WAKE UP!! It's yer sort-of-weekly...
The free weekly direct action newsheet published in Brighton since 1994 - Copyleft - Information for Action
Violent clashes continue between Egyptian police and protesters in the latest round of resistance on the streets of Cairo. Tahrir Square, which since February has become a synonym for mass civil uprising, has again become the focal point for Egypt's ongoing revolution. The generals (aka the SCAF) who claimed power in a palace coup on the backs of tanks and promises, 18 days after the uprising began, have refused to hand over to civilian rule, the constitution they want the country to accept will enshrine the supremacy of the army, allowing only a democratic figleaf.
Thursday (24th) became the 7th day of this most recent turmoil. Police wanted to block protesters from getting near the Interior Ministry Building, whilst protesters wanted to stop police from gaining access to Tahrir Square. Police have not entered the square for the past two days. Protesters have been throwing rocks at police, who have responded in (un)kind. Unfortunately that is not the only offensive tactic Egyptian police forces have used. One protester, Husam Said, related “the police are also shooting metal bullets and some protesters have already lost their eyes from this.” There is a first aid point in Tahrir Square trying to deal with the surge of injured people, over 2,000 so far. Volunteers have been overwhelmed with work as they try to make sure all protesters receive treatment and medical supplies. They are using Twitter to organise the delivery of medicine to field hospitals around the square.
Egyptian forces are using very dangerous and potentially fatal tear gases, different to CS gas. The likely suspects are rumoured to be CN gas, a crowd control gas used by the US before CS gained its current popularity and CR gas. There have been reports from protesters seeing cans with “CR” written on them. Both gases are a lot more dangerous than CS, known to cause unconsciousness and epileptic-like seizures. They smell different to CS gas and cause a burning sensation on the skin and rashes. Recent deaths in Cairo have been caused by gas asphyxiation. A doctor, Dr Ahmad Sa'ad, treating patients said, “We have been attacked with four different kinds of gas bombs, I have never seen these ones before. You can be 100 metres away from the gas bombs and they will still affect you”. Gas canisters more than 5 years old become more toxic and some of the canisters being used are over 10 years old. One activist described the effects of the gas, “I was wearing a gas mask. My eyes and mouth were covered as was my skin. I felt weak and dizzy. I started coughing up blood.” He was still coughing up blood 15 hours after being exposed to it. What is supposedly a unruly crowd control device is being used as blatant punishment.
More than 40 people have died during the course of the past few days. But fear not Egypt's military rulers have apologised with the following sentence “The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces expresses deep sorrow and apology for the martyrdom of Egyptians in recent incidents in Tahrir”. With such a sincere and heartfelt apology, we obviously don't have to worry about any more deaths - phew. They really sound like they mean it this time.
The parliamentary elections are still scheduled to begin on Monday(28th), although the exercise seems pointless until the military council consent to transfer power to a civil authority. The hope for the future that was to be found in many protesters after overthrowing the 30year old regime of Hosni Mubarak is becoming extinct as the reality of a different regime hits and keeps hitting them everyday. One of the focal points for the protests is defence Minister Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi (aka Mubarak Jnr), head of the military council, who briefly (in terms of dinosaur years) took power. The most popular chant in Cairo at the moment is “the people demand that Marshal leaves”. The elections are losing their validity in the protesters eyes; “What are elections worth when the army continues to hold on to power and the police continues to go crazy unchecked”. Indeed.
Events in Egypt this spring had the right attitude, empowering the people, overthrowing a 30 year old regime, demanding justice and fair treatment. Nine months down the line the Mubarak regime reigns on without Mubarak. Egyptians - welcome to real democracy. At least now after their successful coup, ordinary Egyptians are no longer prepared to abide with the behaviour of their despots. The struggle continues, the military regime remains to be overthrown and the fight is far from over.
On Saturday 26th November there is a march to the Egyptian embassy in London. Meet near Edgeware Road tube station, 12 noon. This march is not just about solidarity, but to pressure the British government to not sell more weapons to the military regime.
Schnews gets the real dirt on the refuse situation as Brighton's Cityclean workers take to the streets once again, despite pressure from the Council.
Hundreds of anti-capitalistas confront an overwhelming police presence in London as part of a pre-emptive strike against the G8 summit
Russian anti-fascist unfairly imprisoned under Putin's new house rules.
Sudanese refugees and supporters protest in London to highlight the 10 year anniversary of the conflict which ripped apart their regions.
Anti-cuts protesters block Lord Freud's Highgate London home and stage "evict a millionaire" demo.
Thatcher-haters party into the night.
In solidarity with 235 Sussex University workers whose jobs are threatened with privatisation, protesters from around the country converge on Sussex University's campus (alread site of an ongoing occupation), invade management HQ and make a bonfire out of corporate files.
If the “world leaders” heading to Enniskillen in June were hoping for an easy protest-free ride they were sadly mistaken