I was not present in Egypt yesterday, June 30, but I watched some of the wall-to-wall broadcasts on Egyptian television of packed squares and streets across the country, of gesticulating orators, defensive government spokesmen, and articulate commentators. The demonstrations across the country were, by consensus estimates, 7 to 10 times larger than the biggest anti-Mubarak crowds in early 2011. They dwarfed street rebellions such other those in Iran in 1979 or Peking in 1989. Simply put, they were probably the largest political demonstration in human history.Sponsored Ads
I was in Xuzhou, a city in China’s coastal province of Jiangsu, on September 16, 2012. While walking in the largest public square of the city, I saw young people gathering from different directions. They soon formed a large crowd of a few hundred people and began to march along the main street of Xuzhou. In fact, visitors to China that weekend could see a similar scene in over one hundred Chinese cities. The anti-Japan demonstrations occurred following Japan’s decision to buy the disputed islands in the East China Sea. Holding banners and flags that they had prepared earlier, the crowds in front of me began to shout slogans. Suddenly, I heard them shouted something very familiar to me: “Wuwang Guochi!”
The English translation of the Chinese phrase “Wuwang Guochi” is “Never forget national humiliation.” It is the title of the book that I have just published. In this book, I refer to it as the “national phrase” of China. The Chinese characters associated with this motto are engraved on monuments and painted on walls all over China. For the Chinese, historical consciousness has been powerfully influenced by the so-called “century of humiliation” from the First Opium War (1839-1842) through the end of the Sino-Japanese War in 1945. The Chinese remember this period as a time when their nation was attacked, bullied, and torn asunder by imperialists.
“They will not tolerate the king any longer…. It is too late for him to make any reforms.” — Opposition leader, who preferred to remain anonymous
Last week, protests broke out in Jordan after a government decision to raise fuel prices. While protests have been taking place in Jordan for almost two years now, for the first time there is major involvement from Jordan’s Palestinians, with open calls for toppling the regime. With the future of Jordan’s King Abdullah in jeopardy, so is regional stability a,s well as Jordan’s peace with Israel. Pro-Western forces have critical options to consider.
The protesters, last week, started openly to call for the king to step down. The Independent noted that previously the protests had been “peaceful and rarely targeted King Abdullah II himself,” and reported that this time crowds “chanted slogans against the king and threw stones at riot police as they protested in several cities.”
Al Jazeera, as well, reported that protests have been taking place “across the width and the length of the country,” with “most chanting for toppling the regime.” Several of the king’s photographs – regularly displayed in public places in Jordan – were set on fire.
The explosion of street protests in Moscow was a real scare for Putin. While now he enjoys his victory, granting concessions to those responsible for the weeks of panic would have been very much against his unforgiving nature. He [Putin] believes that the weak always are – and should be – beaten, and fancies that he has proven himself to be strong. The fight on the last stretch of elections was, in his imagination, not against the cheerful crowds on the Bolotnaya square but against the dark forces that sought to dismember Russia in collusion with the eternal Western enemies. Those in the opposition who expect dialogue and liberal reforms are going to be disappointed – and will discover the depth of Putin’s vindictiveness. Paradoxical as it may seem, this revenge of Putinism could be the answer to the opposition’s search for a new energy and unity.
Yevgeny Gontmakher, a sociologist at Moscow’s Institute of Contemporary Development, recently suggested Russia could soon be on the brink of a revolution similar to that of 1917.
“The political machine built by Putin was effective in some places until 2007,” he wrote in an article in Nezavismaya Gazeta, “but the regime has started to malfunction, like a car whose guarantee has long since expired and all of whose systems are starting to fail.”
Protests have rattled the country ever since the Dec. 4 parliamentary elections were riddled with allegations of corruption and ballot stuffing.
White-ribboned crowds continue to storm through the streets of Russia’s main cities demanding, “Russia Without Putin.”
The following are 11 of the best Kiyosaki “sound bites” from the video below….
#1 “when the economy crashes as we predict”
#2 “the crowds come rushing in to buy gold and silver”
#3 “we could either go into a depression or we go to hyperinflation”
#4 “or we could also go to war”
According to this information, Syria and the PFL-GC are planning another mass incursion in the same format for June 5, the 44th anniversary of the 1967 War, when Syria lost part of the Golan after attacking Israel.
In advance of the event, the Israeli Defense Forces and Lebanese army have reinforced the units guarding their borders and are on a high state of preparedness.
The IDF’s engineering corps has embarked on a crash operation for building a proper defense system with physical obstacles along the 220-kilometer Israeli-Syrian border in place of the fragile fence that crowds of Palestinians trampled on May 15.
Street demonstrations erupted in Iran once again on July 21 as thousands of people gathered in small pockets around central Tehran on the anniversary of an uprising in 1952 in which government security forces refused to fire on the crowds. This time, the Basij militia and members of the Élite Revolutionary Guards were less kind, chasing protesters with batons, firing tear gas to disperse the crowds and, according to reports, arresting dozens in the process. One source said that the underground Haft e-Tir subway station was teargassed. Two Revolutionary Guards were seen with bandaged noses around Haft e-Tir Square; the exact toll of the violence was not immediately clear.
As pro-Mousavi crowds maintain the rage in Tehran Tuesday, the government tries to deter them by whatever means.
[GlobalPost Editor’s note: This is the latest on-the-ground dispatch from our Tehran-based correspondent, who cannot be named because of the increased danger of arrest as the government cracks down on journalists.]
With cellphone connections disrupted and SMS services shut off by the government, Mousavi demonstrators at the historic rallies in the capital passed the details of their next rally from person-to-person, by word of mouth: Tuesday, 5 p.m., at Vali Asr Square.
There, the imbalance of power between the government forces and the demonstrators was immense and revealed itself not only in hand-to-hand clashes, but in the methods of organization that each side adopted.
Soccer crowds in England like to abuse match referees by chanting: “You don’t know what you’re doing.” If protesters had been able to get near the World Economic Forum in Davos last week, they could justifiably have aimed the same chant at the world leaders who assembled in the Alps.
These people are meant to be the “masters of the universe”: presidents, prime ministers, bankers, billionaires. If anybody can make sense of world events, it should be them. But the air of confusion in Davos was both palpable and alarming.