The historic democratic uprising in the Arab world continues this week. The fall of the government in Tunisia has sparked off demonstrations in Yemen, Jordan, Algeria and most significantly now in Egypt.
These uprisings are not being led by any political parties or religious groups but are spontaneous demonstrations by the people who are fed up with poverty, corruption and a lack of human rights. They also pose a massive threat to U.S. and other Western interests in the Middle East who have backed these Arab dictatorships for decades. The U.S. is showing its true colours once again by failing to back the demonstrators on the streets. Wikileaks released documents on the 28th January showing just how much the U.S. government knew about Mubarak's crimes against his own people.
These uprisings are also being fuelled by the new channels of information like satellite television and the internet through Facebook, Twitter and Wikileaks. The Egyptian government in response has pulled the plug on the internet. Online protest group Anonymous has also launched cyber protests against the regime in solidarity. As John Pilger has observed, the world is witnessing the rise of a new superpower, and that's the power of the world's people.
Update:: Mubarak has sacked the Cabinet but is resisting demands to resign as protests continue. He has now appointed Omar Suleiman as Vice President. Lieutenant General Omar Suleiman (born 1936) is the Egyptian General Intelligence Director. He is the head of intelligence in Egypt and loyal to Mubarak. Protesters have loudly condemned the appointment of Omar Suleiman as Vice President. New Prime Minister of Egypt has been appointed - Ahmed Shafiq was Aviation minister in the former government.
Protesters are out in the streets in great numbers in defiance of curfew for a second night. Police and State Security have vanished, being replaced by the army which has been welcomed by protesters. The death toll in the week of protests is now more than 100 people.
Solidarity protests have been called in Sydney, Melbourne on Sunday 30th January and Brisbane on February 4th.
Background: Egypt:Tens of thousands on the streets | Egyptian Government pulls the plug on the internet | Egyptians reclaim the streets