Arab spring continues

July 22, 2012

World in View

by Gerry Emmett

Arab spring continues


Egypt’s first presidential election presented voters with two bad choices: Ahmed Shafiq, a Mubarak ally, or Mohammed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood. Neither candidate has any connection to the working women, the youth, or the mass self-organization that have been at the heart of Egypt’s revolution.

This election showed why it is vital not to subordinate the revolutionary demands of Tahrir Square to bourgeois politics. In the end these parties will make very similar deals with world and national capitalism. If this happens, the creative human relationships born of struggle will be rolled back.


In Yemen, the post-Saleh era is also beginning with political parties trying to break down the revolutionary unity of the occupied squares and confine the movement to electoral politics. But one young woman revolutionary described the recent election this way: “People didn’t vote for Hadi, but for change. Polling day was like collecting signatures to remove Saleh.” Women and youth, in particular, have made great strides during the revolutionary occupations and have no desire to step backwards.

They are also looking outward. In June rallies in Sanaa, protesters chanted, “Bashar is finished like Saleh! Yemen and Syria, we are one!”


The Arab Spring lives on in Bahrain as well. In May, 200,000 people—the largest demonstration in the nation’s history—marched through Manama to show their rejection of a proposed union with Saudi Arabia. Smaller protests happen almost nightly.

The government continues such outrages as the prosecution of an 11-year-old boy for blocking a street.

On June 20, Doctor Saeed al-Samaheeji began a hunger strike. He is one of nine medical professionals sentenced to prison terms of from one month to five years for treating demonstrators injured when the government brutally cleared Pearl Square—killing at least four people, injuring many more.

As in Yemen, these protests constitute a real threat to the reactionary Saudi society.

One thought on “Arab spring continues

  1. Unfortunately, since Israel does not have direct eloecitn of its President, Prime Minister or even the members of Knesset, it DOES have a dictatorship–the party bosses who pick their “cronies” to appear on their party’s “list”. Is this democracy? For shame!! And don’t tell me to move to Israel and then try to fix this problem. I DO live in Israel NOW and the party bosses has trashed every effort to institute true democracy in Israel. I love Israel; it desrves much better.

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