Egypt rally, London 12.2.2011

Demonstration til støtte for oprøret i Egypten i hjertet af London. I videoens ledsagetekst læser vi:

Amnesty International’s rally in solidarity with the people of Egypt and the wider Middle East & North Africa. Was mostly a celebration of the fall of Mubarak which happened the day before. 45 other cities across the world had the same rally.

Desværre (eller selvfølgelig, kunne man næsten sige) ikke min hjemby Århus. Blandt talerne ser man Waseem Wagdi,
som vi tidligere (1. februar, faktisk) har set græde af lykke over, at folk i hans hjemland endelig havde fået nok af militærstyrets undertrykkelse og despoti.

Egypten – diktatoren faldt, men kampen er først begyndt

Den egyptiske hær har nu opløst parlamentet, meddelt, at der vil være valg til september og lægger nu op til at forbyde strejker, som 3arabawy skriver:

From Reuters…

Egypt’s new military rulers will issue a warning on Sunday against anyone who creates “chaos and disorder”, an army source said.
The Higher Military Council will also ban meetings by labour unions or professional syndicates, effectively forbidding strikes, and tell all Egyptians to get back to work after the unrest that toppled Hosni Mubarak.

Remember, when the army took over in 1952, first thing they did was executing two strike leaders at Kafr el-Dawwar textile mill.

Militæret siger, at de vil give borgerne deres rettigheder tilbage og afholde valg, og det er svært at se, at de har andet valg – uden at gribe til vold i en skala, som selv Mubarak var ude af stand til at ty til. Men militæret har de sidste 60 år været mere eller mindre identisk med regimet. Det er svært at se deres halve års overgangsperiode som andet end en lejlighed til at bage store mængder af rævekager, der skal bevare deres egne og Mubarak-regimets velhavende klienters privilegier.

Ifølge førciterede Hossam el-Hawalawys twitterstrøm foregår der netop nu et intenst arbejde med at danne fagforeninger og organisere strejker, så revolutionen ikke bare bliver overtaget af militæret, men bliver fastholdt og kommer almindelige mennesker til gode:

we bloody need free labor unions to keep those strikes going and coordinate #egyworkers

Oil #egyworkers on strike – LIVE at

The militancy is impressive. The strikers attacked ministry officials for still putting up Mubarak’s photos on the wall.

Spoke with the oil strikers, put them in touch with labor lawyers to start forming free union.

Also more divers I’m in touch with r joining initiative for a free union of Egyptian divers, in Marsa Alam, Hurghada, Sharm and Alexandria.

Everyone should start forming unions & labor associations now. If we don’t build those now, we’ll be fucked by the regime soon.

Don’t trust the Generals! Don’t trust the Generals! Keep building your trade unions. That is the only thing that can protect our revolution.

Omar Suleimans og Mubaraks konstante forhandlen på skrømt, mens deres halve eller potentielle indrømmelser blev fulgt op af intense forsøg på at lade det hemmelige politi slå ned på demonstranterne med vold, kidnapninger og tortur, giver i hvert fald ikke i sig selv nogen grund til at stole på militærets velvilje – med mindre aktivisterne og folk nede på jorden bliver ved med at holde dem godt og grundigt i ørerne.

Og de vestlige regeringer? Vel, de står sikkert allerede på spring for at bestikke de spirende politiske partier med støtte for at sikre en “fornuftig” (læs: Mubarak-lignende) politik i fremtiden. Men de skal måske ikke forvente sig for meget af egypterne, især ikke taknemmelighed.

Wael Ghonim udtrykte det meget klart i én af sine mange tweets:

Dear Western Governments, You’ve been silent for 30 years supporting the regime that was oppressing us. Please don’t get involved now.

Here’s hoping they won’t.

Egypten – en psykologisk revolution

Noget af det mest afgørende, der er sket i Egypten i løbet af de sidste 18-20 dage, er det rent psykologiske: Da det blev klart, at regimet faktisk ikke kunne forhindre de store demonstrationer, trods hårde kampe og en usædvanligt brutal indsats fra det frygtede uropoliti og siden fra regimets betalte bøller, glemte folk ganske enkelt at være bange.

I stedet er de nu vågnet op til et land, som er deres eget, og som de selv må tage ansvaret for, som Al Jazeeras Evan Hill skriver fra Cairo:

In 18 days, revolution uprooted a regime that had ruled the country with ruthless tenacity for 30 years.While the upheaval has opened the door to political and economic reform, its most lasting effect may be the opening of the Egyptian mind.

With the army on the streets and the old order in flames, the wall of cynical humour and pessimism erected by Egyptians as psychic protection against the crushing weight of their corrupt government seemed to split apart and crumble.

Suddenly, anything was possible.

As dawn broke, all-volunteer teams of street sweepers wearing rubber gloves and cotton masks struck out along Cairo’s decrepit boulevards, sweeping dust and debris into trash bags.

Where once it was commonplace to see Cairenes chuck wrappers and used food cartons with abandon, it was now impossible to drop a cigarette butt without a stern reprimand.

In and around Tahrir Square, civilians painted over and scrubbed away anti-government graffiti that peppered every surface, from the walls of the old campus of the American University in Cairo to the armour of parked tanks.

In Abdel Moneim Riad Square, near the Egyptian museum, where pro- and anti-government crowds had hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails at each other in deadly combat on February 2, men and women now formed human chains to prevent passersby from smudging the curbs they had just painted in thick black-and-white stripes.

But the effort goes beyond rubbish pick-ups and street sweeping.

What is being suggested in Cairo now is nothing short of a mental house-clearing – a complete overhaul in the way the average Egyptian has learned to do business in a society that has been smothered beneath nepotism and emergency law for decades.

One flyer being distributed on Saturday put it this way:

“Today this country is your country. Do not litter. Don’t drive through traffic lights. Don’t bribe. Don’t forge paperwork. Don’t drive the wrong way. Don’t drive quickly to be cool while putting lives at risk. Don’t enter through the exit door at the metro. Don’t harass women. Don’t say, ‘It’s not my problem.’ Consider God in your work. We have no excuse anymore.”

Link: Egyptian minds are opened

Song to the people of Egypt

The following verses were written by the English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1819 in the hope of inciting a peaceful revolution which would bring down the tyranny of the King and the rich, land-owning nobility.

This poem aptly describes what Shelley was hoping for in England, which is almost exactly what has happened in Egypt right now. For England, substitute Egypt. What England never could, Egypt did.

This Egyptian revolution brought down the dictator, but it must also be the end of Orientalism and the stupid European notion of the Arab world as “other”. Our culture and beliefs may not be the same, but our hearts and dreams and hopes and aspirations are the same. Our leaders may be enemies, but those who suffer will eventually think the same. Who is to say we are not brothers and friends?

SONG TO THE PEOPLE OF EGYPT (From: The Mask of Anarchy, by P.B. Shelley)

‘Ye who suffer woes untold,
Or to feel, or to behold
Your lost country bought and sold
With a price of blood and gold–

‘Let a vast assembly be,
And with great solemnity
Declare with measured words that ye
Are, as God has made ye, free–

‘Be your strong and simple words
Keen to wound as sharpened swords,
And wide as targes let them be,
With their shade to cover ye.

‘Let the tyrants pour around
With a quick and startling sound,
Like the loosening of a sea,
Troops of armed emblazonry.

‘Let the charged artillery drive
Till the dead air seems alive
With the clash of clanging wheels,
And the tramp of horses’ heels.

‘Let the fixed bayonet
Gleam with sharp desire to wet
Its bright point in English blood
Looking keen as one for food.

Let the horsemen’s scimitars
Wheel and flash, like sphereless stars
Thirsting to eclipse their burning
In a sea of death and mourning.

‘Stand ye calm and resolute,
Like a forest close and mute,
With folded arms and looks which are
Weapons of unvanquished war,

‘And let Panic, who outspeeds
The career of armed steeds
Pass, a disregarded shade
Through your phalanx undismayed.

‘Let the laws of your own land,
Good or ill, between ye stand
Hand to hand, and foot to foot,
Arbiters of the dispute,

‘The old laws of England–they
Whose reverend heads with age are gray,
Children of a wiser day;
And whose solemn voice must be
Thine own echo–Liberty!

On those who first should violate
Such sacred heralds in their state
Rest the blood that must ensue,
And it will not rest on you.

‘And if then the tyrants dare
Let them ride among you there,
Slash, and stab, and maim, and hew,–
What they like, that let them do.

‘With folded arms and steady eyes,
And little fear, and less surprise,
Look upon them as they slay
Till their rage has died away.

Then they will return with shame
To the place from which they came,
And the blood thus shed will speak
In hot blushes on their cheek.

‘Every woman in the land
Will point at them as they stand–
They will hardly dare to greet
Their acquaintance in the street.

‘And the bold, true warriors
Who have hugged Danger in wars
Will turn to those who would be free,
Ashamed of such base company.

‘And that slaughter to the Nation
Shall steam up like inspiration,
Eloquent, oracular;
A volcano heard afar.

‘And these words shall then become
Like Oppression’s thundered doom
Ringing through each heart and brain,
Heard again–again–again–

‘Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number–
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you–
Ye are many–they are few.’

A divided Egypt

Karim Sabet lagde dette på Facebook i morges og sluttede med ordene: Share if you care. Hans beretning er værd at høre.

I have not been able to sleep from what I think may be a day I hope I will never get to see again. I need to make one thing very very clear to all of you guys watching what is happening from your TV screens. Having spent 8 hours in Tahrir square yesterday, I can say that the majority of the people throwing rocks from the anti-Mubarak demonstrators were not the people I want representing me. Yes i am asking for the president to go, yes I am asking for changes to be made, and yes I will continue to go back there every day for the same cause but I will NOT accept that religious groups hijack what we have been doing for their own agenda.

A large group of the ones organizing them yesterday were people in galabeyas and long beards shouting “Al Jihad fe Sabeel Allah (Jihad in the name of Allah), you have to continue fighting, we will win this war, if you die here today, you will be a martyr and go straight to heaven, don’t stop, fight, fight, fight”.

NO! This is NOT why we werein the streets on Friday being tear gassed and dodging rubber bullets and it is not why we have been going to Tahrir everyday to be heard. The reason why this revolt went through and became successful was because it was not religiously or politically charged. Don’t let the ones who have been watching this unfold in the shadows ride this wave and hijack what you have been fighting for. I saw on Monday Taalat El Sadat (a dodgy fame hungry politician) ask people in the square to get aggressive. He was met with one loud message by everyone, “Selmeya, Selmeya” (Peaceful, Peaceful) – which is how all of us want it.

This President (who needs to go because enough is enough) has lost all credibility with every single person on this planet. After coming out on Monday night promising swift reform, he sends thugs and under cover cops (I took a pic of one of the IDs, posted on my wall last night) to provoke the ones in Tahrir. For every action, you will always get a reaction ya zift and probably this is what he  is looking for – to divide his own people. If you send them to Tahrir, you will get a war (especially since the police have been in hiding since Friday night) however I do NOT want this country to fall in the darkness of the abyss. I am hoping that the Muslim Brotherhood stay out of this although I know that this is impossible at this point.

The above is just to get you guys thinking… and only time can tell us what will really happen. What is happening to my Egypt right now is heartbreaking.

For the time being, only one message is clear…. Mubarak, please leave – how much more blood are you looking for?