The Arab Awakening – Tweets from Tahrir

[New mobile communication technologies such as twitter have been extremely useful for youth, students, and many petty-bourgeois activists in the “Arab Spring” and its many spin-offs in North Africa and in the MiddleEast.  These communication tools have also been recounted as essential instruments, as if there would be no rebellion without tweets, and that is a ridiculous claim.  Additionally, at certain key junctures, the repressive state apparatus has been able to use these new technologies for enhanced surveillance, and at times, when popular over-reliance on twitter was detected by the police, they could systematically shut it off and prevent communications among rebel groups.  Nevertheless, this AlJazeera account of the role of Twitter and Tweets in Tahrir has fascinating insights to one part of the ongoing story of a revolution that has only taken its first step. — Frontlines ed.]

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AlJazeeraEnglish on Feb 19, 2012

Cairo’s ‘Twitterati’ tweeted their revolution for 18 days from in and around Tahrir Square.

Young, urbane and highly-motivated, their tweets revealed the truth of the scale of the uprising which Egypt’s state media sought to hide, and gave a street-level, minute-by-minute account of how the persistence and bravery of the Egyptian people brought down a dictator.

Note: The book ‘Tweets From Tahrir’ by OR Books was the inspiration for this film.

Lagos: ‘Occupy Nigeria’ Protest at multiplying gas prices

by International Business Times Staff Reporter | Jan 10, 2012

A day of protests in Nigeria is coming to a close, but the nationwide unrest is far from over as protestors assume the “Occupy” moniker in an effort to re-instate a fuel subsidy and to show their distaste for President Goodluck Jonathan’s government.

Monday saw a massive strike led by national trade unions and the Nigerian Bar Association, as well as demonstrations and marches in all of the country’s major cities.

Protestors are angry over the government’s decision to remove a fuel subsidy that kept gas prices — and thereby food and transportation prices — down for Nigerian citizens, who, on average, make less than $2 a day.

Nigeria has the most oil of all African nations, but a lack of infrastructure means that it can’t refine oil on its own. Nigeria exports its crude oil, but then must import refined oil from other nations.
Until Jan. 1, the fuel subsidy meant that the government — which has become rich from the sale of crude — fronted the import costs. But since the subsidy was removed the price of gas has more than doubled across Nigeria.

Protests started last week and are expected to continue. For the short-term, people are demanding that the subsidy return. In the long term, some want serious government reform and are calling for Jonathan’s resignation.

While much of the demonstration on Monday remained peaceful, in many cities in Nigeria protestors battled with police officers and security forces. At least one person died from a gun shot wound in the city of Kano — where another 30 were injured — but reports from protestors suggest that there could have been many more casualties.

Anti-Subsidy Removal Protest in Port Harcourt. 09/01/12

Nigeria fuel-price protests turn violent

AlJazeeraEnglish on Jan 4, 2012
At least one person has been killed in protests over rising fuel prices. The cost of petrol more than doubled on Sunday night after the government cancelled fuel subsidies.
But hundreds of angry demonstrators responded to the government move in the commercial capital, Lagos, on Tuesday. Protesters shut down petrol stations, formed human barriers along motorways and hijacked buses as police used riot-control tactics to control them.  (Al Jazeera’s Gerald Tan reports.)

United Nations Libya plans ‘revealed in report’

[In the Libyan “transition” from Gaddafi to new power relations, this report on the UN’s transition plan may indicate how the US/EU/NATO forces may direct–(and camoflage, if the history of the US-controlled UN-MINUSTAH force occupation of Haiti is applied to Libya)–their role in the reconstruction.  And while major countries throughout the imperialist system are apparently approving the plan as it takes shape, there are also reports of Libyan opposition to it.  It deserves close attention by all friends of the Libyan people. — Frontlines ed.]

Video: Leaked UN report outlines plan for Libya

AlJazeeraEnglish on Aug 29, 2011

A leaked document apparently detailing United Nations preparations for its role in post-Gaddafi Libya reveals plans for the world body to deploy military observers and police officers to the North African country.

The document was obtained and published by Inner City Press, the UN watchdog website.

Al Jazeera spoke to Matthew Russell Lee, a journalist who runs the Inner City Press.

Libya protest against moves to establish rebel power with superficially retro-fitted Gaddafi-ites

[It is important to note that former Gaddafi-regime officials, now in the NTC, are urging the NATO forces to continue.  These same officials, and others in the Gaddafi regime, had maintained the friendly and collaborative US-Gaddafi relationship in recent years until the emerging revolt six months ago crippled Gaddafi’s dependability as a deal-maker with the US, then the US turned its attention to controlling the rebel forces instead.  Some of the Gaddafi officials who had kept the regime’s relations with the US, jumped off the sinking Gaddafi ship and joined the rebel forces, often in commanding positions. — Frontlines ed.]

Dissent in Libya against NTC nominations

AlJazeeraEnglish on Aug 28, 2011

The NTC has been nominating members for a new government, but there is public resistance to the appointments. Libyans have held protests within the country accusing the NTC of not being transparent enough.

Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmons, reporting from a protest in Misrata, said: “They [the protesters] say the old guard of the Gaddafi regime are far too prominent in the list of people issued so far.

“They are also insisting there should be new faces for a new Libya.”

Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmons reporting from Misrata.