Solidarity with Egypt

Around 200 people gathered in Brisbane Square today to show their solidarity with the people of Egypt. Protesters heard many speakers from the Egyptian community about the struggle for democracy and supporters also spoke of the significance of the Egyptian people’s uprising to the peoples of the region. Mamdoub Habib spoke to the rally about his experience of torture at the hands of Mubarak’s newly appointed Vice-President Omar Suleiman.

The square was renamed “Liberation Square” for the duration of the protest in honour of the defiant protesters in Liberation Square in Cairo. A minute silence was held to remember the martyrs of the uprising. A loud march was held through the city, with a number of people joining the protest during the march. Protesters vowed to continue to show their solidarity, deciding to hold another rally on Friday February 11, 5pm in Brisbane Square.

Kathy Newnam

Feb 2011

Photos of the rally by Owain Jones:!/album.php?aid=268708&id=741518977

Details of next rally:
Join the protest in Brisbane:
Friday February 11, 5pm
Brisbane Square, top of Queen St mall (outside casino)

from Kathy Newnam included below]


Attachment(s) from Kathy Newnam

1 of 1 File(s)

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17 thoughts on “Solidarity with Egypt

  1. Gareth Smith says:

    Dear Editor (of the Byron Echo)

    The riots rocking Egypt and the Arab world are expressions of what is almost a law of nature: people love freedom and are prepared to die for it. Dictatorships tumbled in S E Asia, Africa, Spain, Portugal, Greece and throughout Latin America, despite the cosy, supportive relationships they had with the West.

    Indeed, it is a matter of record that the US’s School of the Americas, for example, trained hundreds of cut-throat thugs charged with maintaining the status quo by means of torture, incarceration without warrant, extra-judicial executions and total suppression of intellectual and artistic expression.

    Australia trained Indonesia’s infamous Kopassus special forces currently being used to crush human rights and independence activists in West Papua, just as they tried to do in East Timor.

    The West trumpets “democracy” but it only ever tolerates electoral outcomes favourable to its own interests. We accept without demur flawed elections in Afghanistan and Iraq but condemn the internationally supervised, fair, Palestinian election which installed Hamas and then proceed to punish Palestinians for their choice.

    The civil disobedience in the Arab world will spur Palestinians to boycott so-called peace talks with Israel. Adding fuel to the fire, is the release of the Palestinian Papers which have exposed Fatah and the Palestinian Authority as Israeli quislings who even colluded with Israel over Operation Cast Lead which killed 1,400.

    The papers confirm what observers have deduced for years: Israel doesn’t give a damn about international law and the fate of Palestinians. It wants Palestinians ethnically cleansed even by, according to Tzipi Livni, packing them off to Argentina and Chile.

    Arab and Israeli despots and the powers that support them should heed the old adage: the people united can never be defeated. We should all stand in solidarity with those fighting oppression and urge our own government to do likewise.

    Gareth W R Smith
    MOB: 0422298165

    “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” – John Kenneth Galbraith.
    “Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism”- Martin Luther King, Jr.

  2. Demonstration in Melbourne says:


  3. People are right not to settle for anything less than freedom for all people arrested and detained in the Egyptian protests.

    And their murderers should be held to account.

    We are right to be skeptical of people who position themselves as honest brokers, as peace makers.

    The people in Tahrir are right to accept nothing less than departure of the Egyptian dictator and his regime.

    As we now know, the key lies with the Egyptian army – will they side with the elite or with the people?

    Will the people put the army to the test by taking over the Presidential Palace?

    There are many who counsel against this course. Some may absent themselves from the conflict, this can be understood – it is hard.

    Others appeal for justice through negotiation, compromise. But where are the just masters they seek? Mubarak, Sulieman, Netanyahu, Obama? Never.

    We should take the positive view, seek the gains that appear, intensify the struggle and respect the sacrifice of those who endure it at close hand.

    “Oh the foes will rise
    With the sleep still in their eyes
    And they’ll jerk from their beds and think they’re
    But they’ll pinch themselves and squeal
    And know that it’s for real,
    The hour when the ship comes in.

    Then they’ll raise their hands,
    Sayin’ we’ll meet all your demands,
    But we’ll shout from the bow, “your days are
    And like Pharaoh’s tribe,
    They’ll be drowned in the tide,
    And like Goliath, they’ll be conquered

    – sung by Bob Dylan at a ‘March for Jobs and Freedom’ in Washington DC on 28
    August 1963.

    Ian Curr
    6 Feb 2001


  4. Gary MacLennan says:

    [Editor’s note: This was a speech given by Gary Maclennan on 4 Feb 2011 at a rally in solidarity with the Egyptian intifada.]


    We meet today to show our total support for the brave people of Egypt. Events are moving at an incredible speed. That is because we are witnessing a revolution in action and thanks to the new technology it is being streamed live on the Internet.

    Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians – young and old – have come out on the streets against a brutal dictator. They have braved tear gas, bullets and the armed thugs. Thousand have been injured. Hundreds have been killed, yet they keep fighting on. Why? We have been told that they are asking for bread, for jobs, for an end to poverty – true. But they have also been fighting for dignity and for their honour and for an end to the shame that has been visited on a proud people.

    Egypt has a great and proud history. When I was a boy in Ireland, I thrilled to read of the nationalisation of the Suez Canal. I and many like me were inspired by the heroic resistance of the people of Egypt in 1956 to the armies of France, England and Israel. Egypt represented the hopes for a better world. Egypt then was a light unto the nations.

    But that light faded into the darkness and the corruption of the Mubarak dictatorship. Instead of representing the cause of Freedom, Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak turned Egypt into the friend of tyranny. They did that by betraying the people of Palestine and becoming the ally of Israel and the US. When the Zionists slaughtered the Palestinians in Gaza, the Egyptian Army closed off the southern border and turned Gaza into a prison.

    The shame that the Egyptian people felt was terrible to behold.

    I want also now to talk of the corruption of the Mubarak regime. Millions of Egyptian suffer from terrible poverty. 77 million of the 80 million Egyptians live on less than $ 1 a day. Unemployment is around 30 % . 7 % of children cannot afford to go to school. There are 100 thousand homeless kids. When Gamal Abdel Nasser died in 1970 he had less than 4000 Egyptian pounds in the bank. Today Mubarak is worth A$40 billion.

    All that will now change. Egypt is being reborn. For the last two nights the heroic youth have fought with their bare hands to hold onto Tahrir Square. Tonight after prayers, the people will once again flock to the square. And the battle song of freedom will be heard in every corner of Egypt, in every Arab nation and in every corner of the world.

    Of course the regime has not stopped slandering the revolution. At first they tried to make us afraid of the revolution saying the Muslim Brotherhood will take over Egypt. I reject that fear. I fear no one because they are a Muslim and I salute the brave men and women of the Brotherhood who have come to the aid of the revolution and their nation. Tonight the Brotherhood will be fighting along side Christians and secularists. I salute that unity.

    Now the regime is trying to say that the revolution is the work of Israeli and American spies and agents. Let us be clear here there are Israeli agents at work in Egypt and I will name them. The number one agent of Israel is Hosni Mubarak. The other agents are the Vice President Umar Suleiman, the Prime Minister, Ahmed Shafiq, the Defence Minister, Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, and the Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Sami Einan.

    All these men work for Israel and the United States. For years Mubarak & his cronies have tortured and murdered anyone who opposed them. TheAmericans responded by giving them $1.5 billion dollars in bribes. I will not call it aid. The Egyptian people did not get the money.
    Mubarak and his cronies did. When Barack Obama went to Egypt, he was asked if he thought Mubarak was “authoritarian”. He said “no”. Just a week ago the idiot Vice President, Joe Biden said that Mubarak was not a dictator. Obama said Mubarak was a good friend and he valued his wise counsel. Wikileaks have made it clear that every American President for the past 30 years knew about the murders and the torture and they did not care. They did not care because Mubarak was a loyal
    servant of the American Empire.

    Last nite the dog Mubarak said that he would like to go but if he left there would be no Stability. I want to talk about that word. The former Prime Minister of Britain, Tony Blair, has told us that Mubarak brings stability. Benyamin Netanyahu also tells us that Mubarak has brought stability. What is this stability that Mubarak has brought?
    For the people of Egypt it is the stability of poverty and corruption and hunger. Mubarak has also brought the stability of the torture chamber and the graveyard.

    The people of Egypt do not want Mubarak’s stability. They want their freedom. Tonight they will continue their fight to liberate Cairo.
    They will win and tomorrow they will begin the fight to liberate Jerusalem. And when Jerusalem is free, Freedom will be brought to every Arab nation. And then we will all join together to bring freedom to the entire world.

    Long Live the Egyptian revolution. Long Live the Egyptian people.

    Thank you

  5. Hello Gary,
    As you know the impasse between the demonstrators and the regime remains unresolved.

    My original assessment that the Egyptian working class is too focused on their poverty to win a revolution could turn out to be true (sadly).

    My reasons are:

    1) The people have been unable to take over the Presidential palace and therefore force Mubarak’s departure.

    2) As a result the army has not been put to the test of whether to support the elite or the people.

    3) It seems that some of the participants have entered into negotiation and therefore compromise with the dictatorship.

    4) The people have no revolutionary party.

    While Mubarak refuses to depart, there remains the possibility for better organisation and continued resistance. I think that you overstate the importance of the internet. The internet and mobile phones have helped mobilise protest but none of the protestors websites (socialist or otherwise) indicate that greater organisation has been achieved. We would have to be there to know for sure whether this is happening. Our solidarity organisation here is limited. For example no organisation took responsibility for the flyer or posters that publicised the rally that you spoke at in Brisbane square. That organisation as far as it goes depended largely on the efforts of individuals (like yourself) and some small splintered groups previously engaged in solidarity with Palestine.

    Nevertheless we should take the positive view, seek the gains that appear, intensify the struggle and respect the sacrifice of those who endure it at close hand.

    My aim is to promote public discussion and improve organisation that is currently lacking.

    Onward to the winter palace (he sighs).

    in solidarity

  6. Ian,

    You said….”4) The people have no revolutionary party.”.

    You have said this a couple of times on BT. Why do you not consider the Muslim Brotherhood to be playing this role?

  7. Hello John,

    How can an organisation based on religion be revolutionary?

    Also reports do say that the Muslim Brotherhood is negotiating with the regime and wish to participate in ‘representative elections’.

    This is what Obama says he is calling for but, of course, he like Mubarak is trying to limit their inflence on events.

    However it is difficult to tell from afar. We would have to be there to know for sure. The internet brings us closer in one sense but gives us little insight into the level of organisation. The people in the square have aptly called this week ‘the week of endurance’. Mubarak’s thugs have quaranteen’d them. The curfew by the military has limited the protestors movement and allowed for them to be tortured and attacked by Mubarak’s third force.

    The people are fighting back but I can’t see any better organisation other than protest, which, as you know, has its limits to bring about real lasting change.


    Tahrir Square: We will not be governed as does religious dictatorship in Iran

  8. Ian,

    You ask….. “How can an organisation based on religion be revolutionary?”

    Well, Iran is one obvious model as was the Afghanistan revolution against USSR domination.

    The MB’s revolutionary capacity is the network of mosques that does not require the formation of an organised working class. The wild-card and most significant outcome of these protests will be the legalisation of the MB. and their contesting elections (if that actually happens).

    The MB in Egypt is pretty moderate and has no military wing. Egyptians do not see it as the evil extremist network that the West has portrayed it as . Its capacity is for a popular revolution, not a sectarian vanguardist coup. (Perhaps the sectarian coup might come later as it did in Russia and Iran but this is not a predetermined outcome to delegitimise any popular revolution).

    A Muslim Brotherhood victory in an election, either forming or being a part of government would be revolutionary, just as Hamas’s victory in the Palestinian elections was.

  9. Gary MacLennan says:

    Comrade Ian

    could you please repost this reply. To start with we should try and put this conversation in context. You and I are discussing the significance of events in Egypt. Only a handful of exceptionally bright people such as Immanuel Wallerstein were saying that the Middle East was about to descend into a firestorm. See . A year ago we would not have even thought of the possibility of this exchange. So we have advanced (Gary 0: Ian 0).

    Secondly you say that I exaggerate the importance of the media. But Ian I made no evaluation at all about its importance in my speech (Gary 1: Ian 0).

    I agree totally with your comments on the Brisbane Left and its state of apathy and passivity. You yourself are an honorable exception (Gary 2: Ian 1).

    The other substantive points you make are a repetition about poverty and the capacity to make a revolution; the role of the Army, the failure to storm the Presidential Palace, the absence of a Revolutionary Party

    The poverty issue is tricky. One of the material imperatives behind the unrest has been the fall in living standards produced by neo-liberal attacks on the corporatist state. So the descent into poverty had the effect of making it dangerous not to protest. However you ignore the factor that there is a large number of educated people in Egypt who have been reduced to poverty and they form the backbone of the more radical elements. (Gary 3: Ian 1)

    The Egyptian Army is a complex entity. Its gerontocratic leadership is part of the elite. However it is a conscript army and its refusal to fire (so far) on the demonstrators can only mean that the High Command are unsure that the order would be obeyed. To date they circle the protesters like jackals that take an occasional bite or nibble and then back off. They will move in ruthlessly once they feel it is safe to do so. I have never made the mistake of encouraging faith in the Army. Only when it splits will it become a revolutionary force (Gary 4: Ian 2).

    The last point about the failure to storm the Presidential place alludes to the impasse that appears to have come to the fore. I agree that it would appear that we have reached some kind of stalemate. Yet these are early days. It took two revolutions in 1917 for the Bolsheviks to come to power. Still I would like to see some attempt to move out of the square towards Mubarak’s palace (Gary 4: Ian 3).

    What about your final point – the absence of a revolutionary party? Well it is obvious that there is not one present. It is not at all clear however that one will not emerge over the next few weeks. Yet I am inclined to agree that if one does not then the Revolution will be defeated (Gary 4: Ian 4).

    We are in complete agreement though about the need to acknowledge and salute the heroism and the sacrifrices of those who are struggling for a better Egypt and thus a better world.



  10. Hello John,

    Here are some articles that challenge the notion that the Muslim Brotherhood is a revolutionary organisation:

    Whither Egypt?

    The Western media are hinting at the fact that democracy in the Middle East would lead to an Islamic fundamentalist takeover. We have seen the triumphal return of Rached Ghannouchi to Tunisia after long years in exile. The Muslim Brotherhood is likely to win fair elections in Egypt. What is your comment on that? .. read more


    As for the Muslim Brotherhood, wherever they have members in locations where you have struggles, their members take part. But they don’t intervene as the Muslim Brotherhood as such–as an organized force. Where you have struggles, their members usually join in. They don’t interfere as a movement…
    Traditionally, the Muslim Brotherhood has not been involved in the workers’ unions, but in unions of professionals–lawyers, engineers and doctors. They have been very active among professionals, but not in the working class.


    Ian Curr
    9 Feb 2011
    The roots of Egypt’s uprising by Lee Sustar which states :

    “While often portrayed in the U.S. media as a kind of al-Qaeda in respectable clothing, the Muslim Brotherhood is a conservative organization that has avoided confrontation with the state and abstained from the recent protest movement until it was compelled to join. Its perspective isn’t for the violent overthrow of the state, but a parliamentary approach akin to the ruling Islamist party in Turkey.” —

    in solidarity,

  11. Ian,

    I suspect the reason the MB does not manifest overtly as the MB is because it is an illegal organisation repressed by Martial law. Once they are legalised and run for elections they will not be so modest.

    You and the two links you provided have a very specific model of what a revolution is. It is an ideological model described in the “Wither Egypt” link as ” left-wing, working-class and feminist movements “.

    There is a real thing happening on the ground in Egypt and elsewhere where the Muslim Brotherhood are significant. The democratically elected Hamas government of Palestine is one such manifestation beyond Egypt.

    To dismiss the real historical dialectic in favour of a hypothetical ideological model might make fascinating chat amongst westerners but does not respect or connect to the real forces of change in the world. This dissonance between cultural ideology and historical reality is also behind my persistent critique of the Australian left’s embrace of the Aboriginal struggle.

    The “whither Egypt” article may well be correct that political repression is the reason for the success of religious organisations. Political repression is a reality and the way society responds to it is also a reality. The dialectical wheels roll on. To dismiss this in anticipation of some future time when the left wing, working class and feminist movements might arise from their middle class western enlightenment to manifest the real revolution is no less pie in the sky than those waiting for Jesus to sort it all out.

    It might not be the revolution you wish for but it is the one that is happening. I say the election of Hamas in Palestine was revolutionary and the revolution has continued. I say the election of a Muslim Brotherhood Egyptian Government, which the commentators seem to be saying is likely, would also be revolutionary. An anti-US/Israel Egyptian government would have a significant influence on the Arab League and its dealings with US/Israel that in turn would have a direct bearing on the economic structure of the region which is where the real revolution starts.

    The counter revolution will come, as it has in Palestine, with civil society movements, trade unions and democrats with development deals with the IMF, locking them back into the US/Israel matrix.

  12. Hello John,

    You say: “I suspect the reason the MB does not manifest overtly as the MB is because it is an illegal organisation repressed by Martial law. Once they are legalised and run for elections they will not be so modest.”

    MB is part of the struggle against the dictatorships and should not be excluded from it. I do not accept the fear mongering by the US administration and the Israeli lobby about them creating a fundamentalist Islamic State in Egypt. Personally I think that the alternative to the regime in Cairo resides more in Tahrir Square than in the mosques — or at least the potential for it.
    It is true that the MB is an illegal organisation in Egypt. However they do hold seats in parliament despite this repression. The MB get around illegality by running as independents (who people know to be MB). Therefor, against the odds, they do hold seats in the Egyptian parliament as do some of the left socialist parties. The MB have a long history in Egypt and operate as a conservative organisation in the professions and in civil society. If they were a revolutionary party as you claim they would be a revolutionary islamic party (like Rastakhiz party in Iran) which they are not. The MB do not place religion at the forefront and do operate democractically in much the same way as Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon have done in recent years. This places these organisations in stark contrast with the Israeli regime which is undemocratic and wishes to enforce a Zionist state in historic Palestine. The MB are not trying to bring radical change in the system, merely to reform it through winning seats in the parliament. If you don’t believe me listen to Tony Jones interview with a Muslim Brotherhood leader on ABC’s Lateline 10 Feb 2011.

    You say: “To dismiss the real historical dialectic in favour of a hypothetical ideological model might make fascinating chat amongst westerners but does not respect or connect to the real forces of change in the world.”

    Regardless of the stereotypes you apply to the articles linked below this cannot blur what is happening on the ground. The revolt across the arab world will displace in the minds of many the 1917 Bolshevik model of what a revolution is. The Soviet model is long gone. The reason is simply that events in Egypt derive from current objective reality that is neither east nor west. Egyptians, Tunisians, Jordanians, Palestinians are no different to us. They make mistakes too. They are not some new moral force in the world that will make people discard all prior history, make us doubt previous revolutions. People may even better understand the errors that were made after the Bolsheviks stormed the winter palace and seized power, more likely it is forgotten. It is presumptuous to assume Arabs (or anyone else) are different and will somehow provide a new model for what is “the real historical dialectic”.

    You speak of : “dissonance between cultural ideology and historical reality” being “behind (your) persistent critique of the Australian left’s embrace of the Aboriginal struggle”.

    Once again you presume that the historical reality of colonialism somehow defaces any attempt, no matter how awkward, to come to grips with and to rectify injustice done to Aboriginal people. Such an approach almost denies our shared humanity, black and white and our capacity to bring about change together.

    You say “the election of a Muslim Brotherhood Egyptian Government, which the commentators seem to be saying is likely, would also be revolutionary.”

    I recall the Socialist Workers Party in Brisbane telling us in 1979 that we should support the Islamic clerics in deposing the Shah and that that a second workers revolt would be mounted after the Ayatollahs took over. 30 years later we are still waiting for that workers revolt. The Ayatollahs brutally repressed working class organisation in Iran.

    The MB are different from the Ayatollahs and have changed much (as you would expect) but Islam is still central to their ideas. They counterpose Islam to Christianity and to secularism. They want sharia law and all that means. I reject it because it prevents the development of women.

    Hamas was formed out of the MB and they continue to work towards forming an Islamic state in historic Palestine. I can’t agree with that. Yet none of this is easy to pass judgment, especially given the fact that Hamas has not been corrupt like the PA. But I do think it is the shared Arab culture of the region, the objective conditions of the people and not Islam that has caused the intifada to spread from Tunisia to Egypt to Jordan and so on.

    The MB is a mass movement – it is the largest political force inside Egypt and they have participated in the demonstrations that make up the revolt against the regime. I have been discussing the issues you raise briefly with a friend. He points out that while the MB have negotiated with the regime there have been large fluctuations in the numbers attending the demonstrations. Is this the reason that the revolt seems to lose momentum? The people had organised Days of Rage, Days of Departure and Endurance but seem unable to break through and get rid of the regime.

    They do need some way of providing food for the people, managing the chaos in the streets and stopping the Mubabrak thugs from assaulting and killing their comrades. Will sufficient organisation emerge to achieve this, I do not know. One thing is for certain. If i was there and looking for real change I would be down at Tahrir Square with the people becasue it is there that organisation capable of bringing about change is developing. The protestors can build the means to defend the people and keep them strong then, you may be right, a revolution may come about.

    in solidarity,

  13. The Revolution is Live! says:

    “Do not listen to satellite television stations, whose main goal is to fuel sedition,” he said. “Instead, listen to your own conscience.” — Egyptian vice- president Sulieman

    All previous models of revolution are being turned on their head. The assumption here that Europe is a place of change is disappearing — there is no revolutionary situation in Europe or in Australia — however there is one in the middle east.

    In Egypt, thousands are marching on the Presidential Palace to oust the dictatorship.

    Join the protest in Brisbane:
    Friday February 11, 5pm
    Brisbane Square, top of Queen St mall (outside casino)

    More information and details about how you can help with the protest:
    Phone: 0400 720 757, 0401 586 923. Email:

    in solidarity

  14. Ian,

    The protests are a massive spectacle that has provided a platform for the real power blocs – of all sides – to advance their agendas. The protests will blow away in the wind as is the nature of protests. Only the ongoing momentum and structure of the MB will move Egypt to the next step, whatever it is (greatly empowered by the protests).

    I am not asking you to like the MB, I am just saying that the vacuum of revolutionary leadership that you and Gary seem to agree on is not the nature of the situation. (and despite your analysis, the MB do call themselves a revolutionary organisation).

    I am glad that you have said overtly……”Hamas was formed out of the MB and they continue to work towards forming an Islamic state in historic Palestine. I can’t agree with that. “…… for this gets to the crux of the matter that I am trying to highlight.

    The will of the Palestinian people, as evidenced by a general election, is for a Hamas government. The Palestinian people are well aware of the nature of Hamas/MB. Yet you do not agree with the will of the Palestinian people. As they say, “whose side are you on?” – the PA? Being on nobody’s side is not a relevant base for solidarity, it is just concerned voyeurism – pity.

    There is a sickening confluence of the rhetoric of Obama/Clinton and left wing commentary of the middle east – the denial of the legitimacy of Hamas/Hezbollah/ MB in the political process and emotive but meaningless platitudes about human rights and democracy. As such the “solidarity” only confirms and legitimises the US dominated status-quo rather than the will and action of the people.

    And finally, you say…” Such an approach almost denies our shared humanity, black and white and our capacity to bring about change together.” …….

    You know enough about me to know that this is a not true (a stereotype?).

    I say we white folk should pay more attention to how we might fit into the frameworks of the black world rather than speculate how the black struggle might conform to our ideological expectations to justify our support and solidarity.

    Same with solidarity for Egypt, Palestine, Zimbabwe, Fiji, West Papua, etc. – struggles that do not fit easily into any western democratic or class templates yet are constantly described that way in left wing commentary.

  15. Hello John,

    As demonstrators march toward the State TV building in Cairo and on towards the Presidential Palace, more interest has focussed on the largest political organisation in Egypt, the MB.

    According to ‘Why Egypt’s progressives win’ the MB have split. There is an industrial revolution happening in Egypt (i.e. in the textile industry) and unlike neighbouring regimes they have not had to import cheap foreign labour they have sufficient in Egypt. There is union organisation that has been manipulated by the regime but increasingly strikes are occuring that challenge union leaders and the ties with the regime.

    On February 6, 2011, Egypt’s hastily appointed vice president, Omar Suleiman, invited in the old guard – or what we could call the Businessman’s Wing of the Muslim Brotherhood into a stately meeting in the polished rosewood cabinet chamber of Mubarak’s presidential palace. The aim of their tea party was to discuss some kind of accord that would end the national uprising and restore “normalcy”. When news of the meeting broke, expressions of delight and terror tore through the blogosphere. Was the nightmare scenario of both the political left and right about to be realised? Would the US/Israel surrogate Suleiman merge his military-police apparatus with the power of the more conservative branch of the old Islamist social movement? Hearing the news, Iran’s supreme leader sent his congratulations. And in the US, Glenn Beck and John McCain ranted with glee about world wars and the inevitable rise of the cosmic caliphate.

    It is hard for people who are not involved directly in organisation to know exactly what is going on. (I recommend that readers look at the remainder of this article.

    John, your counterposing of the ‘Left commentary’ with ‘the legitimacy of Hamas/Hezbollah/ MB organisation’ is misleading. It denies the reality of the political differences within this groups – differences that arise from the class struggle within Egypt, Palesine, Lebanon and even Australia.

    For example Hezbollah (‘the party of god’) has been engaged recently in political manoeuvres in Lebanon i.e. Nazrallah took control of key Ministerial positions that previously belonged to other religious groups in the Lebanon’s confessional system of government. Just because Hezbollah is muslim does not mean that all muslims are going to agree with those manoeuvres . There are progressives (lefts) and conservatives within that movement. For example, Hezbollah enjoy the support of the Communist Party in Lebanon because they are the only force capable of preventing Israel from bombing thier country. They also enjoy the support of some Christian villages in the south. But are they revolutionary? I think not. Would they participate in a revolution? Well yes but along political lines dictated in part by Iranian government and with agreement by some and not by others in Lebanon. Your portrayal is too monolithic, too stereotyped.

    As you know every colonial struggle has its unique politics and those politics do not align under tired notions of ‘race’, ‘sexuality’, ‘morality’ or ‘religion’. The Aboriginal movement here has its different political currents and some individuals in the movement have identified with different political and religious currents: socialism (S. Watson, G. Foley), radical Chrisitianity (Aunty Alex Gator,), social democrats (Charlie Perkins), liberals (Neville Bonner) and now its Muslims (Anthony ‘the man’ Mundine). Some have even voted for One Nation.

    I digress, ‘Why Egypt’s progressives win’ points out that part of the MB was

    “co-opted by Mubarak’s government from two angles. First, Brothers were allowed to enter parliament as independent candidates and have been allowed to participate in the recent economic boom. The senior Brothers now own major cell phone companies and real estate developments – and have been absorbed into the NDP machine and upper-middle class establishment for years. Second, the government wholly appropriated the Brotherhood’s moral discourse.”

    Another interesting contention in the article is that:

    “On February 4, the day of the most terrifying police/thug brutality in Tahrir Square, many commentators noted that the military were trying to stop the thug attacks but were not being very forceful or aggressive. Was this a sign that the military really wanted the protesters to be crushed? Since then, we have learned that the military in the square were not provisioned with bullets. The military were trying as best they could to battle the police/thugs – but Suleiman had taken away their bullets for fear the military would side with the protesters and use the ammunition to overthrow him.”

    I don’t know, i thought I saw the army firing bullets into the air in a lame attempt to separate the thugs from the protestors.

    One think is certain it will be the army that will determine the success of the protestors who are now moving to the Presidential Palace.

    You say: “There is a sickening confluence of the rhetoric of Obama/Clinton and left wing commentary of the middle east”

    Obama has proven himself irrelevant, he will be the second last political head of government to call for Mubarak to go. He will be dutifully followed by Gillard/Rudd. Mubarak has figured out that if Netanyahu can thumb his nose at Obama then so can he. King Abdullah of Saudia Arabia offered to make up any US shortfall of its $1.3B aid to the Egyptian Military. This denied Obama leverage with Mubarak

    in solidarity
    Women organising“Women have been at the heart of organising protests in Tahrir Square [Getty] ”

  16. Ian,

    This is how the MB report the dialogue with Suleiman…


    I don’t know enough to comment on splits except the formation of womens and youth organisations could well be a strategy of diverse representation as outlined in the second link rather than any split.

    “- we are keen on preserving the youth, and popular, political and national unity. Therefore, we have demanded this collective dialogue, that includes all the national forces, particularly the youth which have been the leader of this blessed uprising. ”

    It seems that the old guard is encouraging the new developments rather than being any split.

  17. Egyptian Diver says:

    “We Must Educate Our Children to Become Like Young Egyptian People”

    President Barak Obama

    Tariq Says:

    One day before January 25th 2011, President Obama would never have said that!

    He might have considered those young people as a big threat to the free world as they were dying on death boats trying to escape through an illegal immigration to Europe.

    Simply, that would have never been said if Egypt was not Reborn!

    “It have never been just a bound between a man and a woman, it is that I did melt into you that I became like your fingerprint… cant belong to any other person and can never be found but where you put your finger ”

    “Oh my Queen, I breathe you… and you are even more important that the air I breathe”

    And I could have never been able to say that to Rehab without being Reborn!

    one of the things i liked and wanted to share about this revolution!
    here is the source:

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