uprisings, the proposed Third Intifadah is meant to involve the entire Arab world," Egyptian journalist and political analyst Abdelhalim Kandil told IPS.

...


An Arabic-language website called the ‘Third Palestinian Intifadah’ (www.3rdintifada.com) appeared soon afterward, providing a general plan of action. The site calls for peaceful protests on Friday and Saturday (May 13 and 14) at Israeli embassies and consulates worldwide, including those in western capitals, "to express our rage about the ongoing occupation of Palestine and the expulsion of millions of Palestinians from their rightful homes".

On May 15, dubbed the "Sunday of Liberation", the site had initially called for multiple million-man marches to advance on "historical Palestine" - in reference to Israel - from starting points in Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. This was later scaled down, however, to the staging of demonstrations outside Israeli embassies in Jordan and Egypt (the two Arab states that have diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv), along with simultaneous marches near Israel’s borders in Syria, Lebanon and the occupied Palestinian territories.

According to Mounib Mohamed, 26-year-old activist from Cairo and administrator for the website’s Egypt branch, the initial plan was scrapped "because of the difficulties associated with implementing it, and in order to avoid friction with local authorities in the countries involved".

"As for Egypt, we’re calling for million-man gatherings to be held in cities countrywide on May 13," Mohamed explained. "Participants will then head to Cairo’s Tahrir Square, where prominent political figures are scheduled to speak about the Palestinian cause."

...

Notably, Palestinian faction Hamas, which governs the strip and espouses a policy of armed resistance to Israel, has not publicly endorsed calls for a ‘Third Intifadah’. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, meanwhile, who heads rival Palestinian faction Fatah and supports a discredited ‘peace process’ with Israel, has voiced downright opposition to the idea.


MORE



Well then. I hope the protests go off peacefully.
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Palestinian factions proclaim reconciliation deal



Egypt Plays Best Man at Hamas-Fatah Union

CAIRO, May 4, 2011 (IPS) - Rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation agreement in Cairo on Wednesday, paving the way for the formation of a Palestinian national unity government. The move, say local analysts, reflects the changing political equation in the Middle East amid the ongoing wave of Arab popular uprisings.

"The revolutions currently sweeping the region - especially the fall of Egypt's Mubarak regime - have altered the strategic balance, particularly as it pertains to the Arab-Israeli file," Mohamed Megahid al- Zayat, assistant director of the Cairo-based National Centre for Middle-East Studies, told IPS.

...

On Wednesday, the two factions, along with 11 other smaller Palestinian groups, officially endorsed the agreement in Cairo. A formal signing ceremony on Thursday is expected to be attended by Fatah headman and Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshaal.

Three joint committees have reportedly been drawn up to discuss means of integrating the two factions' security forces, restructuring the Palestinian Liberation Organisation to accommodate Hamas, and establishing a system and timetable for upcoming elections. The accord also reportedly calls for a prisoner exchange between the two sides. MORE
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Muammar Gaddafi son killed by Nato air strike – Libyan government.

Saif al-Arab Gaddafi, 29, was killed along with three of Muammar Gaddafi's grandsons, according to reports.

The Libyan leader was in the building at the time of the strike, but was unharmed. Several of Gaddafi's friends and relatives were wounded.
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Telecoms engineers in eastern Libya have managed to outwit government moves to sever the region's communications.


The survival of a mobile phone network in eastern Libya, where the communications crackdown has driven the price of Libyana SIM cards to around $111 on the black market, is almost an accident.
Al-Madar, the country's other mobile provider, has been shut down in the east since the revolt began. Gaddafi's government in Tripoli not only ordered the General Post and Telecommunications Company to switch off access from the main offices in the capital, it also severed Libya's main "backbone" fibre optic cable, which connected eastern phone and internet networks to the main servers in the west.

Faisal Safi, who runs telecommunications in Benghazi, said internet service will return in days [Al Jazeera]

The cable, which runs under water along the coast from Tobruk in the east to Ras Ajdir in the west, was cut – either physically or electronically – somewhere between the cities of Misurata and Khomas, the engineers said.

That killed the east's access to Madar and the Libya Telecom and Technology company (LTT), the country's internet service provider.

But Libyana got lucky. Founded in 2004, eight years after Madar, it was less centralised and less beholden to the regime-controlled management in Tripoli. Best of all, engineers in Benghazi had their own HLR, or home location register.
The HLR stored subscriber information for every Libyana user. When a Libyana phone turned on and dialled a number, the HLR recognised the phone's ID and connected it to the network. Such databases are essential to a functioning mobile phone system, and Madar's were in Tripoli. Libyana had kept one in Benghazi as a back-up.

"I think Gaddafi made a mistake by leaving all that equipment here," said Faisal Safi, the local telecommunications and transport chief for Benghazi's opposition council.

Mahdawi, the top Libyana engineer in the city, worked with his team to install the HLR and configure it for use. No one had previous experience setting one up. After the team installed the hardware, Libyana service returned to the east, relayed via the existing array of antenna towers.

The engineers made mobile service free, but with Madar shut down, they experienced a surge of users, all of whom now had unlimited minutes.

The flood overwhelmed the network, and Mahdawi spent the next week at home, tweaking the system from his personal computer.

MORE
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USA

2005 The Housewife theory of History


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Reflections from Detroit: Reflections On An Opening: Disability Justice and Creating Collective Access in Detroit

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Sins Invalid: An Unshamed Claim to Beauty in the Face of Invisibility

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2010: Domestic Workers Organize for Workers Bill of Rights; MUA 20th Anniversary in San Francisco, May 27th

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CANADA


PDF - Immigrant Women Organizing for Change:Integration and Community Development
by Immigrant Women in the Maritimes


DisAbled Women Network: DAWN ONTARIO Herstory



AUSTRALIA

March 21, 2011 Australia: Lake Tyers Women Holding Blockade Against the Government

For the past two weeks, Indigenous women from the community of Lake Tyers, in East Gippsland, Victoria, have been holding a blockade against the state government's self-imposed rule over their community.

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BOLIVIA


Jan 2011 Bolivia: People with Disabilities Demanding Rights and Payment


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COLOMBIA


We Women Warriors

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NEW ZEALAND



Maori Women's Welfare League


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2007 New Zealand’s Maori Women’s Welfare League: Working Toward Women’s Rights in Saving Maori Culture

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TUNISIA EGYPT YEMEN


Arab Women: The powers that be

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BANGLADESH & INDIA


Grameen vs Bangladesh

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Q&A: Ela Bhatt on SEWA, Harvard Award

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Survivors of Mumbai Bombings Trained to Recover

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Dalit Women Organize Against Caste, Gender Discrimination

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Vandana Shiva: Environmentalist and founder of Diverse Women for Diversity


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NEW GUINEA


ANF demands release of jailed striking nurses in West Papua

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SOUTH AFRICA



War declared against domestic worker abuse

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MEXICO


Welcome to Mujeres Libres; a celebration of the struggle of the Zapatista Women (Website)


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1994 Chiapas and the women? free electronic book

2007 Zapatista Women: 'We Are What Holds the Community Together': A Year After the Passing of Comandanta Ramona, Civilian and Insurgent Women Tell of Their Movement Within a Movement

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'WE LEARN AS WE GO' - ZAPATISTA WOMEN SHARE THEIR EXPERIENCES

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Zapatismo, a feminine movement

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Indigenous Feminism in Southern Mexico

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2008 The First Zapatista Women's Encuentro: A Collective Voice of Resistance


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NIGERIA

2010 Censored Story, Nigerian women act against abuses of Big Oil, Sign on letter to Secretary Clinton

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Nigeria: Niger Delta Demands for Justice Undaunted By Decades of Violence

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2003Hands up or we strip!

Six hundred Nigerian women held a US oil giant to ransom armed with a simple weapon - the threat of taking all their clothes off. And it worked. Tania Branigan and John Vidal explain


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2002 NIGERIAN WOMEN IN OIL-RICH DELTA REGION PROTEST

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WORLD

The Guardian: Top 100 Women Campaigners and Activists Ongoing series

Sweatshop Warriors By Miriam Chin Yoon Louie

The Global Women's Movement by Peggy Antrobus Interview with Grenadian Peggy Antrobus 2003
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Art challenges Tunisian revolutionaries The Artocracy project, featuring photos of ordinary Tunisians, has proven art can be just as provocative as politics.
LE KRAM, TUNISIA — A crowd has gathered to ponder the black-and-white photographs which have been pasted across the face of building that was, until recent, the local offices of the former president's much-loathed party. "I have no idea what these photos mean. Do you know?" Meddeb Nejeb, a high school teacher, asks Al Jazeera. He might be yet to grasp the meaning of the photographs, but Nejeb wants to know more. For the artists behind what is one of the most ambitious contemporary street art projects to vibrate the Arab world, the artwork is about replacing the once all-pervasive presidential photography with mosaics of ordinary, anonymous Tunisians who rose up against their government. The group are using street art to kick-start conversations and to challenge their compatriots to see the familiar in a new, post-revolutionary, light. In the spirit of people-power, the project, titled "INSIDE OUT: Artocracy in Tunisia", features a hundred ordinary Tunisians, putting their images where only presidents once hung. The portraits were taken by six Tunisian photographers, in collaboration with the renowned French street artist known as JR and other international artists. MORE including VIDEO at link
Visiting Tunisian Union Leaders Detail Labor’s Role in Revolution, Transition to Democracy
Women workers comprise roughly 43 percent of the 450,000 labor union members in 18 local unions in Tunisia, according to Najoua Makhlouf, a medical doctor and president of UGTT's national women's committee. Union women work in five Tunisian job sectors: education, garment and textiles, health, municipal services and tourism. The majority of the women unionists are between the ages of 30 to 40. “I would like to underline working women’s role,” she said, “in the future of the country. We are being proactive to organize women so that they will be more aware of their rights and politically savvy.” A pivotal election for Tunisians is July 24, when they vote for a representative body to draft a new constitution, laws and election codes. MORE
Refugee flow into Tunisia continues
RAS JDIR, Tunisia, March 25 (UPI) -- The number of refugees fleeing to Tunisia to escape the Libyan fighting surged Friday, border authorities said. Within the past 24 hours, as many as 1,145 people reached the border post at Ras Jdir, Tunisia, the Kuwaiti news agency KUNA reported. Border security sources said Friday 3,714 people had arrived in recent days, mostly Libyans but also Americans, four Germans and four Britons. Citizens of Sudan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Ghana, Mali, Senegal, Chad, Somalia, Eritrea and Tunisia also have been recorded. MORE
Tunisian business faces up to murky past
Tunisia's business community is trying to come to terms with the changed circumstances and aspirations of a post-revolutionary world, even as some of its members are dogged by the legacy of the former regime. "It's not every year we have a revolution," Hichem Elloumi of the UTICA, the Tunisian employers' association, argued during a radio discussion last week. "It's not even every 10 years. We weren't prepared for this." Following the overthrow in January of Zein al-Abidine Ben Ali, president for 23 years, the Tunisian press published revelations about public and private sector corruption. The business interests of relatives of Mr Ben Ali and Leila Trabelsi, his wife, extended from car distribution and importing consumer products to retailing, cement, air transport, property, telecommunications, banking and the media. The central bank estimates that in a country of 10m people, about 180 companies were controlled by individuals either related to Mr Ben Ali or Ms Trabelsi, or close associates of their families. The Jasmin Revolution had uncovered a banana republic MORE
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Migrant Refugees Swept into Revolutions in Libya and Bahrain
Over the past several weeks, the images emerging from the Middle East and North Africa have shocked and awed Western audiences, who had never seen, or bothered to notice, the massive potential of people power to challenge the rule of ossified dictators. But the protest movements across the region have also shed light on less glorious struggles that pervade stratified Arab societies. If the young protesters represent the rise of civil society forces, the imported migrant laborers caught in the crossfire reflect the often-hidden economic and ethnic dimensions to the region's power struggles.MORE
Foreign Laborers Targeting throughout Bahrain
MANAMA, Mar 25, 2011 (IPS) - As protests in Bahrain continue, increasingly migrant workers are being victimised in violent hate crimes. "We expats are victims of hate crimes because we didn’t leave the country or become part of the general strike called by the opposition to keep Bahrain on hold," Nastufi Sharma, and Indian who has been working in Bahrain since 1997, told IPS. "To stop locals from going to work, roads were blocked… we were attacked."

... Eight migrant workers died and approximately 49 sustained various injuries since Mar. 17 when the government with the support of Cooperation Council of the Arab Gulf States (GCC) peninsula shield troops started cracking down on demonstrations blocking roads in Manama - the financial capital of Bahrain. The government has also declared a three-month state of emergency to be enforced by the Bahrain Defence Force. Most expats are not yet considering leaving the country, hoping for the situation to revert to normal. They fear of losing their jobs and not finding new ones back home. MORE
Revolts bypass domestic workers
The uprisings sweeping the Arab world have been provoked by long injustice, low income, police brutality, and lack of social security. While the world looks at this, the suffering of up to three million maids across the Arab world remains wrapped in silence. Victims of abuse, confinement and rape, migrant domestic workers are often invisible because they suffer in places that remain hidden to the public eye, mostly private homes. A freelance Indonesian domestic worker in Jordan says, "If you go to the Indonesian embassy in Jordan you will see hundreds of women who ran away from their employer. "I also ran away after mistreatment. I want to go back to Indonesia but the embassy has no money to send us."MORE

Bahrain protests Victim vs. victim

Migrant workers and the Shia community comprise two victimised populations in Bahrain; a new system that truly aims to be just and representative must not pitch them against each other.
“They were beating me so hard I could no longer see, there was so much blood running from my head.” These were the words of Bahraini physician Dr Sadek Al-Ikri to BBC reporters about the security forces’ crackdown on peaceful protesters in Bahrain. But this was not all. Dr Al-Ikri also told the journalists that the men beating him refused to stop even when he told them that he was a doctor and that he spoke Urdu. The role of Pakistani migrant workers in the protests in Bahrain has since been highlighted by other international news outlets too. A report in the Guardian said that Bahrainis resent the fact that many riot police and security forces do not speak Arabic and denounce them as mercenary soldiers with little empathy for the common people. The Canadian press reported that a majority of participants in pro-government demonstrations were Sunni Arabs and Pakistanis who have recently been granted citizenship in Bahrain. In the words of one regime supporter, Abdelrahman Ahmed, a 21-year-old student born in Bahrain of Pakistani parents, “We always support the government and they are always on our side.”MORE
2011-03-05 Cables: The Vulnerability of Black African Migrant Workers in Libya
A cable from December 2007 features Gaddafi Development Foundation Executive Director Dr. Yusuf Sawani discussing trans-national terrorism threats and security with US diplomats. The director talks about the fact that a million sub-Saharan African guest workers are resident in Libya and says it should be a “cause of concern.” The workers are a concern because Dr. Sawani believes any of those individuals could possibly commit an act of terrorism. In recent days, many of those guest workers have fled, as Libyans have grown suspicious and attacked a number of black Africans due to reports that Leader Muammar Gaddafi hired “black African mercenaries.”

The latest from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) indicates 191,000 or more have fled Libya to Egypt, Tunisia and Niger. A previous report estimated around 80,000 Pakistanis, 59,000 Sudanese, 50,000 Bangladeshis, 26,000 Filipinos, 2,000 Nepalese and other African and Asian migrant workers are hosted by the country.

OCHA reports have been tracking the risk of violence migrant workers face.MORE
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via : [livejournal.com profile] ontd_political Tunisia's ongoing revolution

Matt Swagler describes the attempts of Tunisia's elite to impose order--and the inspiring examples of direct democracy and workers' struggle since the fall of Ben Ali.

AN EVENTFUL two months have passed since mass protests toppled former Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali--largely out of the media spotlight once the revolution spread to Egypt, but with great importance for the struggle for democracy and justice, in Tunisia and beyond.

In December and January, a nationwide movement emerged in Tunisia, led by workers, students and the unemployed, calling for the hated autocrat to go. After just four weeks, the Tunisian people achieved what had seemed impossible: they challenged a 23-year dictatorship backed by a massive, brutal security force--and won. In doing so, they also exposed the complicity of the French and U.S. governments, which were both long-time allies and defenders of Ben Ali's corrupt regime right through his final days.

When Tunisians' nonviolent demonstrations forced Ben Ali to flee to Saudi Arabia on January 14, the victory immediately gave confidence to emerging protest movements across North Africa and the Middle East. In Egypt, where a struggle against President Hosni Mubarak had been brewing for over a decade, the lesson was clear: If Ben Ali and his security forces were not invincible, than Mubarak could be ousted as well.

...

But Tunisia provides important lessons for anyone who hopes to learn from the struggles, debates and conflicts within an unfolding revolutionary situation. In particular, Tunisia offer insights into what it means for hundreds of thousands of people, if not millions, to actively take part in trying to transform society from the bottom up.

The movement against Ben Ali was driven in large part by demands for democratic political reforms and an end to the country's oligarchic rule. But growing anger over soaring food prices, inadequate wages and widespread unemployment--especially in the interior of the country--fueled the struggle as well.

Thus far, the interim Tunisian government, which replaced Ben Ali's administration, has proven hostile to enacting reforms that would significantly alter Tunisia's economic inequality. New political freedoms have been won, but these incredible victories have only come about because the interim government has been faced with protests and workers' strikes--on an almost daily basis.

...

If anything, the toppling of Ben Ali has proven to be only the opening round in a revolution that is now involving even greater numbers of Tunisians, who are actively and collectively tackling larger questions about what to do next.MORE
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We'll start with protests that are being held by minorities demanding recognition of their rights by the majority government:

BANGLADESH


Ethnic communities demand recognition of 'indigenous' in Bangladesh constitution

HUNDREDS AND thousands of ethnic minorities in Bangladesh formed human chain on Saturday (March 19) demanding constitutional recognition of their existence as “indigenous” population.

A senior parliamentarian remarked that ethnic minorities are not “indigenous” after holding series consultation with elected representatives who represents ethnic communities.

Last week a special parliamentary committee on constitutional amendment recommends the community will be known as “ethnic minorities”, short of recognizing them as “indigenous” (Adivasi in local language).

The refusal angered the ethnic leaders, social justice activists and right groups. The ethnic communities are less than one percent of the national population of 158.6 million. The struggle for constitutional recognition goes back 40 years ago, soon after Bangladesh gained independence in 1971. The political regime, civil and military bureaucracy are dominated by majoritarian Bangla-speaking Sunni Muslims known as Bangalees.

The 1991 census of the government identified 29 small ethnic groups, but the leaders claim that 46 small ethnic groups live in Bangladesh, mainly in south-east Chittagong Hill Tracts region.

The protest rally organized by Bangladesh Adivasi Forum was simultaneously held in the capital Dhaka, Rangamati, Khagrachari, Patuakhali, Sylhet and other places where the ethnic communities are visible population.MORE


KUWAIT

Heavy security succeeds in quashing bedoon protests

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GUATEMALA

Violent Development: Communities Defending Lands and Resources Face Ongoing Repression in Guatemala

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And then we hit those who want widescale change in their governmental processes:

JORDAN
Hundreds of Jordanians demonstrate despite Saturday's start of national dialogue on reform

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Loyalty and poverty: Jordan’s uprising stagnates

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MOROCCO

Thousands in Morocco march for rights

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BAHRAIN


When Petro-Dictators Unite: The Bahraini Opposition struggle for survival

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Bahrain medics claim army cover-up:Staff at a hospital in Manama say police arrest & beat-up doctors, nurses and patients.

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Bahrain's main opposition groups ease demands

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YEMEN

Human rights minister and UN ambassador quit, Clerics urge Yemen army to ignore orders

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SYRIA

Syria protesters torch buildings

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LIBYA

Interventionists Struggle to Reconcile Libyan Action with Repression Across Arab World

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Speaking of: European arms sales to Libya: Who armed Gaddafi?


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EU arms sales to Libya: fleshing out the figures

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