Posts Tagged ‘Tahrir Square’

Take “Occupy Wall Street” complaints seriously, don’t use force to disperse them

October 13, 2011

Americans pay attention when a lot of people turn out. And so there’s lots of attention for “Occupy Wall Street,” or OWS for short. Thousands of people, mostly of the Millennial generation (born since 1982) are camping out in Zuccotti Park, just two blocks from Wall Street’s New York Stock Exchange.

The Right doesn’t like OWS: “I think it’s dangerous, this class warfare,” Mitt Romney opines. “Growing mobs,” snarls Eric Cantor. “Anti-American,” Larry Kudlow charges. “The beginning of totalitarianism,” warns Ann Coulter.

OWS comprises lots of people, diverse in temperament, opinion, and goals, but they are engaging in old-fashioned American protest, this one against corporate greed, social inequality, and joblessness.

Some dismiss them as incoherent, but that’s a mistake. They’re angry about the way our society has moved away from the American dream and toward greater and greater inequality. Like them or not, OWS is a growing force. Our country needs to take their complaint seriously. They may be as consequential as Tahrir Square. Or more. Or maybe not.

Of course there’s always a danger when a mass of people congregate. Large numbers of peaceful people can give cover to wrongdoers bent on looting or mayhem, as in the recent London riots, or in the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles in 1992, which started as a peaceful protest but left 53 dead (more…)

Advertisements

Pray for Egyptians and hope the Army protects the people, not the regime

February 10, 2011

 

It’s difficult to think of anything but Egypt, and the dangers that Egyptians face, tonight or tomorrow. Hundreds of thousands have gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, many having been there for a week or more. They were led to believe —by statements from a senior Army general who came to talk to them today—that “All your demands are being met.”

Their hopes were dashed by President Mubarak’s speech at 11pm Cairo time, in which he blamed the unrest on rash youth who had been stirred up by “satellite television stations” foreign provocateurs, and his favorite long-time bogeyman, the Muslim Brotherhood.

Mubarak spoke after the military high command had met, so it’s logical to assume that he has the support of the Army.

The demonstrators are angry. They’re not going to follow Mubarak’s suggestion that they return home and then to work. Tomorrow, Friday, the Egyptian weekend starts, and the biggest crowds yet will mob central Cairo. They likely won’t be docile and they might not be satisfied to stay in Tahrir, perhaps heading for the Presidential palace.

The Army has appeared to be on the side of the people up to now, but after today’s events it appears that it has decided to back the regime.

What’s an American to hope for? (more…)