[This is a bi-weekly roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Resistance and Subversion in the Arab world and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the DARS Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each bi-weekly roundup to DARS@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every second week.]
News & Commentary
UN Declares 2014 Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, by IMEMC
The United Nations has declared the year 2014 as a “Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People” after the resolution passed by 110 votes, while seven opposed, and fifty-four countries abstained. The UN said it will be working with various governments, organizations, and civil society institutions in 2014 to ensure the urgently needed support to the Palestinian people.
The Taboo on Boycotting Israel Has Been Broken, by David Lloyd
On Saturday 23 November the American Studies Association’s annual meeting took place to discuss the resolution to “endorse and honor” the Palestinian call for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. Thirty-seven out of forty-four speakers, ranging from senior professors to graduate and undergraduate students, spoke in favour of the boycott. All recalled the association’s fundamental commitment to the study and critique of racism and the US history of imperialism and settler colonialism.
Gaza: Abuse, Harassment of Activists, by Human Rights Watch
Hamas authorities in Gaza have been harassing Palestinians suspected of supporting the “Tamarod Gaza” activist group. According to HRW, the authorities should stop the harassment, allow the group to hold demonstrations, and investigate the alleged torture of Tamarod’s supporters. Tamarod (“Rebel”) has criticized what it calls poor governance by Hamas and abuses by security services, and has called on Hamas to relinquish power and hold elections.
Campesino Activists Harvest Olives, by Alternative Information Center
Many international volunteers come to Palestine each year to help with the olive harvest, but few have direct personal experience as farmworkers threatened with violence and displacement in their home countries. This time, a delegation came to Palestine from South America, representing Brazil`s Landless Workers` Movement, Argentina`s National Indigenous Peasant Movement, as well as the International Peasants` Movement, Via Campesina.
Female “7 am” Protesters Await Verdict, by Mada Masr
Twenty-one girls and women charged with illegal assembly, blocking roads and destroying public property, are awaiting verdict from an Alexandria misdemeanors court, amid solidarity protests. They are part of the “7 am” movement, which was formed in October to protest what members call the military coup that ousted former President Mohamed Morsi on 3 July.
New Law in Egypt Effectively Bans Street Protests, by David D. Kirkpatrick
Egypt’s military-backed government has issued a law that all but bans street protests by applying jail time or heavy fines to the public demonstrations that have felled the last two presidents and regularly roiled the capital since the Arab Spring revolt. The new law criminalizes the kind of free assembly and public expression that many Egyptians had embraced as a cherished foundation of their new democracy after the 2011 ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.
Political Movements Condemn Protest Law, by Rana Muhammad Taha
A group of political activists announced they would submit a notice to a protest they will hold in the vicinity of Tahrir Square next week under the banner “down with the Protest Law.” The law necessitates that organizers of any public assembly, be it a political meeting, protest, or march, should submit a written notice to the nearest police station with the settings of the planned assembly and the organizers’ contact information. This drew wide criticism from domestic and international human rights organizations.
Egyptian Army Opponents Break Their Silence, by Markus Symank
During the past four months, only the followers of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi demonstrated against the army and the interim government it set up. Now, for the first time, resistance is also building among secularists. The young revolutionary activists recently stopped holding protest marches to avoid being labeled as sympathizers of the Muslim Brotherhood. But with increasing reports of arbitrary arrests and torture, and signs that the generals will not give up their privileges enshrined in the constitution, activists no longer feel they can remain silent.
Small Protest in Tahrir Square Restores Dissent to Cairo’s Heart, by Kareem Fahim
A demonstration on 19 November in Cairo’s Tahrir Square seemed to represent a breakthrough for young leftists and other revolutionary activists who have struggled to find their voice since the military ousted President Mohamed Morsi in July, splitting the country into polarized, feuding camps. Galvanized by anger and marching under the banners of slain comrades, the activists tried to offer an alternative in Egypt’s sclerotic political scene. The protests seemed to temporarily restore Tahrir Square as a sanctuary for dissent after the many pro-military rallies in the square that followed Morsi’s fall, a change that seemed to stun some of the military’s fans.
Libyan Women Protest against Militia Violence, by Valerie Stocker
After repeated clashes in Tripoli, hundreds of women have demonstrated for the disarmament of the militias and the reinforcement of the military and the police. Their energetic presence, even after nightfall, came as a surprise to many, especially since religious and security threats restrict women`s freedom of movement. A military withdrawal from the capital helped spawn the conflict–with no end in sight.
Jihadi Groups “Devour” Syria’s Revolutionary Children, by Alexander Chirstie-Miller
In recent weeks, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an Al Qaeda-affiliated group dominated by foreign fighters, has turned its sights on Syrian activists and journalists. The crackdown came after Aleppo activists and journalists formed a union to better protect themselves, which ISIS saw as a threat.
Syria: the Struggle Continues, by Leila Shrooms
The discourse on Syria has been dominated by discussions of militarization, Islamization, sectarianism, and geopolitical concerns. Conversely there has been relatively little focus on Syria’s grassroots civil opposition. This article attempts to provide an introduction to some of the many civil resistance initiatives taking place on the ground and efforts at revolutionary self-organization, focusing on initiatives that are non-party political or religiously aligned. Syria`s grassroots civil resistance lives on, despite the increased militarization of what is now not only a revolutionary struggle, but also a brutal conflict between an increasing number of actors.
Emerging “Unipolarity” in Turkey’s Political Landscape, by Burak Kadercan
During the course of the summer protests, many analysts, scholars, and public intellectuals alleged that the Gezi Park protests had changed Turkish politics for good and for the better. They were most certainly right about the former conclusion but most likely wrong about the latter, for the Gezi episode was merely the symptom of a problem, that is, Turkish democracy’s gradual slide into more and more authoritarian territory.
Inside Avaaz–Can Online Activism Really Change the World? by Carole Cadwalladr
In just six years, Avaaz–which means "voice" in various languages–has become a global pressure group to be reckoned with. It`s a new kind of activism that isn`t issue-led, it`s issues-led. It`s human rights abuses in Burma, or it`s the Syrian civil war, or it`s threats against the Great Barrier Reef or it`s homophobia in Costa Rica. It`s whatever its supporters, guided by the Avaaz team, choose to click on most this month. Avaaz represents the rise of a global phenomenon: online protest–otherwise known as "clickativism."
Wanted for Justice in Bahrain
Human Rights Defenders in Bahrain have launched a new campaign “Wanted for Justice in Bahrain”, calling for an end to the climate of impunity which has seen leading human rights defenders arrested, tortured, denied due legal process, and sentenced to lengthy prison terms after unfair trials.
Stop the Shipment of Tear Gas to Bahrain
A global campaign has been launched to stop the flow of tear gas to Bahrain, after research and advocacy group Bahrain Watch published a leaked official document showing that the government may be planning to import 1.6 million tear gas canisters and 90,000 tear gas and sound grenades.
Put Your Weapons Down, by Cassie Balfour and Althea Middleton-Detzner
Zeid Hamdan’s song “General Suleiman” illustrates how music can serve as an amplifier for civil resistance, an avenue through which messages of peace, unity, and freedom from corruption and violence, can be communicated to a wider audience. General Suleiman is not a fictitious character in a children’s song but a Commander in the Lebanese Armed Forces who played an essential role in the peace agreement process at the end of the civil war.
“Shooting Revolution” Film Brings to Life PLO’s Heyday in Lebanon, by Maureen Clare Murphy
Monica Maurer, a German filmmaker who worked with the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Palestine Film Unit in Lebanon in the 1970s, is currently completing a film with the working title Shooting Revolution which revisits the Palestinian revolution’s heyday.
Conferences & Events
Global Uprisings, 15-17 November 2013, De Balie, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Mediating the Arab Uprisings, 26 November 2013, George Mason University, Virginia, USA
Mobilisations Populaires et Processus Révolutionnaires au Moyen-Orient et en Afrique du Nord, 29 November 2013, Université Ouvrière de Genève, Geneva, Switzerland
She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World, 27 August 2013-12 January 2014, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA
Creative Dissent: Arts of the Arat World Uprisings, 8 November 2013-9 February 2014, Arab American National Museum, Michigan, USA