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Egypt: The Revolutionary Moment

Source: The Nation

If the world has a heart, it beats now for Egypt. Not of course, the Egypt of President Hosni Mubarak—of the rigged elections, the censored press, the axed Internet, the black-clad security police and the tanks and the torture chambers—but the Egypt of the intrepid ordinary citizens who, almost entirely unarmed, with little more than their physical presence in the streets and their prayers, are defying this whole apparatus of intimidation and violence in the name of justice and freedom. Their courage and sacrifice give new life to the spirit of the nonviolent, democratic resistance to dictatorship symbolized by the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. That event in fact symbolized a longer wave of revolutions that, spreading like a brushfire, swept dozens of dictators out of power, from the Philippines in 1986 to Poland in 1989, through to the early twenty-first century. But that global contagion had seemed to be flagging recently. Now, dictators all over the world are on their guard again. In Saudi Arabia, the monarchy is looking over its shoulder. Yemen is on notice. In China, the word “Egypt” has been censored from the Internet: the Egyptian autocrats removed the Internet from Egypt; the Chinese autocrats removed Egypt from the Internet. read more

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Why fear the Arab revolutionary spirit?

Source: Guardian

What cannot but strike the eye in the revolts in Tunisia and Egypt is the conspicuous absence of Muslim fundamentalism. In the best secular democratic tradition, people simply revolted against an oppressive regime, its corruption and poverty, and demanded freedom and economic hope. The cynical wisdom of western liberals, according to which, in Arab countries, genuine democratic sense is limited to narrow liberal elites while the vast majority can only be mobilised through religious fundamentalism or nationalism, has been proven wrong. The big question is what will happen next? Who will emerge as the political winner? read more

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Millions Against Mubarak: Live Report From Cairo Amid Massive Protest

Source: Democracy Now!

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AMY GOODMAN: We begin our coverage of Egypt with Democracy Now! senior producer Sharif Abdel Kouddous in Tahrir Square in Cairo. He’s been on the ground in Egypt reporting on events as they unfold. In the last few days he has been interviewed on independent radio stations in the United States, on Al Jazeera, last night on two programs on MSNBC and other news outlets. We go right now to Sharif Abdel Kouddous, who is in Tahrir Square.

Sharif, what is it like on the ground? What are you seeing right now? read more