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(en) France, OCLibertaire: Egypt - Self-management of Port Said and workers' struggles in the foreground (fr, it)
Thu, 28 Feb 2013 14:33:27 +0200
A reality unprecedented is taking place in the city of Port Said: a complete
self-management, a rejection of everything that represents authority. A fact that the
protagonists of the struggle of the Egyptian right now - the workers - are trying to play
in other cities. ---- Port Said has become a place completely in the hands of the people.
At the entrance of the city, in the past there were many police checkpoints, now there is
a check-point format, however, by the people, especially striking workers, self-proclaimed
"People's Police" . The same is true for the traffic: no more police, but young people,
students and workers who autogestiscono urban traffic. ---- Civil Disobedience: what
characterizes the city is now a complete rejection of the government of bites in all its
forms, then hunted by the police, refusal of work and the government school system.
As for the factor "security", with self-management, the streets are now safer than ever.
The police - following the protests, the popular anger that followed the 21 death
sentences related to the massacre in Port Said and the 40 victims of the subsequent
clashes - last week was forced to agree to leave the city in the hands of the people .
Bites The government has agreed to call the police and to the irrefutable video evidence
showing police shoot and kill the system to cool the protesters, but also because he was
convinced that a city alone could not manage themselves and Port Said would have required
'Government intervention to quell the riots likely. Instead, the reality is very different
and shows that a city without the "law enforcement" is safer and better lives.
Then there is a tacit agreement that allows the army (mostly respected by the people in
the traditionally less tied to the regime than to the police, this issue of power and
intelligence) to preside over the points of the city, but no power to intervene.
So the reality is this: unarmed military to guard places such as the court and the
important port (now on strike) and the "People's Police" in charge of security in the city.
The rejection of everything that represents the authority is ritova in practice not to pay
government taxes and bills, even rejecting any communication with the central and local
The closure of the central government and the self-organization of means and modes of
production, make the experience of Port Said a reality and an unprecedented trial of a new
way of life, to produce, to exist.
The factories are closed, marine traffic is blocked, it produces only what you need and
stay open only the necessary services. It makes the bread (pictured at right, a shop
selling bread at low prices, the signals indicate the reasons for the protest ), the food,
hospitals and pharmacies remain open. In every factory, the workers are to decide whether
to continue production or not and the answer is NO general now. Before justice, before
completion of the revolution and, if anything, it will restart production.
A new form of self-organization is being tested in schools. These remain open but the same
families of Port Said refuse to send their children to government schools. In these hours
teachers and popular committee is trying to organize popular schools in the central
square, renamed Tahrir Square to Port Said, where, in addition to academic subjects you
want to teach social justice and the values ââof the Egyptian revolution.
A reality that may seem impossible. Even the pages of this portal we have in the past said
the experience of Port Said with other eyes. But after the death of the 21 defendants for
the killing of the stadium, a new popular consciousness has arisen in this city, in the
past, probably very conservative. In fact, to be condemned were 21 young people, mostly
students, while the blame for the massacre must be sought in the political sphere, the
judgment appears to have been a sop given to those seeking justice. None of the defendants
came from the ranks of the police or of the state and its secret services. Port Said has
understood this and as soon as the death sentences were handed down, broke protests that
led to the killing of forty protesters, some of them even at the funeral of the victims of
the riots. From here began the strike, civil disobedience.
A reality that we ourselves, before we see with our eyes, we never imagined.
Anger, initially born from a desire for justice for the death penalty and for the next 40
victims, but then grew and became political. The strong protagonism worker, the growth of
awareness of the population of Port Said have made this unprecedented protest a fight that
both shakes the regime bites. A fight that, if implemented in other cities, could really
put the regime to its knees.
Now people no longer, as it was just a week ago, not to punish the citizens of Port Said
for crimes that he committed the regime instead. Now you ask a justice for all the victims
of the revolution, now clamoring for the fall of the regime.
On Monday a large demonstration was held in the streets of Port Said: independent union of
workers, students, the revolutionary movement in many took to the streets in many departed
from Cairo to express solidarity to the workers and to the city in the fight. A great
procession took to the streets of the city, appealing to a general strike across the country.
Meanwhile, other Egyptian cities have in recent weeks experienced major strikes : in
Mahalla, Mansoura, Suez workers in many factories went on strike for weeks. Similarly
hundreds took to the streets to invoke a general strike across the country, many schools
and universities that have announced a general strike next. Many workers and social
sectors who are on strike but could not - for now - to generalize the strike and fight, as
happened instead in Port Said.
It is unknown how this experience, called "the Egyptian city of Paris," will continue.
Surely it is difficult to carry on a fight like this in a time when the central government
might disconnect water and electricity and, for now, if not it does it's only because he
fears more espolosioni anger. In addition, the continuation or not of the workers' strike,
is strongly linked to the possibility that this will generalize and reproduce in other cities.
Initially, the residents of Port Said had announced plans to continue the strike until 9
next March - date will be confirmed 21 death sentences - now, with the leadership of the
workers, the future is uncertain, but certainly full of potential.
The difficulties at the time may seem a lot, but the awareness of all the people (not only
workers), the practice of refusal of the regime, the self-organization, are all elements
that seem to give the positive outlook in these struggles. The corresponding of Infoaut
from the Middle East
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