News Release

* Egypt * Burma * Eurozone


SHERIF GABER, sgaber at
Gaber recently graduated from law school at the University of Texas at Austin and, back in his native Egypt, has been active with the group No Military Trials for Civilians. He said today: “Tomorrow [Friday] is going to be an important day, a symbolic funeral for the 56 people who have been killed by the army and police in the last week and tribute to the over 3000 wounded. The elections have siphoned off a lot of energy from the movement in the streets, with many if not most political parties and organizations bailing on the movement to pursue a dubious electoral strategy. The vote for the Muslim Brotherhood and businessmen and others who were around during the Mubarak-era and have attempted to re-brand themselves was in the cards for a long time. We have seen a lot of corrupt campaigning and we have also seen a lot of money from the Gulf, funding Salafis and others. There’s been horrific violence by the army and the police the last several months against protesters and others, but the army has nonetheless pushed for these elections, avoiding any responsibility. Regardless of the outcome of the election, the army is still in power and the parliamentary powers are very limited, so it’s all something of a political circus; in the end we still have authoritarianism under a different name. The army is touting the long lines as a show of its legitimacy, but the turnout seems more likely to be 30 or at most 40 percent, quite low given there was no organized boycott. People need to realize that even though we’re seeing elections now, and supposedly entering a democratic era, the real fight of the revolution is still on the streets and those who have fought and died still haven’t received their due.” Last month Gaber was on an IPA news release titled: “Military Trials ‘Crushing Egyptian Revolution.‘”

MICHAEL BEER, michael at
AP reports that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Burma “called for the release of political prisoners and an end to brutal ethnic violence that has ravaged the nation for decades. She also warned the country’s leadership to break suspected illicit military, nuclear and ballistic missile cooperation with North Korea that may violate U.N. sanctions.” Director of Nonviolence International, Beer wrote the chapter “Violent and Nonviolent Struggle in Burma” in the book “Nonviolent Social Movements” and has trained hundreds of Burmese in nonviolent struggle over the past 20 years. He said today: “The U.S. can do many things to encourage the Burmese regime to change its economic, political, military, nuclear, and human rights policies. The U.S. can set an attractive example by: Ending extra-judicial assassinations, closing Guantanamo and Bagram, ending its war on radical Islam, ending its drug wars, reducing wealth inequality, ending police brutality towards nonviolent protesters, reducing the U.S. military budget, honoring native American needs and treaties and abiding by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Encouraging reform with actions would speak louder than words.”

COSTAS PANAYOTAKIS, [in NYC] cpanayotakis at
Panayotakis is associate professor of sociology at the New York City College of Technology at CUNY and author of the forthcoming book “Remaking Scarcity: From Capitalist Inefficiency to Economic Democracy.” He said today: “Another European agreement to address the eurozone crisis is unraveling before even getting implemented. As European leaders insist on austerity policies that do not address the contradictions of the neoliberal model underlying the economic architecture of the eurozone, the collapse of the euro becomes an ever likelier scenario. Simultaneously, demonstrations and strikes become a daily phenomenon inside and outside the eurozone. Days after the general strike in Portugal and a day after a massive public sector strike in Britain, Greek workers are staging the first general strike after the new government, which is headed by a former banker, was formed less than a month ago.” Panayotakis’ latest pieces are “The Greek Crisis Intensifies” and “Debunking the Greek (and European) Crisis Narrative.