Nude Egyptian Protests Morsi

FEMEN and antiislamist Egyptian activist Alia al-Mahdi

Femen -  Apocalypse of Muhammad

Today in Stockholm

Femen are certainly not scared of a little controversy – and neither is anti-islamist Egyptian activist Alia Magda al Mahdi, for that matter.

Alia became famous for publishing a nude photo of herself on her blog about a year ago, describing the act as “screams against a society of violence, racism, sexism, sexual harassment and hypocrisy”, positioning herself as a “secular, liberal, feminist, vegetarian, individualist Egyptian” and an atheist since turning 16. She was recently denied entry into France where she was to participate in a nude protest by feminist provocateurs, Femen, outside the Egyptian embassy in Paris. The organisation claimed that Alia had been denied entry into the country by “European secret services”, and that “Unknown forces affecting the management of airlines Lufthansa and Scandinavian airlines” had deprived her of the opportunity to travel to the protest – although there seems to be little evidence for such a conspiracy at the moment.

Alia wrote this about the event on her blog four days ago:

“Yesterday, I was going to protest against the Egyptian draft constitution with Femen and other Arab women in front of the Egyptian embassy in Paris.
One day before, Inna Shevchenko booked me a plane ticket from Gutenberg Landvetter Airport to Paris on Lufthansa and paid for it online, but I couldn’t check-in at the airport. The ticket office woman told me that my ticket was canceled because the payment was not completed. I thought it was an error and had another Femen member buy me a ticket for the next flight on Scandinavian Airlines. I got a boarding pass, checked-in, passed airport security and was waiting for my flight. Then, the same woman came to me and told me that she got a warning about me and I have to show her the credit card used to pay for the ticket and it has to be mine or I will not take that flight. I replied that thousands of people travel with tickets paid for by other people everyday, event holders always pay for participants’ travel expenses, I traveled this way three times before on KLM and Ryan Air and the first ticket was also paid for by someone else. She spoke to me in a not nice way, took the boarding pass and told me to collect my luggage. The woman who gave me my luggage removed the sticker that was stuck to it when I checked-in.

I am disappointed that my freedom of expression is also oppressed in Europe.”

Undeterred by this little hiccup, Femen activists travelled to Stockholm to meet Alia and stage a nude protest there instead – outside the Egyptian embassy.

Femen’s ‘press release’ :

“International women’s movement FEMEN and antiislamist Egyptian activist Alia al-Mahdi have called to say NO to Sharia constitution in Egypt!

Apocalypse of Muhammad

Today in the snowbound Stockholm the world has seen apocalyptic picture. 

International women’s movement FEMEN and antiislamist Egyptian activist Alia al-Mahdi have called to say NO to Sharia constitution in Egypt! Before the decisive day of the referendum in Egypt activists came to the Embassy of Egypt in Stockholm to support Egyptian heroes who are resisting the sharia-dictatorial draft of the constitution of the president Morsi. FEMEN calls people  of Great Egypt to deny this religious bondage of newly appeared prophet Morsi and to give the chance for Egypt for the rightful democratic development.

“Sharia is not a constitution” – it has been written on Alia’s naked body. Her genitals have been covered by the poster shaped like Koran. The three posters in the hands of activists are the symbolic  religious books. In that way  FEMEN warns the world about the danger of the transformation secular constitution into religious. FEMEN warns muslim brother Morsi, if he gave an orders to shoot at his own people then his last resting will be the Nile with crocodiles, not the pyramids. 

Fuck off religious slavery! Viva freedom and human rights!”

Post on Femen website

Alia al-Mahdi’s Blog

Update: This video of the protest has just been posted by Femen on Vimeo


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Protest Report: A Future That Doesn’t Work

Unison at the TUC march 20th October

Protestors at the TUC's "Future That Works" march

24hr General Strike in UK?

Tories OUT!

Protestors of all ages attended the march

Rally in Hyde Park

Disabled protesters out in large numbers as cuts hit the most vulnerable

We attended the TUC’s Future That Works rally in London at the weekend, to stand with those that oppose the Tories’ relentless austerity measures, and to take a few photos of what went on. Hampered by injuries and fatigue, we maybe weren’t pumped into our usual revolutionary fervor, but I couldn’t help but notice it wasn’t just us that seemed subdued. There can be no doubt that the turnout was good (estimates range from 100,000 to 250,000 participants), there was a lot of good drumming, placards and chants – but that’s where it seemed to end. It’s not that the mood was defeatist, it was more that the methods were conservative and the aims watered-down. While there were many calls for a General Strike amongst protesters on the street, there was little in the way of direct action, anger or real dissent. I’ve noticed that TUC rallies tend to me more populist and ‘middle-of-the-road’ than Occupy and UK Uncut et al, maybe necessarily so, but the real revolutionary contingent seemed missing this time around. What with Ed “One Nation Tory” Milliband speaking at the rally, with what basically amounted to a watered-down version of the Condem’s view on cutting the deficit, and a march that seemed more like a procession – it did appear that the movement had lost a little momentum, and was beginning to settle for ‘the lesser of two evils’.

This seems particularly strange in the current climate, as austerity begins to bite across the globe, with riots, general strikes and murmurs of revolutionary ideas beginning to appear in Greece and other European countries, my initial thought was maybe there just isn’t an appetite for that sort of conflict here in the UK.

But, on doing some reading when I got home, about what went on running up to the march on the 20th of October, it seems that the TUC were complicit in making the march as passive as possible. Read The TUC collaborate with the Met to sew up October 20 for more info on this. Further commentary on how the TUC handed the Met a list of 150 “violent activists” – from Libcom.org

If the trade unions are pushing to get Labour re-elected, and want to improve their image with the powers that be in order to do so, then this sort of conformity is to be expected, and their ‘Future that Works’ amounts to nothing more than ‘we’ll shut up for a promise of slightly less austerity’.

Another good post from Libcom.org, on the ‘state of the movement’ seems to confirm my suspicions that the right wing of the left was laying down the rules of engagement on the 20th of October. Read it here.

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Assange interviews the President of Ecuador

Protest Report: Occupy Westminster Bridge

Protesters block the bridge next to the Houses of Parliament
It's our future David. Hands Off
Crowds on Westminster Bridge
Block the Bill: Symbolically, St. Thomas Hospital lies across the river
Protesters don scrubs and surgical masks
Our NHS!
Public Assembly held
Public debate and civil disobedience
Anarchist Soundsystem
Down with this sort of thing
People of all ages and from all walks of life get involved
Don't Cut the NHS
Hands off our NHS
The closest thing to democracy Big Ben has ever seen
Walls of Police look on
Peaceful protest despite Black Bloc contingent
Protester dons the V for Vendetta mask under the Anarcho-Communist flag and the London Eye

Protest thins out after the first hour
Mark Thomas and Josie Long talk to the crowds

Awesome percussionists
Wake up! Occupy your world
The battle for democracy begins
I’m beginning to get a bit fucked off at the mainstream media in this country (and the rest of the world for that matter). The BBC may as well rename itself the Tory Propaganda Network. The Occupy movement in the USA is still going largely unreported, and now British protesters are getting equally ignored. I would have thought thousands of people illegally occupying Westminster Bridge, right under the noses of Parliament, would have been worthy of a news report. A small footnote at least. Especially when you consider the protesters are trying to save one of the UK’s most precious and important institutions (the NHS), which is in practically everyone’s interest. The news is being filtered. Fact. Why aren’t they reporting these protests?

As far as I am aware, Channel 4 news was the only program to feature proper coverage of this event – please feel free to correct me in the comments section if I am wrong (I hope I am). Their report claimed only 2000 thousand people were on the bridge during the “Block the Bridge, Block the Bill” occupation – it seemed at least treble that to me, but of course it is hard to judge these things from the ground. Suffice it say when we first arrived at the bridge it was full. From end to end. Admittedly, within an hour or so this number had dropped considerably.

Still, a significant number of people stayed all afternoon, and it was a great occasion by all accounts. The atmosphere was positive and defiant and the tactics playful and imaginative. A large assembly was held where anyone could speak out and get involved, and this was followed by comedians and live music on the bridge. Spirits were high for the whole event, and the police were wise enough to let it all happen without confrontation. More protests and occupations were planned for the near future and everyone was home in time for tea!

But what will come of all this? Will the protest go unheard? Is the NHS doomed to privatisation??

The effectiveness of protest politics is indeed questionable. I lost faith in it myself after the Anti War movement failed to stop thousands being killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. I know many others that felt the same. But the climate is changing. Millions of people are very angry. They are sick of austerity measures, banks and corporations calling the shots, the destruction of public services and the environment. They want real democracy, where people’s needs are put before corporate profits. From Tahir Square, to Wall Street, to Westminster Bridge – people are taking action, occupying public spaces and refusing to leave. A new people’s movement seems to be beginning… not that you’d have any idea from watching the news.

Can we do more to help save the NHS?

What’s next for UK Uncut? 

Channel 4 News bucks the trend

redeyewitness

Protest Report: Tory Conference March

Mounted Police defend the Conference

Heavy police presence in Manchester
Unison balloons at the front of the march
Photographing the march
Workers strike back
Black Bloc presence?
Home made banners
Public sector workers take to the streets of Manchester
Unity is Strength
Motivational Speakers on route
redeyewitness