(ynetnews) (Video) Since uprising began Mubarak government has claimed security forces not using live fire against protestors, but footage posted on YouTube apparently points to the contrary
VIDEO – Footage of what appears to be an Egyptian protester being shot dead by police in Alexandria has been posted on YouTube, the British newspaper Daily Mail reported Sunday.
The clip, which has not been confirmed as authentic, is apparently the latest recorded evidence that Egyptian security forces have been using live fire against anti-government protestors, despite the regime’s claims to the contrary. Read more…
(ipsnews.net) A Time of More Complex Global Crises
RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 4, 2011 (IPS) – Neoliberalism and the attendant financial globalisation were a common enemy that unified and mobilised activists of the most diverse tendencies who founded, ten years ago in Porto Alegre in southern Brazil, the World Social Forum (WSF) as a space to meet, reflect and debate, under the slogan “Another World Is Possible”.
But in its 11th year, the WSF is meeting Feb. 6-11 in Dakar, Senegal, at a time when neoliberal, free-market policies stand out less in a world threatened by collapse from a combination of crises: financial, climate change, food and water.
U.S. imperialism, another favourite target of the activists, has seen its economic clout wane while another superpower, China, emerges with its own colonial practices, although without militarism or the export of its belief system and way of life — for now.
The dynamic growth of the emerging economies has pulled hundreds of millions of people out of extreme poverty. But inequality in the world and within countries is still marked, as is the hunger people face on many parts of the planet.
The climate threat is felt in the rising number of people killed and displaced by extreme weather events, and the increasing losses suffered by agriculture.
Finance has a strong destructive force, with 860 trillion dollars in speculative capital circulating around the globe — 13 times global GDP — according to the Bank of International Settlements.
All of which is aggravated by “planetary misgovernance” — the lack of institutions capable of dealing with “global problems,” according to Brazilian economist Ladislau Dowbor, who is heading to Dakar to share the ideas of a group of intellectuals who, under the title “Crises and Opportunities”, are discussing systemic solutions for the “convergent crises.”
The growing concentration of wealth that has left two-thirds of humanity excluded from progress and living on just six percent of global income is not sustainable, said Dowbor, a professor at the Catholic University of São Paulo.
Nor is it possible to continue forward on this “environmental Titanic,” exhausting natural resources, “the soil, the marine life,” he added.
The basic document of the group of intellectuals that includes Dowbor, Polish-French “ecosocioeconomist” Ignacy Sachs, and British futurist and evolutionary economist Hazel Henderson, rejects “simplified visions of the social decision-making process,” calls for rescuing “the public dimension of the state,” and suggests replacing GDP as the main economic indicator, among other recommendations.
The WSF is returning to Africa for its eighth global edition just as a popular uprising has toppled the dictatorship in Tunisia and another one is threatening to do the same in Egypt.
This year’s Forum “will be vibrant, with new people,” but it will take place in precarious conditions, “with one-third of the initially projected budget,” said one of the founders of the WSF, Cándido Grzybowski, director of the Brazilian Institute of Social and Economic Analysis (IBASE).
In many of the events, for example, there will be no simultaneous interpreters.
Some 50,000 participants are expected, one-third of the total who registered in the last global edition, held in 2009 in the northern Brazilian city of Belém in the Amazon jungle. “But that figure could double, with the influx of Europeans,” Grzybowski hopes.
Senegal has a population 15 times smaller than Brazil’s, said Chico Whitaker, another WSF founder, who explained that 80 percent of participants in these events generally come from the host country.
The Latin American presence will be much smaller, partly due to the financial difficulties faced by non-governmental organisations as a result of the decline in foreign donor funds, aggravated by unfavourable exchange rates and scarcity of national financing. And air tickets to Dakar are costly, because there are no direct flights from Latin America; flights go through Europe.
The organisational limitations in Dakar reflect the lack of government support, lending credence to the position taken by one Brazilian current of activists who held a thematic forum last year in the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia and who advocate alliances with progressive governments, to strengthen WSF events and give them a broader impact.
The WSF defines itself as a civil society initiative in which government leaders only participate as guests in events organised by social movements and organisations. However, most of the global editions, including the five held in Brazil, have received financial support from national or local governments.
Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, a guest at previous editions, will now take part in Dakar as a “member of civil society” in a seminar on Monday Feb. 7, the Africa and Diaspora Day in the WSF 2011 schedule.
Lula has announced that Brazil’s relations with Africa will be a priority in his post-government activities.
For the next unified global Forum, which has been held every two years since 2005 — the others are “polycentric,” with different regional events — many Brazilians want to bring the WSF back to its origins in Porto Alegre, while others are pushing for it to be held in Bahia, the state with the largest proportion of people of African descent.
But Europe, another strong candidate for hosting the 2013 edition, is focusing on other approaches, such as attempting to have an impact on the big issues of the moment.
However, it is the new paradigms of “another world” of the future, more than current challenges, that are of greatest concern to the founders of the WSF. “Development that is killing life on the planet is a major problem,” said Grzybowski, who ruled out “the green economy” as a solution, saying it is really just “greenwashed capitalism” that does not modify the mechanisms underlying the tragedy.
His proposal is “to go beyond the WSF” and take advantage of next year’s Rio+20, the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development, which will bring up-to-date the debate launched at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.
Social movements should organise a strong presence at the 2012 conference, to forge an alliance with the Brazilian government with a view to changing the way the environment and development are thought about, he said.
Global problems are immense and complex, but “the world doesn’t stop, and people make history,” as seen in the Arab world in the last few days, he said.
By Mario Osava
(libcom.org) Reflections On the Cairo Commune by the Fanon scholar Nigel Gibson.
Quite remarkable (but not surprising) that after less than two weeks
Tahrir square has developed a system of participatory. While
constantly worrying about the reaction (along the lines Marx describes
in the 18th Brumaire) people are making history and coming up with
working forms of decision making. My source is no lefty paper but the Guardian:
‘In Tahrir, the square that has become the focal point for the
nationwide struggle against Mubarak’s three-decade dictatorship,
groups of protesters have been debating what their precise goals
should be in the face of their president’s continuing refusal to stand
The Guardian has learned that delegates from these mini-gatherings
then come together to discuss the prevailing mood, before potential
demands are read out over the square’s makeshift speaker system. The
adoption of each proposal is based on the proportion of cheers or boos
it receives from the crowd at large.
Delegates have arrived in Tahrir from other parts of the country that
have declared themselves liberated from Mubarak’s rule, including the
major cities of Alexandria and Suez, and are also providing input into
“When the government shut down the web, politics moved on to the
street, and that’s where it has stayed,” said one youth involved in
the process. “It’s impossible to construct a perfect decision-making
mechanism in such a fast-moving environment, but this is as democratic
as we can possibly be.”
“Genuine opposition politics in this country has always relied on
people taking the initiative, and that’s what we’re seeing here – on a
truly astounding level,” said Ahdaf Soueif, an Egyptian author who has
been closely monitoring the spontaneous political activity on the
ground. “There is more transparency and equality here in Tahrir than
anything we’ve ever seen under the Mubarak regime; anyone and everyone
can have their say, and that makes the demands that come out of the
process even more powerful.”‘
One example of the flowering of “groups”, discussions, statements,
reminiscent of revolutions is below from the brilliantly named
‘coalition of youths of the wrath revolution’,
Press Conference in El-Shorook Newspaper Headquarters
Fellow great Egyptian citizens … We are your your daughters, your
brothers and sisters who are protesting in Tahrir square and other
squares of Egypt, promise you not to go back to our homes until the
demands of your great revolution are realized.
Millions have gone out to overthrow the regime, and so the matter goes
beyond figures in particular to the whole administration of the
Egyptian State, which was transformed from a servant of the people to
a master of the them.
We have heard the president’s disappointing speech. And really someone
who has killed more than 300 youths, kidnapped and injured thousands
more is not entitled to brag about past glories. Nor are his followers
entitled to talk about the President’s dignity, because the dignity
life and security of the Egyptian people is far more valuable than any
single person’s dignity no matter how high a position he holds.
Our people live though tragedy for a week now, since Mubarak’s regime
practiced a siege against us, releasing criminals and outlaws to
terrorize us, imposing a curfew, stopping public transportation,
closing banks, cutting off communications and shutting down the
internet .. But if it was not for the courage of Egyptian youths who
stayed up nights in the People’s Committees it would have been a
We want this crisis to end as soon as possible and for our lives and
our families’ lives to get back to normal, but we do not trust Hosni
Mubarak in leading the transitional period. He is the same person, who
refused over the past 30 years any real political and economic
reforms, and he hired criminals to attack Tahrir square and the
peaceful demonstrators there, killing dozens and enjuring thousands –
including women, elderly, and children.
Also, we will not allow the corrupt to remain in charge of the state
institutions; therefore, we will continue our sit-in until the
following demands are realized:
1- The resignation of the President and by the way this does not
contradict the peaceful transition of power nor the current
constitution which allows and organizes this process.
2- the immediate lifting of the state of emergency and releasing all
freedoms and putting an immediate stop to the humiliation and torture
that takes place in police stations
3- the immediate dissolve of both the Parliament and Shura Council
4- forming a national unity government that political forces agree
upon which manages the processes of constitutional and political
5- forming a judicial committee with the participation of some figures
from local human rights organizations to investigate the perpetrators
of the collapse of state of security this past week and the murder and
injury of thousands of our people.
6- Military in charge of protecting peaceful protestors from thugs and
criminal affiliated with the corrupt regime and ensuring the safety of
medical and nutritional convoys to civilians
7- the immediate release of all political detainees and in their
forefront our colleague Wael Ghoneim
Last a quite moving youtube video of a (young) girl leading the chants
at the square:
by Nigel Gibson