Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Let me just preface this (again) by saying I am NOT an anarchist.  I am an autonomous Marxist.  Many will tell you that makes me about as close to being an anarchist while not being one, while remaining a Marxist.  Maybe that's true.  I don't worry about it too much.

That said, let me move on.

The late 1800s and early 1900s have oft been described as anarchism's golden age.  What then to call today, this age, this epoch of history of anarchism then.  From Seattle in the early 90s to Cairo today anarhcism is making waves, big waves.  

You can argue about how numerical is the anarchist movement, but you cannot argue that it is not having an impact.

Many who depend on the corporate media for news (which is most everybody) have been surprised, if they noticed, to read that the "black bloc" is playing an active role in the latest stage of what may be a revolution in Egypt.  The "black bloc," they think, ..."uh yeah I heard of them, weren't they breaking windows in Seattle and running around starting fires in Athens or something.  How'd they get to Egypt?"

Somehow Arabs and anarchists just don't ring a bell.

But why not?

Perhaps, the Arab Spring is becoming a Black spring.

Who knows?

I do tip my hat though to my anarchist friends who are never afraid to take the words "struggle" and "fight" seriously...who think there is more to all this "stuff" then endless debate and academic discussion...and the internet.

So if my brand of Marxism is actually close to anarchism, then I don't think that is such a bad thing.

Now it is off to Egypt.

I have two articles below.

The first is from Roarmag.org.

The second is from A-infos.

In Egypt, anarchists carry the revolution forward

By Jerome Roos On January 28, 2013

Post image for In Egypt, anarchists carry the revolution forward

The media may be puzzled by the emergence of anarchists in Tahrir, but the truth is that anarchism was behind the insurrectionary impulse from the start.

When tens of thousands of Egyptians swarmed back into Tahrir Square on Friday to commemorate and continue the revolution that started two years ago, a remarkable and unexpected spectacle began to unfold itself. After two years of broken promises and continued state violence, a group of activists – vowing to protest fellow protesters — positioned themselves at the barricades dressed in black from head to toe, brandishing improvised flamethrowers and clubs, and wearing self-made security force uniforms.
Participants in the Egyptian ‘Black Bloc’ at the barricades on Tahrir Square

When approached by journalists, the masked activists said they refused to talk to the media, but mysteriously “mentioned anarchism” as a source of inspiration for their tactics. A day before, the Associated Press already reported the emergence of a “previously unknown group calling itself the Black Bloc,” who had warned the Muslim Brotherhood not use its “military wing” to crack down on protesters and who claimed responsibility for recent fire-bombings of Muslim Brotherhood offices.

So what is the Black Bloc, and why is it suddenly emerging on the streets of Cairo? While commonly reviled by the liberal and conservative media as a hardcore wing of violent thugs, the Black Bloc is in reality not a clearly defined group but rather a tactic of direct action, whereby (sometimes militant but oftentimes peaceful) activists dress in similar clothing in order to present themselves as a unified front and to not be recognized by security forces. While most participants in Block Bloc actions explicitly oppose violent acts against people, targeted property destruction is one form of direct action that makes up the arsenal of their ‘diversity of tactics’.

In this respect, Egypt’s anarchists are clearly inspired by some of the Black Bloc tactics we have seen elsewhere: from the German autonomist Left of the 1970s to the alter-globalization movement and the Battle of Seattle in 1999, on to the more recent 2008 youth uprising in Greece in response to the police killing of 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos. But while inspiration from movements elsewhere certainly played a role in the Black Bloc’s recent emergence in Cairo, the truth is that anarchism is not new to Tahrir. Indeed, anarchist activists, ideas and practices have been at the heart of Egypt’s leaderless popular uprising from the very start.

Many of the politicized football fans – the so-called ‘Ultras’ who gave the militant impetus for the overthrow of Mubarak – have long identified with anarchist ideas, while anarchism was one of the main sources of inspiration behind the April 6 Youth Movement, whose solidarity action with a factory strike in El-Mahalla El-Kubra in 2008 is commonly cited as an important antecedent of the 2011 uprising. The ranks of these movements have recently been strengthened by disillusioned youths who fought in the front-lines against Mubarak’s security apparatus, only to encounter the same state forces under Islamist rule. As one activist put it, “We are only ruled by bastards.”

Now that the Muslim Brotherhood has effectively halted the revolution’s “long march through the institutions”, and now that opposition parties have amply demonstrated their woeful inability to pose a credible counterweight to the forces of fundamentalism, many young Egyptians have simply lost their faith in the ability of representative institutions to realize the revolution’s demands for bread, freedom and social justice. In this era of shattered illusions, many of these young revolutionaries find that anarchism – with its radical emphasis on direct democracy, horizontal self-organization and mutual aid – provides the only hopeful alternative to further tyranny.

It is here that the struggle of the Egyptians begins to visibly connect with the ongoing struggles in the West. While Egyptian anarchists are taking an active stance to stamp out fundamentalist rule and state violence more generally, their counterparts across the Mediterranean are now one of the last remaining bulwarks against the spread of anti-immigrant violence in the streets of Athens. Members of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party have recently been implicated in racist attacks on non-Greeks, including Egyptian fishermen. But while the state sits back and allows Golden Dawn to infiltrate the police force, the anarchists have chosen to fight. Raiding Golden Dawn offices and riding through poor neighborhoods in thousands-strong anti-fascist motorcycle rallies, the Greek anarchists are now greeted as heroes by the city’s terrorized immigrant minority.

And what about the unmistakable anarchist roots of the most spectacular social movement to have emerged in the West in recent decades? As numerous observers and activists have noted, the refusal of Occupy Wall Street to make demands on the political class, its commitment to horizontal modes of consensus-based decision-making, and its emphasis on prefigurative politics gave Occupy not only its innovative character, but also made it resonate with frustrations about the crisis of representation elsewhere, allowing it wash across the globe like a tidal wave of popular indignation.

Unfortunately, there are still those who somewhat naively emphasize more old-fashioned, party-based and state-oriented models of political activism. Putting their faith in elected representatives or placing all their hope on abstract theories about the inevitability of some cataclysmic future Event, these ‘revolutionaries’ continue to rely on others to make the revolution for us. But as Tahrir transforms itself once more into the world’s forefront of popular resistance, an important message is clearly being driven home to us: in the globalized struggles of the 21st century, it is the anarchists who are carrying the revolution forward.

(en) France, Organisation Communiste Libertarie (OCL) - Egypt, Emergence of an anarchist movement - Appearance of a "Black Bloc" in Cairo and elsewhere ... (fr) [machine translation]

Date Tue, 29 Jan 2013 15:28:34 +0200

Egyptian anarchist movement emerged with a wave of bombs and street fighting: A procession of the Black Bloc in Cairo tonight, preparing for confrontation with security forces near Tahrir Square to celebrate the second anniversary of the revolution.http://oclibertaire.free.fr/local/cache-vignettes/L520xH293/cortege_BB-a1198.jpg ---- The anarchists were present in Egypt before, during and after the revolution, but so far, they had not yet organized a mass gathering under the banner of anarchism. The "Ultras" football teams in Egypt have for years been associated with anarchist ideas and actions, and they are widely credited with having raised the level of activism that brought down the Mubarak government in February 2011. ----

Last night, anarchism left graffiti-walls, small conversations and online forums of Egypt, and came to light in Cairo, declaring themselves as a new force in social revolution underway, triggered two years ago, with several incendiary bombs launched against the offices of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Later, the government closed the Facebook pages of "Black Blocairo" and "Egyptian Black Bloc", but they were revived.

"Expect our next attacks as a response to the closure of our official ... " Have they written in a statement released this morning (translated below).

Today, the Black Bloc made his first appearance in mass in Tahrir Square, and shortly after, they attacked the firebomb the Shura Council (Egyptian Parliament), demolished part of the wall riot barriers leading to Tahrir Square, and with others, have engaged in fighting against security forces.

These statements and actions are in preparation for the day after the second anniversary of the revolution, and what some call a "whole new level" of protest in Egypt.

Anarchism and the concept of Black Bloc have gained prominence in recent months through Egypt. They come from various groups / anarchist circles that have coalesced and merged during the revolutionary period. A massive distrust towards all political parties among the youth, a scathing critique of the role of religion in governance and the inspiration of the anarchist resistance in the world (mainly symbolized by the revolt in Greece in late-2008) helped this catalysis.

Below, the statement "Black Blocairo" about the closure of their websites, their incendiary bomb attacks against government offices and their calls for revolt

Yesterday and after we finished our intervention, we met some revolutionary movements and we decided to unite together in our next attack, in consequence of which we conducted our first two attacks, as we have said yesterday:

1 - In the burning site office "Ikhwan Online" (Muslim Brotherhood)

2 - burning the office down the street Ikhwan Al-Manial in Cairo.

And we announced our revolution today from Al-Tahrir Square until Egypt and its people get their rights!

Dignified life, freedom and social justice!

Black Blocairo, The Hooligans

Wait for our next attack as a response to the closure of our official ...

Source: here

These actions were taken on the evening of Wednesday, January 22

Found in the press "official"

Young Egyptians create a group for violence to fight the Muslim Brotherhood

EFE - Cairo

Young Egyptians have created a group called "Black Bloc" (Block Black) for "fight fascist tyranny of the Muslim Brotherhood" and will use force to achieve their goal, according to what they announced in a video posted on Youtube this last hours.

In the recording, the group says it will fight against "the Muslim Brotherhood and its armed wing" and asked the Interior Ministry not to intervene in this case because it will retaliate if he faces.
Though that the Brotherhood has repeatedly denied that it had an armed wing, the Egyptian media have reported in recent months of the existence of these alleged militia Muslim Brotherhood.

A source within the Egyptian security services confirmed the existence of the agency Efe this new group and said they were last night in Tahrir Square, where they chanted slogans against the Muslim Brotherhood.

In the video the group posted on the Internet, many young people appear with hoods and black clothes slide across one of the bridges over the Nile in downtown Cairo with Egyptian flags and anarchists.

Young people say they want to "liberate the human being, to destroy the corruption and overthrow the tyrant. '

This new organization is inspired by the radical left groups in other countries of the world, which have expanded with anti-globalization movements.

Tomorrow will be in Egypt the second anniversary of the revolution that toppled the regime of Hosni Mubarak with a mass demonstration called by the revolutionary parties and opponents to protest against the president, Mohamed Morsi Islamist.

EGYPT | Against the Muslim Brotherhood

Birth of a militia to fight the "fascist tyranny" of Egyptian Islamists

El Mundo.es
Thursday, January 24
Francisco CarriÃn | Cairo

"The Chaos against injustice! " This is the flag that waved the menacing "Black Bloc" (black block), a group of young Egyptians to provide "ready to hell" and decided to resort to violence to "fight against fascist tyranny Muslim Brotherhood " and its alleged militia.

The introductory message spread by social networks and explained in a video posted on YouTube, coincides with the eve of the second anniversary of the riots that forced the resignation of Hosni Mubarak. The non-Islamist parties and movements have called for demonstrations tomorrow, Friday across the country to protest against the steamroller of the Brotherhood, the movement belongs to President Mohamed Morsi, Salafists and its allies (legalistic). The appointment will be titled "No to the State of the Brotherhood Revolution Continues"

And here is between a block in action said to be inspired by the radical left groups and seeks to resist "the Muslim Brotherhood and its armed group" . Although the Brotherhood - a de facto power of the Arab countries - has insisted he has no militia defending the liberal media that is based on wild clashes in December between supporters and opponents of "rais" which resulted in 11 dead and over 700 injured.

Objective: "free human beings"

In the video, the group, whose appearance has been confirmed to Efe by the security services, application to the Ministry of the Interior not to interfere in their fight against the Brotherhood and stresses that its goal is to "liberate humans, destroy the corruption and overthrow the tyrant. " In the images placed in the last few hours on their Facebook page, you can see young people with hoods and dressed in black marching in different parts of central Cairo.

At the other extreme, the former leader of the terrorist organization Al-Gama al Islamiya, Tarek el Zomor warned they will resort to violence to protect "Islamic project" from the clutches of "communists lay and Nasserist " .

El Zomor, who was released from prison in March 2011, after three decades behind bars for their involvement in the assassination of President Anwar Sadat, added: "If the President is obliged to relinquish power by means illegitimate, the Muslim Brotherhood, which are known to be peaceful, must be cleared so that revolutionary Islamists are leading the fight against the anarchists and the laity. '

The chaos that comes

The "Black Blocs" are not alone. Assets "Ultras" football teams of the capital, trained for years to street fighting and avant-garde of the popular uprising two years ago, warned yesterday that "chaos will come" after a day, hundreds, they protested outside the headquarters of the Cairo Stock Exchange, blocked a subway line and disrupted traffic on a bridge downtown.

Radicals have declared that yesterday was the first day of wrath against the verdict could be announced next Saturday (January 26) for the tragedy on the stage of Port Said, where, in February, were killed more than 70 supporters club Al Ahli.

In addition, on Thursday, dozens of protesters tried to shoot down a concrete wall built in November last year to protect the seats in Parliament and the Council of Ministers in central Cairo, just a few meters from the symbolic space Tahrir

They threw stones at security forces, who responded with tear gas. After these incidents, military vehicles reached the place with cranes and concrete blocks to rebuild the wall in anticipation of further clashes may occur Friday.

The Black Bloc, a new and mysterious "guest" in the unrest in Egypt

Mohamed Siali
(included in many Spanish language media)

They are a violent organization and opaque youth characterized by their balaclavas and dark clothing.
Many Egyptian and Arab media consider them as part of a foreign conspiracy and a threat to public order in the country.
The members of this group say they act to combat "fascist tyranny" of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Black Bloc, a violent organization and opaque hooded youths who joined the incidents in recent days in Egypt, sparked controversy over its goals and identity of its members.
Their hoods and masks, dark clothing and their refusal speak to the media led some Egyptian and Arab media to consider them as part of a foreign plot that threatens public order.
however, the group explained in one of their occasional statements that they act in the fight against the "fascist tyranny" of the Muslim Brotherhood, which now dominate the Egyptian political scene.

Two days before the second anniversary of the revolution of 25 January 2011 and the beginning of the new wave of violence, one of their leaders said that their aim is to overthrow the president, Mohamed Morsi, the government and the Muslim Brotherhood to prevent this group monopolizing power.
few hours after this interview, the group has released a video on YouTube to inaugurate the public presence of the organization with one goal: "Fight the fascist tyranny of the Muslim Brotherhood and its armed wing"

Although some media and opposition groups have reported the last months of the alleged existence of militiamen loyal to the Brotherhood, it has repeatedly denied that it had an armed wing.
Saturday, the Muslim Brotherhood themselves have referred, in a statement, Black Bloc, they were designated as "militias black bands" and accusing him of attacking the police and public institutions on the anniversary of the revolution.

In their video posted on the Internet, many young people appear dressed in black with hoods, running over one of the bridges of the Nile in Cairo with Egyptian flags and anarchists.
In the recording, several young men explained that they seek to "liberate human beings destroy the corruption and overthrow the tyrant"

Assumptions authorities

The Egyptian state television aired a brief report on Saturday in which it is said that the Black Bloc is a "foreign group in Egyptian society and that, according to observers, it is controlled by an officer of the Israeli secret service Mossad" and asked citizens not to cooperate with them.
According quatari TV, Al Jazeera, activists of the Black Bloc, have led skirmishes with other protesters on Friday near the Presidential Palace in Cairo Al Itihadiya after tried to remove the barriers erected around the building.

During the demonstrations that day in Tahrir Square, one of the masked militants refused to make statements in his group because he was not allowed to speak to foreign media.

Sealed and unstructured Egypt

The general coordinator of the Coalition of Revolutionary Forces, Haitam al Shauaf stated that the new movement was inspired by one of the anti-globalization groups who appeared in several Western countries in the eighties of the last century.
however, activist reports that the Egyptian version lack of organization and maturity in its action, because it is a new experience for activism in Egypt, even if, in his opinion, the group was able to recruit a large number of young people in different provinces.
Shauaf Al added that it is very difficult to obtain information about its members and their ideological because they are covered with hoods and are reluctant to talk to other activists.
It explained that his coalition, one of the most influential revolutionary movement has not yet decided how to deal with this new organization, adding that so far they are currently evaluating their work and that the light of this, they decide. "the Black Bloc activists do not believe in peaceful struggle, but see that violence is the only way to force change. Regardless of whether they are right or not, this position is a consequence of the violence used by the authorities against peaceful protests " , he said.


A "Black Bloc" tram stops in Alexandria and Cairo manifest
Ahram Online, Friday, January 25, 2013

A group of masked men organized protests in Cairo and Alexandria, and calls for " the fall of the regime "
A group of young protesters, who identified themselves as "Black Bloc", marked the second anniversary of the Egyptian revolution in blocking tramway in Alexandria on Friday.
A dozen people wearing black masks stopped the tram route using traffic barriers, and also blocked the road to the Al-Qaid Ibrahim, where demonstrations are expected occur.
(...) ____

The Black Bloc is trying to storm Governorate building in Mansoura
Ahram Arabic news website, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013

In further attempts to storm the headquarters of the province Governorate of Dakahliya [in Mansoura, 120 km northeast of Cairo), in the central delta, members of the Black Bloc group clashed with security forces before destroy the site entrance.
The Black Bloc is a new vigilante group dressed in black who made ââtheir first public appearance during muscular national events of the second anniversary of the revolution, Friday, Jan. 25.
According to Ahram Arabic newswebsite , demonstrations calling for the demands of the revolution continued for a second day in front of the governorate building.


Alexandria Again

In this dispatch from the Sunday, January 27, RFI

it is reported:
"In Alexandria, Black Block stormed a government building in which they extended a banner declaring the independence of the second city of Egypt. '

Video of the "Black Bloc Egypt"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8IyRkEKywY&feature=player_embedded #!

Alexandria, January 20, 2012

A peaceful rally outside the gates of the court at the trial for the murders of January 2011 is brutally attacked by the police. There were 31 prisoners, including four members of the Libertarian Socialist Movement.

They are detained in any legal basis for at least 10 days pass before a judge since January 30. Three members of this libertarian organization have been arrested in November 2012 on charges of inciting workers to strike and public disorder.

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