US (PalTelegraph-Rachael Rudolph)—Some have made the argument that if the January 25 Egyptian protests do not continue after today, then we are not witnessing the beginning of an Egyptian revolution. One thing is being overlooked, however. The number of people on the streets indicates support for a people’s movement for change in Egypt. While there may not be large, active participation as there was today, the numbers do indicate the public will remain supportive and neutral for additional and future action against the policies of oppression, repression and suppression by the Egyptian government. And as any revolutionary historian or theorist would say, one lesson learned from past movements is that public support or neutrality is vital for further action and sustenance of a revolution or a movement for change. Could there potentially be support for a future global movement for Change and Reform?
Revolutions and resistance movements throughout history provide lessons to be learned for those keen on affecting and bringing about economic, political and social change to their communities and countries. Let the historic successes of the Chinese, Russian and Cuban revolutions, ongoing movements such as Hamas, and the failures of others guide us to recognize what has and has not worked in the past and present for implementing global change and reform in the future.
While history, experience, and context situate the interpretation of facts on the ground, there are commonalities in strategies employed that transcend time and space. Policies and strategies implemented today are both similar and different from those in the past. Our revolutionaries of today, whether in Tunisia or Egypt, need to look to and be vigilant of the successes and failures of others. Moreover, knowledge and understanding of the counter-revolutionary policies employed by those who seek to stay in power or steal the movement from the authentically devoted are also necessary. Our governments and their practices may differ temporally and spatially, but those employed for eliminating dissent and maintaining the status quo are similar.
If it is the case that we are witnessing the start of something truly spectacular, and not just simply a contagion effect, then let it be a signal for those who are no longer content to stay silent and a warning to those in power, from the East to the West, and especially the United States of Apartheid Israel. The people in this global humanitarian movement should no longer stand idle while those in power, who claim to represent us, implement the domestic and foreign policies, and advocate for the interests, of others. Will Mubarak continue to employ domestic policies that benefit and implement the foreign policies of the United States and Apartheid Israel? Will the people continue to allow foreign governments to willfully besiege, starve and slaughter a population because they do not like the political party that came to power and instead prefer those they can manipulate? Will the people continue to allow elected representatives to fill their pockets with gifts from special interest?
Let what is taking place be a signal that there will be an end to invasions, occupations, and policies of oppression, repression and suppression. Apartheid Israel’s occupation of Palestine will no longer be tolerated and an independent Palestinian state will be declared, represented by the legitimate and democratically elected; future invasions such as those led by the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq will be prevented; and, Egypt’s and Apartheid Israel’s use of oppression, repression and suppression will no longer be funded through foreign economic and military aid. Political participation of and dialogue with all, without conditions, irrespective of party or ideology, will be the basis for international governance and relations.
Let humanitarian and international law be respected, and not used as a political tool by some to ban or eliminate political parties not of their liking. Whether in Afghanistan, Apartheid Israel, Egypt, Guantanamo, Iraq or the United States, let there be an end to the use of and support for violations of human rights such as arbitrary political arrests and the use of torture. The human rights enshrined in international and humanitarian law should be applicable to all, and violators held to account for their crimes against humanity. Government officials in Apartheid Israel, Egypt and the United States must be held accountable for their actions, crimes and persecutions against humanity.
Let what is taking place signal that the social and economic inequalities will be a priority for the international community. A sustainable economic development paradigm is needed to replace the outdated, ineffective and failed neoliberal one that is shoved down the throats of and shackles the poor throughout the world. If the neoliberal order continues to be the ideological basis of the post-Washington consensus economic order, then there will be even greater numbers of people losing their homes and going hungry in their make-shift beds. Greater social, economic and political inequalities will plague the streets from the Middle East to the United States, with more children, women and the elderly living in the streets and begging for spare change.
Finally, let human behavior be guided by the will of, and governed by, the people, where individual interest is understood in terms of the community. For far too long we have allowed hyper-individualism to shield us from the realities of the world in which we are living. We turn off the television, shut down the internet, or seek oblivion with drugs and alcohol to escape that which surrounds us in our communities, country, or that happening outside our geographical borders. Abandonment, escape or the tuning out of reality and to what is happening to others will not make our world a better place.
Regardless of whether one approves or likes it, our world and lives are interconnected and interdependent. Exceptionalism and domination will only produce ignorance, and intolerance, more extreme hatred and violence. We, as inhabitants of the international and global community and as participant of a potential global people’s movement, have a collective responsibility to teach our children and promote belief in the betterment of humanity and to end the chaos and disorder that currently governs our countries and international relations. Let there be accountability, transparency, and respect for the human rights of all, irrespective of political, social or economic background or persuasion, so that there can be true global Change and Reform led by and for the people. Maybe this is only a dream for one of the dissatisfied?