Arab spring

Arab spring
1 September 2013Feature

New CIA files show US supported Iraqi chemical warfare against Iran


Chemical bombing of Halabja, 1988, pencil (30 x 42cm). Osman Ahmed

As the US and Britain threaten to attack Syria on the basis of an alleged chemical weapons attack on the Ghouta suburb of Damascus, confirmation has emerged of US government complicity in Iraqi chemical weapons attacks during the eight-year Iran-Iraq war.

As PN went to press, UN…

28 August 2012Letter

The May 2012 Peace News editorial on Syria (PN 2545) argued ‘western movements... should look to the massive internet-based group Avaaz, which has channelled hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of satellite phones and other communications equipment into Syria.’

On 21 July 2012, under the headline ‘Stymied at UN, US Refines Plan to Remove Assad’, the New York Times reported: ‘The United States would provide more communications training and equipment to help improve the combat…

28 August 2012Review

Just World Books, 2012; 250pp; £14

In this book Rami Zurayk, professor of agriculture at the American University of Beirut, brings to light the intersections of food security, displacement and rural poverty, with the regional and global patterns of state injustice, neoliberalism, corporate control and foreign occupation.

Originally written as a series of posts for his blog (‘Land and People’), the format may challenge the reader at first.

However, what initially feels like a weakness ultimately emerges as a…

30 March 2012News

Despite a widespread security clampdown (see PN 2543) around the anniversary of last year’s 14 February nonviolent uprising, Bahrainis continue to struggle for democracy with demonstrations and an open-ended hunger strike.

On 9 March, tens of thousands protested at Manama’s heavily-guarded Pearl roundabout, which a year ago was Bahrain’s Tahrir Square. Reportedly, riot police fired tear gas into the crowd and protesters threw rocks in return.

On 23 March, hundreds of demonstrators organised by the 14 February Revolution Youth Coalition broke away from a licensed demonstration organised by official opposition parties, to head once again for the Pearl roundabout. They were met with water cannon and…

1 March 2012News in Brief

Egyptian pacifist Maikel Nabil Sanad has finally been released by the military authorities. Maikel was arrested on 29 March last year for criticising the military for its role during and after the Egyptian uprising. He was convicted by successive military courts of ‘insulting’ the army and ‘spreading false information’.

Peace News has been following Maikel’s case since the beginning (see PN 2533 for the background).

Maikel was finally released on the anniversary of the uprising…

1 March 2012Review

Verso, 2012; 237pp; £12.99

As the BBC Newsnight economics editor, Paul Mason has become a familiar face on television over the last few years, reporting on the protest movements, revolutions and revolts that have been “kicking off” across the globe since 2009.

Mason is also a keen blogger, and it is these (albeit now cleaned up) postings that form the backbone of this electrifying new book.

The essence of his argument is that “we’re in the middle of a revolution caused by the near collapse of free-market…

24 January 2012News

Egyptian pacifist now in sixth month of hunger strike

As PN went to press, Egyptian pacifist Maikel Nabil Sanad was continuing his hunger strike in protest against his imprisonment for criticising the new military regime. 20 January marked his 150th day without food: his kidneys were beginning to fail.

Maikel’s sentence has been reduced from four to two years. He is now on a water-only fast.

 

1 October 2011News

Egyptian pacifist and blogger continues fast.

Pacifist blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad has been on hunger strike in an Egyptian prison since 23 August. Arrested on 28 March on charges of “insulting the military” for publishing an article exposing the role of the military during and after the revolution, he was sentenced to three years in prison on 10 April.

With his hunger strike, Maikel Nabil Sanad demands his release from prison. An appeal hearing has now been brought forward to 4 October, but his friends and supporters fear that he…

1 September 2011News in Brief

On 23 August, Maikel Nabil Sanad, the pacifist blogger sentenced to three years’ imprisonment by the new Egyptian government for “insulting the military” (see PN 2533), began a hunger strike in protest against his sentence. As we went to press, the hunger strike was continuing. On 18 August, similar charges were dropped against Asmaa Mahfouz and Louie Nagati.

30 June 2011Blog entry

<p>Emily Johns and Gabriel Carlyle talk about Peace News, the birthday party, the Egyptian revolution, Peace News Summer Camp, and the point of doing pointless things.</p>

1 June 2011Feature

Gabriel Carlyle explores the lessons to be learnt from the long back-story to the Egyptian uprising.

"On December 23, April 6 activist xxxxxxxxxxxx ... alleged that several opposition parties and movements have accepted an unwritten plan for democratic transition by 2011; we are doubtful of this claim" – secret cable from the US Embassy in Cairo to Washington [1]

"Nonviolent action is not just about non-violence, but also about joy and happiness ... [People] saw in Tahrir what Egypt could possibly be in the future and they wanted to be part of this new Egypt" – Wael Adel, Academy for…

28 May 2011Blog entry

“On December 23, April 6 activist xxxxxxxxxxxx … alleged that several opposition parties and movements have accepted an unwritten plan for democratic transition by 2011; we are doubtful of this claim” – secret cable from the US Embassy in Cairo to Washington [1]

“Nonviolent action is not just about non-violence, but also about joy and happiness … [People] saw in Tahrir what Egypt could possibly be in the future and they wanted to be part of this new Egypt” – Wael Adel,…

1 May 2011Feature

The report that led to its author, a young Egyptian peace activist, being imprisoned on 12 April for three years. Its title refers to the demonstrators’chant in Tahrir Square: “the army and the people are one hand!”

On 11 February, after president Hosni Mubarak’s stepping-down speech, many Egyptians rushed to declaring victory and the completion of the revolution. I regret having to say the following, mostly because many of those who spoke out are my friends, but people have the right to know the truth. In fact, the revolution has so far managed to get rid of the dictator but not of the dictatorship.

As I participated in the revolution since day one, I’ve witnessed the majority of the events. I…

1 May 2011Feature

“We got rid of the dictator, but not of the dictatorship”. Maikel Nabil Sanad wrote this in a post on his blog, in which he analysed the role of the Egyptian military during and after the revolution that toppled dictator Hosni Mubarak. Three weeks later, on 28 March, he was arrested by military police. A judge then ordered his imprisonment for 15 days, pending the investigation on charges of “insulting the military” and “obstructing public security”.

The trial itself was adjourned…

1 May 2011Review

OR Books, 2011; 234pp; available for £8 + p&p only from www.orbooks.com

Can a book of “tweets” (140-character-or-less micro-messages) really be readable? The answer is a resounding yes (and don’t worry if you’re not Twitter-savvy, I certainly wasn’t).

Through careful selection the editors have created an inspiring and coherent narrative that not only explains the evolving strategies of both sides but also allows personalities to shine through. Nonviolence played a crucial role throughout, especially in the early decisive confrontations with the police (“…