Wednesday 26 December 2018

Sudan’s traitors, saboteurs and masakeen

Yesterday, 25 December, downtown Khartoum was the scene of a large-scale protest against the rule of President Bashir. The protest was called for by the recently established Sudanese Professionals Association, an alliance of independent professionals’ unions including doctors, engineers and pharmacists. University students and younger employees from Sudan’s business and service sectors predominated and granted the protest its social media galore compared to the preceding wave of protests in provincial towns beginning in Atbara on 19 December. Already on alert and expectant of the previously announced protest, the security services were strategically positioned to deal with the demonstrators using teargas und gunfire. According to a statement of the Professionals’ Association eight people sustained gunshot wounds, three at the time of writing were fighting for their lives. Over five hundred people were taken into detention, mostly to be released on the same or the subsequent day. 
Meanwhile, President Bashir travelled to Gezira State, south of the capital Khartoum. He addressed a crowd in the town of Wad al-Haddad where he described protesters against his government as “traitors, sellouts, agents and saboteurs”. The president read mostly form his ‘Islamist’ dictionary but he was forced to cut his speech short by chants of teer teer ya Bashir, politely translated as ‘bug off oh Bashir’ or probably more correctly when considering intent as ‘fuck off oh Bashir’ as opposed to the standard seer seer ya Bashir (go on oh Bashir). Live television transmission was abruptly interrupted and the president’s motorcade was rushed out to his next stop, al-Sheikh Mekki’s village, where he held a 9 minutes speech rich with Quran verses that promise true believers tests and trials as a condition for deliverance and divine support. 
Standing behind the president in Wad al-Haddad was al-Fatih Urwa, CEO of the telecommunications giant Zain Sudan, retired military officer and intelligence guru. Urwa who graduated form military college in 1970 was Sudan’s representative at the UN (1996-2005), presidential national security advisor (1989-2005) and state minister of defence (1989). Urwa is a key figure of Sudan’s intelligence establishment and was a prominent officer in Nimayri state security bureau from 1976 to the demise of Nimayri’s regime in 1985. Veteran security officers from the Nimayri era claim he leaked details of the evacuation of Beta Jews from Ethiopia to Israel through Sudan in 1984 to the National Islamic Front of Hassan al-Turabi. Whether this claim is true or not, Urwa was one of two officers in charge of the operation from the side of Sudanese state security. Urwa is believed to be one of three people including his two wives, whom President Bashir sees almost daily. In light of events in the country there was good reason to keep Urwa close. For whatever reason, he was not on stage when President Bashir addressed the small crowd of al-Sheikh Mekki. 
Now, whatever information or counsel Urwa gave to President Bashir during his brief trip to Gezira protesters kept the security apparatus busy in the heart of Khartoum for several hours. Government rhetoric shifted firmly from the initial apologetic and rather defensive stance of ‘we understand your pain’ to an offensive and divisive racial account spelled out by its security chief Salah Gosh in his briefing to the press on 22 December. The head of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) claimed that a group of 280 people recruited by the Israeli Mossad from members of the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement led by Abd al-Wahid Mohamed Nur and dispatched to Sudan from a neighbouring country were responsible for the burning down of headquarters of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in several towns. Salah Gosh went on to accuse petty gangsters (habitually referred to with the slur ‘niggers’) of taking advantage of the security situation to burn and loot. The security services, he claimed, apprehended seven members of the Mossad-trained group and had knowledge of the names of the rest. 
On 25 December and as President Bashir was bellowing out about traitors and saboteurs in al-Sheikh Mekki young men who hail from Darfur faced state television cameras to admit being part of Salah Gosh’s alleged ‘Zionist-Fur-Nigger plot’. The young men paraded for the cameras with their faces battered and swollen included Ahmed Mekki Abdalla Ibrahim, head of the Darfur Students Association in Sennar University. Mekki and 31 of his colleagues, all from Darfur, were arrested from their residence in Sennar, 21 were transferred to Khartoum as many other Darfuri students were being rounded up in the capital to satisfy a racial profile of alleged traitors, saboteurs and fifth columnists. 
Corresponding with this racial profiling is a distinction that the government is at pains to create between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ protesters. The good are identified as peaceful complainants who wish to express their dissatisfaction with the worsening economic situation in the country and the bad as violent agitators plotting to exploit this sense of dissatisfaction and overthrow the regime. In his faceless statement on 24 December, his first comments on the situation in the country since the eruption of protests in Atbara on 19 December, President Bashir warned citizens against responding to "attempts to instil frustration”. The substance of this warning speaks to the fear of Sudan’s propertied classes from the riverine heartland of an encroaching underclass of impoverished vengeful racial others from Sudan’s war zones. 
Darfuri students have been at the receiving end of this punishing racial regime for years and are today framed once again as the plotting saboteurs behind the revolutionary surge gripping the country since 19 December. While the overwhelming majority of the Khartoum downtown protesters on 25 December were released within hours of their apprehension, beaten up but not brutalised, the Darfuri students are likely to face the full wrath of the NISS, torture, lengthy detentions and criminal prosecution if not extrajudicial killing. To illustrate this point, eight Darfuri students were kept in detention from 13 September 2017 to 19 February 2018 on accusation of undermining state security after they held an ad hoc political rally in a Khartoum North bus station. They were rearrested a week later on the grounds that the NISS had fresh evidence against them. 
Often solidarity with these students is limited by the race/class geography of media-savvy middle class protesters. Their fate is itemised as one of the crimes of a brutal regime but rarely pursued further apart from the impressive legal aid provided by the Darfur Lawyers Association. Where the NISS sees saboteurs standard educated opinion in Khartoum sees masakeen (pl. of miskeen), a multifaceted and rich term that refers to the powerless, the meek, the impoverished and ultimately disconnected, people who are not part of the networks of power, wealth and influence. Islamic sharia defines a miskeen as a person with no property to her name and hence eligible to receive zakat. Indeed, the revolutionary element in Sudan’s recent days of rage is that masakeen of sorts, even from Salah Gosh's folk in Karima, rose to challenge state authority, burning down its idols and claiming its guarded warehouses as their own. 

Monday 24 December 2018

Sudan's days of rage

Over the past five days in Sudan decades of history have being compressed into a momentous surge. Without prior warning, protestors taking the ultimate risk made it a national competition to burn down the offices of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP), the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) and the government administration in a serial wave of revolutionary activity criss-crossing the country. 
This ongoing wave of rage commenced in Atbara out of all places, the historic capital of the now decrepit Sudan railways and a storehouse of working class political culture long announced dead. River Nile State with capital in al-Damer across the river from Atbara was chosen by the government as an experimental field, probably on the assumption of political reliability, for the lift of bread subsidies. The brice of bread tripled in Atbara overnight from 1 to 3 Sudanese pounds for a 40 grams piece and the Atbarawis were obviously not amused. 
The government chose to restrict subsidised flour to populous Khartoum, wary that an increase of bread prices in the capital would carry too much political risk, and exported austerity to the provinces. The assumption of political reliability brought interesting surprises. Demonstrators in Atbara, al-Damer, Berber, Karima, Dongola and Gedaref claimed the streets as their own, torched the NCP headquarters in their towns, ransacked offices of the NISS and even brought down imams who called for obedience to authority from mosque pulpits with commendable Bolshevik vigour. 
Soon enough, a sort of revolutionary sport was on display, people in Aba Island and Rabak on the While Nile, and in al-Nuhud, al-Rahad, al-Obeid and Um Ruwaba in Kordofan followed the Atbara example with envious precision. The NCP was declared enemy of the people and President Bashir’s name synonymous with oppression, misrule, corruption and violence. The security forces were initially astonished by the daring and valour of the protestors. A day passed when government buildings where free game. In al-Nuhud and al-Gedaref, demonstrators stormed the depots of the Zakat chamber and claimed stored flour and foodstuffs for themselves. 
The bureaucracy of violence soon picked up with the protesters. Armed NISS units in the style of Assad’s infamous shabiha were deployed in speeding pickups with mounted machine guns to terrorise protestors. Salah Gosh, the head of the NISS, told the press in Khartoum that his men were given no orders to shoot. So far, they managed, allegedly even without orders from Salah, to kill 23 people including a 10 years old child in Aba island. 
The Atbara precedent was hard to replicate in fortified Khartoum. NISS units responded even to incidental fires in the landmark trash container of the capital with a show of force suitable for invading troops. A nightly pattern emerged in the capital’s poorer outskirts and on major crossroads of exhausting cat and mouse chases between demonstrators equipped with Molotov cocktails and armed NISS units. In al-Haj Yusif, a populous working class neighbourhood east of Khartoum, NISS units were so exhausted by the back and forth that they began racing in their pickup four-wheel-drives though narrow streets shooting volleys of gunfire from mounted machine-guns at teenagers. 
The streets of the urban monster that Khartoum has become over the years remain hard to control. Frequent, geographically dispersed and small protests continue to challenge the security forces. When protestors announced a plan to march out of a football game in Omdurman on the evening of 23 September the authorities deployed an estimated 2 thousand troops around the stadium. Buses were ordered to transport the football spectators to their residential areas free of charge in a crowd control measure intended to appease. Those who did not go home marched the five kilometres until the bridge across the White Nile to Khartoum chanting slogans against the regime. My personal favourite is "bullets don’t kill but submission does".
The authorities ordered the shutdown of all schools and universities in the capital and major provincial towns and ordered students to evacuate their dormitories. As is the case under extraordinary conditions when state authority emerges as the clear enemy, a sense of basic communist solidarity prevailed. People invited stranded students into their homes and a crowd-funding initiative emerged to pay the bus fares of students wishing to travel home. The same communist spirit probably informed the division of zakat spoils. 
President Bashir, the proverbial naked king, was forced to cancel a trip to Wad Medani in Gezira State this Monday. The official government line is that a minority of violent agitators trained by the Israeli Mossad and flown in from a neighbouring country acting in liaison with Darfuri rebels of the Sudan Liberation Army/Movement led by Abd al-Wahid al-Nur and city ‘niggers’ (the racist slur is used to refer to gangs of petty thieves in Khartoum) had taken advantage of the situation. The government topped this fantastical account with the claim that it had apprehended ringleaders of the conspiracy in Khartoum. 
Salah Gosh, the head of the NISS, blamed the administration of the recently appointed prime minister Mutaz Musa for the catastrophic policy mix that resulted in severe bread and fuel shortages, a cash deficit and a continually depreciating currency. Salah said the NISS would take over distribution of subsided flour to the provinces to ensure adequate supplies. Many interpreted Gosh’s intervention as a manoeuvre to position himself as a saviour of sorts and Musa as a likely scapegoat. Khartoum’s rumour mills produced a more florid version suggesting that Gosh might take over power any moment and yet more juicy details about President Bashir suffering a heart attack and his deputy Bakri Hassan Salih fighting for his life after a bullet injury. The government was obliged to put out a statement denying the imaginative stream of counter-propaganda. 
Officers of the Sudanese army were captured on smartphone cameras mingling with protestors in Atbara and Gedaref and almost immediately rumours of an impending army-orchestrated palace coup to sideline President Bashir were the headlines of people news on WhatsApp groups and social media. A twist was added saying army officers intervened to protect demonstrators from the police, the NISS and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). This is the background for the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) statement on 23 December affirming support for President Bashir and joint responsibility with other security formations including the NISS and the RSF for maintaining security. The authority of the government is not only threatened by angry protestors but by their inventive rumours. 
President Bashir is probably having a difficult time figuring out how to reinstate the elements of his success formula in heartland Sudan. Over the years he had refined a version of austerity with costs exported to distant peripheries converted into theatres of war and benefits concentrated in the heartland coupled with a racist ideology of riverine chauvinism and islamist bigotry. The novelty of these days of rage is that they demonstrate the exhaustion of this formula. Headquarters of the NCP are being burned down this time around in al-Damer, Berber, Dongola and Gedaref, i.e. in NCP heartland, and not Darfur’s Kas or Taweela or the Blue Nile’s Geissan or South Kordofan’s Talodi. 
To demonstrate this critical point. Dongola Higher Secondary is where Bakri Hassan Salih, President Bashir’s deputy and longtime confidante and a native of nearby Hafir Mashou, went to school. It is the hometown of leading Islamist figures like Mustafa Osman Ismail, once foreign minister and now ambassador in Geneva, and the late Ahmed Ali al-Imam, once advisor to President Bashir and prominent jihad veteran of the 1990s. Zubeir Ahmed al-Hassan, the current general secretary of the government-aligned Islamic Movement and former finance minister is a graduate of Atbara Higher Secondary. Awad al-Jaz, many times minister and oil lord was already in Merowe Higher Secondary a prominent student leader. Merowe is also the birthplace of Abd al-Raheem Hamdi, the mastermind of Sudan’s austerity policies. Salah Gosh, the NISS chief, is a native of Nuri close to Karima. Berber gave Sudan the prominent Islamic banker al-Bagir Yusif Mudawi, former chairman of Faisal Islamic Bank and deputy governor of the Bank of Sudan, now in disrepute in relation to accusations of grand corruption. 
Salah Gosh’s statements blaming the violence on Mossad-trained Darfuri rebels and criminal lumpenproletariat elements is an attempt to play this race and class card. The government indeed does not miss an opportunity to remind its heartland audience of the security they enjoy compared to the country’s war zones or further afar, the calamitous wars of Syria and Yemen. The shock of the past few days is that the very people, to whom the government has long appealed as the guardians of northern Sudanese chauvinism and beneficiaries of riverine advantage, are drumming with their feet for the overthrow of the regime. Salah Gosh’s Mossad-planned Zionist-Fur-Nigger conspiracy is hard to sell, even in his own Karima. 
The weak link in Sudan’s revolutionary surge is its notoriously reluctant petit bourgeoise. As soon as protesters were on the streets in Atbara, the propertied classes of Khartoum were rehearsing the procedures of a palace coup to get rid of evil President Bashir and quickly restore social order. An army coup is the shortcut they trust most to deliver the outcome they prefer: a transitional period of procedural democracy with the pillars of state authority secured, the sanctity of property relations guaranteed and political power recycled into the hands of allegedly noble army officers and recognisable faces from the political mainstream in some formula or another. In this vein, the recently established Sudanese Professionals Association called for a march to the Presidential Palace on 25 December to submit a memorandum demanding the transfer of power to a transitional government of bureaucrats and calling on the Sudan Armed Forces to take their side, the same army already in power. 
The blueprint for this exercise is the 1985 intifada against Jaafar Nimayri when the then army chief, Abd al-Rahman Siwar al-Dahab, orchestrated a palace coup displacing Nimayri from power but aborting the maximalist demands of the intifada, immediate peace with the rebels in southern Sudan, abolition of the 1983 sharia laws, complete dissolution of Nimayri’s state security bureau and reversal of economic austerity measures imposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank on Nimayri’s bankrupt government. After this transitional period of counter-revolution Siwar al-Dahab handed over power to the elected government of Sadiq al-Mahdi, the same man calling today for restoration of status quo ante of over 30 years ago. 
An extended view of events could project President Bashir’s government as a continuation of Siwar al-Dahab’s counter-revolution in alliance with the Islamic Movement, Siwar al-Dahab’s partners against the intifada masses. Sadiq al-Mahdi in this context is simply the tragic face of an interlude of political bickering and indecision. Today beyond the gentle age of 80 years, Sadiq al-Mahdi would be happy to play the same role again. Indeed he dismissed the protestors of today as political novices but is keen to reap the fruits of their action. 
For now, as long as the SAF remain behind Bashir he might well be able to temporarily retain his throne but the modality of governance he has developed over the years is in shambles. No wonder, he was humbly conciliatory on 24 December. In a faceless statement he called on the angry protesters to refrain from damaging property and on the security forces to respect the right of protest. Almost the same statement was made by a British diplomat in Khartoum. His Majesty’s government urges protesters to avoid damage to property, and the government to ensure reports of human rights abuses and use of excessive force are independently investigated, he wrote on 23 December. The irony is hard to miss. 

Saturday 22 December 2018

الثورة صناعة والجيش يلقاها عند الغافل ٢

كيف يقابل الثوريون قضية السلطة؟ واجه الثوار في مدنهم هذه القضية من رحم البراكسيس، من ممارستهم الحية. اقتحم المتظاهرون في مدينة الرهد مقار الحكم وفتحوا عنوة مخازن ديوان الزكاة يطلبون عدالة التوزيع. بذلك طرحوا مسألة السلطة السياسية كما يختبرها الناس في لحمهم الحي، قوى باطشة تستولي على الموارد، بجذرية غير مسبوقة وشقوا طريقا جديدا للثورة السودانية تجلى فيه الوعى الطبقي لغمار الناس بردا وسلاما عليهم. 
تقدم الثوار بالفعل سنين ضوئية على الصفوة السياسية المعارضة وكيف لا. ألم يقل لينين أن عقودا قد تمر دون أن يحدث فيها شئ ذو بال ثم تمر أسابيع تختصر عقودا من التاريخ. هذا هو ما نشهد على وجه الدقة. انصرمت في هذه الأيام الثلاثة عقودا من التاريخ وانفتح أفق جديد لم يكن ليدر بخلد أحد. لا غرو إذن أن الصفوة السياسية عدمت ما تقوله سوى تكرار المناشدة باستمرار التظاهر كأن الثوار الذين احتلوا الشوارع ينتظرون من المعارضة الرسمية كروت دعوة لممارسة فنهم. 
تقف اليوم الصفوة السياسية تغالب ترددها بإزاء هذه الجذرية الشجاعة. قال السيد الصادق المهدي أن الثورة الناشبة أمام أعينه وهو المنادي زمانا بالجهاد المدني "دخان مرقة"! اجتمع رجالات الإجماع الوطني لتكرار الدعوة للانتفاضة كأن الذي يجري أمام أعينهم "بروفة". واجتمع حزبا المؤتمر السوداني والحزب الشيوعي في العاصمة ليصدرا بيانا لا يحوي سوى المباركة والمناجاة بوحدة قوى المعارضة لكن لا يطرح صيغة جديدة لمقارعة السلطة لم يكتشفها الثوار أو تكتيكا مستحدثا للتقدم، أما ياسر عرمان فطالب بتشكيل "قيادة موحدة في الداخل والخارج" و"خروج قيادة معلومة للعلن لقيادة الشارع". 
ظني أن هؤلاء جميعا يقرأون من الصفحة الخطأ فالجواب الذي خرج من براكسيس الثوار على سؤال السلطة لا يمكن اختصاره في صيغة الحلف الحزبي الذي يلوح للمعارضة الرسمية بل يعد بتحول في علاقات القوى الاجتماعية لصالح غمار الناس يفرض نشوء قوة سياسية جديدة تجعل من هذا التحول هدفا للعمل. إن لم يتضح هذا الطريق الثوري بعد فقد اتضح جليا طريق الثورة المضادة. ترددت أقاويل عن تدخل الجيش لاستبدال السلطة القائمة وبالضرورة سد الطريق أمام نشوء السلطة التي ذاقت الجماهير في الرهد وغيرها كما شاع أن مدير جهاز الأمن صلاح قوش ربما حدث نفسه باستلام الحكم وسيجد لا بد من يصفق له. غير ذلك، طغى حسن الظن بالنفس على طائفة من الناشطين ذوي الشأن فطفقوا يحدثون أنفسهم بتوزيع الحقائب الوزارية، فلان لرئاسة الوزارة وهذا للإعلام، ذلك بعد أن يتحقق لهم النصر بشوكة الجيش المنحاز لثورة الشعب. 
يرفد هذا الهلج جميعه من عقيدة الانقلاب الثابتة في دليل البرجوازية الصغيرة السياسي. تستدعي الصفوة البرجوازية الصغيرة الجماهير للفداء وتصفق للشهيد والفقيد لكن متى ما انطرح سؤال السلطة كفرت بالجماهير الثائرة وفضلت طريق الانقلاب القصير. يتضمن هذا التكتيك المكرر التبشير بسلطة الجيش بزعم حياده وسمته الوطني الباذخ. تعمى هذه الصفوة في ساعة المصلحة المنظورة وربما لاتعمى عن حقيقة أن الجيش قوة سياسية قائمة بذاتها وليس حكما محايدا في صراع السلطة وما سنين الدكتاتورية المتطاولة في السودان سوى حكم الجيش. كما أن لحكم ضباط الجيش مضمون طبقي هو الذي هب ضده ثوار عطبرة والرهد وليس سوى قادة الجيش الذين يسألون عن الرعب الذي بثوا عبر سنين سلطتهم المستمرة لعقود في أرياف السودان وليس سواهم من ظلوا يدعون للمقارعة الحربية كلما جاء السؤال عن تداول السلطة السياسية. 
لماذا تستدعي الصفوة البرجوازية الصغيرة الجيش هذه الساعة إذن؟ لأنها من موقعها في النادي السياسي ترتعد من الروح الثوري الذي يحوم حول عطبرة والرهد والقضارف، من المجهول الذي قد يحمل في طيه تهديدا لعلاقات الملكية والتراتب الاجتماعي المستقرة. فمن شرعوا لأنفسهم السيطرة على مخازن ديوان الزكاة وتوزيع ما تحوي على من يحتاجها يمكن أن يشرعوا في قفزة أخرى للخيال السياسي معادلات جديدة لتوزيع الثروة الاجتماعية والسلطة السياسية لا فضل فيها لأولاد المدارس الفصيحين. بطبيعة الحال، لا يمكن سوى تقريظ قرار ضابط نشط الهمة تحييد الآلة القسرية للدولة تحت إمرته وحماية المؤسسات العامة بمهنية من موقع المواطن، لكن لا يعني هذا التقريظ، مهما بلغ، التبشير بالانقلاب كمخرج للأزمة العامة في البلاد. ما الانقلاب بأي شعار جاء سوى قطع طريق الثورة وإجهاضها إما مباشرة أو بعد حين هكذا كانت تجربة الانتفاضة ضد حكم جعفر نميري في ١٩٨٥ وهكذا كانت تجربة الثورة المصرية المعاصرة ودونكم خلاصات الاشتراكيين الثوريين في هذا الخصوص. 

الثورة صناعة والجيش يلقاها عند الغافل ١

قدح أهل عطبرة في ١٩ ديسمبر نارا عظيمة يهدي نورها كل ناظر. مجاز نار الحرية قديم في الذاكرة الوطنية، فقد قال الزعيم الأزهري عن الحرية أنها نور ونار من أراد نورها فليصطلي بنارها. طهارة النار هذه ربما علة إقبال المتظاهرين على إشعال الحريق في دور المؤتمر الوطني حيثما ومتى تيسر، كان ذلك في عطبرة والقضارف والرهد وربك وبربر والدامر وغيرها. طال هذا العنف الثوري مقرات الضرائب والزكاة والجباية، أي البنية التحتية للعنف الهيكلي لجهاز الدولة، كما طال أدوات القهر البوليسي ومقرات جهاز الأمن، أي القوة القسرية لجهاز الدولة. لم يكن هذا العنف الثوري إذن أعمى أو فوضويا بل دقيق التصويب ونافذ العقلانية. 
ردت الدولة على هذا الجرأة العطبراوية بعنفها المعهود، حشدت للمتظاهرين العزل من السلاح الكتائب المدججة في مهرجان للعنف الأعمى تتلقط الأرواح الحرة برصاصها المأجور. تكرر هذا المشهد الفوضوي في كل بقعة خرج أهلها لنار الحرية. إذا كان من عنف لا دليل له فهو عنف جهاز الدولة الذي يرى الهتاف قذائف مدفعية والأجساد الضاجة بالحياة ألوية قتال. كما خرج الناس يدقون طبلا عظيما للحرية بأرجلهم طلبوا سلامة عقولهم من الدعاية الحكومية فحرروا مساجدهم من أئمة خرس يصمتون عن الحق وقد استبان شمسا. 
إزاء هذه الفتوح الشعبية انقسم الرأى الحكومي بين لوم ولوم مضاد. تراجع رئيس الوزراء معتز موسى عن قراره المرتقب برفع الدعم عن الدقيق والمحروقات، القرار الذي زكاه الرئيس البشير بتصريح صمت بالكلية بعده، ثم خرج رئيس جهاز الأمن، الفريق صلاح قوش، بحديث مسيخ ومكرور عن مؤامرة صهيونية يقودها الموساد الإسرائيلي وعناصر مندسة من حركة عبد الواحد محمد نور المسلحة اخترقت صفوف المتظاهرين وتولت قيادة نشاطهم..إلخ. المهم أن صلاح حمل المسؤولية للجهاز التنفيذي فقال فشلت الحكومة في توزيع الدقيق المدعوم. بحسب صلاح لم يكن في عطبرة وبورتسودان شوال دقيق مدعوم واحد يوم ١٩ ديسمبر. لذا قامت حكومتا الولايتين بتوزيع دقيق تجاري (غير مدعوم) على المخابز التي طرحت الرغيف للبيع بسعر ٣ جنيه. أعلن صلاح في مؤتمره الصحفي مساء ٢١ ديسمبر أن جهاز الأمن تولى مسؤولية توزيع الدقيق التي فشلت فيها الحكومة. كتائب صلاح الذي مثله أحد تقتل وتوزع الدقيق وتصلح السراير.
بالمقارنة مع الارتباك الحكومي نسج المتظاهرون من نشاطهم المشترك علاقات تضامنية جديدة فهناك من فتحت دارها لاستقبال الطالبات المطرودات من الداخليات بعد أن قررت الحكومة تعليق الدراسة في جامعات الخرطوم جميعها وهنالك من تقدمت لعلاج المصابين في المستشفيات ومن تبرعت بالتوصيل وسوى ذلك من الفطرة الشيوعية السليمة، من كل حسب قدرته ولكل حسب احتياجاته. بإزاء هذا الروح التضامني العظيم تولى مثل صلاح مسؤولية الفتنة فقال اندس بين المتظاهرين متمردون من دارفور استهدفوا المواطنين كأن دارفور وأهلها غير الوطن وقال رصدت كتائبه الدموية مجموعات من "النيقرز" يحملون سكاكين وسواطير ويستهدفون المواطنين بينما الحقيقة أن الرصاص القاتل انطلق من مواسير الأمن فصلاح ساعي الفتنة ورسول العنصرية ومن خلفه رئيسه المرعوب اتخذا القتل حرفة. 
نشأت بين المتظاهرين فكرة من المستقبل فراج بينهم مطلب تحرير المدن، أي أن يتولى مجلس منهم شؤون الإدارة المحلية بدلا عن السلطة القائمة، وهذا من براكسيس الثورة المجيد وعين الحل الديمقراطي لقضية السلطة بيد شعبية. غض النظر عن ميقات وعد مثل هذا فقد انفتح بهذه البشارة الثورية أفقا جديدا للسياسة بالناس بعد أن طال جمودها في صوالين السياسيين المحترفين ولقاءات المبعوثين الدوليين. لقت هذه الفكرة الطارفة والتليدة في آن هزءا شديدا واستغراب فهي إما غير عقلانية أو طوباوية مثالية غير قابلة للتطبيق. لكن ألا تواجه هذه الفكرة مباشرة وبلا تردد عقدة طالما اعتبرها الصف البرجوازي الصغير علة السياسة السودانية الأساس، حلقة الثورة والانقلاب الشريرة. إن العنف الشرعي هو عنف المتظاهرين الذين اقتلعوا دور الحكم ويحطمون بأياديهم جهاز الدولة القديم. 

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This work by Magdi El Gizouli is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.