There is much discussion about the revolutionary wave, which started in Tunisia late last year, being “Arab revolutions“.
That is not completely true; it tends to underrate the global significance of pro-democracy movements which originated in Tunisia and Egypt. Burkina Faso is not Arab. Swaziland is not Arab. Albania is not Arab. Italy is not Arab. Wisconsin in the USA is not Arab. Etc.
And Spain is not Arab.
This video says about itself:
Hoping to repeat the success of Egyptian people power, various groups in Spain have occupied Madrid’s main square of “Puerta del Sol”.
Students, workers and the unemployed have called their protests the May 15 movement signifying when they first came out onto the streets in 50 cities across the country.
Like the Arab Spring activists they use twitter and the internet to rally support.
Calling for fewer police and more education the demonstrators say their arms are their weapons.
This is a Dutch TV video on the Puerta del Sol demonstrators.
From ThinkSpain today:
Thousands join Puerta del Sol protest
More than 10,000 people have gathered at the Puerta del Sol in Madrid to demand political and social change.
There is a notable police presence, but there so far the protest has been a peaceful one in a carnival atmosphere and there have been no major clashes to date.
In the centre of the Puerta del Sol square, there are thousands of people chanting and waving banners with slogans like “make the guilty pay for the recession” or “the struggle is on the streets, not in parliament”.
The demonstration has attracted huge media attention, with journalists from a number of different newspapers and TV stations down in the square with the protestors.
At 11pm, one group of protestors starting preparing a to camp out over night, as was the case last night and as the protestors intend to carry on doing until election day on Sunday.
The original protest was held in central Madrid on Sunday and resulted in 19 people being arrested for public order offences and many others sustaining minor injuries.
Similar protests are being held in 13 different Spanish cities, as well as at Spanish embassies around the world, including London.
Meanwhile the Greek government, as a Nato member, has bought in the last years military aircraft from Lockheed Martin: 20 F16Cs and 10 F16D52s, the latter at a cost of $2 billion. That is billion not million.
AFRO-ASIAN PEOPLES’ SOLIDARITY ORGANIZATION
AAPSO Secretariat issued the following press release:
Glory to Peoples
Revolutions reverberated through much of the Arab Countries from the Ocean to the Gulf where millions of people participated with the slogan “Peoples demand change”. It seemed that Arab people or most of them agreed over one thing and it is the rejection of all what exists and claim the political, socio-economic deep reform and demanding the founding of a new civil state, all this through peaceful peoples marches.
Led by the youth this struggle which had been joined by all sections of the society who suffered oppression, and subservience. Peoples’ demands seemed to focus mainly on all internal issues that are directly related to dignity, justice, freedom, unemployment, poverty and rising prices. However, this was not the true, as these demands were common to all Arab nations in addition to other special demands due to the specificity of each society and due to the regional and international status that play basic role on upsurge of these revolutions.
Arab countries are forced to stick to economic openness and luxury consumption as well as the imposition of the market laws and free trade. Besides opening markets to the economy of foreign invasion under the name of trade liberalization, without limitations or restrictions that control and organize it. All these factors hit the national emerging and the non-competitive economies. Also, it increased the percentages of unemployment and poverty line to the bottom and price hikes. Also, governments became incapable of controlling the leading role. They have turned to a junior partner for the foreigners at the expense of their peoples. They persisted in this subject and had abdicated its role in providing key services such as education, health, training and employment and turned to be a police force that protect the brutality of capitalist and privatized the property assets of peoples. Our countries witnessed stages of waste of nations’ wealth and natural resources and looting of money which exceeded the colonial crisis.
Some governments became closest to the power of authoritarian that exercise state terrorism. Others had the use of aircrafts, heavy weapons, naval military and mercenary to exterminate their nations.
Many of these governments had good relations with the USA as an international power provide domestic supports , so it’s committed to its policy in the region. These governments became dictatorial and careless to their nations which led to a serious decline in community, spread of corruption, rich peoples became richer and poor became poorer and societies sunk to the purile cultures based on hypocrisy and the dependency syndromes, and scientific and creative thinking was deteriorated.
Despite the dictatorial regimes ruled the nations, and the future became darker and darker with no hopes, the youth had the opinion to hold their fate and to determine their destiny. They believe that they need work to change the existing situation so as to achieve better life and to protect the achievements of their ancestors. They work towards establishment of civilized project, drafting new constitutions to be prepared by their own initiatives not by foreigners that cope with this new age.
High sounded slogans emerged on the sky of the Arab World such as the slogans of freedom, pride, dignity and justice. In addition to the slogans related to freedom of opinion, expression, organization, media and the devolution of power, social justice and sustainable development.
The Afro- Asian Peoples’ Solidarity Organization as always stand with the people in their struggle for liberation and welfare, it stands firmly on the side of the right and by the revolutions of Arab people and their legitimate rights. We start a new world , the world of peoples revolutions throughout the world. Let’s open the door for those revolutions with our motto.
glory to all glory to peoples
Situation in Yemen
AAPSO Secretariat had a meeting with Dr. Abd El-Malek Mansour, the Yemeni permanent Deputy to the Arab League and the representative of the Yemeni Council for Peace and Solidarity to AAPSO.
Dr. Abd EL-Malek presented a speech that he addressed at the permanent deputy meeting at the Arab League on 22-3-2011. His speech tackled the Yemeni crisis which began after the election in 2006, in which initiatives appeared about the conflicts inside the ruling party and the coalition of the opposition parties.
When the youth organized demonstrations in all parts of Yemen in a civilized way, they were attacked by gangs. Therefore, some of them were injured and others were murdered. On 18 March 2011, the protests called of the Yemeni President Ali Abdullah to step down, so they were subjected to assassinations by trained snipers.
Dr. Abd El-Malek phoned President Ali Abdullah, requesting him to step down as peoples demanded and not to kill his “sons”, he meant his students at the University.
At the end of his speech, Dr. Abd El-Malek appealed Mr. President Ali Abdullah to step down to save peoples’ lives and the sovereignty of Yemen.
He declared that he hasn’t resigned from his position as a deputy of Yemen, and he is still representing his nation, as a representative to the revolution.
AAPSO members commended his action describing it as the right position. Then they discussed and reviewed all Arab Revolutions. AAPSO is a mass organization and it will support all struggles for establishment of democracy, prosperity and welfare. This is the time for Arab Peoples to assert their willingness.
CSOs Appeal from Bahrain
The Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Bahrain, appeal for help in face of mass systematic murder against the unarmed people of Bahrain, demanding legitimate rights for democratic system which respects its rights Bahrain has been witnessing mass attacks by the riot police, armed militia, and lately Bahraini Armed forces and Saudi-Gulf Forces, against the protesters and civilian people and areas in the Shia area in the capital Manama, Muhraq, Sitra, Hamad Town most of Northern and Middle Region along Budia Road.
This was culminated with mass attack against Sitra Island on Tue. 15 which left 3 killed and hundreds were wounded. The dawn of Wed. 16, witnessed sweeping attack against LULU circle (Martyr Sq.), where in addition to riot police, Bahraini and Saudi armed forces participated using fire arms of all
kinds, while 6 Apatchi copters roamed skies in intimidation.
In both days ambulances from central Salmannia hospital were prevented from taking causalities, and staffs were assaulted. In Sitra, the Local Medical Center was besieged and attacked by the militia. In Lulu Circle, close to Slamanya, ambulances were barred, Salmanya hospital was besieged and then broken through by riot police, in order to arrest the wounded. Electricity was cut off the Lulu Circle, all surrounding area and Salmanya hospital. Mobile service was cut off all northern region of Bahrain till 10 am.
The attacks against Shia residential areas are continuing by riot police and armed militias.
The Bahraini government along with Saudi and Emirates governments are responsible for these massacres. The Saudi-Emirates forces are occupying forces.
We appeal to The Security Council, The UN, The Arab League, the international community, to curb the attackers and to end this massacre. States with leverage to Bahrain government should intervene directly.
Relief agencies such as ICRC, MSF, Arab and international Red Crescent and cross should intervene to break the siege of hospitals and assaults against medical staff.
The Bahraini Civil Society Organizations Bahrain 16th March 2011.
“Solidarity Brigade Mission with the Egyptian Youth”
Dear comrades and friends,
As the Egyptian people and youth could achieve a great victory through their mass movement, they succeeded in ousting the former president Mubarak, who was a puppet of imperialism in the region. The brave people continue their fight right now to continue the process of change and have constitutional reforms that guarantee the fulfillment of the aims of the uprising.
In this regard, WFDY organizes a solidarity brigade mission to Egypt, in cooperation with our member organization Union of Progressive Youth of Egypt from April 13-19, 2011.
The mission will include meetings and seminars in Cairo, visits to Alexandria and Suez which are 2 cities that played a role in the revolution, and also include a tour in the main places where the big events of the revolution occurred.
World Federation of Democratic Youth
Urgent – the Arab Region
Blood…. Price of Freedom and Democracy
Rulers Cling to Positions, Despite Claims of Their Departure
The Arab Program for Human Rights Activists is following with deep concern the developments in the revolutions and protests in Yemen, Bahrain, Libya as well as the beginnings of the popular movement in Syria and Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman, especially with the sticking of the governing regimes to their seats and their willing to suppress the masses of citizens by all means of repression and violations of the rights and freedoms, even the right to life and self-determination as well as the right to demonstrations, in addition to the demands of freedom to get rid of the oppression and injustice, dictatorship, emergency rule and martial law.
In Yemen: 50 of the demonstrators were killed by live bullets in Sanaa. The Yemeni regime is still using excessive force in suppressing the protesters with the news of the redeployment of the Yemeni army in Sana’a to besiege the rebels.
In Bahrain: Number of dead is still increasing, especially with the declaration of a state of emergency and the continuing repression by the Bahraini forces, in addition to the intervention of the UAE- Saudi Arabia joint forces and the reports that mentioned the use of the Saudi Arabian security forces of live ammunition, as well as the evacuation of the area of Pearl Square by force.
In Libya: With the European military action, backed by Canada and the United States, the Libyan citizens resorted to flee from the east of the country into Egypt to escape the shells of aircraft and artillery, fired by Al-Qaddafi on the areas that rebelled against his rule and demand him to leave. The fear arises of turning it into a civil war against the eastern regions of the country.
In Syria: With the continued state of emergency for 48 years and due to the repressive security approach used by the authorities, the death of 4 people has been reported in the demonstrations and protests took place last Friday, March 18 calling for political freedoms and the fight against corruption. In addition, the Syrian security services have arrested 35 protesters on Wednesday, March 16 near the Interior Ministry and brought them into trial on charges of insulting the reputation of the State.
In Saudi Arabia: The Kingdom issued a number of religious decrees that prohibit demonstrations and consider it contrary to the provisions of Islamic law. The security forces have also deployed warplanes on Friday, March 18 to confront demonstrations, which were planned on that day by a group of activists through the social network Facebook. It is worth mentioning that in spite of the multiplicity of claims on the social network Facebook to launch demonstrations on fighting against corruption, releasing political prisoners and demanding freedoms in Saudi Arabia, these calls have been cracked down on the hands of the security and did not work for the mobilization of Saudi citizens. There were only small groups and marches of Shiite in the east of the country and were encountered by the security services with violence and repression.
The Arab Program for Human Rights Activists reaffirms its solidarity with the movements of the Arab peoples and their legitimate aspirations for freedoms and democracy and expresses its full condemnation of all the Arab regimes that use violence as the only path to stop these legitimate popular movements and demands.
Moreover, the Program emphasizes the right of Arab people to choose their representatives and to enjoy their natural resources and to hold their rulers into accountability – whatever their positions – concerning their crimes and corruption which continued for decades and to determine their own destinies in accordance with the provisions of Article 1 of both International Covenants.
World Social Forum International Council Solidarity Delegation to the people of Tunisia
During the last International Council Meeting - February 12th and 13th – right after the World Social Forum in Dakar, it was raised a proposal to send a delegation composed of member organizations of this Council, in order to bring a support and solidarity message to social movements that were part of the uprising for political and social change in Tunisia.
This common desire was Possible thanks to the African Social Forum and the Tunisian Social Forum. Such decision was shown as particularly legitimate, as the Dakar World Social Forum as a whole was “taken” by the revolutionary winds that have shaken Tunisia and Egypt.
The essential problem of the World Social Forum is part of the permanent struggle of the enslaved, tortured and plundered people against those who alienate them, so nothing more natural than to support the Tunisian people, who liberated themselves from a dictatorship left by colonizers and maintained by the international
community and institutions, such as the IMF.
Dakar allowed the voice of Africa, inside the anti-globalization movement, to be no longer perceived by Westerns as being part of a dependency relation, but as a starting point to think of South-North relations based in cooperative building and truthful sharing. Africa has something to say to the world, and the Dakar WSF opened this path, while the uprisings in the Arab countries confirmed the political maturity of the people who fight for their dignity and for another wealth distribution. From the entire African continent, it was Possible to hear the desire of the people to claim for the inclusion of everyone in egalitarian and democratic relations, but also to revoke the speech on the war of civilizations and to stop, in one hand, to take Africa as a lost continent, and in another, to demonize Islam and Muslims.
It looks to us, that, in the light of these political and social in alienation movements of Arab peoples, it would be very interesting for the World Social Forum process to consider the idea of holding the 2013 WSF in Tunisia, taking as the core problem the relations between Northern Africa and Sub-Saharan African, aiming to build new solidarities and think of new ways of international solidarity.
Protestors avoid jail sentence
EGYPT: The junta that has held power since the fall of ex-president Hosni Mubarak has suspended the prison sentences of 120 people arrested for public demonstrations.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces said on Wednesday that the 120 would still receive one-year suspended sentences, but did not reveal what they had been convicted of.
Military chiefs also denied using gunfire to break up sit-ins since Mubarak was overthrown on February 11.
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