Tuesday, February 1, 2011

PA Disperses Egypt Solidarity Rally

Revolutions are dangerous. First Tunisia, then Egypt. Abbasshole doesn't want to the proletariats to start getting any ideas, so his security forces have been menacingly keeping order. At 4 pm on Sunday a solidarity rally was to take place in front of the Egyptian Embassy. Turnout predictably was low,as either the people of Ramallah didn't want to brave the rain or had a better Sunday afternoon activity. We're completely nonplussed. All around the world people in many countries have come out in support of the Egyptian people, and here the reaction is barely worth noting. What's wrong with us?

Anyway, security forces clamped down on this dangerous threat of a more than 5-person congregation:

Demonstrators tried multiple times to argue with police and army officers, invoking democracy and the right to free speech, but to no avail. The answer remained the same, over and over again: ‟It is forbidden to be here. Go home.” As demonstrators were being pushed back, armed men and security forces multiplied and kept pouring onto the street, either from nearby official buildings or from cars driving up to the scene. One car displaying the PA logo with ‘Protection Forces’ written in Arabic and English—even pretended to charge at the demonstrators before screeching to a halt only a couple of meters in front of the crowd. Rifle-carrying men dressed in civilian clothes then came out of the car quickly, as if on some emergency drill.

Some US human rights group has denounced the PA's actions regarding the rally.

Raja Shehadeh wrote that ironically, as people in the Middle East have woken up and are shifting toward change or at least protesting their governments, the West Bank is turning into a vicious police state. Ahmed Moor's riveting account of his experience at the hands of the Egyptian plainclothes police echo the tactics of the Palestinian equivalent, especially during a protest in 2009 in Ramallah about the massacre going on in Gaza at that time.

Maybe people are beyond disillusioned now, since they now realized that they have to ultimately get rid of the collaborative autocratic (in its own rights) PA regime before tackling the Israeli occupation. The intifadas that captured the hearts of millions of Arabs are no longer viewed as a way out, since the 1st resulted in the calamitous PA with the increase of Israeli oppression and occupation, and the 2nd in even more Israeli oppression and occupation. That would explain the unpopularity of protests/rallies at this point. But then, one needs to ask, since foresight isn't that common, what next?

UPDATE: Not wanting to feel left out, Hamas also oppressed Gaza's version of an Egypt solidarity rally.

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