Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
tells a compelling narrative that has this small group organising in poor neighbourhoods, organising feints, etc. to finally arrive in Tahrir Square with a crowd too numerous to dislodge by the police.

It hangs together. The Egyptian police are very good at keeping the lid on, they have done so for 30 years while there has been no shortage of people with legitimate grievances.

Unless someone can come up with a plausible competing narrative as to how Tahrir Square got occupied (and I think we can agree that this was the indispensible catalyst of the revolution), I'm happy with this one. Even if it was printed by the NYT.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Feb 23rd, 2011 at 03:46:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But there is an alternative, and not prima facie less compelling, narrative. Namely that the mass protests in Egypt were the culmination of a number of years' escalating labour conflicts, with the Tunisian revolt being the trigger that caused the conflicts at individual workplaces to coalesce into a coherent revolutionary movement.

I'm not arguing that that's the true version, or even that the two are mutually exclusive. But I am arguing that when attempting to ascertain their relative importance, you need to take the American press with a heavy dose of salt. Mass union organisation as a basis for democratic revolutions is so far outside its frame of reference (and what it is politically possible for it to print) that it is liable to underestimate its importance.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2011 at 04:05:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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