Fuck #Mubarak, Fuck the Economy and Fuck Returning to Normal or Why the demos should continue

“Let’s be done with waiting, doubts, dreams of social peace,
little compromises and naivety… Let’s put aside the great analyses that explain
everything down to the most minute detail…Let’s put aside priests, bosses, revolutionary leaders, less revolutionary ones and those who aren’t revolutionary at all…
The world does not belong to us. If it has a master who is stupid enough to want it the way it is then let him have it. Let him count the ruins in the place of buildings, the graveyards in the place of cities, the mud in the place of rivers and the putrid sludge in the place of seas. The greatest conjuring trick in the world no longer enchants us.
We are certain that communities of joy will emerge from our struggle here and now. And for the first time life will triumph over death.”
~ Armed Joy by Alfredo Bonanno

A mix of feelings and thoughts ran through my head today while watching Mubarak’s speech. First of all the audacity he must have to get up before Egypt and the rest of the world and talk about feeling the protester’s pain. After being responsible for the deaths of so many. Really though it was this that really stuck in my craw. In his words:

“Dear citizens, the priority right now is regaining the sense of confidence in Egyptians and a sense of trust in our economy, our reputation. Change and transfer that we have already started and that is not going to bring us any sort of step backwards.”

This talk of protecting the “economy” and restoring “confidence” reminding me of an interview I heard on NPR with an Egyptian shopkeep. This particular businessman driving a fucking car into demonstrators, because he wanted to the demonstrations to stop. And why did he want the demonstrations to stop? Because they’re hurting the economy…
The doublethink here is astounding. The Egyptian economy was FUCKED already, to put it bluntly, before the recent unrest began. In fact that was the major motivator for the demonstrations. In the words of an Egyptian I interviewed:

“Al Masry: alot of sparks led to this. These sparks however are when more than half the country are under the line of poverty. when doctors earn around 200 EGP per month which can be spent in a week if you starve yourself…when people stopped eating meat because of the rise in prices by atleast 50% every 3 months, when later the loaf of bread have become expensive for the ordinary Egyptian and now that the bread is not even enough.”

So why I ask, why in the world would anyone stop demonstrating to save the economy of all things? As if there is suddenly going to be food for the hungry if the economy is OK. As if the economy is something worth saving. Why in the hell would these people who have been pushed to their limits by hunger and starvation before the demonstrations, suddenly revert back to normal? Why indeed, when it seems it is the protests, or what has come out of the protests, that is feeding them now. Another answer from “Al Masry” on this subject:

“at the same time the restaurants in downtown went out and gave the over 50,000 protesters free food and water so that they can hold on till the next day. That is exactly why we are not afraid, there is nothing to fear anymore and there are no hopes or wishes, there is change and only change we will accept.”

Mubarak and everyone else who is petitioning for a peaceful transfer of power in Egypt are shooting themselves in the foot. If their goal is to defuse the demonstrations with these speeches and plans, they are doing the exact opposite. By all accounts the Egyptian protesters will accept nothing less than Mubarak’s resignation and a new government. And transferring power to Omar Suleiman? Not much good feeling towards him either. And with good reason
So what is actually happening in Egypt? When will it end? Will it end? And most importantly, should it end?

Building a new world in the shell of the old:

“We must resist, not as a last act of desperation, but as a first act of creation.”~statement from participants in Anonymous’ #OpItaly

“Action must not be a reaction, but a creation”~Graffiti from May 68’ uprising in Paris

Some see it. Some don’t. Of those who feel the need to demonstrate and change things, there are two groups really. Those who seek to reform things and those who seek to begin something totally new. These two categories aren’t mutually exclusive. If anything, struggles that begin for one reason have a way of turning into something totally different. If anything, it’s these large upheavals are what change the social reality. Change in such a way as to show us what is possible…
Egyptian protesters have occupied tahrir and certain streets in cairo and have set up their own “Free Egypt” inside.

What’s happening in Cairo is something that has happened before. It happened in May 68 in Paris, when students occupied their universities and started holding free French classes for their immigrant worker friends. It happened in the Greek uprising of 2008, when people occupied everywhere from town halls to parks to universities and used them as places to organize. Used them as places to meet and plan and act together. What I’m talking about is autonomous self-organization for a new life. It comes down to this: No one can give you the life you wish you had, you have to make it yourself. It’s pointless to demand a new world from politicians and dictators; they could never give us anything but more of the same. The only thing left is to organize to create it together, as equals.

Further Reading on this topic:

a great piece by Wolfi Landstreicher “Autonomous Self-Organization and Anarchist Intervention”
text of Mubarak’s speech
post from a comrade in Egypt on the very subject of the Cairo occupation

~ by Vanzetti on February 11, 2011.

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