Reporting the Revolution: February 14

(7 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

class=”BrightcoveExperience”>With Hosni Mubarak gone and rumors running rampant on his fortune, health and whereabouts, promises of democracy and reform from the military, one would think that the revolution was finished. Today, despite threats of arrest and pleas to go back to work, thousands of striking workers took to the streets again in Tahrir Square and across Egypt demanding better pay and working conditions. Even the police held a demonstration. Even though the internet and phone service is working, the press is still being harassed. There have been reports of camera equipment confiscated, reporters taken into custody and the military has ordered Al Jazeera to stop filming the protests. However, the state media has now taken to praising the revolution with proclamations of “the people ousted the regime”.

The military is walking a very fine line trying to get the economy running and a semblance of order so the government transition can progress to elections in September, as hoped. Banks did not open today because of the continuing protests and tomorrow is a bank holiday. The military council has promised that banks will open on Wednesday.

Protests in other countries are getting larger and louder, as the young Arabs grow weary of stifling regimes. There were many large demonstrations in Iran, Yemen, and Bahrain disregarding bans by governments and the strong presence of police and military.

Guardian has a Live Blog from their reporters in Egypt and around the region refreshes automatically every minute. .

The “Jasmine Revolution” that started in Tunisia is growing It is going to be an interesting summer.

Here is a round up of news:

Clashes reported in Iran protests

Pro-reformist marches under way in Tehran despite a heavy security presence and police crackdown.

There are reports in social media sites and non-state Iranian news sites of clashes between protesters and security forces in Tehran, the Iranian capital.

Thousands of demonstrators were marching on Monday on Enghelab and Azadi streets [which connect and create a straight path through the city centre], with a heavy presence in Enghelab Square and Vali-Asr Street, according to these reports.

Several clashes have been reported on Twitter, the micro-blogging site, with claims of some demonstrators being teargassed and others beaten and arrested.

Al Jazeera’s Dorsa Jabbari, in Tehran, confirmed reports that security forces used tear gas, pepper spray and batons against the protesters.

She said up to 10,000 security forces had been deployed to prevent protesters from gathering at Azadi Square, where the marches, originating from various points in Tehran, were expected to converge.

Young Arabs who can’t wait to throw off shackles of tradition

The frustrated generation at the heart of the protests tell how their progress is being stifled by unemployment and corruption

They live with their parents, hang out in cafes, Facebook their friends, study in their spare time, listen to local rappers – and despair about ever being able to get a good, fulfilling job and start a family. The young people at the vanguard of the protests sweeping the Arab world are an exasperated demographic, the lucky ones stuck in poorly paid jobs they hate, the unlucky ones touting degrees that don’t get them anywhere, an entire generation muzzled by tradition, deference and authoritarian rule.

WikiLeaks cables: Egyptian military head is ‘old and resistant to change’

US ambassador to Cairo gives his opinion on Muhammad Tantawi and number two general, Sami Enan

Nothing Egypt’s military council has done in its past suggests it has the capacity or inclination to introduce speedy and radical change. Guaranteed its $1.3bn (£812m) annual grant from the US – a dividend from the Camp David peace accord with Israel – it has gained the reputation as a hidebound institution with little appetite for reform.

Army urges Egyptians to end strikes

Military council calls on workers to play their role in reviving the economy after almost three weeks of turmoil.

Egypt state media changes sides

Loyal government mouthpieces to the end of Mubarak’s rule, state-run media outlets now celebrate the revolution.

Egyptian minds are opened

Upheaval has opened the door to political and economic reform, but its most lasting effect may be psychological.


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    • TMC on February 14, 2011 at 11:18 pm
    • Edger on February 15, 2011 at 2:09 am

    the Egyptian military has ordered Al Jazeera to stop filming the protests. The military is on the protesters side! Everybody knows that, right? They just don’t want the poor protesters to look bad on tv, that’s all. 😉

    The party – and what a party – is over. Now it’s hangover time – and what a hangover.

    Meet the new boss, or the Pharaoh rebuilt as Shiva; the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. If this was Southeast Asia, people would say “same same – but different”.

    Instead of a police state, it’s communique time (talk about a throwback to the 1970s). President and vice president dissolved. Parliament dissolved (but with Pharaoh-appointed Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq insisting the current kangaroo cabinet will be in place for that “orderly transition”.) Constitution suspended. The army trying to impose the notion it will run Egypt for the next six months. Vaguely sinister expected curbs on strikes and “chaos and disorder”.

    What can a Democrat, Nobel Peace Prize President of the United States do, except to support a military coup? (Yet another throwback to the 1960s and 1970s). Recap: the White House and the State Department wanted Hosni Mubarak gone.

    But Saudi Arabia, Israel and the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) badly wanted him to stay.


    Way beyond the inevitable clash in Egypt of demographic explosion and economic crisis, what is literally freaking out the West is that its elites know what the vast majority of Egyptians don’t want. A truly democratic, sovereign Egyptian government cannot possibly remain a slave of US foreign policy.


    The key slogan of the revolution has been “The people want the downfall of the regime”. It has already generated a spin-off; “The people want the liberation of Palestine”. Stay glued to the weather reports; the real volcano has not even erupted.

    Under The (Egyptian) Volcano, by Pepe Escobar, Feb 14, 2011

    • Diane G on February 15, 2011 at 3:25 am

    DEARLY appreciate if these revolution essays could be crossposted to me, you have a grasp, and do your homework, to an extant I am totally incapable of these days.

    I understand if you can’t, you are so busy, but I do want you to know, I read them as primary source material for reality, and didn’t want you to go unappreciated.

  1. commercial channels. The new global order has seriously reduced the ability of the nation state to be self sustaining. The fact that the Egyptians might trust the army more than any other insititution speaks for itself. It suggests that national identity may now be swallowed up by the delusion of power, a sort of collective survival psychology.

    When things go bad, and doubt sets in, “we” look to the army for comfort. It’s “our” knee jerk historical response. Here in the U.S., we see oxymoronic peacetime military growth of ridiculous proportion. Why? Because it’s “our” foundational identity. It’s our mythos just like the ephemeral nations and empires of antiquity. We are severed from our real history as humans.

    Modern man has cut off the hand that fed him. The world today subsists on the botanical wizardry of our deep ancestors, the real indigenous mothers and fathers. With patience and care they gave us things like potatoes, corn, wheat etc. without which we’d be shit out of luck. What are today’s armies protecting anyhow, but simple identity.

    It’s a world wide existential crisis. We are Egypt, Athens, Calcutta, Paris and Havana and every other place.

    Wool and cotton is man too. So are medicines.

    Politics and armies are vestiges of Babylon. Wealth cannot really be found in gold, oil and derivitives. Better fruit and fertilizer.

    Back to Egypt. No pun intended. Structural change in the land of the pyramid? Like the one on our dollar bill? Novus ordo seclorum? We are the Egyptians. Watch us demand food, clothing and medicine. Is it time yet, or are we running out of it?  

  2. The lunatic Iranian “parliament” in their gov’t house chants for the execution of opposition leaders….

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