Sunday, February 27, 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011
Monday, February 14, 2011
Saturday, February 12, 2011
What’s more, Egyptians won their victory as a people, not as a mass following a leader. Throughout history there have been various peaceful revolutions, but each had a figurehead: Nelson Mandela in South Africa, Gahndi in India, Martin Luther King in the Civil Rights movement in the United States. Each a worthy cause with a worthy leader.
Many images from the last nineteen days will be recorded in history: Egyptians chanting ‘peaceful, peaceful’ before being attacked by State Security; armored trucks turning water cannons on demonstrators as they prayed; Christian Egyptians surrounding their Muslim brothers, protecting them as they prayed; millions of people gathered in Tahrir – Liberation – Square.
These are the images of a people long known as friendly and hospitable, who have shown the world how deeply the Egyptian spirit runs.
In the early days of the revolution, for every young man who wanted to throw a stone at State Security forces there were five others to stop him. They would not instigate violence, but at a point demonstrators did retaliate: Police shot tear gas at demonstrators. The people kicked it away, threw it back, or tried to put it out. Police threw stones. Demonstrators threw them back. Police shot rubber bullets at demonstrators. Demonstrators set police vans on fire.
Even so, the overwhelming desire among the people was for everything to be peaceful. When State Security withdrew from Cairo on January 28, the people did not chase them out. On the contrary, I witnessed some demonstrators go to them and congratulate them, sharing the victory.
In less than three weeks Egyptians shattered the wall of fear which had kept them silent for decades. The wall had been cracked already, and the foundation was a bit unstable, but until January 25 that wall still stood. On the evening of January 25 I stood in Tahrir Square as tens of thousands of Egyptians gathered there for the first time, giddy with excitement.
I spoke with a lawyer who had helped found the human rights movement in Egypt in the 1970s, and had been part of the student demonstrations in 1973 and 1977. “I was here in Tahrir in 1977 and I was arrested for that demonstration,” he told me. “And now I am here again and I see all these young people, the age of my son and my daughters.” For him, as for many others, it was an emotional moment.
Destroying that ‘culture of fear,’ as I once heard it called, is one of the single most important victories of Egypt’s revolution. Whatever happens next, Egyptians now know that they can go to the streets and demand their rights.
So, what happens next? This is the question both Egyptians and the world have been asking for nineteen days. Hosni Mubarak, against all odds, is gone. What now?
Many have expressed the fear of a power vacuum. The military is in control, but that makes some uneasy. Others fear the Muslim Brotherhood will take over and impose some version of Islamic rule. Some of the fears are valid, some misplaced, but all seem to have overlooked the most important thing Egyptians have taught themselves and the world over the past nineteen days: Egyptians can take care of themselvevs.
Egyptians can take care of themselves. When the police pulled out of the city, Egyptians took it upon themselves to safeguard their homes and their history. They locked arms in front of the Egyptian Museum to protect it, and when thugs broke in from the roof the people quickly arrested them and turned them over to the army.
Within hours of the disappearance of security guards and traffic police, citizens organized road blocks, checkpoints, and neighborhood watch groups – and all without access to the internet or mobile phones.
Committees were organized to clean the streets and pick up garbage. People took it upon themselves to set up makeshift clinics in Tahrir Square and to bring food, water, and blankets to distribute to the people demonstrating there 24 hours a day.
Egypt did not fall into chaos, and did not fall for the rumors the government was trying to spread. In places where there was violence and looting, the people knew it was government-hired thugs and prisoners who mysteriously escaped from prisons who were causing trouble: it was not the people themselves.
The regime tried to force the people to choose between security and liberty and the people, in true Egyptian fashion, made their own option. They chose both. And it will not be quick or easy, but with more of the perseverance and compassion Egyptians have embodied in the last three weeks, they will keep both.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
- @haytham_lashin: Changing his facebook relationship status with #EGYPT to it's complicated
- @samayfield: Mubarak and Suleiman are busy playing rock paper scissors
- @HarikariButterK - He's storming around the palace throwing a tantrum because he doesn't want to get in the car.
- @samyamina trying to convince the airport to open up and let him out
- @Pharaonick last min souvenir shopping in the Khan. t-shirt saying "I ruled Masr 30 years & all I got was this lousy revolution"
- @lama_b He's trying to find another person who also thinks that protests r in celebration of his 30th year as Father of Egypt
- @BrindisMom He's starting a new hashtag, #ReasonsIshouldhavelefttwoweeksago
- @The__K__Man: he's watching egyptian tv...he still doesn't know it's his last day in office
- @Puhtaytoe Stunt-double's missing
- @Amiralx #ReasonsMubarakIsLate he's waiting for this hashtag to stop updating
- @bloggingegypt: The best & most obvious#ReasonsMubarakIsLate I've seen RT @Noor1Noor2 HE'S EGYPTIAN
- @MennaAmr Ran out of botox shots
- @HerMaeness Adult diaper change.
Monday, February 7, 2011
A Statement from the protesters at Cairo's Tahrir square
to the Egyptian people
The President's promises and the bloody events of Wednesday February 2
We the protesters who are currently on sit-in at Tahrir (liberation) square in Cairo since January 25, 2011 strongly condemn the brutal attack carried out by the governing National Democratic Party's (NDP) mercenaries at our location on Wednesday February 2, under the guise of "rally" in support of President Mubarak. This attack continues on Thursday February 3. We regret that some young people have joined these thugs and criminals, whom the NDP is accustomed to hire during elections, to march them off after spreading several falsehoods circulated by the regime media about us and our goals. These goals that aim at changing the political system to a one that guarantees freedom, dignity and social justice to all citizens are also the goals of the youth. Therefore we want to clarify the following.
Firstly, we are a group of Muslim and Christian Egyptians; the overwhelming majority of us does not belong to political parties and have no previous political activism. Our movement involves elderly and children, peasants, workers, professionals, students and pensioners. Our movement cannot be classified as "paid for" or "directed by" a limited few because it attracted millions who responded to its emblem of removing the regime. People joined us last Tuesday in Cairo and other governorates in a scene that witnessed no one case of violence, property assault or harassment to anyone.
Secondly, our movement is accused of being funded from abroad, supported by the United States, as being instigated by Hamas, as under the leadership of the president of the National Assembly for change (Mohamed El-Baradie) and last but not least, as directed by the Muslim Brotherhood. Many accusations like these prove to be false. Protesters are all Egyptians who have clear and specific national objectives. Protesters have no weapons or foreign equipment as claimed by instigators. The broad positive response by the people to our movement's goals reveals that these are the goals of the Egyptian masses in general, not any internal or external faction or entity.
Thirdly, the regime and its paid media falsely blame us, demonstrators, for the tension and instability in the streets of Egypt in recent days and therefore for damaging our nation's interests and security. Our answer to them is: It is not the peaceful protesters who released the criminal offenders from prison to the unguarded streets to practice looting and plundering. It is not the peaceful protesters who have imposed a curfew starting at 3 o'clock PM. It is not the peaceful protesters who have stopped the work in banks, bakeries and gas stations. When protesters organized its one-million demonstration it came up in the most magnificent and organized form and ended peacefully. It is not the protestors who killed 300 people some with live ammunition, and wounding more than 2,000 people in the last few days.
Fourthly, President Mubarak came out on Tuesday to announce that he will not be nominated in the upcoming presidential election and that he will modify two articles in the Constitution, and engage in dialogue with the opposition. However the State media has attacked us when we refused his "concession" and decided to go on with our movement. Our demand that Mubark steps down immediately is not a personal matter, but we have clear reasons for it which include:
- His promise of not to run again is not new. He has promised when he came to power in 1981 that he will not run for more than two periods but he continued for more than 30 years.
- His speech did not put any collateral for not nominating his son "Gamal", who remains until the moment a member of the ruling party, and can stand for election that will not be under judicial supervision since he ignored any referring to the amendment of article 88 of the Constitution.
- He also considered our movement a "plot directed by a force" that works against the interests of the nation as if responding to the demands of the public is a "shame" or "humiliation".
- As regards to his promise of conducting a dialogue with the opposition, we know how many times over the past years the regime claimed this and ended up with enforcing the narrow interests of the Mubarak State and the few people who control it.
And the events of Wednesday proved our stand is vindicated. While the President was giving his promises, the leaders of his regime were organizing (along with paid thugs and wanted criminals equipped with swords, knives and Molotov bombs) a brutal attack plot against us in Tahrir square. Those thugs and criminals were accompanied by the NDP members who fired machine guns on unarmed protesters who were trapped on the square ground, killing at least 7 and wounding hundreds of us critically. This was done in order to end our peaceful national popular movement and preserve the status quo.
Our movement is Egyptian - Our movement is legitimate- Our movement is continuing
The youth of Tahrir Square sit-in
February 3, 2011 at 11:30am
بيان للشعب من معتصمين بالتحرير - الرجاء النشر والتوزيع
أول القصيد: وعود الرئيس وأحداث الأربعاء 2 فبراير
نحن محتجون منذ 25 يناير الماضي، ومعتصمون في ميدان التحرير، ندين بشدة الاعتداء الغاشم الذي نفذته مرتزقة الحزب الوطني علينا في مقر اعتصامنا يوم الأربعاء 2 فبراير تحت غطاء المظاهرة المؤيدة للرئيس لمبارك ويستمر العدوان يوم الخميس 3 فبراير. ونأسف لدخول البعض من شباب مصر مع البلطجية والمجرمين ممن اعتاد الوطني تأجيرهم في الانتخابات، وساقوهم علينا بعد أن أشاعوا اكاذيب عديدة يروجها النظام وإعلامه بخصوصنا وبخصوص اهدافنا المنادية بتغيير للنظام السياسي يكفل لنا ولجموع المواطنين الحرية وكرامة العيش والعدالة الاجتماعية، والتي هي ايضا من اهداف هذا الشباب، ولذلك نريد توضيح الاتي:
أولا، نحن مجموعة من شباب مصر مسلمين ومسيحيين، أغلبيتنا الكاسحة لا تنتمي لأحزاب سياسية ولا لها نشاط سياسي من قبل. حركتنا ضمت شيوخا وأطفالا، فلاحين وعمال ومهنيين، طلبة وموظفين على المعاش. حركتنا لا يمكن تصنيفها على أنها مدفوعة أو محركة من قلة بحكم الملايين الذين استجابوا لشعاراتها باسقاط النظام، وانضموا اليها يوم الثلاثاء الماضي في القاهرة والمحافظات، في حدث لم يشهد حالة عنف واحدة أو اعتداء على الممتلكات أو تحرش من أحد بأحد.
ثانيا، حركتنا متهمة بأنها ممولة من الخارج، وتمدها الولايات المتحدة، وأنها قامت بتحريض من حماس، وبأنها تحت قيادة وبتنظيم رئيس الجمعية الوطنية للتغيير محمد البرادعي، وأخيرا وليس آخرا، بأنها موجهة من قبل الاخوان المسلمين. وتعدد الاتهامات بهذا الشكل في حد ذاته يثبت زيفها. المحتجون كلهم مصريون أهدافهم أهدافا وطنية واضحة ومحددة. المحتجون ليس لديهم لا سلاح ولا معدات أجنبية كما يدعي المحرضين. واستجابة الناس الواسعة لها تكشف أنها هي ذاتها أهداف جموع المصريين عموما، وليس أي فصيل أو كيان داخلي وخارجي.
ثالثا، يلقي النظام وإعلامه المأجور زورا وبهتانا بالمسئولية عن التوتر وعدم الاستقرار الذي شهدته شوارع مصر في الأيام الماضية، وبالتالي عما يسببه ذلك من أضرار لمصالحنا ومصالح أمتنا ولأمننا جميعا، على الشباب المتظاهر. فليس المتظاهرون سلميا هم الذين أخرجوا المجرمين من السجون ليخلقوا حالة السلب والنهب في شوارع المحروسة. ليس المتظاهرون هم الذين فرضوا حظر تجول يبدأ من الثالثة وأوقفوا العمل في البنوك والمخابز ومحطات الوقود. وحين نظم المتظاهرون مظاهرتهم المليونية خرجت في أحلى حلة وأفضل تنظيم، وانتهت سلميا. المتظاهرون ليسوا هم من قتلوا 300 شخص بعضهم بالرصاص الحي، وجرحوا أكثر من ألفي شخص في الأيام الماضية.
رابعا، خرج الرئيس مبارك علينا مساء الثلاثاء ليعلن عدم ترشحه في الانتخابات الرئاسية المقبلة وتعديله لمادتين في الدستور، وخوض حوار مع المعارضة. وقد هاجمنا الاعلام الرسمي عندما رفضنا "تنازلاته" وقررنا المضي في حركتنا. إن مطلب التنحي الفوري لمبارك ليس مسألة شخصية. لكننا نستند في ذلك على أسباب واضحة من بينها:
الوعد بعدم الترشح ليس جديدا. فقد وعد مبارك عندما جاء رئيسا في 1981 بعدم الترشح لأكثر من فترتين، ليستمر بعدها لأكثر من 30 عاما. كما أن الخطاب لم يضع أي ضمانات لعدم ترشح ابنه جمال، الذي يظل حتى هذه اللحظة عضوا في الحزب الحاكم، ويستطيع ترشيح نفسه في انتخابات لن تتم تحت اشراف قضائي، إذ تجاهل الخطاب الاشارة الى تعديل المادة 88 في الدستور. كما اعتبر الخطاب حركتنا مؤامرة من قوى تعمل ضد مصالح الوطن، وكأن الاستجابة لمطالب الجماهير عار وعيب. وأما فيما يتعلق بالحوار مع المعارضة فكم من حوارات ادعى النظام انه سيقوم بها خلال السنوات الماضية وانتهت بمضي دولة مبارك في طريق المصالح الضيقة لمن يسيطرون عليها.
وجاءت أحداث الأربعاء لتثبت صحة موقفنا. فبينما كان خطاب الرئيس يوعد، كانت قيادات نظامه ترتب مع البلطجية والمسجلين خطر من المأجورين مؤامرة الاعتداء الوحشي في التحرير بالسنج والمطاوي وقنابل المولوتوف، يصاحبهم أعضاء الحزب الوطني بإطلاق الأعيرة النارية بالبنادق الآلية على المتظاهرين العزل المحاصرين في الميدان، الذي أدى إلى مقتل سبعة على الأقل وإصابة المئات، منهم بإصابات بالغة، وذلك لإنهاء حركتنا الشعبية الوطنية والتمهيد لبقاء الحال على ماهو عليه.
حركتنا مصرية – حركتنا مشروعة - حركتنا مستمرة
Saturday, February 5, 2011
This footage shows the violence of police forces against demonstrators on the Qasr el-Nil bridge leading into Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt on Friday, January 28, 2011, Egypt's 'Day of Rage'.
Notable time markers:
00:33 - videos from Jan. 28 begin
01:34 - police trucks drives through demonstrators
03:41 - police use water hoses against praying demonstrators
04:45 - police fire tear gas in man's face
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
This video was captured on Friday, January 28, 2011, Egypt's 'Day of Rage,' from Al-Jazeera's offices overlooking Abdelmonem Riad Square in Cairo, Egypt. In it can be seen the battle between police and demonstrators, including tear gas, stone throwing, and rubber bullets.
Internet service in Egypt has been cut almost entirely since midnight Thursday. The government undoubtedly cut service to disrupt coordination among would-be demonstrators in an effort to dissuade Egyptians from protesting.