Egyptian dictatorship bans yellow vest sales


This 10 December 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

The Reason France Has Erupted Into Riots

France has had many recent protests directed towards President Emmanuel Macron. Ana Kasparian, Jayar Jackson, and Mark Thompson, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down.

And now, like the Bahrain dictatorship banned Guy Fawkes masks

By Alex Lantier in France:

Egypt bans yellow vest sales as French protesters reject Macron’s concessions

11 December 2018

The bloody Egyptian dictatorship of General Abdel Fattah al Sisi is banning the sale of yellow vests, as protests spread internationally in sympathy with the movement against French President Emmanuel Macron. This came as “yellow vest” protesters in France rejected Macron’s offer of concessions in an attempt to placate the growing movement.

The Sisi dictatorship is terrified that growing working class anger in Egypt and across North Africa could erupt around “yellow vest” protests like those in France. Cairo retailers contacted by AP said police ordered them not to sell the vests until after the protests on January 25 of next year—the eighth anniversary of the 2011 revolution that toppled the hated dictator Hosni Mubarak. Since it took power in 2013 in a bloody military coup, the Sisi regime has banned such protests and sent riot police to beat or kill anyone who defied the ban.

“The police came here a few days back and told us to stop selling them. We asked why, they said they were acting on instructions”, one retailer told AP. Another said, “They seem not to want anyone to do what they are doing in France.”

Industrial safety equipment distributors are reportedly under orders not to sell yellow vests to walk-in customers, but only to verified construction companies who have police permission. Many press outlets reported that the Egyptian Interior Ministry did not answer requests for comments on the yellow vest ban.

Sisi is reportedly a close friend of former French President François Hollande, and French Internet spying firms are deeply implicated in surveillance of the Egyptian population and the identification of individuals via Internet and social media to be arrested and tortured. Despite their best efforts, however, bread riots, textile workers strikes and protests against Sisi’s privatizations and food subsidy cuts have repeatedly shaken Egypt in the last two years.

Sisi’s attempted preemptive strike against “yellow vest” protests in Egypt points to the panic of governments worldwide at the radicalization of the international working class. Demands for social equality, wage increases, an end to militarism and repression and the ouster of unpopular governments, that drive the yellow vest protests in France, are shared by workers and toiling people in every country. As Sisi desperately tries to keep such protests from spreading to Egypt, various forces are calling such protests from one country to the next.

In Europe, Belgian police violently cracked down on Friday’s “yellow vest” protest in Brussels, as protesters also donned yellow vests in the Netherlands and Bulgaria, and also Iraq. After a “yellow vest” protest in Basra against contaminated water and poor city services under the NATO-backed neo-colonial regime, protesters in Baghdad also wore yellow vests to marches on December 7 to show their solidarity with the Basra protests.

Particularly after the brutal police crackdowns in Brussels and on Saturday in Paris, protests are spreading across Africa. In Burkina Faso, a Facebook group has been set up calling for such protests on December 13. It states: “So on December 13, 2018, across Burkina Faso, let us occupy without violence and pacifically every street corner and intersection in our neighborhoods in the cities and villages across the entire country to say: –No to the rise in fuel prices // –No to injustice in all its forms.”

In Tunisia, a recently-founded Facebook group of “Red Vests” issued its first statement on December 7. It denounced the “failure and corruption” of the Tunisian political system and the government’s “policy of systematic impoverishment” of the population. This came after a strikes last week by Tunisian teachers against wage cuts.

As in Egypt, anger in Tunisia is expected to erupt on January 14, on the eighth anniversary of the 2011 revolution that ousted European-backed dictator Zine El Abedine Ben Ali. … Calls are circulating for a general strike in Tunisia next month.

In Algeria, protesters donned yellow vests and joined in a march in Béjaïa yesterday, prompting worry in bourgeois media. Noting the “gloomy social climate due to the drastic fall in Algerians’ purchasing power,” Mondafrique wrote that protests “have caused an all-out political crisis in France. Is Algeria safe from a possible, indeed probable infection?”

The upsurge of the class struggle and growing solidarity with the “yellow vest” protests in Africa underscore again that the greatest ally of workers in France mobilizing against Macron is the international working class. It has been nearly eight years since the first great revolutionary mobilization of the working class in the 21st century toppled two dictators in North Africa. Now, as calls for general strikes grow in France, Tunisia and across the region, the class struggle is moving objectively towards an eruption of an international general strike.

This came to the fore as “yellow vest” protesters dismissed Macron’s ineffectual 13-minute speech last night, in which he tried to convince them to give up the fight.

Macron insisted he would not repeal the tax cut on the rich, abandon plans for deep cuts to unemployment insurance and pensions, or let up on his standing order for a crackdown on protests. Having threatened the protesters, he offered them a 100 euro monthly (6.7 percent) increase in the minimum wage, a partial repeal of tax hikes on retirees, and tax cuts on overtime pay. Finally he appealed to anti-immigrant racism, calling for an “unprecedented” public debate on national identity and “secularism”, now used as a code word for attacks on Muslim headscarves.

This proposal of an official policy of inciting anti-Muslim racism is dictated primarily by police and military considerations. The French ruling class does not want the emergence of a joint struggle of European and African workers that would cut across its wars, nor a unification of “yellow vest” and immigrant workers that would hamper its police crackdown at home. The way forward for workers is to reject Macron’s neo-fascistic debate with contempt, and seek unity with their class brothers and sisters of all ethnic and religious origins.

Commenters on “yellow vest” Facebook pages largely rejected Macron’s offer, pointing out that it aimed to divide the protesters based on whether or not they are on minimum jobs, retired, etc. “Don’t fall into the trap! All he wants to do is set us against each other to end the movement! So let’s stay united and continue so that each one of us gains a victory,” read one post on the France en colère page, which was overwhelmingly opposed to Macron’s speech.

A new “yellow vest” protest next Saturday in downtown Paris has been called.

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Egyptian actress five years in jail for dress?


Egyptian actress Rania Youssef in 'illegal' dress, AFP photo

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

An Egyptian actress has to appear in court because of immorality. During the closing ceremony of a film festival in Cairo, Rania Youssef wore a dress whose skirt was translucent. As a result, her legs were completely visible.

That is considered obscene in Egypt …

One might think that the Egyptian military dictatorship is so indebted to the money of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that they not only give Egyptian islands away to Saudi Arabia and help the Saudi absolute monarchy in its bloody war on the people of Yemen, but that they also copy the Saudi government’s oppression of women by denying them the freedom to dress the way they want as well.

On the other hand, there is a similarity to other friends of the Egyptian dictatorship: NATO countries like France. In France, mainly Muslim women are persecuted for wearing, eg, ‘burkinis’ or maxiskirts. Which seems different at first: but is based on the same denial of women’s rights to wear what they want as in Saudi Arabia or Egypt.

Youssef may get up to five years in prison. Her trial starts on 12 January.

See also here.

Egyptian dictatorship jails human rights activist


This 29 September video is called Breaking News – Egypt activist sentenced over ‘fake news‘.

Tranlated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Egyptian human rights activist gets 2 years in prison due to video

The Egyptian human rights activist Amal Fathy has been sentenced to two years’ imprisonment because she posted a video on social media in which she criticized the government. In that video she said that the Egyptian government is failing to improve the living conditions in the country and in protecting women from sexual harassment. She also has to pay a fine of nearly 500 euros.

Fathy was arrested in May, after complaining in the 12-minute video about sexual harassment in taxis, bad service at banks, crowded traffic and general living conditions in the country. She was charged with “spreading fake news“, making her a risk for national security and public decency.

“This is unfair, unfounded and incomprehensible”, says her husband, who is also a human rights activist. “We have already provided the evidence to show that she has not spread fake news“, he says. He believes that this statement means that “all Egyptian women should keep their mouths shut”.

Freedom of speech

Human rights organization Amnesty has responded with anger to the conviction. “We call on the Egyptian authorities to release Amal Fathy immediately and without conditions, and to drop all charges against her”, says the campaign director of the African department of Amnesty. “Her imprisonment is an insult to the freedom of expression guaranteed by the Egyptian constitution.”

Fathy is still facing another lawsuit. The activist is also suspected of membership of the April 6 movement, a group that was important in overthrowing the regime of President Mubarak in 2011. A court banned that movement in 2014.

Oldest Egyptian Nile Delta village discovered


This video is called Ancient Egypt Documentary – Complete History – 8000 B.C. to 30 B.C. Part 1.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Egyptian and French archaeologists in the Nile Delta have excavated the oldest village that has been found in the area so far. The excavations were at Tell El-Samara, about 140 kilometers north of the capital Cairo.

At the settlement objects were found from the Neolithic period …

Those objects were made between 4200 and 2900 years B.C.

This source says even 5,000 B.C.

That is before the time of the pharaohs

In the Nile Delta, settlements from that era had never been found before. …

In the village, storage sites have been found with animal bones, ceramics and remains of food and plants. According to archaeologists, they can be used to investigate how people lived then.

Dictator Sisi, resign, Egyptians say


This June 2014 video from the USA is called Egypt Has A New Dictator.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV, 23 June 2018:

In Egypt, hundreds of thousands of people on Twitter have called on President Sisi to leave. At the beginning of the afternoon nearly 300,000 people had already asked for his resignation. Some 50,000 others expressed support for the dictator.

The hashtag ‘Sisi_Leave‘ came up after new price increases, which were announced during the Sugar Festival, the end of Ramadan. Apparently the government hoped with his timing that this would limit the discontent.

But the authorities did not count on the frustration caused by the elimination of the Egyptian football team at the World Cup. The Egyptian national football team was bound to go home after two games, after defeats against Uruguay and Russia, while expectations were high because Egypt has the star player Mohammed Salah. After the second defeat of Egypt things suddenly went fast with the hashtag calling on Sisi to resign.

The protests on Twitter are remarkable. Since Sisi is in power, street protests are being suppressed and there is also censorship on the Internet, where hundreds of websites have been removed from cyberspace.

The government has been cutting back for years. In the hope of giving life to the moribund economy, subsidies on fuel, food, water and electricity are reduced.

Islamists

Sisi as the army leader put an end to the Muslim Brotherhood government in 2013, which came to power in 2011 after democratic elections, but since then seemed to be heading for an authoritarian regime. …

After a constitutional amendment, Sisi was elected president in 2014. Despite the semblance of democracy, he rules as a dictator and has jailed thousands of critics of his regime, not just Islamists, but also liberals, socialists and other secular opponents.

Sisi has called on the population to endure the hardships. “If we want to become a real nation, we have to endure the pain and misery, and we have to pay the price together.” In a country where income differences are large and large parts of the population are dependent on food subsidies, that is a difficult message.

Several major corporations and successive governments in France were and are actively participating in the repression of the Egyptian people by the current military dictatorship. They are active accomplices in mass surveillance of the population aiming to identify political opponents to be tortured and disappeared, and in arming the military junta of General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi: here.

Egyptian junta extends state of emergency and censors social media: here.

A Cairo court referred 75 defendants to Egypt’s grand mufti to approve death by hanging sentences on Saturday. The 75 are all part of a mass trial of 739 defendants, who all face the same maximum penalty: here.

Jailed [ondeath row] Egyptian photographer Mahmoud Abu Zeid to receive UN press freedom prize. Jailed Egyptian photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid “Shawkan”, has been selected for the 2018 UNESCO Press Freedom Prize: here.