Daily Archives: July 6, 2013

In Egypt, the real regime still has to fall

Αναδημοσίευση από roarmag

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Ενδιαφέρον κείμενο για την τρέχουσα συγκυρία στην Αίγυπτο:

Egypt’s revolutionary process is a complicated convolution of people power and military co-optation. To succeed, it will have to take on the army anew.

 

Now that President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood have been forced from power, one question appears to be burning on everyone’s lips: is this Egypt’s second revolution, or is it really just a coup d’étât? Anyone outside of Egypt who still pretends to have a straightforward answer to this question is either lying or deluding themselves. The truth is that periods of grave revolutionary upheaval never lend themselves to simplistic binary narratives. If anything, the answer is neither: this is neither a second revolution nor a coup d’étât. Why?

First of all, it’s not a second revolution because — as I pointed out at length in a recent essay — revolutions are not events but processes. In Egypt’s case, this process first revealed itself on January 25, 2011 and remains ongoing until today. For a major newspaper like The Guardian to write about “post-revolutionary” Egypt therefore seems bizarre; and note that The Guardian is far from alone in propagating this kind of widespread discourse. Indeed, the struggle for the soul of the Egyptian revolution only seems to have intensified over the past 2,5 years as various forces — the Muslim Brotherhood, the army, the US government — have sought to co-opt it.

Seen in this light, Egypt’s revolution has been marked by three main phases: the initial insurrection of January and February 2011 that toppled Mubarak; the second wave of protests that forced the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces (SCAF) to finally call elections; and now the third uprising of June 30 — the “Rebellion” — that forced Morsi out of office. It is absolutely crucial not to underestimate the role of popular agency in these world-historic events. As I wrote earlier, none of this would have been possible without the power of the street.

But there is a major caveat here. While the Egyptian revolution surely constitutes one of the most epic insurrectionary episodes in recent history, the “material constitution” of Egyptian society has changed remarkably little since the overthrow of Mubarak. When the people of Egypt initially rose up in January 2011, they rebelled against a deeply entrenched and profoundly repressive military dictatorship that had deprived them of “bread, freedom and social justice” for as long as most people could remember. The main slogan in the first wave of protests unsurprisingly became: الشعب يريد إسقاط النظام‎ — the people demand the fall of the regime. Note the important point that the Arabic word for “regime” (nizam) is perhaps better translated as system, which indicates that this is not just about a specific group of privileged people but about a whole set of oppressive social structures. The people demand the downfall of this system.

In this sense, the system’s initial reaction was every bit as brutal as it was predictable: it simply tried to quash the revolt. But when it became self-evident that this approach wasn’t quite working, the true ruling class shifted strategies. The army’s top-brass recognized that to perpetuate its rule, or at least secure its economic interests and privileged political position, it would have to appease the masses. And so the military command, led by Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi — Mubarak’s long-time Defense Minister and personal confidant, known in ruling circles as “Mubarak’s poodle” — simply turned on their former master and pushed him from power.

This led to the 15-month rule of the SCAF, which was supposed to be a transition period giving way to Egypt’s first democratic elections, but which was marked by continued mass mobilizations to save the revolution from the army’s incessant attempts to stall the revolutionary process and repress the ongoing protests. Belying its own pro-democratic rhetoric, the SCAF brutally cracked down on the protesters, killing hundreds and imprisoning, torturing and maiming thousands. During the second wave of revolt, as hundreds of thousands again amassed in Tahrir Square, the main slogan of the revolutionaries simply became: “down with military rule.”

By early 2012, the SCAF realized that its direct rule over society was badly affecting its carefully crafted mythology as a patriotic institution aligned with the goals of the revolution, potentially endangering its economic interests. At that point, it was happy to just leave politics behind and let some eager civilians take the blame. It was clear, however, that the only social force organized enough to take on such a responsibility was the Muslim Brotherhood. And so the army called elections, knowing full well that the Islamists would win, but recognizing just as well that it was in its own best interests to retreat to the wings and let elected politicians solve their mess. In fact, the army ascertained that the Brotherhood would win the elections, allowing its members to man the polling stations, count the ballots and beat up “troublemakers”.

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Turkey, Interview: Anarchists in the Turkish Uprising

Αναδημοσίευση από tahriricn

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To follow up our coverage of the uprising in Turkey beginning from Taksim Square, we’ve conducted an interview with anarchists in İstanbul. They talk about the background of the revolt, the relationship between this uprising and others around the world, and its implications for the future of Turkey.

What preexisting organizations have played a role in this new explosion of social struggle?

The important thing about this rebellion is that there was no political organization leading the movement. No leader, no party. The explosion appeared on the third day of the protests about the park and trees. People went to the streets because of the violence and brutality of poliçe—that is, the violence of the state. There were also some other motivations driving people into the streets, but none of them is related to any political organization. It is an autonomous movement.

What tactics have been most important in the conflicts? Where did those tactics originally develop? How did they spread?

Although there is no political organization directing people, there are anarchists, leftists, and other people who were already organized. It is important to have experience in clashes; individuals from these political groups talk with the others about how to act in the streets, and everybody decides what to do. There were some important initiatives—like building barricades, and behind them people who supported the effort with first aid, cooking, and discussing what to do next. People were eager to talk more about what to do. This is a new thing here. 

Information was shared via fliers on the street and via social media about how to keep up with the movements of the police, how to respond to the gas bombs, and the rights of people who are arrested. I have to admit that people used Facebook and twitter in a useful way.

Compare the beginning of the Taksim Square occupation with previous protests, such as the demonstrations of May Day 2013. In both cases, who were the organizers, and what were their original goals? Why did the Taksim Square occupation in particular spark so much new participation?

OK, we have to clarify the starting point of the protests. This year has been the most repressive year yet for the social opposition. The government banned demonstrators from the square for May Day. That was the starting point, I think. There were also clashes on May Day. And after May Day, we are not allowed to protest anything in Taksim. The government banned any kind of demonstration. So this made people angry. We were on streets after May Day to protest various things, but mainly this situation.

The new thing about this occupation is not about demands or ideas. The new thing is the reaction of the people who saw the violence of the state. Before the rebellion, things like “barricades,” “gas masks,” and “throwing stones at the police” seemed like bad notions for the people. This has changed a lot. Now the people are cheering for tear gas and singing songs about the barricades.

How have the Greek social struggles since December 2008 shaped the imaginations of people in Turkey? What about the recent uprisings in North Africa, and the Occupy movement in the US?

I think there are some similarities between the 2008 rebellion in Greece and 2013 in Turkey. There are some economic facts in both cases, but these are not the real reasons. The situations are, rather, the expressions of the people against the terror and violence of the state. When the police murdered Alexis [Grigoropoulos], the situation changed. The legitimacy of the state disappeared. People understood the real purpose of the state. This is the situation in Turkey now. The legitimacy of the state has disappeared.

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#free_sakkas: Μέχρι τη νίκη, μέχρι το τέλος ρε!

Τη Δευτέρα 8/7 στις 12.00 όλοι στη συγκέντρωση αλληλεγγύης στο εφετείο. Η υπόθεση του Κώστα Σακκά, δεν αφορά μόνο τον ίδιο τους κοντινούς συντρόφους του ή τον αντιεξουσιαστικό/αναρχικό χώρο. Είναι μια πολύ σοβαρή υπόθεση της σημερινής ταξικής πάλης, αφορά όσους αγωνιζόμαστε ενάντια στο κεφάλαιο και την κοινωνία του.

Το κείμενο που έγραψε ο Κώστας Σακκάς για να ανακοινώσει την απεργία πείνας εδώ

τα videos  από omniatv

Imprisoned hunger striker Kostas Sakkas salutes protesters at Nikaia Hospital today:

Motorcycle demo

Περού: συγκρούσεις φοιτητών και στο Κούσκο

Το κίνημα έχει ξεκινήσει εδώ και τουλάχιστον ένα μήνα ενάντια στην “εκπαιδευτική αναδιάρθρωση”. Εχθές έγιναν συγκρούσεις με δεκάδες τραυματίες και συλλήψεις. Το βίντεο είναι από συγκρούσεις στις 15 Ιουνίου.

L’Etat, C’est Nous: Who will control the Egyptian state?

egypt.tanks_.cnn_

The other possibility is that the young revolutionaries behind January 25 and now June 30 decide that with tens of millions of people behind them (a very different situation than existed after the January 25 revolution, in which far fewer people actively took part), they can afford to go for the proverbial knock-out blow. Indeed, with the economy in tatters and the country on the precipice of unprecedented civil strife, the military is potentially in a far weaker position now than it was after Mubarak’s departure.

Αναδημοσίευουμε τμήματα από άρθρο που εμφανίστηκε στο Al Jazeera σχετικά με τη συγκυρία στην Αίγυπτο. Ο συγγραφέας ανήκει προφανώς στο “δημοκρατικό” στρατόπεδο, και όπως κάθε ένας που ανήκει σ’αυτό έχει ως ορίζοντα του, αναγκαστικά την κατάληψη του κράτους (ανεξάρτητα αν το λέει ή όχι, και αυτός το λέει).  Θέτει όμως ορισμένα από τα βασικά ζητήματα της συγκυρίας με ενδιαφέροντα τρόπο (η έμφαση σε ορισμένα σημεία δική μας):

After 887 days of protests, tear gas, tanks, camels, horses, tent cities, marches, birdshot, live ammunition, ultras, great music, torture, rape, disappointments, spears, knives, Facebook campaigns, undercover thugs, military detentions, men with scimitars, show trials, elections, referendums, annulments, arson, police brutality, negotiations, machinations, committees, strikes, street battles, foreign bailouts, extreme theatre, revolutionary graffiti, television drama, Leninist study circles, and Salafi sit-ins, Egypt’s young revolutionaries have managed to do the near impossible: force the “nizzam” – the system – to restart a deeply flawed transition process in a manner which, at least at the surface, puts civilians in charge of a fraught transition process that was likely doomed the first time around the moment SCAF took control.

[…]

The last two and a half years have largely flowed more or less as one might have imagined once SCAF assumed control of the transition. The military’s broad control of Egyptian politics for half a century, it’s huge role in the economy – including in the transition to a neoliberal order that was supposed to weaken the grip of the old elites but broadly strengthened it, its highly authoritarian and patriarchal nature, and its guaranteed support from its major Western and Arab sponsors, all left it with little incentive or even ability to move the country along a path that would actually produce freedom, dignity, social justice, and an overall better life for most Egyptians.

The problem was, and remains, that the only way for the revolution to achieve its core goals would be literally to create a new state – a new set of power relations and institutions through which they flow that would profoundly redistribute social, economic and political power throughout Egyptian society. But to do this they would have to take on, and defeat, the military and the order it represented. As long as the military controls the political and economic process in Egypt, the vast majority of Egyptians will live well below their economic and political potential.

The honeymoon between the military and the revolutionaries was over not long after it began, as the military launched waves of assaults on and even massacres of demonstrators and activists, detaining thousands, most without civilian trials, even as the deep state began to shore up its political footing through the emerging constitutional, legislative and electoral process. In the summer and fall of 2011, spring and fall of 2012, revolutionary forces returned to the streets and battled the military, and ultimately the Brotherhood-regime, not with any hope of finishing the revolution, but to ensure it wasn’t completely lost.

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Προκήρυξη του αυτόνομου μπλοκ αγώνων της Araraquara για τους αγώνες στη Βραζιλία,4/7/2013

Αναδημοσίευση από Πρακτορείο Rioters

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Μια προκήρυξη του Αυτόνομου μπλοκ αγώνων ΟΥΤΕ ΠΑΤΡΙΔΑ ΟΥΤΕ ΑΦΕΝΤΙΚΑ της Araraquara που θέτει ένα ευρύτερο πλαίσιο των αγώνων στη Βραζιλία και της αντίθεσης στον εθνικισμό στους αγώνες αυτούς:

Προκήρυξη του Αυτόνομου Μπλοκ Αγώνων ΟΥΤΕ ΠΑΤΡΙΔΑ ΟΥΤΕ ΑΦΕΝΤΙΚΑ της Araraquara, São Paulo, σχετικά με τη συμμετοχή του στην ενιαία δράση της 26ης Ιούνη μαζί με τη συλλογικότητα για ελεύθερες μεταφορές Passe Livre, ενάντια στην ιδιωτικοποίηση των συγκοινωνιών.

Ούτε Πατρίδα, Ούτε Αφεντικά!

-Να δημιουργήσουμε τη λαϊκή εξουσία!

Το Αυτόνομο μπλοκ αγώνων δημιουργήθηκε στην Araraquara στα πλαίσια της πολιτικής αναταραχής στη Βραζιλία και σ’ ολόκληρο τον κόσμο, μέσα απ’ την αυτοοργάνωση αγωνιστών διαφόρων επαναστατικών αντικαπιταλιστικών πολιτικών τάσεων, με στόχο τη δημιουργία ενός σημείου αντίθεσης με τα ρεφορμιστικά αιτήματα, ζητώντας την ολική ρήξη με το σύστημα, τη δημιουργία μέσα απ’ την καταστροφή. Η συλλογικότητα αντιτίθεται επίσης στα εθνικιστικά προτάγματα και τις εθνικές σημαίες στις διαδηλώσεις που εξελίσσονται στη χώρα, καθώς αντιλαμβάνεται τον εθνικισμό ως φασισμό, που φέρει τον διαχωρισμό μας απ’ αυτούς με τους οποίους μαχόμαστε μαζί για έναν κόσμο χωρίς σύνορα, χωρίς πατρίδες, χωρίς κράτη, για έναν κόσμο ισότητας, αλληλεγγύης και αλληλοβοήθειας. Έτσι, στις 26 Ιούνη, ενώσαμε τις δυνάμεις μας και κατεβήκαμε στους δρόμους με την Ενιαία Δράση στην Araraquara, συνεχίζοντας τον αγώνα για τις Ελεύθερες Μεταφορές κι ενάντια στην ιδιωτικοποίηση των συγκοινωνιών.

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