Twelve years have passed since the Arab Spring, and both Egypt and Tunisia are facing a stark economic crisis. Both are currently under the mercy of extremely unfavorable structural adjustment programs imposed by the International Monetary Fund, relying heavily on food imports, mired in debt, and facing historical inflation rates with unprecedented hikes in food prices. This dire economic situation is made all the worse by a relentless escalation of authoritarian measures in both countries. The prevailing atmosphere indicates that the counterrevolution has prevailed and that avenues of emancipatory possibility have shrunk almost to the point of extinction.
Rania Khalek of BreakThrough News talks about the repressive Egyptian regime and how it is enabled by the US, its European allies and Israel. She explains the role played by the Egypt as a US proxy in the region and its role in various conflicts, including the brutal siege of Gaza. She also talks about how this enables the el-Sisi regime to continue its suppression of activists and clampdown of democracy.
This excerpt from Cassandra’s forthcoming project, Climate Opium: How we are overdosing on false solutions to climate change, is dedicated to the 60,000 political prisoners in Egypt. “Unless all these prisoners are immediately freed, the United Nations must cancel the climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh planned for November 2022. Without freedom from dictatorships, colonialism and all injustices, there is no climate justice! NO greenwashing Sisi’s police state!” –Cassandra #FreeThemAll #FreeAlaa #nuclearcolonialism #NoREDD In the name of saving Nature and the climate, the scope of carbon colonialism i has become mind-bogglingly vast. Now, fortress conservation combined with carbon offsets is serving as an excuse to grab half the planet.
Cop27 is to be held in the resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt’s Sinai desert between November 6 and 18, far away from the noxious fumes and densely packed squalor of Cairo, Egypt’s capital, that is home to around 20 million largely impoverished Egyptians. Some 90 heads of state and leaders of 190 countries, including US President Joe Biden—the first visit to Egypt of any US president since 2009—French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, are slated to attend. Egypt’s brutal dictator, General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, has organized a massive security operation to prevent demonstrators and protesters coming to Sharm el-Sheikh.
The US public relations firm helping Egypt organise COP27 also works for major oil companies and has been accused of greenwashing on their behalf, openDemocracy can reveal. Hill+Knowlton Strategies, which has worked for ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron and Saudi Aramco, is managing communications for Egypt’s presidency of the UN climate conference, which will take place next month in Sharm El Sheikh. Hill+Knowlton’s clients have also included Coca-Cola, which last month was controversially named as a sponsor of the conference despite having been declared the world’s worst corporate plastic polluter for four years in a row. Kathy Mulvey, accountability campaign director at the Union of Concerned Scientists – a non-profit advocacy group – told openDemocracy that Hill+Knowlton had a “shameful track record of spreading disinformation” on behalf of oil companies.
The United States approved a massive arms deal worth USD 2.5 billion with Egypt on Wednesday, January 26. The deal includes the sale of 12 Super Hercules C-130 aircraft and other related equipment worth USD 2.2 billion, along with an air defense radar system worth USD 355 million. The deal was cleared despite concerns raised by human rights groups and members of the US Congress about the deteriorating human rights situation in Egypt. Several US politicians and rights groups have repeatedly urged the US government to take a tougher stance on the human rights abuses being perpetrated by the Egyptian government under president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. According to reports, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified the US congress about the possible sale on Tuesday.
For over a decade, Alaa Abd el-Fattah has been in and out of Egypt’s prisons, never free of the harassment of the military state apparatus. In 2011, during the high point of the revolution, Alaa emerged as an important voice of his generation and since then has been a steady moral compass despite his country’s attempts to suffocate his voice. On 25 January 2014, to commemorate the third anniversary of the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak’s government, Alaa and the poet Ahmed Douma wrote a moving epistle from their dungeon in Tora Prison, Cairo. This prison, which houses Alaa and other political prisoners, is not far from the beautiful Nile and – depending on Cairo’s traffic – not too far from the Garden City office of Mada Masr, where the epistle was published.
The Egyptian revolution, which flared from early 2011 to mid-2013, is usually presented in the media (and some academic circles) as a “Facebook Revolution” or at least as one gigantic event that was ignited and organized online. The truth is slightly different. The 2011 uprising was the product of a decade-long complicated political process, in which dissent was accumulating, organizing skills were honed, small victories were achieved and fear of the regime’s repressive apparatus was gradually eroding. One central element in this process that would in 2011 culminate in a full-blown revolution was the visualization of dissent.
Egypt today opened the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip until further notice, Egyptian and Palestinian sources said, a move described as an incentive for reconciliation between the main Palestinian factions meeting in Cairo, Reuters reported. Leaders of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction, which controls the West Bank, and of Hamas, which governs the besieged Gaza Strip, began Egyptian-brokered talks yesterday to address long-standing divisions ahead of elections planned for later this year. The 365 square kilometre (141 square mile) Gaza Strip is home to around two million Palestinians. An Israeli-led, Egyptian backed, the blockade has put restrictions on the movement of people and goods since 2007.
On the show this week, Chris Hedges talks to author Naomi Wolf about the bitter legacy of the British and Western colonialism of rampant homophobia, so virulent that people to this day are murdered for being gay in countries such as Egypt or Uganda. Naomi Wolf in her new book, 'Outrages, Sex, Censorship, and the Criminalization of Love', examines through the life of the British poet and gay activist John Addington Symonds how imperial power used, and uses, rigid sexual stereotypes as tools for repression and social control.
Protests have broken out in parts of Egypt with demonstrators calling for the departure of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi amid a high security alert. Following Friday prayers in the Warraq area in Giza governorate, demonstrators chanted slogans calling for the resignation of el-Sisi and raised slogans condemning the deterioration of living conditions in the country as well as the spread of corruption. Witnesses and security sources said police fired tear gas to disperse up to 1,000 protesters that were shouting "Leave Sisi", reported Reuters news agency.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the latest attempts by the Egyptian authorities to gag the media, in which at least six journalists have been detained in a week-old wave of anti-government protests. The reporters detained since the protests began on 20 September, in response to the actor Mohamed Ali’s accusations of governmental corruption, have brought the total number journalists imprisoned in Egypt to 31. One of the first reporters to be arrested was Engy Abdel Wahab, who began working as a trainee with the newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm just weeks ago.
Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Greg Wilpert in Baltimore. Over the weekend, in the middle of the night, thousands of Egyptians took to the streets in Tahrir Square, Cairo and were soon joined by other protestors in other cities all across Egypt. It all started when Mohamed Ali, a former actor and contractor for the Egyptian government who was living in Spain, recorded a video and spread it on Facebook, calling on Egyptians to protest against the SAC government.
By Staff of Reprieve and The Hill - This is the state of human rights in Egypt under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who meet President Trump at the White House on April 3, 2017. Weeks after overthrowing Egypt's first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, in July 2013, Sisi's security forces stormed pro-Morsi protest camps in Cairo, killing at least 817 people in one day, the worst peacetime massacre of Egypt's modern history. Since then, the right to protest has all but vanished in Egypt. Police routinely suppress anti-government demonstrations with violence. The authorities have imprisoned tens of thousands of political opponents of Sisi's government, often in appalling conditions, with lack of access to medical care that in some cases has led to death. Police and National Security agents routinely use torture and enforced disappearances against criminal suspects and political opponents alike with near impunity. In North Sinai, the military commits egregious abuses including extrajudicial executions and unjustified home demolitions in its fight with the local franchise of the extremist group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
By Neil Ketchley and Thoraya El-Rayyes for MERIP - On March 6, 2017, hundreds of local residents took to the streets of towns and cities in Upper Egypt and the Nile Delta after the Ministry of Supply cut their daily ration of subsidized baladi bread. By the following day, thousands were protesting in 17 districts across the country. In Alexandria, protestors blockaded a main road at the entrance of a major port for over four hours, while residents in the working class Giza suburb of Imbaba blocked the airport road. Elsewhere, women in the Nile Delta city of Dissuq staged a noisy sit-in on the tracks of the local train station, where they chanted, “One, two, where is the bread?” and called for the overthrow of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s government.