Friday, February 18, 2011

The Protests in Cuba Are As Feared As in Egypt

One of the posters calling for the uprising in Cuba.
Protests in Egypt and the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak has raised concerns that Cuba would follow suit, which has moved the government of the Caribbean nation to increase the repression, according to a report released last week. The report of the Institute for Cuban and Cuban American Studies (ICCAS by its initials in English), from the University of Miami, says that in recent weeks the security forces of Raúl Castro's regime have increased arrests and repressive actions against the Cuban people.

Titled “Increased repression in Cuba” the report quotes arrests, temporary detentions, beatings and intimidation of at least 34 activists and independent journalists, and also fines and jail therms for those who build or trade antennas and satellite television receivers. Among the cases is the dissident Lobaina Nestor Rodriguez, leader of the Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy (MCJD, initials in Spanish), who fears for his life and was placed with ordinary prisoners in the prison of  El Combinado de Guantanamo, where he is intimidated and threatened, reported his wife Daneysi Galvez Pereira.

Black Spring Independent journalist, Adolfo Paul Borraz, was arrested for 10 hours at his home in Centro Habana, interrogated and threatened for his journalistic activities. Jorge Luis Antunez reported that more than 12 members of the Central Opposition Coalition were beaten by members of  the Castro's repressive apparatus in the city of Placetas and arrested later.

Stirring to start a social media revolution in Cuba, organizers of a Facebook group calling for a popular uprising on the island have called for Cubans to gather for a demonstration on Feb. 21 in Havana.

The protest will be to "demand the freedom and democracy that have been taken from us," states a message on the group's Facebook page.

The message calls for Cubans to gather at 5 p.m. outside the old presidential palace in Havana, which is now the "Museum of the Revolution."

In Cuba, as in Egypt, Iran and elsewhere where this kind of activity is not well received by the autocrats in power, this is a dangerous business, making it vital for those of us who share the same ideals of freedom, do our part to support them.

Facebook page for the popular uprising in Cuba

Pamphlet guide to revolution in Egypt: How to protest intelligently

The San Francisco Indymedia site ( has published a translated nine page Guide to intelligent protesting, which was distributed widely on the streets of Egypt. The guide shows how to non-violently defend yourself from riot police. As this Blog article states, we shouldn't just be cheering on the Egyptian revolution but learning from it. This was one of the biggest non-violent uprising's in history and given that we are all facing the same neo-liberal policies and all governments inevitably turn to batons and beatings to keep us down, these tips will definitely come in handy. 

From the Egyptian Revolutionary Guide
Below is an excerpt from the article Tactical Gems from the Egyptian Revolution outlining some creative democratic ways of operating with mass crowds.

"How to make demands from a giant crowd: Now that Tahrir Square has proclaimed itself an “autonomous republic,” and demands are flying from every corner of Egyptian society, not to mention every foreign government, the crowds whose effort has made change possible are trying to articulate their demands. Here’s how:

In Tahrir, the square that has become the focal point for the nationwide struggle against Mubarak’s three-decade dictatorship, groups of protesters have been debating what their precise goals should be in the face of their president’s continuing refusal to stand down.

The Guardian has learned that delegates from these mini-gatherings then come together to discuss the prevailing mood, before potential demands are read out over the square’s makeshift speaker system. The adoption of each proposal is based on the proportion of cheers or boos it receives from the crowd at large.

Delegates have arrived in Tahrir from other parts of the country that have declared themselves liberated from Mubarak’s rule, including the major cities of Alexandria and Suez, and are also providing input into the decisions.

“When the government shut down the web, politics moved on to the street, and that’s where it has stayed,” said one youth involved in the process. “It’s impossible to construct a perfect decision-making mechanism in such a fast-moving environment, but this is as democratic as we can possibly be.” (“Cairo’s biggest protest yet demands Mubarak’s immediate departure,” Guardian, February 5)

The article has some other good tips too. Check it out. Bring on the GLOBAL revolutions. Down with all the tyrants who only serve the big business, the IMF and Washington. Don't forget that Wikileaks showed us recently that our politicians take orders straight from Washington too!

Source: CoffeToday and The Wire

Pictures from Egypt showing some protester's "equipment" for self protection.

The plastic bottle helmet.

Brick-hat, very strong.
Cooking armor.
The box-helmet. Not very strong, but light.
The pita helmet. Wonderful!

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