Egypt Revolution – Tweets from Tahrir(Video)


Egypt’s youth tweeted out the 18-day ouster of Hosni Mubarak, and are still reporting the unfinished revolution.

Take a good look at those Egyptian youths as they talk in the video. With such unhesitant voices, bold and shiny eyes, educated minds and fearless souls how could the revolution not eventually win?

Despite all the marches, the long sit-ins and even the harsh crackdown and the killing this whole thing that kicked off in Tahrir square on January 25, 2011 is definitely far from over.

On Its First Anniversary: Egypt Revolution Continues


“The revolutionary public opinion and demands that were created in Tahrir square needed to be politically purused by revolutionary cadres and leadership.”

Dr. Ashraf Ezzat

Mubarak wheeled into the courtroom at the latest hearing of his case.

“Mubarak is neither a tyrant nor a bloodthirsty man  …

He is a clean man, who could say no wrong. Mubarak has seriously and faithfully worked to the best of his abilities and energy for Egypt and its people and lived a life burdened by his nation’s problems” Said Fareed El-Deeb, Mubarak’s lawyer as he argued his case at a latest hearing and just days prior to the first anniversary of the Egyptian revolution.

“Mubarak is worthy of justice and no one should discredit his efforts, question his loyalty or history. There is no evidence to prove that Mubarak gave orders to open fire on the protesters or even to prove he sealed the natural gas deal with Israel … and how could you accuse Mubarak of killing the protesters when he, in fact, supported the revolution” added El-Deeb.

Mubarak can’t be proven guilty and his lawyer hails him as a pro-democracy liberal who looked favorably on the Egyptian uprising. … It’s funny and almost surreal but that’s how Mubarak’s trial is proceeding. It’s true that Egyptians like jokes but not this kind of mockery of justice.

Field Marshal, Hussein Tantawi

Key witnesses in the deposed president’s trial, Mr. Omar Soliman, Mubarak’s vice president and former chief of intelligence and Field Marshal Houssein Tantawy, the minister of defense and the current head of the supreme council of armed forces (SCAF) declined to attest that Mubarak gave direct orders to shoot the peaceful protesters.

This Actually comes as no surprise, after all, those were Mubarak’s long time loyal aides and anyone thought or expected differently was probably living in a world of make believe.

And on the other hand any down to earth reading of a post-Mubarak Egypt would have most likely excluded the guards of the old regime out of the newborn political scene. But we’re talking here of the reality of a revolution that only managed to topple the head of the despotic regime … but not the regime itself.

The 18 days (January 25- February 11) of the Egyptian uprising have been the most fantastic story in Egypt’s modern history but unfortunately every story has to come to an end. And what we’ve been witnessing throughout an entire year is the gloomy and systematic hijacking of that revolution.

Academically, the revolution is defined as a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time.

What the millions of Egyptians did in 18 days was absolutely revolutionary in every sense of the word, but the mass mobilization, a rare phenomenon in a society known for its propensity for stability and obedience , was not the only recipe for a successful regime change.

Other factors had to be incorporated; the miraculous mass mobilization in Tahrir Square the whole world was mesmerized by had to somehow turn into a political force. The revolutionary public opinion and the revolutionary demands that were created in Tahrir square needed to be politically purused by revolutionary cadres and leadership. 

The public opinion, no matter how strong, in and of itself is not capable of changing the political direction, and that is one lesson the Tahrir revolutionaries had to learn the hard way throughout the last year.

The lack of organized secular political parties that really believed in the necessity for a regime change in Egypt, that could have reflected the revolutionary tide on the street, and somehow could have offered a considerable counterweight to the Islamists, is what really crippled the Egyptian revolution and hindered its tide.

Dr. Mohamed El-Baradei

The Egyptian revolution couldn’t stay grassroots forever; Tahrir square needed a leader as powerful and vibrant as the Tahrir protests. And that is what the saga of Tahrir square critically lacked.

Indeed Mr. Mohamed El-Baradei could have made a good president for post-Mubarak Egypt- of all the presidential hopefuls he was and still is my personal choice- but unfortunately, while the man had the right vision and the most impressive portfolio of political expertise he lacked the charisma and the perseverance needed to lead the revolution out of Tahrir square and advance it into the political arena.

El-Baradei could be active on the internet social media where he communicates with the liberal and educated factions of the Egyptian society, but he has no popularity on the Egyptian street, and if the Egyptian revolution was a facebook/Twitter revolution the man could have easily secured his bid for the presidency.

With the withdrawal of El-Baradei from the presidential race, a move that relieved many in the Israeli political circles for they knew beyond doubt that a politician of his caliber could turn Egypt into a vibrant and powerful democracy, the presidential race hasn’t only narrowed but also weakened with the remaining candidates merely representing the old regime and the political Islam.

An unprecedented number of Egyptians have taken to the streets and squares of Egypt in commemoration of last year's momentous Day of Rage

The Egyptian revolution is only one year old and the situation will probably get worse before it gets better as the military eyeing to preserve its own political and economic autonomy and maintain its de facto status as a state within the state.. The first post-revolution parliament has just held its first meeting, and if it is anything it is certainly not the revolution parliament.

But we are where we are, so the next question is whether the Tahrir square revolution will actually fulfill its promise of “dignity, freedom and social justice” or whether it will simply usher in an era of extremist Islamist regimes or new forms of military authoritarianism.

The thousands of Egyptians who packed Tahrir square and other squares in Egypt’s major cities on January 25, the first anniversary of the revolution, will not be celebrating the day as most of the revolution’s demands remain unmet, but they will be protesting again, they will make it clear for all the people in power that the Egyptian revolution continues to empower its people.

The Last and Gloomy Pages of Egypt revolution.


“Take away fear, and the battle of Freedom is half won.” – William Ralph Inge: The End of an Age

“The truth that many people never understand, until it is too late, is that the more you try to avoid suffering the more you suffer because smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you in proportion to your fear of being hurt” .. Thomas Merton

Warning: The video contains some disturbing scenes ..  also the footage shows military police officer shooting at unarmed protesters .. Till this moment Egypt military council denies using live ammunition against protesters .. while the new PM accuses a foreign third party for the killing of innocent civilians.

Egypt’s Activists Bid Farewell to the Revolution


“Anyone who isn’t confused really doesn’t understand the situation.”

 Dr. Ashraf Ezzat

“I believe our revolution is being hijacked” commented one of the Tahrir protesters “The army and the people is one hand” chanted the thousands of protesters in the iconic Tahrir square … Soldiers have stormed an anti-government protest camp in Cairo …Mubarak says he will not run for another term as president … violent clashes have killed at least Nine people and injured more than 350 others- and still counting …Tahrir square is packed with millions of Egyptians …

Tahrir square saga

…  Protesters set cars alight and threw stones at military police in the Egyptian capital …what inspiring scenes we are getting here from Tahrir square … a wounded activist said that he had been arrested and beaten by soldiers at a sit-in near the parliamentary building earlier… the United States calls for a peaceful transition of power in Egypt … the military attacked protesters who have been camping outside the Cabinet headquarters in Cairo for the past three weeks, protesting against the appointment of Dr. Kamal Ganzoury, who served for long years under Mubarak, as Egypt new prime minister … Mubarak has stepped down after 18 days of huge protests … The troops responded by firing shots in the air and using water cannon, before throwing stones back at the protesters from the roof of the nearby parliament building … Egypt military council pledges to protect the revolution and hand over power to a civilian government in six months

Egypt military abducting dissidents who had to be dragged out of Tahrir sqaure

…This sit-in has been going on for weeks in protest against the military…Two churches set on fire and 27 killed by the military violent crackdown on thousands of protesters in Maspero, downtown Cairo… PM in press conference denies army attacked Egypt’s Occupy Cabinet … Sounds of gunfire can be heard near the cabinet building. Protesters retreated. Some are falling from rubber bullet injuries. Men on motorcycles are rushing to carry the wounded to field hospitals

Activists chased out of Tahrir square

it is happening in Israel. Italy, Spain, Yemen and the United States, it is World Wide Tahrir Square movement now … Protesters in Qasr al-Aini Street chant, “kill Khaled and kill Mina, each of your bullets make us stronger.” They refer to Khaled Saeed, who was tortured to death by policemen last year …Egypt elections results show Islamists are winning… Egypt government will keep its promise not to use violence against protesters …  Egypt’s ruling generals appear confident that Islamist parties who swept recent elections will stay out of the fight while other pro-democracy protesters become increasingly isolated.… Egypt’s Military Police sets Tahrir Square ablaze and forcefully pushes away protesters demonstrating outside the Cabinet on the first anniversary of the Arab spring …Egypt’s Prime Minister says fighting since Friday between protesters and soldiers is an attack on the country’s revolution The army used live ammunition to disperse Tahrir protesters … Egypt PM described the demonstrators in front of Cabinet as “not the revolution’s youth.”

Tahrir square on fire

“restoring lost dignity and total regime change is what this revolution is all about” a political activist said…Minutes later, a full offensive was waged on the protesters, pushing them away from the cabinet and clearing and burning Tahrir Square …Israel eyeing reoccupaion of Sinai … a massacre is taking place in Tahrir square right now …a deal has been struck between the Muslim brothers and the military council behind closed doors … Groups of soldiers roaming square, Some people getting beaten randomly … Tents burning … Tahrir looks like a war zone … “we lost the square” one activist tweeted… president Mubarak is due to make a speech any minute now.

A revolution hijacked and raped

Inside the Egyptian Revolution


Inside the Egyptian Revolution

An Interview with Dr. Ashraf Ezzat

By Angie Tibbs, Co-Editor of Dissident Voice / December 5th, 2011

Dr. Ashraf Ezzat joining the Egyptian protests in February 2011

Dr. Ashraf Ezzat, medical doctor and journalist (Pyramidion) was one of  hundreds of thousands Egyptians occupying Tahrir Square  in late January/early February of 2011.   Ten months later Egyptian people are once again back on the streets despite a deadly crackdown by security forces.  I interviewed Dr. Ezzat via e-mail about the revolution then and now
Angie Tibbs:  Dr. Ezzat, let’s start at the beginning.  In January 2011 hundreds of thousands of Egyptians began their Tahrir Square occupation; you were on the ground there as a journalist and as a medical doctor. Would you recreate the mood of the of the demonstrators, and, in fact, of the country?

Ashraf EzzatEgyptians still refer to those 18 days (January 25- February 11) as the glorious days of the revolution. Those days will undoubtedly carve their place in the modern history of Egypt. And contrary to what the mainstream media concluded, the Tahrir Square saga that captured the world may have been called for by some activists using the internet social media, but it was mainly fueled and triggered by …

Ahmed Harara, Blind Hero of Egypt’s Revolution


“I prefer to live blind but with my head held high.” says Ahmed.

 

Egyptian activist Ahmed Harara (C), twice blinded during protests, is escorted by friends along a street leading to Tahrir Square in Cairo on November 26, 2011. Photo courtesy: AFP

CAIRO, November 28, 2011 (AFP) – Ahmed Harara lost one eye in the revolt that toppled Hosni Mubarak, only to lose the other during protests to oust the military rulers who took power after the fall of the veteran strongman.

Photos of Harara’s chiselled face — a patch on each eye — were quickly circulated on social networking sites, galvanising opinion against security forces’ brutal methods to quell the mass protests that left 42 people dead.

In spite of himself, Harara has become the latest hero of Egypt’s revolution.

“I don’t want to be a symbol. The real symbol is Tahrir Square and the protesters there,” said the 31-year-old dentist.

Surrounded by friends, an emotional Harara carved a path through the thick crowd of Tahrir Square — the symbolic heart of rallies that ousted Mubarak — which he can no longer see.

Everywhere he goes, he is applauded, congratulated, cheered, kissed. Behind him, a banner reads “We are all your eyes, Ahmed Harara.”

On January 25, Harara joined hundreds of thousands of Egyptians calling for political and economic reforms in efforts to end Mubarak’s 30-year-rule.

Three days later, during fierce clashes between protesters and security forces, a police shot claimed his eye.

“I was hit by birdshot in the head, the neck and the right eye. Shrapnel damaged my retina,” Harara said.

He was also hit in the chest, causing internal bleeding which plunged him into a three-day coma.

“I was treated at the Cairo International Eye hospital. Then I stayed home for two months,” he said.

But even after losing his eye — and his job — Harara insisted on joining protesters 10 months later, this time in a bid to bring down the military council that took over when Mubarak was chased from power in February.

On November 19, when the latest round of clashes erupted between protesters and police, Harara headed into Mohammed Mahmud, the flashpoint street leading from Tahrir to the heavily fortified interior ministry.

This time, a rubber bullet took out his second eye.

Harara is by no means the only one to suffer eye injuries during the protest.

Officer in video shooting protesters in eye “Wanted” by Egypt activists, reward offered

 

Egypt’s Tahrir Square protesters have put a 5000 Egyptian pound reward for anyone who leads them to the police officer who was featured in a video shooting protesters in the eye.

The officer, identified as Mahmoud Sobhy al-Shenawy, 24, a 2009 graduate from the police academy, was featured in a shocking video that was circulated by online activists and in it he aims a rifle and shoots at protesters, only feet away, hitting one in the eye and then being applauded by the surrounding soldiers.

“You did great Basha, you nailed his eye,” said a soldier in the video.

We are all “the hero Ahmed Harara”

Ahmed Harara warmly received in Tahrir square

Having lost an eye in both revolutionary waves, Harara has become “a living martyr” of the revolution that led to the elections that begin on Monday, says his friend, artist Mohamed al-Jbeili.

“I did much less than others during this revolution,” insisted Harara.

“They are all heroes, the protesters in Suez, Mansura, Assiut, Damietta… they all want the ouster of the military,” he said.

Pages in his honour were set up on Facebook: “We are all the hero Ahmed Harara” and “Let’s rename Mohammed Mahmud to Ahmed Harara Street.”

Harara says he has no regrets about joining the protests.

“I prefer to live blind but with my head held high.”

Occupy Tahrir Square vs. Occupy America


“We could all temporarily lose sight of who is pulling the strings in this counter-revolution currently playing out in Egypt … but make no mistake, the thousands in Tahrir square will not lose hope nor can they afford to.”

Dr. Ashraf Ezzat

Wounded protester carried to Tahrir square makeshift hospital on Monday 21 November

Egypt, a land embedded in ancient history with an old legacy of oppression and abuse of power, its people are awakening and refusing to yield to any kind of tyranny or autocracy be it of civilian or military authority.

But obviously somebody, and that somebody is unfortunately in command right now, doesn’t seem to get this message.

Some political analyst once said “An autocracy or a tyranny is a far simpler form of social and political organization than a democracy.” … I think he is absolutely right considering the complexity of Egypt’s transitional phase towards what a lot of people hope to be a true and functioning democracy.

I also believe that he would have rephrased his statement had he had the chance to witness the police brutality confronting the occupy movements in the democratic United States of America.

Protesters flee tear gas in Tahrir Squaire on Monday, 21 November.

You could lose your eye sight (hit by a rubber coated bullet in the eye), you could lose your laptop or your briefcase -as in my case- in the protest pandemonium and you could very well lose your life choking on tear gas or get run over by an armored vehicle but one thing you definitely would not lose and that is your self-respect and dignity.

And that is why Egyptians are back in Tahrir square again to regain their lost dignity. They are taking to the streets by the thousands, not only because they are not satisfied with the performance of the interim government or the lack of security and the decline of the economy but mainly because the last couple of days revealed, through the violent confrontation with the police and military, that Mubarak may be gone but his regime is very much still alive and operating.

We all could temporarily lose sight of who is pulling the strings of this counter-revolution currently playing out in Egypt … but make no mistake, the thousands in Tahrir square will not lose hope nor can they afford to.

Quite a few suspects on Egypt’s counter-revolution list; we have the still surviving lords of Mubarak’s regime with their smuggled billions, we have Mubarak-loyal state security apparatus with an army of on the payroll thugs and we have the ambitious Islamists and their Gulf financers eying the biggest chunk of the cake.

We also have the White House and their administration playing the universal patrons of freedom and democracy while backstage stabbing the Arab spring in the heart and of course we have got the Israeli cousins placing all their money on a chaotic Egypt and pushing hard for the friendly and American aided Egypt military to continue running the show in this leading Arab country .

Don’t grumble, the Americans do it too

The generals- all Mubarak appointees- of Egypt military council of armed forces (SCAF), battling thousands of angry protesters who seem adamant on occupying Tahrir square once again, have defended their use of excessive and unjustified force against protesters by drawing an embarrassing comparison between their brutal performance and the tactics of the American police forces who are dealing violently with the Occupy protests all over the United State.

Pepper spray or rubber bullets, two different tactics but both serve the same purpose, to Silence dissent.

American police officer uses pepper spray to move seated Occupy UC Davis protesters while blocking their exit from the school's quad in Davis, Calif.

It seems that the American democracy, with the long legacy of respect for human rights which used to be a prominent model to follow, has lately turned into an inspirational and a credible reference for brutality against civilians and protesters.

But even though the comparison bears some eligibility, the Egyptian police and army forces in their recent barbaric crackdown on the Tahrir revolutionaries and activists has gone way beyond any world competition.

Watch for yourself, only to be sure that the fighters for human freedom and dignity can’t afford to lose hope nor can they stop struggling on behalf of the silent 99%

 

“The military can rule, only in one case … over our dead bodies” chanted the thousands in Tahrir square as they swarmed the iconic revolution hub to denounce the SCAF reluctance to hand over power to a civilian government.

Tahrir saga 2

Tahrir square on monday night, November 21, 2001 ...The revolution continues.

Egyptians Warn of Strike Over Military Junta


Prominent Egyptian activists have threatened to call for a general strike, should Egypt’s ruling junta fail to transfer power to a democratically-elected government, Press TV reports.

 

Egyptian activists from the left, Hossamel-Hamalawy, Mohannad, Lilian Wagdy, Gigi Ibrahim and Sarrah.

At a conference in the Egyptian capital city, Cairo, various prominent revolutionary activists called for an end to military rule and denounced the repressive apparatuses redoubled by the military council since it came to power after the ouster of former dictator Hosni Mubarak.

The activists warned that their campaign against the ruling junta will not be restricted to mass protests in Cairo’s iconic Liberation (Tahrir) Square, and they might escalate their movement to a general strike.

“The Supreme Council and the armed forces will not be overthrown by just a mass protest in Tahrir. It will fall by a general strike and what we are doing in Tahrir is only helping the efforts to mobilize the Egyptian people further, once they are closer to the general strike,” said revolutionary activist Hossam el-Hamalawy.

“The supreme Council is part of the old regime … These generals are Mubarak’s generals and they are trying to roll the time back to what it was prior to the revolution. We are here to assert our public’s position that this revolution will continue,” he added.

The activists warned that the junta’s presence in power threatens the road to democracy and the principles of Egypt’s revolution.

“The military council came for a very limited period of time, for transition to the kind of Egypt that the revolution [was aimed for,]” said Hany Shukrallah chief editor of al-Ahram Online.

Egyptian protesters have been rallying since the February 11 revolution, calling on the military council to hand over power to a civilian government.

Egypt is still ruled by a junta ten months after the ouster of the US-backed Mubarak regime.

Click here to watch the video.

Call-Out for Solidarity with Egypt: Defend the Revolution


A letter from Cairo to the Occupy movements & other solidarity movements.

 

Occupy Tahrir square, February 2011

After three decades of living under a dictatorship, Egyptians started a revolution demanding bread, freedom and social justice. After a nearly utopian occupation of Tahrir Square lasting eighteen days, we rid ourselves of Mubarak and began the second, harder, task of removing his apparatuses of power. Mubarak is gone, but the military regime lives on. So the revolution continues – building pressure, taking to the streets and claiming the right to control our lives and livelihoods against systems of repression that abused us for years.

But now, seemingly so soon after its beginnings, the revolution is under attack. We write this letter to tell you about what we are seeing, how we mean to stand against this crackdown, and to call for your solidarity with us.

The 25th and 28th of January, the 11th of February: you saw these days, lived these days with us on television. But we have battled through the 25th of February, the 9th of March, the 9th of April, the 15th of May, the 28th of June, the 23rd of July, the 1st of August, the 9th of September, the 9th of October. Again and again the army and the police have attacked us, beaten us, arrested us, killed us. And we have resisted, we have continued; some of these days we lost, others we won, but never without cost.

Over a thousand gave their lives to remove Mubarak. Many more have joined them in death since. We go on so that their deaths will not be in vain. Names like Ali Maher (a 15 year old demonstrator killed by the army in Tahrir, 9th of April), Atef Yehia (shot in the head by security forces in a protest in solidarity with Palestine, 15th of May), Mina Danial (shot by the Army in a protest in front of Masepro, 9th of October). Mina Daniel, in death, suffers the perverse indignity of being on the military prosecutor’s list of the accused. 

Moreover, since the military junta took power, at least 12,000 of us have been tried by military courts, unable to call witnesses and with limited access to lawyers. Minors are serving in adult prisons, death sentences have been handed down, torture runs rampant. Women demonstrators have been subjected to sexual assault in the form of “virginity tests” by the Army.

On October 9th, the Army massacred 28 of us at Maspero; they ran us over with tanks and shot us down in the street while manipulating state media to try and incite sectarian violence. The story has been censored. The military is investigating itself. They are systematically targeting those of us who speak out. This Sunday, our comrade and blogger Alaa Abd El Fattah was imprisoned on trumped-up charges. He spends another night in an unlit cell tonight. 

All this from the military that supposedly will ensure a transition to democracy, that claimed to defend the revolution, and seemingly convinced many within Egypt and internationally that it was doing so. The official line has been one of ensuring “stability”, with empty assurances that the Army is only creating a proper environment for the upcoming elections. But even once a new parliament is elected, we will still live under a junta that holds legislative, executive, and judicial authority, with no guarantee that this will end. Those who challenge this scheme are harassed, arrested, and tortured; military trials of civilians are the primary tool of this repression. The prisons are full of casualties of this “transition”.

We now refuse to co-operate with military trials and prosecutions. We will not hand ourselves in, we will not submit ourselves to questioning. If they want us, they can take us from our homes and workplaces. 

Alaa Abdel Fattah

Nine months into our new military repression, we are still fighting for our revolution. We are marching, occupying, striking, shutting things down. And you, too, are marching, occupying, striking, shutting things down.

 We know from the outpouring of support we received in January that the world was watching us closely and even inspired by our revolution. We felt closer to you than ever before. And now, it’s your turn to inspire us as we watch the struggles of your movements. We marched to the US Embassy in Cairo to protest the violent eviction of the occupation in Oscar Grant Plaza in Oakland. Our strength is in our shared struggle. If they stifle our resistance, the 1% will win – in Cairo, New York, London, Rome – everywhere. But while the revolution lives our imaginations knows no bounds. We can still create a world worth living.

You can help us defend our revolution.

The G8, IMF and Gulf states are promising the regime loans of $35 billion. The US gives the Egyptian military $1.3 billion in aid every year. Governments the world over continue their long-term support and alliance with the military rulers of Egypt. The bullets they kill us with are made in America. The tear gas that burns from Oakland to Palestine is made in Wyoming. David Cameron’s first visit to post-revolutionary Egypt was to close a weapons deal. These are only a few examples. People’s lives, freedoms and futures must stop being trafficked for strategic assets. We must unite against governments who do not share their people’s interests. 

We are calling on you to undertake solidarity actions to help us oppose this crackdown.

We are suggesting an International Day to Defend the Egyptian Revolution on Nov 12th under the slogan “Defend the Egyptian Revolution – End Military Trials for Civilians”

Events could include:

- Actions targeting Egyptian Embassies or Consulates demanding the release of civilians sentenced in military tribunals. If Alaa is released, demand the release of the thousands of others.

- Actions targeting your government to end support for the Egyptian junta.

- Demand the release of civilians sentenced to military tribunals. If Alaa is released, the thousands of others must follow.

- Project videos about the repression we face (military trials, Maspero massacre) and our continued resistance. Email us for links.

- Videoconferencing with activists in Egypt

- Any creative way to show your support, and to show the Egyptian people that they have allies abroad.

If you’re organising anything or wish to, email us at defendtherevolution@gmail.com. We would also love to see photos and videos from any events you organize.

The Campaign to End Military Trials of Civilians

The Free Alaa Campaign

Occupy Wall Street & Occupy London respond

 

Occupy Oakland rally in solidarity with Egypt revolution.

Sandy Nurse, of Occupy Wall Street, said: “The Egyptian people have changed the face of the regime and the revolution is momentous but unfortunately it is far from over. Changing the face of the regime, getting rid of Mubarak, is like changing the curtains: the military is in control of the country and has been for a long time.”

Nurse, who is on the direct action committee of OWS, expressed her personal solidarity with the people of Egypt and added: “I believe Occupy Wall Street would be in solidarity with the continued struggle of the Egyptian protesters.”

Anup Desai, a press spokesman for OWS, said: “The effort put out by the entire country in Egypt gave us motivation. Egypt has won the first step. I was not aware what was happening so I am grateful for this opportunity to learn and I thank the Egyptian activists. What is happening with the military and the military courts is 100% wrong and we need to share this and tell people about it.”

Desai, who is also a professor of philosophy at City University of New York, expressed solidarity with the activists and said: “We need to keep coming together.”

Naomi Colvin, from the Occupy London movement, said: “All decisions are made through a general assembly but I’m sure we will strongly support the call from our friends in the Middle East to stand in solidarity with them through an international day of action.

Occupy London in solidarity with Egyptian activists- St. Paul's Cathedral.

“Egyptians provided us with an example of courage that has inspired not only our own protest but many others around the world, and we owe it to them to support their ongoing struggle in any way we can.”

Links between political upheavals in the Arab world and the campaign against financial injustice in the west have strengthened in recent weeks, with demonstrators on both sides claiming inspiration from the others’ struggle. On Wednesday protesters in Oakland waved an Egyptian flag during their general strike, prompting some Cairo-based bloggers to reflect on the similarities between the police tactics used in the US and Egypt. On Thursday activists camping outside St Paul’s Cathedral in London conducted a live video link with anti-regime protesters in Syria, while plans are under way for a solidarity rally on Saturday in support of Egyptians being held by the junta.

Sources: No military trials for civilians & Norman Finkelstein official website

Occupy Wall Street and The Tahrir Lesson


“Every success story is also a story of great failure.”

Dr. Ashraf Ezzat

 

Tahrir square saga

What took place in Egypt Tahrir square last February is proving, as days go by, to be a decisive turning point in the psychology of the silent masses around the world.

What made this Tahrir revolution so influential is that we were not told about it, we did not read about it days or years later in some newspaper or history book, we didn’t watch a 30 seconds-clip of it on the TV news, rather we watched the whole uprising as it unfolded during 18 consecutive days live and uncensored.

In other words, we, the huddled masses, the silent majority, saw for ourselves that people, if united in their aspirations and vision, could break the long chain of sinful obedience.  

As the world follows the current New Yorkers sit-in and their anti-corporate greed rallies in Wall Street as well as in many other American cities, we find it hard for any scholar or observer of socio-political affairs to skip the link, or rather the impact the Tahrir square phenomena had, not only on “Occupy Wall Street” but around the world.

It is not hard to connect the dots as we recollect what happened in Yemen, Syria, Bahrain, Spain and Israel ever since the millions of Egyptians made good on the famous motto “the street is ours”

But every success story is also a story of great failure.

Occupy Wall Street protests

Engulfed by the naïve impulse of mass culture and mesmerized by the system apparently bending to their demands the thousands of Egyptians who occupied Tahrir square for almost three weeks prematurely evacuated the place without delegating a committee to speak on their behalf and without choosing some leadership to represent them and carry on the political struggle necessary for the full realization of their demands.

This is where the tahrir saga went wrong and the reason why their revolution has been unabashedly hijacked. We hope the American youths currently steering “occupy Wall Street” have learned the Tahrir square lesson and that they will take the necessary precautions not to let their uprising get hijacked.

Beware, the old hawks are watching.

 

‘I Am Not Moving: Occupy Wall Street’ – Short Film

Edited by Corey Ogilvie

Dedicated to the People, Shot by the People, For the People who are breaking the chain of obedience.

Segments of speeches made by the US President and Secretary of State, as they discuss present-day social unrest in the Middle East, professionally and beautifully edited with scenes of recent police brutality in Lower Manhattan, drawing a powerful observation about the hypocrisy and corruption of US foreign and domestic policy.

Sean Penn takes part in Egypt’s Tahrir demo


“Two-time Oscar winner Sean Penn makes surprise appearance at today’s Tahrir Square protest”

 

Ahram Online, Friday 30 Sep 2011

Sean Penn & Egyptian actor, Khalid el-Nabawy joining the protests in Tahrir square

US film star and Oscar winner Sean Penn has joined today’s demonstration in Tahrir Square, staged to protest recent unpopular moves by Egypt’s ruling military council.

“The world is inspired by the call for freedom by the courageous revolution of Egypt,” Penn, waving an Egyptian flag, told Ahram Online from the square. “There are still struggles forward, there are constitutional issues, there [needs to be] a transition of power from the military to the people.”

Penn arrived in the square shortly after noon with Egyptian actor Khaled El-Nabawy. The two actors toured the iconic landmark before heading to the nearby Egyptian Museum.

The American actor added that he had joined today’s protest in order to show “solidarity with our brave Egyptian brothers; we are here to support their freedom.”

El-Nabawy said he had personally invited Penn to Egypt in hopes of reenergizing the country’s flagging tourism industry, which has struggled to bounce back following the recent revolution. El-Nabawy said that such visits by high-profile personalities would show that Egypt remained a “safe and beautiful country.”

Penn, a two-time Academy Award winner for his roles in ‘Mystic River’ and ‘Milk,’ is also an outspoken critic of US policy in the Middle East.

Mubarak In The Cage For The Wrong Charges


“Mubarak is a sellout, he has betrayed his country and his people and he should have appeared before a supreme court and charged with crimes of high treason”

by Dr. Ashraf Ezzat

 

Mubarak lying on a hospital bed behind the wire mesh of the defendants' cage in a Cairo court.

 In Egypt, the land of the pharaohs as it is known around the world, and the nation that has been ruled for almost its entire long history by semi-god kings, caliphs, sultans, khedives and autocratic presidents the appearance of Hosni Mubarak, the lately ousted president in a Cairo court to face criminal charges is undoubtedly a historic event and a precedent that casts an extremely important shadow on the modern history of Egypt and the whole Middle East as well.

 This is not an every day event not only in Egypt, but in the whole Arabic and Muslim world.

Political dissent is anti-Islamic

 

Political upheavals and opposition to the ruler is something that is unheard of and moreover considered as an outlawed value in the ultra-conservative Islamic jurisprudence, as The Koranic verse clearly states, “O you believers, obey God, obey the prophet and obey those in charge among you”

Mubarak's two sons, Gamal and Alaa, appearing in the defendants' cage

May be that is one of the reasons, amongst other deeply entrenched negative cultural and social traditions, why Arabic and Muslim nations in particular have amazingly endured for centuries under the tyranny, exploitation and deception of corrupt to the bone colonization and dictatorship disguised under the cloak of religion.

Throughout the centuries all it took for any debauched Caliph or king, who reigned over some Muslim subordinates, to safeguard his throne is to quote some verses of the holy Koran on addressing his people and publicly attend the Friday prayers while holding a copy of the Koran in one hand and a Misbaha –Muslim rosary beads- in the other.

It is so simple a scheme and yet it worked like magic. It is called playing the religious and striking a guaranteed chord amongst the Muslim naïve public opinion.

And that is why Mubarak and his two sons, Gamal and Alaa, stuck to this robust tradition and followed their shrewd lawyer’s advice as they appeared in the courtroom, each clutching a noticeably large copy of Koran. The Mubarak family as they were approaching the end of their corrupt game made sure they struck the same religious chord for the public once again.

The Egyptian revolution is so unique and inspiring yet it entails a lot of hard to grasp contradictions.

The Islamists take over Tahrir Square

 

Tahrir Square in Cairo in February,2011

Thousands of middle class, internet-savvy and secular youths have planned and courageously sparked this glorious uprising which kept growing bigger and stronger over the memorable 18 days of the Egyptian uprising that led to the stepping down of Mubarak, yet we have lately found the Islamist factions in the country trying to hijack the struggle of those secular and politically cultured youth and drive this Egyptian uprising into the road of the Islamic state.

The whole world is now appalled by the brutality of the Syrian regime in crushing down the protests all over Syria. Well, this was the same appalling situation those secular and brave Egyptian youths faced when they took to the streets and confronted the brutal crack-down of the Egyptian police security forces while calling for change, freedom and social justice.

As the whole world was closely watching the deadly confrontations between the peaceful protesters and the security forces and as the millions were swarming the iconic Tahrir square nobody spotted any Islamist rallies or factions contributing to the demonstrations as if Egypt had none of them … but how could they have participated when their disturbed understanding of Islam forbid them from opposing the ruler- even if he was stinking corrupt.

Tahrir Square in Cairo, July, 2011

Last Friday, the same Tahrir square was packed with Islamists, Muslim brothers and Salafists, calling for a Muslim state, as if the predominant majority of the Egyptians didn’t adhere to moderate Islam and ignoring that 20% of the population followed Christianity and as if the nearly one thousand of young Egyptians who died on the streets during the uprising had sacrificed their lives solely for this absurd purpose.

The uprising that started with glorious and inspiring street chants for freedom and equality have disappointingly ended up with Islamist factions crawling out of their hideouts and claiming the right to apply Sharia law and to do away with the secular and democratic government.

History tells us about revolutions, they all start with high hopes and sparkling moments of human will and aspirations for a better tomorrow but it also tells us how they end up in despair, eyes filled with tears and broken dreams.

Why Egyptians wanted the regime down?

 

Pro-democracy protester tearing down a Mubarak's street poster.

The Egyptians revolted against the dictatorship of Mubarak, against decades of watching the country sabotaged and decaying on daily basis, against lack of freedoms and equality, against inadequacy that prevailed from the school classrooms to the police stations and from hospital wards to courtrooms, against negligence that swept through Egypt’s fields, factories and universities.

Egyptians revolted against Mubarak because the land of the abundant river Nile has joined the club of the countries’ most likely to face thirst in the coming decades due to bad management of the river Nile file.

Egyptians ousted Mubarak for he is simply a sellout, a president who violated his presidential oath; he abandoned the country’s strategic interests and instead looked after his own. And those are the charges he was supposed to be facing in court.

Wrong indictment

 

During his reign Egypt has witnessed one of its most incompetent administrations. Mubarak severed Egypt’s relations with its African neighbors following a failed assassination in Ethiopia 1995, neglected the project of the pan-Arabic economical and political unity and cared only to serve the interests of his Zionist friends in Tel Aviv.

During Mubarak’s reign Egypt has considerably lost its pivotal political role on the African, Arabic and Middle-Eastern level.

When you topple a dictator like that and you finally put him on public trial you don’t prosecute him on charges of facilitating the murder of peaceful protesters and accepting bribes in a land-swap deal. … This is simply a joke.

Egypt, during Mubarak’s rule, ranked high, next to corruption, in the world records of end stage renal failure, pediatric cancer, chronic hepatitis C and road accidents as 23ooo Egyptians died on the road every year.

I’m not trying to underestimate the precious lives nearly one thousand youths have willingly sacrificed to gear up this revolution and keep it going but I’m simply stating the fact that those noble and fine young Egyptians died for a bigger cause, they gave their lives away so that Egypt would change and have more freedoms.

Those martyrs of the revolution, as the Egyptians like to call them, wanted to see an end to the corruption and tyranny that nearly crippled and impoverished the country for decades.

And when it is time to put the man, who is primarily responsible for this corruption and tyranny, on trial it makes no sense to charge him with profiteering and illegal land swap deals.

Trial of Louis XVI before the national convention in 1792

If we are to classify what is currently taking place in Egypt as a revolution, then revolutionary measures and steps need to be promptly and seriously implemented.

Mubarak has betrayed his country and his people and he should have appeared before a supreme court and charged with crimes of high treason. Just like the French people charged Louis XVI and ordered his execution in 1792 before the national convention.

The charges that Mubarak is being prosecuted for is going to be an easy cake for his cunning lawyer, Farid el-Deeb, who very well knew his way around a corrupt judicial ststem and who got his fame by defending the infamous Israeli spy Azzam Azzam back in 1997.

This is definitely going to be a long trial with many surprises Mubarak’s shrewd lawyer has up his sleeve.

What if Mubarak was to be acquitted on the basis of any flawed technicality in the lawsuit or due to lack of concrete evidence? What if he got a lightened sentence with suspended imposition, what would happen then, how could the angry and frustrated people of Egypt be placated? How could the martyrs of freedom be vindicated?

… Yes, the world has witnessed Mubarak in the cage last wednesday but he was charged with absolutely the wrong crimes and appearing definitely before the wrong court.