Several political figures and coalitions boycott campaigning after police crackdown in Tahrir
Can you think of even one American politician who would do what Hamzawy did? If you can, then I advise you to vote for that person in 2012–someone who is more concerned about the people than their own political career.
Ahram Online reports today that the uncertainty surrounding the parliamentary elections was fuelled on Sunday after several coalitions and political figures protested the government’s violent tactics against the roughly ten thousand protesters on Saturday by boycotting campaigning.
Police’s rough tactics to disperse protesters camping out in Tahrir Square backfired. To the contrary; it incited many activists to flock to the epicentre of January’s revolution in support of the protesters and eventually engage in mass confrontations with the notorious Central Security Forces.
ILWQ COMMENTS: Too Bad that American Politicians don’t conduct themselves in a similar manner. Unfortunately, they are too busy saying yes to Wall Street to notice the rest of us.
I am impressed and deeply moved by these Egyptian politicians who are willing to do this and take a stand for the greater good of the majority–that is what real leaders do. They don’t stand fast in a “Me-First” attitude. They don’t choose the politically safe move to protect their careers. They don’t think of themselves first. They think of the people they represent and what is best for them.
Compare this to how the shameful way that Democratic candidates responded in 2007 to the ousting of Mike Gravel from the presidential debates by MSNBC’S Chuck Todd: Not a one of them uttered a peep and the debates went on as scheduled. All this in spite of the fact that a corporate executive, Chuck Todd, representing GE, the largest war profiteer in the world, told a US Presidential candidate that he could not participate in a national Presidential debate because he had not raised a million dollars. Todd is on record several months prior in June of 2007 as having said that they can’t have two candidates (Kucinich and Gravel) talking against the war. The excuse he gave was that it would be “bad for the Democrats.” It wouldn’t have been bad for the Democrats, it would have been bad for GE because that is how they , and many in Congress make their money–off war profits.
I was so outraged by their self-serving behavior that I wrote letters to all the candidates, to the DNC, MSNBC and Chuck Todd. If those Democrats had been true and fearless leaders, they would have stood up to GE and refused to debate unless Gravel was allowed to debate with them. Obviously they cared more about their political careers than liberty and justice for all. Kucinich, the other anti-war candidate, got his corporate come-uppence shortly after when the Gannett Corporation ousted Kucinich on rules (not having a storefront in Iowa for a certain period of time). When our democracy has gotten to the point where Wall Street corporations make the rules for who is allowed to debate in our Presidential elections, it is time for REAL people to step in and stop them.
The point is not whether you support Mike Gravel. The point is whether you support the democratic process or a Wall Street Corporate process.
Here is Mike Gravel’s response to being ousted from the Presidential debates by a representative of the world’s largest war contractor:
October 22, 2007, Senator Gravel posted the following explanation for why MSNBC ousted him:
” In the past year, I have attended 11 national Democratic debates of which two were sponsored by corporate media giant NBC. However, last week, the network suddenly conjured up arbitrary polling and fundraising requirements specifically designed to exclude me. None of the previous debates I attended held such requirements.
When my staff called NBC directly to find out why I was now barred from attending, Chuck Todd, NBC news’ political director, told us that there were three criteria we did not meet, namely that I had not campaigned in New Hampshire and/or Iowa at least 14 times in the past year, that I was not polling at 5% and that I hadn’t raised $1 million.
It is abundantly clear that NBC just wants me out of the race. This was made evident by the fact that NBC did not even inform me of its arbitrary criteria before making the decision to stifle my campaign. NBC’s Todd waited until 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19, to inform my staff that I was not invited to the Oct. 30 debate at Drexel University in Philadelphia. And, according to a recent CNN poll, I am tied with Joe Biden, Dennis Kucinich and Chris Dodd.
NBC claims I haven’t raised enough money to qualify. I’m proud of the fact that I don’t collect millions from special interests (or fugitives like Norman Hsu). The reason why Senator Hillary Clinton seems to have a fundraising scandal every month is because money has corrupted our democracy.
NBC’s decision is proof that our corporate media do not want a genuine debate over our impending war with Iran. During the last debate I was the only one to aggressively confront Senator Clinton over her vote to label the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. Had I not brought up the subject, seasoned NBC commentator Tim Russert, the moderator of the Sept. 26 debate, would not have even asked about it.