Revolt Spreads - Libyan Dictator on brink

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Libyan leader Gaddafi is in the final throes of his dicatatorship as mass demonstrations  take place across the country,as tribal leaders , political allies and army units switch sides.  The courageous actions of the mass of protestors despite brutal murderous attacks by security forces still loyal to the regime, have confounded the dicatorship. Much as in Egypt people have not broken under the attacks but become more enraged. Bahrains monarchy is teetering. Even China is now feeling the effects of this wave of protest and defiance with protests at a number of centres yesterday.

These uprisings driven by a youthful population fed up with poverty, repression and without hope for the future have shattered the authoritarian face of the Arab world. Economic justice and freedom are central to the demands of the protestors and new mass communication through the internet has provided organising tools and publicity for their actions. An emboldened working class has engaged in massive strikes in countries where detention, torture and often death are favoured methods of negotiation by those with power.

As we in Ireland vote in what is billed by the media as the most important election in our history, it is clear that what is happening in the Arab world and beyond has far more importance for our future than the sideshow of a parliamentary election.

It is simply not possible to say where the revolts in these countries will lead to, but what is clear that whatever emerges after these revolts will be systems far more responsive to the wishes of the people of these states. This represents a defeat for the US and western imperialism  and to the islamic fundamentalism of the likes of Al Qaeda, for these risings are by and large dominated by a secular democratic agenda. People everywhere should take strength from this powerful example of what we are capable of when we defy our fears. Tensions will inevitably emerge between the interests of the capitalist class in these countries and that of the working class and attempts by the Egyptian military to ban Union meetings and strikes are a sign of what they regard as really important. Revolutionaries committed not just to the defeat of dicatorship but to a genuine redistribution of wealth and power, to a social revolution in other words, are focusing rightly on building up the democratic organs of our class, the unions, the district defence committees and spreading the ideas that can lead to democratic workers control.  Its a long road ahead but by throwing off decades of dicattorship and creating the space for democratic debate and organising the protestors are starting a whole new epoch of cahnge not just for their world but for ours also.

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