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(en) France, OCLibertaire: Egypt - Self-management of Port Said and workers' struggles in the foreground (fr, it)

Date 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 government.

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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