Category Archives: arab spring

arab spring

Contents
Obama abroad
Bristol 1831 Mural Artist compares Arab Spring 2011 and Bristol Stokes Croft Riots
Bristol Stokes Croft Riot
Libya – Gaddafi’s time is running out

Obama abroad

The economic driving imperative is fundamental. Eveything else is just words and fluff.

Obama abroad | MikeMarqusee.com
http://www.mikemarqusee.com/?p=1165

Crucially, Obama insists that democracy must be accompanied by what he calls “economic reform”, the neo-liberal prescriptions that have already exacerbated poverty, inequality and corruption in many west Asian and north African states and against which the Arab Spring was in part a revolt. He wants the new democracies to prove their credentials by opening their doors to predatory multi-nationals and exposing themselves to destructive international competition. All of his proposals for debt relief and aid are tied to this model, which Obama identified with the free-booting capitalism that wrought havoc in Russia and Eastern Europe.

(via Instapaper)

via posterous

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Bristol 1831 Mural Artist compares Arab Spring 2011 and Bristol Stokes Croft Riots

Bristol Riot by Scott Buchanan barden

Bristol Riot by Scott Buchanan Barden

A blank wall on Bath Road in Bristol has become host to a massive mural depicting one of the most horrific events in the city’s history. Now in a nearly complete state, the almost cartoon-like mural underlines what a precious gift democracy is and how difficult it is to attain.

The artist, Scott Buchanan Barden, says his motivation to undertake this massive work was not simply to highlight a very important but largely forgotten milestone in the history of British democracy. In fact, he sees a clear parallel between the Bristol riots in 1831 and the current situation in North Africa and the Middle East where extreme brutality to suppress legitimate protest always seems to be the first instinct of the ruling classes.
“At a time when attention is focussed on North Africa and the Middle East where ordinary people have been asserting their rights to greater democracy and an end to corruption, I feel it’s important to remind ourselves that the brutal treatment being meted out to them is not much different to what many citizens of Bristol were subjected to in similar circumstances just 180 years ago,” he explained.

“We look on at current events in the Middle East with a degree of unwarranted arrogance and feeling of moral superiority, often forgetting that our own path to democracy was just as bloody.

“What brought people onto the streets of Bristol was the fact that reactionary elements in the House of Lords had thwarted a parliamentary bill that would have enfranchised many more people in Britain. Public demand for this had been growing ever since the French Revolution 40 years earlier.

“Out of a population in Bristol of some 104,000 at that time, only about 6,000 were eligible to vote and most of these were part of the establishment of property and business owners. Political corruption was endemic throughout Britain, with many MPs representing ‘rotten boroughs’ that had little or no electorate to speak of.”

The artist went on to explain that it is interesting to note that military commanders are not always willing to carry out the kind of draconian measures against their own people often demanded by their political masters at such times.

“The Egyptian army’s refusal to be Mubarak’s pawn a month or so ago was crucial in saving thousands of lives. Unfortunately the same doesn’t seem to have happened in Libya. In 1831, a local military commander – an Irish guy called Brereton – was initially reluctant to use force against the Bristol protesters and it was only after extreme political pressure that he did so. As a result, hundreds of people were butchered by his dragoons in and around Queen’s Square.

“He was subsequently court-martialled, amazingly not for the massacre he had committed but for his initial leniency. He shot himself before the court-martial ended.

“The Bristol event is a sad reflection of the fact that, no matter where it may be in the world, we seldom seem able to overcome oppression without innocent blood being spilled on a massive scale.”

Bristol Riot by Scott Buchanan barden

Bristol Riots 1831 mural (132 ft  long) painted by Scott Buchanan Barden on Bath Road, Bristol – opposite Paintworks.

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Bristol Stokes Croft Riot

What’s happening in Bristol’s Stokes Croft area this weekend as young people seemed to want to take over part of the high street late on Thursday night early Good Friday morning. The long hot summer comes early in April this year, and with the provocation of a Royal Wedding coming up, the looters get their retaliation in first. In 2011. the year of the Arab Spring revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, nothing will be the same anywhere again.

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Libya – Gaddafi’s time is running out

Time is running out for Colonel Gaddaffi’s regime in Libya as the spreading region-wide revolution of the arab spring appears unstoppable.

Deep cracks were showing and Gaddafi seemed to be losing vital support, as Libyan government officials at home and abroad resigned, air force pilots defected and major government buildings were targeted during clashes in the capital.

At least 61 people were killed in the capital city on Monday, witnesses told Al Jazeera.

Protesters called for another night of defiance against the Arab world’s longest-serving leader, despite a crackdown by authorities

Two Libyan fighter jets landed in Malta, their pilots defecting after they said they had been ordered to bomb protesters, Maltese government officials said.

http://english.aljazeera.net//news/africa/2011/02/2011221215421542497.html

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Thanks for reading Andy Roberts articles about arab spring on the DARnet Blog