Joshua Stephens of Waging Nonviolence ran an interview July 2 with Mohammed Hassan Aazab, a member of the Egyptian anarchist bloc that has been participating in the anti-Morsi protests—but with its own dissident perspective. In the following excerpt, Azab speaks on why the anarchists have not joined the anti-Morsi coalition dubbed Tamarod (Rebel), the role of the feloul (Mubarak-nostalgist) forces, and risks of both civil war and a new dictatorship…
How are anarchists organizing within this particular moment. I got the sense that some of you were involved with Tamarod, but are you playing a particular role?
No, anarchists didn’t sign onto the Tamarod declaration. Tamarod is not revolutionary at all. It was just obvious that the movement connected with millions of Egyptians, so we joined the protests. The protesters yesterday were against the idea of an Islamic dictator, but at the same time, most of them are okay with a civil or military dictator. Fuck any dictator. We’ll never forget. We’ll never forgive.
And you’ve got an anarchist tent in Tahrir, right now?
Yes. We’ve got four tents, actually.
Are you doing anything particular from those spaces?
Right now, we’re working to ensure old regime supporters don’t take over the sit-in.
Like physically stopping them? Are there felool [people nostalgic for the former regime] in the square?
A lot of them.
Are they attacking protesters, or just trying to infiltrate the movement?
They’re trying to convince people to let the SCAF [Egypt’s military council] take power again.
There are uprisings happening in Turkey, Brazil, Bulgaria and Chile right now. There was brief indication that it was spreading to Indonesia and Paraguay as well, and of course there is the ongoing struggle in Bahrain. Egypt has been a huge inspiration for a lot of these movements. When you overthrew Mubarak, Tunisia had happened, but not much else. Does it feel different, this time? Do you feel a part of something global?
It’s different, for sure. Now, the fear comes from the possibility of civil war. Mubark was shit, but he never played the civil-war card. Morsi is so stupid that he doesn’t even seem to grasp that we could very likely wind up killing each other in the streets. Things are happening now that never happened before, like people attacking bearded men on the street and insulting them.
I feel like this generation of youth around the world is powerfully revolutionary, and now we have the ability to share tools, and to broadcast ideas.
What are you hopeful for, right now?
I hope that people have learned something from what the Brotherhood did, and I hope it’s the beginning of the end for political Islam, or any kind of faith in religious parties.
How can people here best support you all?
By spreading the word that Obama and U.S. government are actively supporting the formation of religious states in the Middle East. The U.S. ambassador said that Egyptians should learn the meaning of democracy! Who the fuck is she to say that?
Did you catch that line about how the US is actively supporting the formation of religious states in the Middle East? We do hope progressive forces in the US will start to catch on that political Islam is just as much the proxy as opponent of imperialism in the region, and that secular revolutionary forces such as the Egyptian anarchists are our natural allies.
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