“The cars are on fire, the police station is on fire, but those of us on the streets we are also on fire!” Tweeted yesterday, IIRC by Mona Eltahawy whom I’ve been following since Jan 25th. Mona blogs her experiences: Egyptian from the inside and outside. Mona’s also written for the Guardian. We’ve waited for this revolution for years. Other despots should quail.
For those of you wondering about other women of Egypt, there’s some photos that have been uploaded on the facebook page. One Egyptian man commented that he hasn’t made a point of mentioning the women specifically, because he takes for granted that they’re there with him on the street. “Most of the activists I know are women.”
Well. A week ago I don’t think anyone was saying “Hey, next week you’re going to be watching governments topple, 140 characters at a time.” But that is exactly what is happening. The mainstream media is still not reporting the situation very well. Fox, in particular, is absolutely vile, though no one expects any different from them now. Saudi’s king is the second largest shareholder in Fox, by the way. Sheds a whole new light on their fearmongering about the Muslim brotherhood and “terrorism” when you consider that Saud were complicit in forming and arming the Taliban.
Al Jazeera, in contrast, have been brilliant. They have even released their material on the revolution to creative commons licence, which means you can distribute and support the Egyptian people.
The Egyptian government effectively pulled the plug on their entire internet connection to the rest of the world, so a couple of ISPs in France and Spain were making connectivity available for free to Egyptians who are uploading photos, stories and video of the ongoing revolution. There are unconfirmed reports that expats in Saudi Arabia with satellite phones have been asked to surrender them.
You can also follow Al Arabiya for English and Arabic language updates. Their last update was three hours ago now, so perhaps they’ve taken a breather. No doubt there are many people in Egypt who need to catch up on a little sleep!
Just scrolling through Al Jazeera’s programming there. They’ve put together a short documentary about Egypt’s years under Mubarak, for those of you who haven’t read the likes of Tariq Ali and aren’t aware of the influence the West has had and quite how violent and barbaric some of these dictatorships are. They also ask a very important question. Will democracy be able to take it’s course in Tunisia, or will the West want to influence there again? We aren’t forgetting that the Egyptian government was complicit in the illegal “rendition” of US and other citizens. The Australian government settled in the case of Mamdouh Habib, so we’ll probably never see indictments.
Personally I hope the so-called global financial crisis has made it pretty well impossible for the US or any other Western/European nation (I’m looking at you too, Australia and Danish Shell) to spread their slimey tendrils of evil into other nations’ business. These great face-sucking zombie leeches from hell can go to hell. It’s the 21st century. It really is time the human species grew up and stopped cannibalising one another for a goddamned percentage.
So many countries in Africa and the Middle East had democratically elected, functioning governments following the world wars. So many leaders were deposed in favour of Western puppets. The West have been pathological in their manipulation of this. They’ve very cleverly created bloated, insulated middle classes who’ve become accustomed to a level of comfort and security virtually unknown at any other time or place in human history. Opinions are manipulated by corporate press to the point where people are oblivious and happy having batteries for their phones and petrol for their cars even if it means others are starving and being beaten, raped and murdered to support the system.
This is where I make my suggestion to the people of the West. For those of you who’ve only now become aware of these revolutions taking off and who are discovering a whole century of history you never knew existed: Filter what you watch. Consider how much a vested interest companies like Fox have in all of this. They make billions of dollars through fearmongering and misrepresentation, they bemoan disasters but then profit from them. It is also noted that one of the ways to reduce vulnerability to depression is to turn off the tellie, so from that point alone it might be worth considering getting your news, when you really need it, from broader resources online.
I tell you what, I’d pay money to watch the reactions of people who’ve only ever seen Sky news who get to watch a couple of hours of Al Jazeera for the first time!
Most of my info is coming from people within Egypt, and their relatives overseas, who are posting on Twitter and Youtube. Trying to find the video of the soldiers and protestors sitting together on top of tanks that are sprayed with grafitti… This will do for the moment.
While people in Tunisa, Egypt, Yemen and even Algeria are taking to the streets and risking their lives, the best thing we in other West or European nations can do to support them is to be making demands of our governments to be more transparent about their motives and activities. To support Wikileaks in it’s move to reveal quite how vicious and wicked the so called war against terrorism really is. If the motive is oil and control, don’t lie to us and say it’s about democracy. We’re not going to buy those lies anymore.
Australia, mind your own business and manage your own resources and communities properly. You have no business being in Afghanistan to claim rights to a billion dollars worth of Lithium. You have no business supporting the world’s most dangerous rogue state, the USA. You have no business spending billions of dollars to send armed soldiers into other sovreign nations while people are starving and sleeping in the streets at home. Send teachers or doctors.. No wait. We haven’t even been training enough of them to care for our own children! How about just stop interfering in other nations’ governments to serve greedy corporate interests.