Public Meetings on revolution in the Middle East

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again

Editors Note: Three local marxist groups have organised forums in solidarity with the Revolution in Egypt. Here are the meetings that have or are still to occur  (in chronological order). They have been directly affected  by the revolutions in the the Middle East. Some have links with the organisers in Egypt, with bloggers and a new generation of activists opposed to imperialism.

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Revolutionary Socialist Party

Egypt & the Arab revolution

A wave of rebellion is looming thoughout Africa and the Middle East, threatening imperialist domination and dictatorship. Developments in Egypt signal the growing crisis and instability of the neoliberal model and the possibility of new anti-capitalist struggles and 21st Century socialist revolutions.

The lecture will be given by Kim Bullimore. Kim is a volunteer with the International Women’s Peace Service in Palestine and a lecturer in Middle East and global politics.

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Socialist Alternative presents…
FROM TUNISIA TO EGYPT
REVOLUTION IN THE MIDDLE EAST

A stunning revolt by workers and the poor is shaking the Arab world. The revolution in Tunisia has inspired or accelerated protest movements in Algeria, Yemen, Jordan and beyond. And now Egypt – the most strategically important of all the Arab countries – is in the midst of a mass rebellion the likes of which has not been seen in a generation, and which threatens to topple the hated pro-US dictator, Hosni Mubarak.

Join Socialist Alternative and author Dr. Tom Bramble for a talk and discussion of the unfolding events, their roots and implications for all those against imperialism in the middle east.

6.30pm Tuesday 1st February
QUT Gardens Point
B Block Room 224
(end of George st, City)

facebook: Socialist Alternative Brisbane

read more here….

The Arab world is being turned upside down

Tunisian workers light a flame of revolutionary hope

and go to http://www.sa.org.au

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Green Left Weekly Public Forum – Tuesday

People power in Egypt,
US Imperialism in the Middle East

Multimedia presentation & discussion

When
7.00pm TUESDAY FEBRUARY 15th
Where
BRISBANE ACTIVIST CENTRE
74B Wickham St, Fortitude Valley

Cheap meal & drinks served from 6.30pm


What does the people’s overthrow of dictator Hosni Mubarak mean for Egypt, the Middle East, and progressive movements around the world?

What has been the role of United States imperialism in the region and what implications could democratic uprisings have for US interests and the future of apartheid Israel?

Join us for this important discussion, also including reports from Brisbane’s Egypt solidarity rallies.

Contact: Dom 0431 638 772
www.greenleft.org.au

***************

the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin’.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’.
— Bob Dylan

10 thoughts on “Public Meetings on revolution in the Middle East

  1. The Other Side of Suez says:

    Direct Action Cinema: The Other Side of Suez
    Time: 19 February · 18:30 – 21:30
    Location: Direct Action Centre
    8 Gillingham St, Woolloongabba
    Brisbane, Australia.

    [Editors Note: Would WikiLeaks have helped prevent the Suez war in 1956?

    [caption id=”alignleft” width=”203″ caption=”The other side of Suez;”[/caption] If the world had known that the British and French plotted secretly with Ben Gurion to make a phony attack on Egypt so that the British and French governments could pretend they needed to send in troops to keep Egyptians and Israelis apart.

    The Israeli army crossed the Sinai to within 40kms of the Suez Canal in 1956 so that the British would have an excuse to invade Port Said and recapture the Suez Canal from Nasser.

    But then the Egyptians did not trust the British (anti-colonialism and pan-Arabism was a shield against the British) so they armed the people to defend the canal – in the end they were successful because the miscalculation of Eden was that the people would rise against Nasser.]

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOSG-mTttzE]

  2. Hi all,

    There will be a Justice for Palestine meeting this Wednesday (February 9), 6:30pm at the TLC Building (2nd floor), 16 Peel St, South Brisbane.

    in solidarity,
    Kathy

  3. Western fear mongering? says:

    The constant production of articles like the one below (and their uncritical circulation) serves to undermine solidarity with the democratic rights movement in North Africa and the Middle East. I know the authors of such articles may even claim to be advocates for Western democracy in place of these middle-eastern dictatorships.

    ”The best thing for al-Qaeda would be for this uprising to raise, and then to dash, popular expectations,” US counterterrorism specialist Jarret Brachman says. ”The more that al-Qaeda can say that ‘the people’ still haven’t had their voices heard, and become a populist advocate for a ‘new Egypt’, the better al-Qaeda’s hand will be.” — http://www.smh.com.au/world/middle-east-echoes-siren-call-of-freedom-20110204-1agxj.html

    Frankly I think this quote from a ‘US counterterrorism specialist’ in “Middle East echoes siren call of freedom” by Paul McGeough is nonsense. [Paul McGeough was an SMH journalist on the Challenger One, a boat in the peace flotilla to Gaza, when theMavi Mamara was attacked by Israeli commandoes.]

    I think that the focus on al-Qaeda in this article is at best misplaced. Contrary to the suggested benefit to al-Qaeda, the refusal by Mubarak to depart assisted the protestors in Cairo and elsewhere to become better organised. For example, they were not driven out of Tahrir square and have mobilised large numbers of people to support them. al-Qaeda is simply inrrelevant in this context.

    al-Qaeda has not featured in any of the demonstrations in North Africa (in Tunisia or in Egypt). To raise al-Qaeda now is like the fear mongering about the Muslim Brotherhood – it is mainly for confused western audiences. al-Qaeda has become a western construct to strike fear whenever there is an attempt by the people of the middle east to seek jobs, bread and freedom. The US sponsored regimes have denied the people economic independence. The events of the past few weeks in Tunisia and Egypt is a political response to this. That response is not confined to the young as the pictures of the demonstrations show.

    Ironically paid thugs and the undercover police on Cairo streets with their Molotov cocktails and snipers have more in common with this western construct of fear. That is the way the occupation turned out in Iraq and Afghanistan – US funded terror against the people of those countries.

    There is more expression of democracy in Tunis, Cairo and Alexandria than there is possible in Israel, occupied Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The persistent claim that Israel is a democracy surrounded by undemocratic arab states is being proven wrong on the streets of these African and Arab countries.

    The truth is it was the imperialists that created Al-Quaeda, the US funded Usama to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan, but later dumped Usama, switched sides, and backed Kazai and his corrupt regime.

    Well, I was feelin’ sad and feelin’ blue
    I didn’t know what in the world I wus gonna do
    Them Communists they wus comin’ around
    They wus in the air
    They wus on the ground
    They wouldn’t gimme no peace . . .Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues (Bob Dylan)

    Just replace Muslims for Communists and you get the idea.

    Ian Curr
    6 Feb 2011

  4. Australians Die for a Mubarak Look-alike
    Press release
    4th February 2011

    “The death of 22 year old Corporal Richard Atkinson in Afghanistan saddens and angers me”, said Hamish Chitts, veteran of East Timor and spokesperson for Stand Fast, an Australian-based group of veterans and former military personnel.

    “He and the 21 Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan have died defending a regime as a corrupt and fraudulent as that of Hosni Mubarak in Eygpt.”

    “While Karzai claims to have a personal wealth of only US$10,000, the combined wealth of the Karzais runs into many millions of dollars, built mostly since Hamid Karzai took over as president in 2001. He has presided over fraudulent elections in 2004, 2009 and 2010 and Wikileaks has revealed that civilians protesting against the Karzai government or any of its policies are violently repressed by Afghan police and military while international forces look on.

    “As former soldiers we do not question the courage and commitment of the Australian troops in Afghanistan, what we do question and what we want more people to question is the callous use of these soldiers by the Federal Government.

    It is not about the Taliban or terrorism, it is about the majority of Afghanistan’s people wanting the foreign troops to leave.

    It’s about the people of Afghanistan who have risked their lives fighting for real freedom and democracy against the Taliban now having to fight against the Karzai dictatorship and foreign troops as well as the Taliban.

    “Too many allied troops and civilians have been killed, maimed and mentally scarred in Afghanistan to help the US maintain another puppet dictatorship in the Middle East.

    We demand that the Federal Government immediately withdraws all Australian troops from Afghanistan.”

    For more information:
    Phone Hamish 0401 586 923
    Email standfast.au@gmail.com
    Web http://www.stand-fast.webs.com

  5. A Third Force - counter-revolution says:

    “It was vicious and ruthless, and bloody and well planned, a final vindication of all Mubarak’s critics and a shameful indictment of the Obamas and Clintons who failed to denounce this faithful ally of America and Israel” — Robert Fisk

    I can sympathise with my comrade below who said “I told you so” about the uprising in Egypt. The wind of change is compelling. But, as we can see Mubarak is using a third force in Cairo to put down the protestors. A similar thing happened in South Africa during the struggle against apartheid. The use of thugs, violence and undercover cops lasted for years, from 1990-1994, – it took the anti-apartheid movement many years to overcome it. [see Mubarak’s third force terror tactic ]

    The al Manar article [Why isn’t the PA Supporting the Egypt Uprising? ] analyses the current nature of both the Palestinian Authority and the rule of Hamas in Gaza. The PA’s desire to pursue a Palestinian state and all its trappings even before the Palestinian people have achieved liberation has cost them any credibility. The PA has been co-opted into serving the interests of others – the Israelis, the Americans and so on.

    The movement for change in Egypt viewed in the long term is fraught with obstacles – other interests are likely to prevail – the desire of Israel to contain the Palestinian struggle – possible future incursions by the IDF into Gaza and the Sinai. Both Israel and the US currently have the right to use Egyptian air space – they will not give that up easily for it provides a route for air attack on Iran. The free flow of American warships through the Suez canal is another reason why the interests of the Egyptian people will remain under attack. Foreign security forces and the CIA may be actively involved against the demonstrators in Tahrir square, I don’t know. Yet, as the al Manar article states, change is coming, liberation is in the air, but the question is will that struggle be co-opted in the same way the PA has been? If the Egyptian people are successful in overthrowing the dictator and his regime then they are likely to want self-determination and to refuse Israel and US involvement in Egypt. The protests in Tunisia and Egypt has to be a far better course than how Blair, Bush and Howard sought to rid Iraq of its dictator because it means that the people can demand self-determination. In the words of a friend:

    ‘The positive view is to take the gains that appear, intensify the struggle and respect the sacrifice of those who endure it at close hand.’

    Ian Curr
    5 Feb 2011

    Source:
    Robet Fisk’s article can be read at: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/columnists/robert-fisk/egypt-crisis-fighting-was-so-terrible-we-could-smell-the-blood-15072196.html#ixzz1Cxi7lNEN

  6. Chants from Tahrir Square says:

    The chants from Tahrir Square
    It goes:
    الشعب يريد إعدام السفّاح
    People want to execute the butcher.

    There’s another that sounds like The people united will never be defeated – but am not sure.

  7. Armed militias charge the people in Tahrir Square says:

    As the counter revolution begins the Egyptian protestors struggle to build organisation in order to oust Mubarak.
    [Caution My comments are made from afar and it is difficult to see how successful the protestors will be, you would have to be in Cairo and Alexandria to know.]

    Unlike other revolutions (i.e. in Russia in 1917) there is no revolutionary political party to organise the people on the streets of Cairo and Alexandria.

    The protestors have been able to summon large crowds using modern devices like mobile phones and social media but have been unable to oust the President.

    The people are yet to storm the winter palace (sic).

    Mubarak’s intransigence has worked in their favour and given them time to organise.

    However we remember how brutal was the put down of the Iranian left by fundamentalist supporters of the Ayatollah Khomeni after the fall of the Shah in 1979. The Socialist Workers Party in Brisbane told us then that there would be a second workers revolt in Teheran. 30 years later we are still waiting.

    Mubarak seems to have the support of the air force as well as these armed riders shown in the CNN video below.

    Ian Curr
    3 Feb 2011

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGeVjAJ0MWE]

  8. One million person march says:

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_62vfM6gCI&w=270&h=180]

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjroQDpSyGk&w=680&h=450]

  9. I received an email recently from a comrade who wrote ‘I told you so’ about the revolt in Egypt.

    His remark referred to a discussion we had a long time ago when I said that the Egyptian working class is so poor that it can only focus on survival.

    He disputed this, saying that Egypt is where revolution would come.

    There is no doubt that there is an economic reason for the intifada in Egypt. It is also true that this kind of revolt is infinitely preferrable to the armed invasion by Blair, Bush and Howard to topple the Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein.

    My friend may even be right and revolution will follow.

    But there is some time to go before we will know.

    The US provides $1.8Billion in aid and that goes to the army.

    The US administration has been trying desperately this week to subvert the peoples’ revolt.

    If the army were to lose that American aid then much of the employment in the country dries up.

    Every able bodied Egyptian has to do service in the army. It provides people with wages. There is little organisation in the revolt as yet. However people’s committees are already defending their houses from police thugs. So perhaps there is enough time for the workers to get organised. I don’t know.

    I have not been there (to Egypt) but everyone I know who has says that the first thing you notice is the corruption … and then the poverty.

    I hope my friend who said ‘I told you so’ is right but it is too early to say.

    Meanwhile the following video does show that the people are struggling hard to prove him right.

    Ian Curr
    31 January 2011

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBtYLBQPRGQ]

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