Passport

Museveni blames 'drug users' for unrest

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni wrote about his mixed feelings about Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi in March, but one thing he does share with the Libyan leader is the conviction that his political enemies are totally stoned:

In a lengthy statement, Mr. Museveni accused opposition leaders – especially his perennial bête-noire Dr. Kizza Besigye – of using a spate of recent protests over surging living costs as cover to try to create chaos in the country.

“They want to ignite riots using drug-users or even hired groups to loot the property of the [civilians],” Museveni said.

Besigye was once Museveni's field doctor during their days as rebel fighters, but is now the main threat to his former friend's 25-year presidency. Michael Wilkerson discussed Uganda's unrest on Passport last month.

Passport

Spain's Tahrir Square?

The BBC reports on Spain's protests:

About 2,000 young people angry over high unemployment have spent the night camping in a famous square in Madrid as a political protest there grows.

A big canvas roof was stretched across Puerta del Sol square, protesters brought mattresses and sleeping bags and volunteers distributed food.

The nature of the peaceful protest, including Twitter messages to alert supporters, echoed the pro-democracy rallies that revolutionised Egypt.[…]

In another echo of the Cairo rallies that eventually forced President Hosni Mubarak from power in February, the Spanish protesters have set up citizens' committees to handle communications, food, cleaning, protest actions and legal matters.

With a 21.3 percent unemployment rate, Spanish youth certainly have reason to take to the streets, but as with Mexico City, I'm not sure why young people gathering in the streets of a capital should automatically be seen as an offshoot of Egypt. If we're just talking about Twitter, shouldn't Iran or even Moldova get the credit?

On the other hand, I suppose it's interesting to think that 2011 may soon be replacing 1989 as a convenient historical shorthand for social upheaval.

DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Image