democracy

International Socialist Review editor Ahmed Shawki reports from Cairo on the latest mass protests against Hosni Mubarak--and what the future holds for Egypt's uprising. This was first posted on February 2 at www.socialistworker.org .

More coverage:
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal
Al Jazeera live streaming from Egypt on the rising
Live blogging by the Angry Arab

AlJazeera.net reported on January 29 that new protests had erupted in the Middle Eastern nation of Yemen, which sits at the bottom of the Arab peninnsular, demanding an end to the regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The site reported on January 28 that thousands had also taken to the streets in anti-government protests in Jordan, with people angry over price rises and unemployment.

On January 29, AlJazeera.net wrote on Yemen:

About 40 people attended a ‘Hands off WikiLeaks’ rally held in Franklin Square, Hobart on January 29.

Speakers from the Greens, the Socialist Alliance, the Secular Party, Young Libertarians and unaligned individuals addressed the rally. They called on the Australian government to support Julian Assange, defend WikiLeaks and support the right to free speech and freedom of information.

“Haiti’s infamous dictator ‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier, returned to his country this week, while the country's first elected President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, is kept out”, Mark Weisbrot wrote in the January 20 Huffington Post.

“These two facts really say everything about Washington’s policy toward Haiti, and our government's respect for democracy in that country and in the region.”

The trials of the creator of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, and of international terrorist Luis Posada Carriles began with less than a 24-hour difference on January 10 and 11.

One took place in London and the other in El Paso, Texas.

While the champion of freedom of information, Assange, was being accused by US officials of the very serious crime of terrorism, the confessed terrorist, Posada, was simply tried for immigration law violations.

Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez has passed a series of laws to help people affected by floods, including big investment in new housing.

Venezuelanalysis.com said on January 20: “Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez issued a law-decree on Tuesday to address ‘rights and justice’ of the roughly 125,000 Venezuelans made homeless during last year’s record-setting rains and floods.”

Chavez said the “Law for Dignified Refuge” would serve to “institutionalise” the concept of a “dignified and human refuge” and establish the responsibilities of the government.

See also: US, Israel oppose Arab democracy

Papers leaked to Al-Jazeera, as well as secret US cables published by WikiLeaks, have exposed how Israel and the United States have used the Middle East “peace process” to push total capitulation on the Palestinian side.

This merely confirms what many Palestinians already knew.

Ongoing mass demonstrations, strikes and riots have rocked Egypt since January 25.

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in national protests on January 25 to demand an end to the United States-backed dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak.

The regime has responded with brutality. By January 30, the media had reported at least 100 people had been killed.

The regime has responded to the unrest by shutting down the internet — a key organising tool of the protests — across the country.

Support the Egyptian people solidarity protests:
Brisbane: Friday February 4, 5pm. Brisbane Square (top of Queen St mall, outside Casino)
Sydney:Saturday 5 February, 12-3pm at Town Hall. Called by Egyptian community.
See also:
US, Israel oppose Arab democracy
Tunisia: Mass protests to deepen revolution
Egypt: Uprising hits hated regime

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