Tahrir-pladsen som lærestykke i decentral modstand

Den svensk-jordanske journalist Rami Abdelrahman, som vi efterhånden har citeret nogle gange – første gang, da han præsenterede sine overvejelser over, hvorfor han overhovedet var nødt til at forlade Jordan – har været på Tahrir-pladsen i Cairo og fortæller om, hvordan denne plads kan virke som en slags mikrokosmos af det mod til at ytre sig, som diktatorens fald (trods alle tilbageslag) har afstedkommet i det store land:

On Friday, the 25th of November 2011, a so-called “million-man march” was taking place.

I arrived just as a couple of hundred thousand Egyptians performed Friday prayers. In this blog post, I will revisit some of the observations I noted during my three-day activist tourism on the square. As soon as I approached the end of Talaat Harb St. leading to Tahrir Square, I came across a “control point” – youngsters have tied a rope across the street, and stood there as a human shield preventing anyone from going in without her/his ID checked and bag and pockets searched for weapons.

A young man informed me, as is the custom nowadays, that there is no reason to be offended or to feel targeted – this exercise is done to all visitors to Tahrir Square, and guarantees their safety in the occupied area. Then he said something that really struck me straight at the heart, when I asked him how they organised themselves between the different entrances to the square – he said “we’re not organised, there’s no central unit that gives out tasks, this is all done by volunteers, who keep watch, shift after shift.” True enough, even when I re-entered the square two nights later at 4:00 am in the morning, there were different volunteers guarding the same location, with one young man and one young woman tasked with searching the bags of visitors of their respective genders.

The “unorganisation” of the resistence that overthrew a dictator, took over Tahrir Square, and occupied the entrances to other key strongholds such as the Prime Ministry, the Parliament and the road to the Interior Ministry, etc, was what fascinated me the most. “The only thing that organises us is that we believe in the same thing” — that thing, being apparently a governance system of integrity and equality.

Tahrir Square was a bazaar for the newly regained freedom of expression, it had a festive feeling. Food vendors selling all sorts of street sweets, cold drinks, tea, koshari, fireworks, etc. Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators were engaging in all sorts of political debates and other trivia – with views ranging from radical islamism to ultra liberalism. The salafis had their area, press centre and clinics, and so did the seculars, and many other non-aligned groups.

The real Tahrir “revolutionists,” the disorganised organisers, seemed not to follow any particular sect, party or political ideology – but expressed rather deterministic opposition to the governance status quo, and to many of the options that the more organised parties are putting on the table.

Poverty was also something that struck me. A family consisting of two parents and their 6 children, slept on the street, simply because they received free food and blankets from the volunteers. An almost post-apocalyptic scene that I encountered at a later hour, and something that I’ll never forget.

The most fascinating aspect of it all is the joy, the determination, the pride, and the strength in many faces – the type of faces that tell you, we’re all stakeholders in this. The fresh scent of hope after decades of hopelessness. All with the modest twist of brotherly and sisterly sympathy. This last bit, is something I have never seen before, anywhere, ever. I could go into the political analysis of what is happening in Egypt, but it is irrelevant, in every possible way.  This is the very atom-heart of a long due, generational revolution that will create a parallel world order, if it doesn’t really break the rather fragile, illusionary, and patriarchal global political orders.

Mine fremhævelser. Tilbageslag eller ej, og hvor langt der end somme tider kan forekomme at være tilbage  – der er også sket noget vigtigt. Der er, som jeg så herover, dukket et mod til at være fri og kræve et frit og retfærdigt samfund.

Link: From Tahrir Square: Lessons in unorganized resistance

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