Springtime of the Arab Peoples
The refusal of the people to kiss or ignore the rod that has chastised them for so many decades has opened a new chapter in the history of the Arab nation. The absurd, if much vaunted, neocon notion that Arabs or Muslims were hostile to democracy has disappeared like parchment in fire.
...If there is a comparison to be made with Europe it is 1848, when the revolutionary upheavals left only Britain and Spain untouched – even though Queen Victoria, thinking of the Chartists, feared otherwise. Writing to her besieged nephew on the Belgian throne, she expressing sympathy but wondered whether "we will all be slain in our beds". Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown or bejewelled headgear, and has billions stored in foreign banks.
Like Europeans in 1848 the Arab people are fighting against foreign domination (82% of Egyptians, a recent opinion poll revealed, have a "negative view of the US"); against the violation of their democratic rights; against an elite blinded by its own illegitimate wealth – and in favour of economic justice. This is different from the first wave of Arab nationalism, which was concerned principally with driving the remnants of the British empire out of the region...
Tariq Ali: This is an Arab 1848
"The workers... battle-cry must be: 'The Permanent Revolution."
Karl Marx after the 1848 Revolutions
Edited to add:
Tuesday 1 March: Solidarity with workers in Middle East and North Africa: 7pm, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL. (Holborn tube) With Billy Hayes, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Katy Clark MP, Wassim Wagdy and others.
Wednesday 2 March: Stop the War Coalition Public Meeting: Where Now for the Egyptian Revolution? Where Now for the Middle East? 7pm, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square London WC1R 4RL