He cannot be President. He cannot be my friends’ President.

In the United States this past Wednesday the relationship between politics and business based on sex, racism, xenophobia, ignorance, etc, became the rule of the master. I have been writing for Women In and Beyond the Global for some time to denounce, inform and reflect on many issues that are threats to human and women’s dignity in many places.

I wrote about Dominique Strauss Kahn aka DSK, the former director of the IMF and pretender to presidential election in France, who used his power to attack and humiliate women for sex. His scandalous behavior was disparaged worldwide, especially after his arrest in New York City for abusing a woman of color in the hotel where he was a client and where she was a maid. Even his own political party in France declared that they should erect a statue to Nafissatou Diallo for her strength and determination. I concluded : “From New York, Washington, Paris to Lille, the DSK saga magnifies the story of violence against women that epitomizes the power of patriarchal capitalism over women’s bodies.”

What did we witness last Wednesday? Donald Trump has done all this and was able to get the votes that he needed to become the President of the United States.

Then, about the massive displacement of people escaping war zones created by the US and its allies’ politics, which triggered a remilitarization of the borders, I wrote: “The indifference to the ordeal of millions in the Global South is a racial issue that is used to promote and allow an absurd, but for a few profitable, bio-economic order that needs racism to impose so-called free trade markets and their dehumanization through militaristic means.” Indifference to dehumanization is now going to be United States public policy.

While NAFTA guarantees the “free” circulation of capital, people, especially people from the southern border of the United States, have been impoverished by this treaty and dismissed if not eliminated. The border with Mexico has two sides, as I reported in 2014: “On the US – Mexico border, US border patrols are under investigation for having recently killed more people than ever before. An independent review, leaked to the Los Angeles Times, considered 67 shootings by US Border patrols at the Mexican border between January 2010 and October 2012. These resulted in 19 civilian deaths.” I added the story of Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, a 16 year-old boy who was on his way home when he was killed by US officers, from the other side of the fence. The officers on the US side shot him 10 times. He was killed with two bullets in his head and then butchered with eight more bullets in his back.”

The billionaire candidate Trump has had the most demeaning words to an entire population, normalizing hatred.

In one of the numerous articles that Women In and Beyond the Global published about sexual and reproductive rights, I wrote: “How the `life’ of the unborn has toppled the life of a woman is no mystery: a great dose of political cynicism serves vested interest and neoliberal economics to create a geography of increasing discrimination and vulnerability.”

Now, in terms of sexual reproductive rights the next move is not going to be to repeal the Hyde Amendment that was once hoped, but rather to overturn Roe v Wade! That is only going to be one aspect of it. The other part goes with the incarceration of women, “the deviant women.” The torture will continue!

Many have compared this election with Brexit. We should remember Jo Cox, the MP woman who was assassinated by the hand of hatred just few days before the election day, but she is not the only one to have died from patriarchal violence. In Egypt on January 24th, in Cairo, Egypt, Shaimaa al-Sabbagh, a 32 years old secular socialist activist, was assassinated by the police along with 20 other demonstrators. I remarked: “In this harsh neoliberal order, accents of totalitarianism emerge to “Shut up all voices” and crackdown on dissent with no shame. Women are often the target of these acts of violence and political intimidation.”

The countless attacks on women particularly women of color since the election are violent political intimidation.

Finally, the reality of the not so natural disasters that are looming over us somehow prompted some important reaction of solidarity last year at the Cop 21 in Paris. I wrote then in the introduction to the interview with Sascha Gabizon, one of the co-facilitators of the Women Gender Constituency, a large coalition of feminists and women’s movements: “Climate disasters target women. As Sascha recalled, in the 1991 floods in Bangladesh 90% of the casualties were women. As climate disasters occur regularly, as in the Philippines, they impact in majority women, mainly because of gendered distribution of labor and roles. As a result, we see all kinds of radicalization against women with the widespread expansion of brutal practices against women, in their home, in their everyday life, in prisons and jails, as well as the erosion of women’s rights especially sexual and reproductive rights in an increasing number of countries.”

This is more than a sad time it is a time of unleashed global violence with enormous consequences. This neoliberal world that has treated economic and outrageous policy makers as priests has accepted a ruthless billionaire as a prophet! He cannot be a president and not my friends’ president.


(Photo Credit: Vocative / Ryan Beckler)

For Shaimaa al-Sabbagh, we cannot stop marching!


Shaimaa al-Sabbagh

On January 24th, in Cairo, Egypt, Shaimaa al-Sabbagh, a 32 years old secular socialist activist, was assassinated by the police along with 20 other demonstrators. She was peacefully handing flowers to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the revolution of 2011. Shaimaa had demonstrated against Mubarak, and organized workers to defend their rights. She opposed the dictatorial Morsi (Muslim Brotherhood) government and then was assassinated by the police of the current government of Abdel Fatah al Sisi.

Photos and videos captured her murder as she collapsed in her partner’s arms. Around Egypt and around the world, many have watched in horror. Despite the images that show masked policemen shooting her, the Sisi government has accused the Muslim Brotherhood of being behind this murder. The police obstructed anyone who came to give her medical assistance. Maher Nassar, present at the scene, identified himself as a doctor and was promptly pushed away. Her companions who came to help were arrested and shoved into an armored vehicle. Azza Soliman, who was seated at a café nearby, witnessed the murder. When she went to court to give testimony, she was arrested. She later declared, “The regime has decided to shut up all voices even those who say the truth through a testimony.”

After this tragedy, women in Egypt took the streets chanting, “ Police are thugs” and “Down with every president so long as blood is cheap.” Women in Tunis joined the march. They protested in front the Egyptian embassy against the repressive Egyptian regime in support of freedom of expression and the right to demonstrate peacefully.

In Alexandria, where Shaimaa al-Sabbagh was from, factory workers deployed a banner with her picture to remind people what she stood for.

Women are still marching against the impunity of state violence that also killed a woman from the Muslim Brotherhood days before this tragedy. Women are often the target of these acts of violence and political intimidation.

In this harsh neoliberal order, accents of totalitarianism emerge to “Shut up all voices” and crack down on dissent with no shame. On January 11, over 4 million of people marched against violence and for freedom of expression in France. The leaders of the world came to Paris supposedly to support the same things. The Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs along with other representatives of governments known for their forceful way to control the truth were in Paris for the march. They only walked a very short 100 meters/yards. The demonstrators who continued to march tried to show them the power of dignity, but that was not enough, and less than two weeks later, Shaimaa al-Sabbagh was killed.

We can’t stop marching to defend these fragile civil rights to free expression, to speech itself, as states increasingly organize new, and old, discriminatory security apparatuses to suffocate the civil consciousness that has allowed dissent.


(Photo Credit 1: Egypt Independent) (Photo Credit 2: Khaled Elfiqi/EPA)