From Taksim and Rio to Tahrir, the smell of teargas

by Comrades from Cairo on June 29, 2013

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From Taksim to Tahrir, from Bulgaria to Brazil, we fight the same struggle against oppressive state structures that benefit only a tiny wealthy elite.

Open letter by the Egyptian activist collective ‘Comrades from Cairo’.



To you at whose side we struggle,

June 30 will mark a new stage of rebellion for us, building on what started on January 25 and 28, 2011. This time we rebel against the reign of the Muslim Brotherhood that has brought only more of the same forms of economic exploitation, police violence, torture and killings.

References to the coming of “democracy” have no relevance when there is no possibility of living a decent life with any signs of dignity and decent livelihood. Claims of legitimacy through an electoral process distract from the reality that in Egypt our struggle continues because we face the perpetuation of an oppressive regime that has changed its face but maintains the same logic of repression, austerity and police brutality. The authorities maintain the same lack of any accountability towards the public, and positions of power translate into opportunities to increase personal power and wealth.

June 30 renews the Revolution’s scream: “The People Want the Fall of the System”. We seek a future governed neither by the petty authoritarianism and crony capitalism of the Brotherhood nor a military apparatus which maintains a stranglehold over political and economic life nor a return to the old structures of the Mubarak era. Though the ranks of protesters that will take to the streets on June 30 are not united around this call, it must be ours — it must be our stance because we will not accept a return to the bloody periods of the past.

Though our networks are still weak we draw hope and inspiration from recent uprisings especially across Turkey and Brazil. Each is born out of different political and economic realities, but we have all been ruled by tight circles whose desire for more has perpetuated a lack of vision of any good for people. We are inspired by the horizontal organization of the Free Fare Movement founded in Bahía, Brazil in 2003 and the public assemblies spreading throughout Turkey.

In Egypt, the Brotherhood only adds a religious veneer to the process, while the logic of a localized neo-liberalism crushes the people. In Turkey a strategy of aggressive private-sector growth, likewise translates into authoritarian rule, the same logic of police brutality as the primary weapon to oppress opposition and any attempts to envision alternatives. In Brazil a government rooted in a revolutionary legitimacy has proven that its past is only a mask it wears while it partners with the same capitalist order in exploiting people and nature alike.

These recent struggles share in the fight of much older constant battles of the Kurds and the indigenous peoples of Latin America. For decades, the Turkish and Brazilian governments have tried but failed to wipe out these movements’ struggle for life. Their resistance to state repression was the precursor to the new wave of protests that have spread across Turkey and Brazil. We see an urgency in recognizing the depth in each other’s struggles and seek out forms of rebellion to spread into new spaces, neighborhoods and communities.

Our struggles share a potential to oppose the global regime of nation states. In crisis as in prosperity, the state — in Egypt under the rule of Mubarak, the Military Junta or the Muslim Brotherhood — continues to dispossess and disenfranchise in order to preserve and expand the wealth and privilege of those in power.

None of us are fighting in isolation. We face common enemies from Bahrain, Brazil and Bosnia, Chile, Palestine, Syria, Turkey, Kurdistan, Tunisia, Sudan, the Western Sahara and Egypt. And the list goes on. Everywhere they call us thugs, vandals, looters and terrorists. We are fighting more than economic exploitation, naked police violence or an illegitimate legal system. It is not rights or reformed citizenship that we fight for.

We oppose the nation-state as a centralized tool of repression, that enables a local elite to suck the life out of us and global powers to retain their dominion over our everyday lives. The two work in unison with bullets and broadcasts and everything in between. We are not advocating to unify or equate our various battles, but it is the same structure of authority and power that we have to fight, dismantle, and bring down. Together, our struggle is stronger.

We want the downfall of the System.

Comrades from Cairo


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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Sofiane Ait Chalalet and Chris Jones July 3, 2013 at 13:44

spot on. you are so right. we are with you all the way!


oliv July 3, 2013 at 14:13
edward July 9, 2013 at 19:47

I love every paragraph of this letter. I greatly admire what is written here, you clearly understand fundamental problems within the system. I couldn’t help but make connections between what is written here and what is proposed by the Venus Project. I understand that the people want the downfall of the system and I do too! But it is not enough to criticize it without posing and alternative.

The Venus Project, I believe is a viable alternative, specifically on its application of a resource based economy in replacement for the monetary system that enslaves people to a lifetime of mundane and obsolete jobs.

I have been studying the true aims and proposals of this social organization and have become deeply influenced by them in the same way your letter has. I recommend you to look into this organization and the system it proposes. If you do not like for whatever reason then you can forget it. If you think that there are problems with it then see if you can think up of a better way that improves it. I am not asking you to like it I am asking you to know it. Jacques Fresco, the one who coined the term resource based economy and developed the Venus Project, has tons of good insights about the world. He only seeks the betterment of all the worlds people and the environment that we all live in without the use of politics, war and money. It is not a utopia, it is a system that is just much better than what we live in right now. You can learn about it yourself here –


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