Monday, February 14, 2011

The Revolution that refuses to die

I expected, like most, that the Egyptian Revolution would come at least to hibernation with the coup by Tantawi and that at best we'd see a geographical scatter of the process to countries like Algeria and Morocco by the West or Jordan, Yemen and Saudia by the East. 

Yesterday the last die-hard revolutionaries in Tahrir Square were forcibly removed by the Army, which has not yet implemented some critical demands like the suppression of the State of Emergency and curfew that has been in effect since some 30 years ago, when former dictator Anwar el Sadat was murdered, or the liberation of the political prisoners.

But new demonstrations have arisen across the country today, taking a rather unusual class struggle shade, as they were staged by workers from the banking, transport and tourism sectors. A key demand is now a pay rise. 

Beyond Egypt

Other countries of the area are also experiencing continuous unrest: Algeria and Yemen are witnessing almost daily demonstrations by the tens of thousands, often resulting in violence, as the police tries to repress the people's freedom; Iran has also seen fresh protests, which have been quelled bloodily like in the times of the Shah, a clear sign of the totalitarian nature of the Theocratic Fascism in power in Tehran and a clear sign of its weakness in the face of a modern and factually atheist young generation. 

While we do not hear much from Tunisia or West Sahara these last days (except the Albanian-style mass migration of Tunisians to Italy), it is clear that the situation in these two countries is anything but normalized. Other states await their fate, with protests erupting even in Bahrain yesterday, surely a sign of things to come to the Arabia Peninsula. Because we all know that regimes like those of Saudi Arabia are totally obsolete and unpopular and will be removed one way or another but soon in any case.

I think that this year we are going to witness many major changes around the Mediterranean, not just in the Arab World but also in Iran and surely Central Asia (where some of the world's most infamous dictators still subsist), but also in Europe - let's not forget that in 2010 it was Europe, specially Greece and France but also other countries which were the center of mass socio-political uprisings, whose demands have not been met by the local nor pan-European governments.

It is going to be a most interesting year.

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