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Thread: Black Bloc, a new force in Arab Spring?

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    Politics.ie Member Thac0man's Avatar
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    Question Black Bloc, a new force in Arab Spring?

    It seems like the Anarchist group Black Bloc has taken root in Egyptian revolutionary politics.

    The Black Bloc, a new Egyptian anarchist group, made its first appearance last week, on the eve of the second anniversary of the 25 January 2011 revolution. With a declared aim of fighting the Muslim Brotherhood, it has drawn a lot of mainstream criticism.
    Taken from here:
    BBC News - Black Bloc anarchists emerge

    They seem to have the numbers to make an impact, and their idiology might appeal to the 'Ultras' culture that was instrumental in resisting the Mubarrack era crackdowns. Of course they are being condemned and (perhaps oddly) accused of being 'revolutionary socialist'.

    The Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated TV channel, Misr 25, reported on 26 January that the Black Bloc was "part of the alleged revolutionary movements, such as anarchism and the [Egyptian Trotskyist] Revolutionary Socialists".
    Now it is that claim I find most interesting. Is there any evidence that Black Bloc, in Egypt at least, is socialist? Its a pretty loose movement, but European Anarchists see little difference between Communism and Nazism. But does the claim that in Egypt, that Black Bloc are 'socialist' show that the Muslim Brotherhood is strongly opposed to Socialism? And if so, does that have implications for Trade Unionism and actual socialism in the MiddleEast? Baathism is dead, and its not coming back. Nasserism exists still in Egypt, but seems right of centre. Pan-Arabism has been co-opted or superceded by the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Is the emergence of Black Bloc a good thing, if its stated aim is to galvanise resistence to an emerging police state? Is it a good, or necessary addition to the political landscape of the Arab world?

    What this development does suggest is that 'radicalism' in the Arab world is no longer the preserve of violent or ultra-conservative Thiests. It will be interesting to see where this goes, and if it does attract a lot of support.

    EDIT: it occurs to me as I write this that there may be a link between the recent claim by the head of the Egyptian military, that "The state is under threat", and the emergence of Black Bloc movement. Certainly in criticism of Black Bloc there has been reference to the fact, as a movement, they are anti-state. This raises the possibility that the Egyptian authorities do see the emergence of Black Bloc as potentially a major challange.
    Last edited by Thac0man; 29th January 2013 at 06:30 PM.

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    Politics.ie Member Partizan's Avatar
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    Interesting video here from RT in relation to the emergence of Anarchism in Egypt.

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    Politics.ie Member ManOfReason's Avatar
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    Anarchists or agent provocateurs? Either way they do not represent anybody but a handful of young males who like to wear black and break stuff. Not that unusual anywhere in the world.
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    Politics.ie Member pinemartin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ManOfReason View Post
    Anarchists or agent provocateurs? Either way they do not represent anybody but a handful of young males who like to wear black and break stuff. Not that unusual anywhere in the world.
    So they want to overthrow Egypt's first democratically elected president.

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    Politics.ie Member Partizan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ManOfReason View Post
    Anarchists or agent provocateurs? Either way they do not represent anybody but a handful of young males who like to wear black and break stuff. Not that unusual anywhere in the world.
    They appear to be gaining momentum and are growing force that has emerged from the protests in Cairo and Alexandria.

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    Politics.ie Member ManOfReason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Partizan View Post
    They appear to be gaining momentum and are growing force that has emerged from the protests in Cairo and Alexandria.
    It makes for a good story but you could easily find a very similar group of people in Dublin. It is meaningless, sure there is a growing resentment in urban areas with the Muslim Brotherhood amongst the young and unemployed, but the idea a few guys in black represent that movement is groundless. Would not surprise me if it turned out those in the video were security personal trying to discredit the opposition with maybe the idea the future elections may have to be 'postponed'.
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    Politics.ie Member Partizan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ManOfReason View Post
    It makes for a good story but you could easily find a very similar group of people in Dublin. It is meaningless, sure there is a growing resentment in urban areas with the Muslim Brotherhood amongst the young and unemployed, but the idea a few guys in black represent that movement is groundless. Would not surprise me if it turned out those in the video were security personal trying to discredit the opposition with maybe the idea the future elections may have to be 'postponed'.
    More on the Black Bloc.

    Nahlah Ayed: Who are Egypt's mysterious Black Bloc? - World - CBC News

    They appear at the moment to number about 100, not huge but given the attention that they have received, they could very well tap into an undercurrent of dissatisfied urban youth.

    Mustapha says Egypt's Black Bloc is not a huge group, perhaps numbering 100, apparently mostly educated students with means. They named themselves Black Bloc, he added, to scare the regime.

    The tactic seems to be working — and has everyone here talking.

    It can also be seen as reflecting the disappointment to date in Egypt's revolution, including the fact that under the Morsi regime, protests have been ineffectual in bringing about change.

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