Reuters also said many thousands demonstrated in Ismailia, Arish, Suez and Port Said. Moreover, strikes continue across the country for better wages, decent living conditions, ending corruption, and workplace democracy. Involved are miners; steel, textile, chemical and pharmaceutical workers; others at an agricultural processing facility; teachers; bus drivers and other transport workers; religious endowment workers; and others long denied rights all workers deserve. They rarely get it anywhere, including in developed countries.
Egypt's junta called the strikes illegal, saying it won't let them continue because they "pose a danger to the nation, and they will confront them." It also said "(t)he current unstable political conditions do not permit a new constitution." Their expertise is repression, not democratic governance. None will be forthcoming.
Protests in Jordan
Barely noticed in the West, especially by America's major media focusing largely on Libya, Haaretz writer Avi Issacharoff headlined on February 25, "Thousands of Jordanians demonstrated in Amman for sixth consecutive Friday," saying:
Over 5,000 "demand(ed) political reforms and the dissolution of the lower house of parliament." A week earlier, plainclothes thugs attacked them. Six or more were injured. Jordan's government denied involvement. Many are skeptical. They demand change, shutting Israel's Amman embassy, and restoring Jordan's 1952 constitution, allowing representative government. In recent decades, democratic rights severely eroded. Protesters want them back. King Abdullah II promised reforms, so far not delivered and won't be without continued pressure.
Mass Iraq Protests
On February 25, tens of thousands rallied throughout the country against occupation, oppression, corruption, unemployment, impoverishment, better services (including clean water, electricity and healthcare), inadequate food and high prices, and overall human misery after eight years under Washington's rule.
Violence resulted, Iraqi security forces using live fire in Baghdad, Basra, Mosul, Fallujah, Tikrit, and elsewhere. At least 15 were reported killed, dozens wounded. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani spoke on Al Sumaria Television against demonstrations, saying it would benefit "infiltrators." Moktada al-Sadr shamelessly said:
State forces "are attempting to crack down on everything you have achieved, all the democratic gains, the free elections, the peaceful exchanges of power and freedom. So I call on you....to thwart the enemy plans by not" demonstrating.
In fact, occupied Iraqis have no rights, no democracy, no freedom, few jobs, horrid living conditions, and no possibility for change without seizing it. One man spoke for many, denouncing the al-Maliki government, calling him a liar, and saying:
"I'm a laborer. I work one day and stay at home for a month. (Maliki) says (we're better off than) under Saddam Hussein - where is it?" Tens of thousands across the country now demand it. Look for protests to gain momentum.
Days earlier, new protests rocked the country, tens of thousands in Tunis demanding Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi and other Ben Ali holdovers resign. Police fired in the air to disperse them. Helicopters circled overhead. Marchers chanted "Leave!" and "We don't want the friends of Ben Ali!"
The Interior Ministry banned protests, saying participants would be arrested. Washington and other Western countries back Ghannouchi's regime, saying it guarantees stability when, if fact, it leaves old policies in place, largely under the same officials. Visiting Tunisia a week ago, Senator John McCain (one of the Senate's four most reactionary members by his voting record) told Reuters:
"The revolution in Tunisia has been very successful and it has become a model for the region. We stand ready to provide training to help Tunisia's military to provide security."
In fact, nothing in Tunisia changed, nor in Egypt, Jordan or elsewhere in the region. Regime holdovers remain in charge. Moreover, only uprisings occurred, not revolutions. They're far short of violent, convulsive, insurrections, removing old orders for new ones, except perhaps ahead in Libya where opposition forces now control parts of the country. More on that below.