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Dear Listmembers, This is an excerpt from an article in today's Guardian. I love the ``It's like Hyde Park''. Hit the streets! Antiwar protest may not get the coverage it deserves in the US/UK media but the rest of the world sees us: international solidarity! best wishes, Fay >From ``We are all Iraqis now'' by Egyptian journalist Hani Shukrallah ... Then came February 15, 2003. More than 30 million people, from Los Angeles to Tokyo, were out on the streets protesting against the war on Iraq. One million people demonstrated in London, three million in Rome; it was a day the like of which the world had never seen. In the Arab world there was almost silence. Even the governments were embarrassed. After all, in their desperate appeals to their White House patron and his over-zealous adviser at 10 Downing Street to "lighten up" on the Arabs, the Arab governments' major bargaining card (indeed, their only card) has been their feebleness. "A military attack on Iraq would push the region into an abyss of chaos - instability and terror would rule the day," they protested repeatedly. Yet, so successful had they been in depoliticising their citizens, so complete seemed the disenfranchisement of the Arab peoples, that the Masters of the Universe called the regimes' bluff. They held the Arab masses in the same contempt that their rulers held them in. Robert Fisk, in the Independent, put it brutally. "One million people demonstrate in London, while the Arabs, faced with disaster, are like mice." Even before it appeared in translation in one of the opposition newspapers, Fisk's article was picked up on with almost masochistic relish; being forwarded by email, in the original English and in various ad-hoc translations - testimony perhaps to the profound effect the day had on popular consciousness in Egypt and in the rest of the Arab world. Not only was the perceived confrontation between Arabs and Muslims on one hand and a monolithic west on the other proved absurd, but western Christians and atheists were defending an Arab cause much better than the Arabs themselves could hope to do. On Thursday, day one of the invasion, thousands of protesters collected in Tahrir Square, in Cairo. "It's like Hyde Park," was the common refrain, expressed in exhilarated tones. The anti-riot police, while very much in evidence, had stayed its hand, letting demonstrators be as they peacefully occupied the square until the evening, chanting slogans, making speeches, painting political graffiti on the ground and staging street theatre. On Friday, the beatings began, and continued. The government's message was loud and clear: "You've had your one day. No more." ...... Thursday March 27, 2003 The Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,3604,922612,00.html ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ + Fay Dowker Physics Department + + Queen Mary, University of London + + E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Mile End Road, + + Phone: +44-(0)20-7882-5047 London E1 4NS. + + Fax: +44-(0)20-8981-9465 + + Homepage: http://monopole.ph.qmw.ac.uk/~dowker/home.html + ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk