Posts Tagged ‘middle-east’
There have been quick condemnations by the Islamist Ennahda-led government and other religious figures. The Minister of Education, Abdellatif Abid, a member of the once ‘socialist‘ party, Ettakatol, who has called the dancing ‘indecent‘.
From Tunis to Beirut or Cairo, Arab youths have posted YouTube videos where one person starts dancing before the video cuts to a large group of people, in costume or in their underwear, moving frenetically to electronic music.
While in the West the “Harlem Shake” is the latest bizarre — and hilarious — internet trend, the break-dancing performances have turned into a light-hearted way to protest against Islamists in several Arab countries.
Dozens of Tunisian university students scuffled this week against Salafi extremists, who were trying to prevent them from filming what they regard as “indecent” dancing.
There doesn’t appear to be much the Islamists can do to stop young people enjoying themselves and demanding freedom.
Tunisian Human Rights and Trade Union Activists Mobilise Today: Pacte de Tunisie des droits et libertés.
PARIS : Great event “Signing for a Tunisia of freedoms.”
Launch of the International Campaign in support of the Tunisian Pact of Rights and Freedoms Tunisia, Freedom, Human, Rights, Pact, FIDH, IADH, 2013, Civil, Society
Théâtre Dujazet, Paris, France 41 Boulevard du Temple, 75003 Paris
Monday, February 25,20:00 to 23:00
IADH, FIDH and Opinion Internationale launch this international campaign in support of the Tunisian Pact initiated by IADH with the support of the Tunisian Workers General Union (UGTT), the Tunisian League for Human Rights (LTDH), Tunisian Journalists Workers Union (SNJT), National Order of Tunisian Lawyers (ONAT), Tunisian Association of Democratic Women (ATFD), Tunisian section of Amnesty.
The Pacte of Tunisia is available in French at http://www.fidh.org/Signez-pour-la-Tunisie-des-12904
It begins, “Affirmer que la protection des droits et des libertés, qui y sont proclamés, est un espace partagé où s’épanouit la citoyenneté et s’affirme l’appartenance à la communauté des peuples épris de libertés. Affirmer que la promotion des droits et des libertés est un choix patriotique, pour nous comme pour les générations futures. C’est également une méthode pour la construction de la société démocratique nouvelle. More on site.
This affirmation of human rights by the Tunisian labour movement and human rights activists is of great importance.
It comes after the assassination of comrade Chokri Belaid – a crime many suspect can be laid at the door of the Islamist “Leagues for the protection of the Revolution.”
This killing has international repercussions.
In Egypt, this was reported over the weekend,
“As Tunisia reels from the implications of the assassination of Tunisian opposition leader Chokri Belaid, once again, events in the small North African country are reverberating further east in Egypt. A video of the ultraconservative cleric Mahmoud Shaaban posted on YouTube days before the assassination has since gone viral, leading to nationwide condemnation from all sides of the political spectrum. In the video, Shaaban condoned the killing of opposition figures, specifically singling out Mohamed ElBaradei and Hamdeen Sabbahi, two longtime activist figures and former presidential candidates. Egypt Independent.
The Tunisian Islamist Ennahda-led government has appointed the hard-line Justice Minister, Ali Laarayedh, as the new Prime Minister.
The Pacte for freedom is important initiative.
The battle over the new Tunisian constitution, between those who support universal human rights, and those who think they were elected by god to impose Islamic law, promises to be fierce.
“On manifeste contre la France parce qu’elle soutient des gens
qui veulent nous imposer une Tunisie de gauche”.
Les islamistes tunisiens sur la défensive.
L’ Humanité reports today on Saturday’s Islamist Demonstration in Tunis.
After the massive protests over the assassination of Chokri Belaïd Ennahdha has tried to organise an equal response. But their march-on Saturday only drew a few thousand.
The demonstrators attacked France “for interference” in Tunisian affairs .
Present were four leaders of the Islamist party, Ameur Larayedh and Lotfi Zitoune, the government minister, Slim Ben H’midane, of the Congrès pour la république (CPR, centre left) – the President Moncef Marzouki‘s party.
They denounced the assassination as a plot against “national unity”.
They then went on the shout against the “election losers”, who refused to dialogue with the government and called to “protect the legitimacy of the ballot box”. The crowd shouted, “National Unity”. “The people want Ennahdha” and “France respect yourself!”
The French Embassy was targeted. Marchers cried, “Dégage la France! (Piss off France!). A child carried a placard saying, ”Shut up France! (France tais-toi),.
“La violence ? Ce n’est pas nous, c’est eux, la gauche»
Who killed the left leader? To one of the marchers it was clear, “Il son ami et il accuse ses adversaires (He kills his friend and accuses his enemies). » Saïd, said, “It was an internal party fight.”
Set Back for the Demonstration.
One thing is clear: orders were given to make sure that the demonstration looked peaceful and happy.
However this Islamist march, for all its festive air, was a set back.
It showed that the Islamists’ capacity to mobilise is waning.
There have been reports in the last few days (see notably this) of the emergence of an Egyptian Black Bloc.
Albawaba has just reported, here.,
In 2013, an anarchist group called the Black Bloc appeared on the Egyptian revolutionary scene and got incredible media attention. Despite their very low numbers (maximum 100 combined in all incidents all over Egypt), the media went into a state of utter frenzy over this new group and the circus started in earnest, culminating in the appearance of one Black Bloc member on a TV show with a sock on his face. The fun thing about this absurdity is that everyone seems to be taking them seriously, but the dangerous thing is that it might continue.
The article suggests, no doubt correctly, that this benefits the Muslim Brotherhood regime,
The genius of turning the Black Bloc into the new enemy is how perfect they are for it. An anarchist group that targets the police, public structures and roads, juxtaposed against the Brotherhood who are always calling for stability. It doesn’t hurt that the Black Bloc has no real structure, charter, spokespeople or leadership.
Nevertheless it is interesting to see that autonomist/anarchist politics have finally breached the frontier of the Arab world.
And there is this: in the Guardian on women sexually assaulted during the anti-Morsi demonstrations.
“Two middle-aged women were guided around the tent to us – the men protecting us had rescued them from the mob. While we were being urged into the field clinic, the group moving out of the square included remnants of the Egyptian Women for Change march, mostly women over 40, which had been attacked and dispersed in the square. Many women made it away from Tahrir, but a few got stuck in the throng – including the women now with us.
One woman, shaking and crying, put her head on my shoulder, and I wrapped my arms around her. Her companion screamed and yelled. Gameela pleaded with her to save her energy; we had no idea what would happen next, or how long we would stay out of sight – and reach – of the mob. Another woman, also rescued from the mob, soon joined us, crying and yelling.
Suddenly men wearing black ski masks and carrying long knives and clubs were jumping the fence to our left. It was impossible to tell which side they were on, but they turned out to be from the Black Bloc and joined those protecting us. Some of them were now trying to rescue another woman stripped naked by the mob metres away.”
I think better, a lot lot better, of the Black Bloc after reading that.