Congolese anger on the streets of London

Thousands of Congolese women, children and men have been protesting on the streets of London for the past week. But there has been little/no media coverage. I wonder why that might be?

The protests are about the recent election results. The protesters argue that Étienne Tshisekedi was cheated from power by Jospeh Kabila, during elections marked by violence and chaos. They fear that Kabila is a Western puppet, who will continue to allow rich Western nations access to the DRC’s natural resources. These include, amongst other things, the minerals used to produce our beloved consumer gadgets: mobile phones and laptops. The problem is that control of the resources has brought one of the most violent conflicts to the region, which has led to endless rapes, beatings, and murders.

Many of the London protesters were angry that the media rarely reports on the atrocities happening in the Congo. They carried pictures of dismembered bodies, bearing witness to the many victims of the ongoing chaos.

You can read more about the recent protests here. WARNING: there are graphic photographs of atrocities included in this report.

You can read a bit more about the elections and the contemporary history of the region here.

Women Protest in Cairo

Several thousand women demanding the end of military rule marched through downtown Cairo on Tuesday evening in an extraordinary expression of anger over images of soldiers beating, stripping and kicking female demonstrators in Tahrir Square…
Historians called the event the biggest women’s demonstration in modern Egyptian history, the most significant since a 1919 march against British colonialism inaugurated women’s activism here, and a rarity in the Arab world. It also added a new and unexpected wave of protesters opposing the ruling military council’s efforts to retain power and its tactics for suppressing public discontent.

The protest’s scale stunned even feminists here. In Egypt’s stiffly patriarchal culture, previous attempts to organize women’s events in Tahrir Square during this year’s protests almost always fizzled or, in one case in March, ended in the physical harassment of a small group of women by a larger crowd of men.

For more, go here. (Thanks, M!)

Of course we know it’s Christmas

CAPE TOWN. After 28 years of silently tolerating it, a group of unemployed local musicians have joined forces to release a Christmas single, entitled ‘Yes we do,’ in response to the Bob Geldof inspired Band Aid song, ‘Do they know it’s Christmas?’…

Speaking at the launch of the single, whose proceeds will go towards teaching discipline, literacy and contraception at British schools, composer and singer Boomtown Gundane said that for years he had been irked by Geldof’s assumption that hungry Africans were also stupid….”Of course we knew it was Christmas.”…

Gundane said he hoped that his involvement with the song would turn him into an expert on British politics and economics in the same way ‘Do they know it’s Christmas’ had turned Geldof and Bono into the world’s leading experts on Africa.

“If I’m not sharing a platform with the Queen and David Cameron by this time next year; or headlining at Glastonbury, then I will have done something very wrong,” said Gundane.

For more, go here. (Thanks, N!)