EGYPT: Egyptian Anarchist Movement Emerges with Wave of Firebombings and Street Fights
Ryan Harvey, 24 Janury 2013
A black bloc marches in Cairo tonight, preparing for confrontations with security forces near Tahrir Square on the even of the second anniversary of the revolution.
Anarchists have been present in Egypt before, during, and after the revolution, but until today, they have yet to organize a mass grouping under the banner of anarchism. The Ultras of Egypt’s football clubs have for years been associated with anarchist ideas and actions, and they are widely credited with having initiated the level militancy that brought down the Mubarak government in February of 2011.
Last night, anarchism left the graffitied walls, small conversations, and online forums of Egypt, and came to life in Cairo, declaring itself a new force in the ongoing social revolution sparked two years ago with multiple firebombings against Muslim Brotherhood offices. Later, the government shutdown the “Black Blocairo” and “Egyptian Black Bloc” Facebook pages, but they were soon re-launched.
“Wait for our next attacks as we respond to the closing of our official page…” they posted in a statement posted online this morning (translated below).
Today, the black bloc made its first mass-appearance in Tahrir Square, and, shortly after, firebombed the Shura Council (Egyptian Parliament), tore down a section of the protest-barrier walls leading from Tahrir Square, and, with others, engaged in fighting against security forces.
These statements and actions are in preparation for tomorrow’s second anniversary of the revolution, and for what some are calling “a whole new level” or protest in Egypt.
Anarchism and the black bloc concept has grown in recent months across Egypt, Stemming from various anarchist grouping/circles that coalesced during the revolutionary period. A massive distrust among the youth of all political parties, a sharp critique of the role of religion within governance, and the inspiration of anarchist resistance around the world (largely symbolized by the late-2008 revolt in Greece) have helped it catalyze.
Below is the statement of Black Blocairo in regards to the removal of their websites, their firebombing attacks against government offices, and their calls for revolt:
“Yesterday and after we finished our event, we met some of the revolutionary movements and we decided to unite together in our next attacks, hence we did our first two attacks, as we told you yesterday:
1- Setting fire to Ikhwan (Muslim Brotherhood) online office.
2- Setting fire in the Ikhwan office in Al-Manial street in Cairo.
And we announced our revolution since today in Al-Tahrir Square untill Egypt and it’s people get their rights back! Life, Freedom and social justice!
Black Blocairo, The Hooligans
Wait for our next attacks as we respond to the closing of our official page…”
EGYPTIAN ANARCHIST LINKS:
Revolution Black Bloc (Egyptian anarchist page)
Black Blocairo (Black Blocairo’s new page)
OTHER ARAB ANARCHIST LINKS:
Anarchists of Arabs (Arab anarchist page)
Tahrir ICN (A network connecting North African, Middle-Eastern and European anarchists)