Officially, the announcement that 2500 US marines would be permanently based in Darwin had nothing to do with China. Announcing the new military agreement with Australia on November 16, US President Barack Obama said: “I think the notion that we fear China is mistaken. The notion that we are looking to exclude China is mistaken … We welcome a rising, peaceful China.”
Al Jazeera journalist Dorothy Parvaz, who had been missing for nineteen days was released by the Iranian government on May 18. Parvaz left Doha on April 29 to cover the escalating anti-government protests in Syria. Upon arrival in Damascus, she was immediately detained by an unidentified security service. Until May 4, the Syrian government did not acknowledge that she was in their custody. But on May 10, it released a statement stating that it had deported Parvaz to the Iranian consule in Tehran.
In the early morning of April 9, new battles broke out on the streets of Cairo. Protesters fought back against mass repression carried out by the army, leading to two deaths. In a fresh victory for people’s power in Egypt, protesters defeated the crackdown. Protesters were demanding former dictator Hosni Mubarak and all corrupt officials from his regime be charged. Protesters remained in Cairo’s Tahrir Square late into the night before the army moved in.
Richard Seymour (“Libya: Spring time for NATO”, GLW #876) has done an admirable job debunking justifications of “humanitarian” wars and its defenders. But his analysis of the internal dynamics of Libya leads him astray — so much so that bold assertions are taken as facts with nothing to back it up. He says the co-option of the Libyan revolution by NATO is a victory for reaction. Then he says it is no good hoping that the militias will shake themselves free of such constraints if they take power.
The Egyptian army has violently cracked down on pro-democracy protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on the night of April 8, BBC.co.uk said the next day. Medical sources said two protesters were killed and the health ministry said 71 were hurt. Protesters were demanding greater changes from the interim government that took over after dictator Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in February, including demands that Mubarak be made to stand trial. Protesters re-occupied Tahrir Square on April 9, BBC.co.uk said.
About 2000 mainly young Palestinians rallied in Gaza City on March 14. Waving Palestinian flags, they called on Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah to end their divisions, for democratic elections for the Palestinian Authority (PA), and for the end to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and siege on Gaza. Thousands more marching across Gaza the next day and 8000 people protested in Ramallah in the West Bank for the same demands.
Benji Marshall, one of the most high-profile players in rugby league, was charged with assault after an altercation in the early hours of March 5. Earlier that evening, he hosted a charity function on March 4 for the Children’s Cancer Institute of Australia at which about $250,000 was raised. Afterwards, the West Tigers player went out with his girlfriend for a few drinks, but was reported to not have been drunk. They later went to a Sydney McDonald’s store.
There was another win for “people’s power” in Egypt when interim prime minister Ahmed Shafiq resigned on March 3. Shafiq was sworn in by the overthrown dictator Hosni Mubarak and is closely associated with the old regime. He was replaced by former transport minister Essam Sharaf, who was asked by the military government to form a cabinet in the lead-up to elections scheduled for later this year.
The Egyptian people’s revolution has entered a new phase after the fall of dictator Hosni Mubarak on February 11. The first reaction to Mubarak’s resignation after 18 days of continuous protests was one of celebration. Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the centre of the uprising, turned into the scene of a giant party for days afterwards in celebration of the exit of Mubarak, who had ruled Egypt for three decades. Undoubtedly, the widespread feeling was that it was time to begin building a “new Egypt”.
In a world-shaking event, after 18 days of constant street protests, the Egyptian people’s revolution won a huge victory when dictator Hosni Mubarak finally resigned on February 11. On that day, designated the “Day of Departure” by protesters, an estimated 20 million people (out of a population of about 80 million) were reported to have taken to the streets. They defied a regime that had tried to crush the movement in blood. More than 300 people have been killed by security forces or pro-regime thugs since the uprising broke out on January 25. More coverage: