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C. Flower
09-02-2011, 09:16 AM
I've pulled this together with a view to posting a blog post on of my posts from Tahrir Square on the PW Blog, but access is blocked to wordpress login in Egypt today. There are more, not less restrictions on journalists, who are having their press cards taken by the army, and while the internet is open, there seem to be all kinds of blockages and restrictions.

I'd appreciate it if anyone who has time could post this on the PW blog, Indymedia, or anywhere else suitable, as I'm out of internet time for today, or else tweet a link to this thread.

Thanks !

Full version available here;

http://itsapoliticalworld.wordpress.com/2011/02/09/3-days-in-tahrir-square-diary-and-discussions/

C. Flower
09-02-2011, 09:29 AM
CallingIn = C. Flower

First Day

Cairo airport is crawling with troops and the east of the city likewise, guns pointing every which way.

Three deaths from sniper fire in Tahrir Square were reported last night. The army has withdrawn, for the time being, with just a few tanks blocking some of the side streets.

In the streets leading to the square, you could cut the tension with a knife. Then, coming down to Tahrir, it suddenly lifts as people converge through the side streets and checkpoints. All the checkpoints today are citizen checkpoints and I was searched by friendly girls and had my ID checked four times at different points before I made it in. The barricades at the square entrances are flimsy, with heaps of stones ready behind them.

Once you are in it's a different world: everything is shared, including food and blankets and everyone is friendly and helpful beyond imagination. Today, the square is packed with thousands of people and there's a festive atmosphere, some people who're recently bereaved of brothers or children are just mixed in with the crowds who are singing, clapping and dancing, and showing photographs of the young men, and one young woman who have died.

The square has a raised plinth in the middle on which there is a 'tent city', so it's not possible to see it all from any one viewpoint. There are a few different points with mikes and platforms and constant meetings and prayers sessions being held. There are a good few men sprawled asleep on the ground after night watch duties.

People there today are of all ages and there are plenty of women, carrying hand written message signs and in groups, chanting and clapping. The signs that people hold up are scrutinised carefully and photos taken of them: mine included. I was drawn into sign-writing duties after a while and there is now a nice line in English translation of some of the favourite arabic slogans. Appreciation for signs is sometimes in the form of food supplies :)

I was welcomed and thanked for being there about a thousand times, many times 'from the heart', which a bit embarrassing, as it is themselves that have been doing it. There are people in bandages and with very nasty wounds and broken limbs everywhere, from the assaults last Wednesday. Only one man asked why a foreigner should have any views about Mubarak. A couple of people asked me if I knew what the government was saying about foreign spies and was I worried. I asked them if they believed it and they said not at all. This is in contrast with outside the square, where there is a highly strung feeling of wariness and distrust.

It's very difficult to explain what 'no more fear' feels like, in a crowd that's been under a dictatorship for the last 30 years. I can tell you it's an awful lot better than the atmosphere we have now in Ireland.

Discussion on politicalworld.org



FIVE - recommended reading -

Twenty reasons why it's kicking off everywhere (http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/paulmason/2011/02/twenty_reasons_why_its_kicking.html)


That is a very interesting article and I agree that a frustrated middle class of young graduates with no life prospects is radicalising. Also that communications are far more globalised and faster moving.

What the writer touches on but misses is that the working class is still the critical class partly for the reason he gives - the working class have nothing to lose and nowhere to retreat to. Its the working class - along with youths and students - in the main that's sleeping overnight inTahrir Square and defending it physically, as its become the symbolic and practical terrain of an attempting revolution. The working class - and that includes salaried workers codded into thinking they are not - not only has nothing to lose, but also makes, produces and runs everything. They really don't need the kleptocracy, which is completely parasitic.

This leads to a loss of fear among the young radicals of any movement: they can pick and choose; there is no confrontation they can't retreat from. They can "have a day off" from protesting, occupying: whereas twith he old working-class based movements, their place in the ranks of battle was determined and they couldn't retreat once things started. You couldn't "have a day off" from the miners' strike if you lived in a pit village



Griska
Astonishing stuff:

Frank Wisner, President Barack Obama's envoy to Cairo who infuriated the White House this weekend by urging Hosni Mubarak to remain President of Egypt, works for a New York and Washington law firm which works for the dictator's own Egyptian government.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-envoys-business-link-to-egypt-2206329.html (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-envoys-business-link-to-egypt-2206329.html)



IBT leaflet:

A Crisis of Revolutionary Leadership
Egyptian Masses in Revolt

http://www.bolshevik.org/statements/ibt_20110207_egyptdemo.html (http://www.bolshevik.org/statements/ibt_20110207_egyptdemo.html)


Much there that I agree with - but more analysis is needed of the fundamental reasons for the breakdown of apparently "stable" relations across North Africa and the Middle East and to discover what needs to be done. There is a pressing need to link and connect (in a practical way) this wave of resistance and assertion of mass power with the similar recent movements against 'austerity' in Greece and France. The predicament of educated youth in Egypt with no work and a corrupt regime of favouritism, graft and corruption is totally familiar from Ireland.
Core 'structural' unemployment of large sections of the working class and middle class in the US and Europe is also having the effect of driving down wages and driving up poverty. In 'dollar a day' countries, rising food prices has pushed a lot of people in Egypt - about a half, below the bread line. Increasingly there are people in Ireland in really desperate circumstances too.

I had a conversation with a Egyptian woman dentist (she was veiled ;)), last night, in which she was describing to me the high cost of dentistry in Egypt and how people in serious pain couldn't afford treatment and offered the clinic watches etc. for payment. Only last week on the PK show there was a man crying in pain, a public sector worker, because he didn't have the cash to go to the dentist. We really are all in the same boat now.

The cork has come out of the bottle now, and the US, in spite of it's military preparations, is going to find it very hard to put it back in. A massacre of citizens in Egypt, if it was to happen, would only enrage people further.

The things the leaflet suggests that are within the remit of the working class and youth are being done.

What does not appear to be happening is the building of the type of party you describe.
Leaflets, in English and outside Egypt, are not going to make that happen. Where are the people on the ground ??

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5257/5422799193_f07aa0be17.jpg (http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5257/5422799193_f07aa0be17.jpg)

Second Day


Any photos? what your digs like?

I'm staying in the Square, half of which is a tent city at night.

I'll try getting some pictures up, but most likely it will have to wait until I get back.

The Square was harder work yesterday morning. The Government television station is pumping out propoganda about the revolution being manipulated by the US and Israel through foreign spies - converse of the truth of course as Mubarak is a direct proxy for the US and Israel and has been from day 1. I knew this before I came, so was to some extent prepared for it. There was one situation with about 50 people around me getting more and more heated about whether or not I should be there - majority with me, but a very angry three or four against. The people on the outside of the circle of course can only half hear what is being said, and the whole thing is fairly jumpy. There was a heated debate with kind help of people who translated. I stuck to my ground that Mubarak wanted to isolate the Egyptian revolution from support and that they should face this down. They know it isn't true, I think but some are anxious, under pressure from Mubarak, to appear more than 100 % + Eygptian. In the end, something, I don't know what, flipped angry man over and he was suddenly all smiles and thanks and we exchanged Irish for Egyptian flags.

I have to explain why I'm there to people and state my case over and over again each day.It's made easier as it's normal here for people to hold up a poster of some kind - a slogan or qu'ran quote or cartoon. Sometimes there are 1-20 people with mobile phones taking pics of my poster at once and recording my explanation. In almost every case, when people have heard and /or read my poster, they've welcomed me and thank me for coming. I haven't needed to buy any food since I came (and have given out the food I brought with me) and have to turn down kind offers of food and help all the time. People are very concerned for my safety in a practical way, and kindly translate or 'escort' although so far inside the Square I've had no bother at all (apart from the above occasion, when I did wonder for a minute or two if I might get my head ripped off :))

The Square is about the size of Clonmel - it takes more than half an hour to walk around it. Youngdan had better get his calculator out.

There was no trouble at all from police or army yesterday although they are there, armed and with tanks the whole time, and there are huge posters of people killed in the protests all around the edges of the Square. Definitely not all the military are on side with Mubarak. There are groups of young men and some older workers who operate on a constant alert for security issues/ attacks. A young Egyptian who grew up in western Europe told me about his early days with the protest - he flew out the day after it started on 25th. A man close by to him was shot in the head and killed on 27th and he was hit on the head 'fortunately, on the back of my head' with a rock. He said his whole life had been changed by coming out here, it a positive way, but he has absolutely no idea what he will do when its over.

There's a big process going on of thrashing out ideas and options, but with no formal co-ordinating body, and a very delicate balance of unity among all the groups based on getting Mubarak out. All around the square there are meetings and debates being held and people writing out their wishes on sheets of paper and arranging them on screens or on the ground, where people read and photograph them. I hope that all of these ideas will be collated to help find some further steps that can be taken without the unity being broken at this crucial stage.

Very few people are buying in to Mubarak's Fianna Fail style wage increases for public servants and so on...but they are being talked about.

The Wikileaks cable posted by Sean Ryan in the context of Gaza is very useful in understanding the situation in Egypt. The US clearly had its provisional plans in place to replace Mubarak with Soliman and/or Gamal - this is now seriously disrupted by the cross-class consensus in Egypt that the regime itself should be changed.

My sign is very basic but it explains why I have come out to Cairo - it says "Egypt leads the world's fight against poverty and injustice - Down with Mubarak ! No more fear!" in English and Arabic.

Politicalworld.org discussion

http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m74717&hd&size=1&l=e&fb=1 (http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m74717&hd&size=1&l=e&fb=1)


The IMF's epic fail on Egypt:-

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/02/the-imfs-epic-fail-on-egypt.html (http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/02/the-imfs-epic-fail-on-egypt.html)

Brilliant stuff, ang - if we read the Egypt, Greek and the nex Irish IMF monitoring reports we will find that they use the same one for everywhere.

Things are recovering (the rich are getting richer)
Austerity is working (the poor are getting poorer)
Poverty can be overcome by giving all state assets to the rich.

Perfect.
..........

Mubarak says the people leading the movement are all Israeli and US operatives, who live on Kentucky Fried Chicken....

I had a new sign today which said "Kentucky Fried-eating Israeli / US Spies for the Egyptian Revolution"

It went down a treat.:)

C. Flower
09-02-2011, 10:17 AM
Day Three

Well there were at least a million of us yesterday - you have to allow for the fact that this is a "rolling crowd" with a constant flow of people arriving and leaving -

(Pic from Al J)



http://english.aljazeera.net/mritems/Images/2011/2/8/20112819742530140_20.jpg

Some contrast from last Wednesday, when it looked as though it would be lost -
it just goes to show that sometimes you have to dig in and stand your ground, even when it looks hopeless. My admiration for the young men and women who fought it out (and some of whom died) is unlimited ( The men threw the rocks, women broke up the street surface and supplied them). The deaths, lest anyone was confused by the RTE reports, were the result of being shot by the police or hit in the head by molotov cocktails thrown by the police and their paid thugs.

Since Wednesday, more and more people have moved into the square at night, so that space is becoming an issue. I'll be very sorry to go, as duties mean I must, but someone else (or given the increasing numbers, several people :) ) will use the gap I leave.



http://english.aljazeera.net/mritems/Images/2011/2/3/201123132139690472_20.jpg
(photo- al Jazeera = last Wednesday's defence of Tahrir Square)

Politicalworld.org discussion


The regime is becoming impatient as the Tharir Square protest arrives at Day 17:
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/02/201128225410121154.html (http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/02/201128225410121154.html)

I think this speech should be read along with the wikileak cable which shows that the US State Department/ CIA is directly in touch with Soliman and Co daily and there should be no doubt that the Egyptian government is a US proxy government.
The other background is that the US is putting in place contingency plans for a military intervention (dressed up as 'evacuation of US residents, which to the best of my recall took place two weeks ago).

http://www.politicalworld.org/showpost.php?p=118494&postcount=434 (http://www.politicalworld.org/showpost.php?p=118494&postcount=434)

The fact that the US has been giving 1.3 billion dollars of military aid to Egypt every year can't be forgotten, nor can Egypt's key proxy political role for Israel and the US in relation to the Palestinians.

There is no way that Soliman would risk attempting a coup without US military backing behind him. The military is divided with a lot of the ranks supporting the crowds who are after all their brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers (I've chatted with soldiers, some of whom get out of uniform and actively help when they can).

In some ways the most damaging thing done by the Government has been the TV propoganda that the movement is foreign inspired. It both whipped up xenophobia and turned some people against the revolution.
The US State always backs more than one horse (even in its own Presidential elections, lol). As well as Soliman and El Baradei, there are a small number of people - Egyptians, in Tahrir Square, from 'NGOs' -that have the smell of Soros/US funding about them - I had the ironic experience of challenging one such 'Change' (Colour Revolution) group to say where the funding for their three European offices came from, and if Soros was a funder. No clear answer was given, but I'll be following up when I get back. There is also the Muslim Brotherhood, from its outset favoured by the US as a buffer against communism.

The movement in Egypt is of all the classes and all ages. At the moment there's unity, because the demand is very basic, to get rid of Mubarak. If/When he goes, and there is some democratisation, divisions will open up between rich, poor, conservative and radical. The working classes want work and food, the middle classes, employment without corrupt appointment, medical care, the youths want a future - all want dignity and to be full human beings living without fear of favour. The wealthy upper class want to hold on to what they have, but with less corruption and favouritism that cramps their chances.

Within the Mubarak opposition on the Square there are all shades of politics (in very different numbers) from secular radical democrats, Nasserite nationalists, radical islamists, moderate moslems, conservative democrats, communists, maoists and socialists (I asked one guy part of a students group if he was a socialist and he said yes - "we have all been revolutionaries for two weeks" :))

There's great organisational capacity: after 30 years of suppression, development politically now will be very fast.

There is another thing on which there is consensus. People want much more power with the people, much less with the politicians. I can see a future in which politician's role, wworld wide, is very different and much more subordinate than it is today.

To any Egyptian reading this, who has taken part in the Revolution, a big shout out :) and my deepest respect and thanks, because what this movement of millions of people is doing will permanently change the world for the better.

There are some funny stories and my photos missing from this diary - I'll post them when I'm back.

C. Flower
09-02-2011, 11:17 AM
Help wanted please - see first post :)

5intheface
09-02-2011, 11:21 AM
I'll get that up as a blogpost at some point today.

C. Flower
09-02-2011, 11:25 AM
I'll get that up as a blogpost at some point today.

Thanks 5. :) Sorry it's so long. I'll tidy it up a bit now.

C. Flower
09-02-2011, 12:18 PM
All finished 5intheface. Thanks again. :)

5intheface
09-02-2011, 01:44 PM
Done

Mervyn Crawford
09-02-2011, 02:35 PM
Struggle deepens in Egypt

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Egyptian uprising is spreading and deepening.

This means that the danger from Suleiman and Obama is also increasing.

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/feb2011/egyp-f09.shtml


The Egytian uprising is of world significance. The social questions afflicting the whole globe have had their first revoloutionary outcome in Egypt. This is only the first stage of a worldwide development.

In Egypt the issue is state power. Is it to be the continued power of the Egyptian ruling class, in alliance with and on behalf of Imperialism?

Or are the Egytian people going to organise independently and bring down the rule of Mubarak/Suleiman, the NDP and the multi-billionaires?

If the Egyptian masses do not overthrow the capitalist state and set up a socialist planned economy then the counter-revoloution will unfold.

Captain Con O'Sullivan
09-02-2011, 02:37 PM
Irish Central in the states alerted and provided with a link to politicalworld.org Cairo thread. Have told them that its an Irish blogger and a pair of eyes and ears in Tahriri Square should they like to know whats happening on the ground...

mutley
09-02-2011, 10:29 PM
Huffington post are also looking for people to email them who are there

Might be worth sending an email with a link to the blog

[email protected]

Captain Con O'Sullivan
09-02-2011, 10:54 PM
Irish World in the UK and Examiner contacted as well. I haven't bothered with the Israeli papers;)

Might see if some Aussie and Kiwis would be interested in the morning ... I'll look for an Irish name to contact, heh

A new lovers arrival
12-02-2011, 12:09 AM
Hi Cactus, Can you post a picture of your lodgings yet? Its impossible for us to even imagine what its like there!!

Whats going to happen now?

C. Flower
19-02-2011, 07:04 PM
Irish Central in the states alerted and provided with a link to politicalworld.ie Cairo thread. Have told them that its an Irish blogger and a pair of eyes and ears in Tahriri Square should they like to know whats happening on the ground...

Thanks Captain - they posted it last week.

Captain Con O'Sullivan
19-02-2011, 07:06 PM
Oh excellent- must have a look .. its a good site especially the news section.

C. Flower
19-02-2011, 07:23 PM
Hi Cactus, Can you post a picture of your lodgings yet? Its impossible for us to even imagine what its like there!!

Whats going to happen now?

Sorry for the delay, A new lovers arrival. I'll put up some photos now.

C. Flower
19-02-2011, 07:24 PM
One of the entrances into the Square

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/274-1.jpg

A new lovers arrival
19-02-2011, 10:31 PM
So eh..

C. Flower
19-02-2011, 10:33 PM
So eh..

Sorry, a bit busy, and the image host is not behaving. If you're anxious to see more, you could try googling Tahrir Square :)

Arno
19-02-2011, 11:18 PM
Hi Cactus, Can you post a picture of your lodgings yet?


Sorry for the delay, A new lovers arrival. I'll put up some photos now.

Aha. It took me some time to understand "A new lovers arrival" was the name of the previous poster ;)

C. Flower
19-02-2011, 11:34 PM
Aha. It took me some time to understand "A new lovers arrival" was the name of the previous poster ;)

Don't be so sure....

C. Flower
19-02-2011, 11:44 PM
The morning of 6th February, I think. The army failed to clear the Square the day before and people were coming in with more confidence.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/028.jpg

C. Flower
19-02-2011, 11:44 PM
http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/030.jpg

C. Flower
19-02-2011, 11:46 PM
People were sleeping wherever they could at this stage, but as the days passed, proper tents and awnings were set up.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/031.jpg

C. Flower
19-02-2011, 11:49 PM
People made their own signs, mainly asking Mubarak to go, but also demanding an end to corruption, to police brutality, looking for unity between Christians and Muslims, better health and jobs.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/032.jpg

C. Flower
19-02-2011, 11:51 PM
This girl's brother had been shot by the police in the Square. There were photos of the people who had died the previous week all around the Tahrir Square. There was always an awareness that the place should be treated with respect, because so many young people had died there.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/033.jpg

C. Flower
19-02-2011, 11:53 PM
There were newspapers everywhere... the main ones were stuck up on hoardings, so that everyone could read them.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/038.jpg



http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/190.jpg

C. Flower
19-02-2011, 11:55 PM
The entrances to the Square were all occupied by tanks, but also had civilian security, both to stop the army and to prevent attacks by the police and pro-Mubarak thugs.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/040.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:00 AM
Every day people brought new signs and thousands of others walked around reading them and taking photos of them, mainly on their phones. My sign is in there somewhere.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/292.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:02 AM
Signs about police brutality, demanding the withdrawal of the army and a civilian government -
http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/291.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:03 AM
People put up barrels around the place with pots of face paint in the colours of the Egyptian flag: you just helped yourself :)

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/285.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:07 AM
As the days went on, bigger and more elaborate banners went up around the square, telling Mubarak to go, but also carrying the demands of the different youth divisions and other groups - release political prisoners, civilian government, return stolen billions, new constitution and so on.

This guy wanted Mubarak to go.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/280.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:10 AM
The army guys were pretty tense - the ranks refused to shoot on the Tuesday night, according to information received - a good few of them came into the crowd in civilian dress "off shift" and they were relaxed about discussing politics. Not the officers.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/274.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:13 AM
There were "Mubaraks" hanging around the place everywhere.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/214.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:14 AM
Tents became more ornate and elaborate

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/213.jpg

A new lovers arrival
20-02-2011, 12:14 AM
Did you help make the placard with the handcuffs cactus? i liked that one.

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:15 AM
This poster was looking for the 70 billion Mubarak was believed to have stolen back for the people.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/210.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:17 AM
Cartoons and cartoonists everywhere, working away like mad ... several thousand new cartoons appeared each day and people spent hours walking around looking at them.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/209.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:19 AM
The poets' tent

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/202.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:20 AM
A new clinic being set up. There were at least four, including one hospital, in a mosque.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/200.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:22 AM
Not afraid and more determined every day that went past

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/199.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:24 AM
I can't remember what this slogan says - plenty of people spoke English and were generous of their time in translating. The statistical probability is that it asked Mubarak to go.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/198.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:25 AM
These boys were making a shrine to the people who died in the Square

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/197.jpg



http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/196.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:28 AM
"Leave" written in candles and rocks...


http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/195.jpg

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/194.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:30 AM
There was a great sense of optimism, that Mubarak would go.


http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/193.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:32 AM
The doctors worked extremely hard, not just treating the wounds of people injured by the police, but providing medical care of any kind for anyone who needed it. In normal circumstances, health care in Egypt is very expensive. These were free services given by people who had left their jobs and families to work for the Revolution.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/191.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:34 AM
The lawyers group were working very long hours on drafting a new Constitution.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/186.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:35 AM
Two of the leaders of the Nasserite Party - progressive, nationalists.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/184.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:37 AM
A "reply" to my sign.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/176.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:38 AM
"Leave" spelled out in lights.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/175.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:39 AM
http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/173.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:40 AM
This tent has a symbol on it which is a combination of a muslim sickle moon and a christian cross - the sign became more and more common as the days went on.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/171.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:42 AM
This girl's sign is saying the equivalent of "Seanie and Dermot are not getting away with our billions..."

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/168.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:46 AM
Reading signs - on the floor or on "walls" made of sticks and plastic sheeting. The combined muslim and christian symbol appears again in the foreground.






http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/160.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:48 AM
http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/157.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:49 AM
"Mubarak Go Out!"

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/155.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:55 AM
The stones where the stones broken up by the women on the Square for defence if the police fired. There were good stock piles behind all the entrance barricades, but as the numbers grew and the place grew safer they were put to other uses.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/144.jpg



People of all kinds were there, but 60 % of Egypt is 25 or under.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/152.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:58 AM
"Leave" spelled out in shoes - the biggest insult.


http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/145.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 01:02 AM
Burnt out "paddy wagon" at an entrance to the Square.
The NDP is Mubarak's ruling party.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/142.jpg

At this stage, the police were still arresting people and taking them to the Egyptian Museum, just outside the Square, and torturing them, using water, beatings, threats of sexual violence and cigarette burns. Some have not been found yet.

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 01:04 AM
A relaxed moment, at the closed Metro station near the mosque. About 25 degrees.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/140.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 01:05 AM
"What a great father - murders 300 of his kids" "Nobody likes you"

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/139.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 01:09 AM
Snakes and ladders - no opportunities for young men...

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/137.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 01:10 AM
http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/136.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 01:11 AM
http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/135.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 01:11 AM
http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/134.jpg

Bullet points, to make it easier for Hosni to grasp.

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 01:14 AM
A girl who was shot by sniper fire

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/132.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 01:15 AM
http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/131.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 01:15 AM
http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/130.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 01:16 AM
There was an Egyptian flag the about 100 metres long that was ran about the place the whole time :)

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/122.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 01:17 AM
http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/121.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 01:18 AM
The shouting and chanting was non stop and deafening - leave! Go Now! Game over! etc.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/120.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 01:19 AM
An old friend.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/116.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 01:20 AM
http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/114.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 01:20 AM
http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/113.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 01:21 AM
Nasserite meeting. The boy was showing his back as it was covered in cigarette burns.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/111.jpg

A new lovers arrival
20-02-2011, 02:07 AM
So any pics of yourself and where you were staying, you can block out your face if you are concerned about privacy issues?

Kev Bar
20-02-2011, 04:22 AM
Cool shots Cactus.

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 08:33 AM
Thanks Kev. These guys are from one of the youth movements who started the demonstrations. They are displaying the demands made for a new constitution, release of political prisoners, free press and media, return of stolen billions etc. Each line of the proposals for the new government was debated hotly at this stage.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/218.jpg



http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/226.jpg

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/228.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 08:49 AM
http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/051.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 08:57 AM
So any pics of yourself and where you were staying, you can block out your face if you are concerned about privacy issues?

I stayed most nights in this place, the Omar Mahroum Mosque - you can see its minaret in the background of some of the photographs. I also slept in an empty apartment overlooking the Square with other women: the Square's security guarded these places overnight.

Photos were not allowed inside the Mosque. I was given a lot of very welcome cups of tea (sugar no milk :D) and endless chat and discussion by the very friendly women and children there. Blankets were given out every night to people staying on the Square as well as food. A lot of people who weren't or couldn't be there themselves wanted to help with supplies. One morning the police went around in plain clothes and pretended to be with the protestors and stole a lot of food and blankets.:mad:
http://www.touregypt.net/images/touregypt/omar1.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 09:06 AM
The Irish flag flying over Tahrir Square - the only national flag, apart from the Egyptian flag, to be flown there.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/044.jpg





http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/046.jpg

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/047.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 09:12 AM
This guy looks like maybe his wife is telling him to come home because his business is going down the pan. People dropped everything and went to the Square and stayed there until Mubarak was gone.


http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/054.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 09:14 AM
Peoples' views on what should happen next

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/055.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 09:16 AM
http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/058.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 09:18 AM
Photographs of the people who had died there three days earlier. I met a good number of people who said that people had died right in front of them.

The Square was attacked by plainclothes police and released criminals, using molotov cocktails, guns and rocks. The protestors defended themselves with rocks, the women breaking up the road surface and the men throwing them. At that time there were only a few thousand on the Square. They beat the police back and overturned some police vehicles just with rocks and by pushing them over. Thousands were injured. There were people in bandages everywhere. A field hospital was set up to treat people and some doctors went in under fire and treated people on the ground.
Al Jazeera had a roof camera covering about a quarter of the Square. I watched this all day and wrote about it on the thread here, although it was not so clear what was happening as RTE and others were saying it was a battle between pro and anti Mubarak supporters. On that day in the Square and elsewhere in Egypt around 300 people were killed. There were others killed by sniper fire for days afterwards.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/059.jpg


http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/061.jpg




http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/060.jpg


http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/075.jpg
http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/078.jpg


This guy was only 10 when he died.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/081.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 09:20 AM
http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/062.jpg

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/078.jpg



http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/076-1.jpg

#http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/074.jpg


http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/073-1.jpg


The deaths just made people more determined.






http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/063.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 09:23 AM
Refreshment stall. The mosque is in the background.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/065.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 09:25 AM
http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/068-1.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 09:26 AM
If anyone has Arabic, a translation would be welcome.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/069-1.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 09:27 AM
http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/071.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 09:29 AM
A certain amount of tension between Square security and troops at times. We were told that officers had been ordered to clear the Square and to shoot, on the Tuesday and Saturday. The ranks would not obey orders.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/072.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 09:45 AM
http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/082-1.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 09:45 AM
http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/084-1.jpg


http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/086-1.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 09:49 AM
I left the Square every day for a few hours to get to a PC and post here.

This was the end of the queue to get back in on Friday.

Teams of women searched womens' persons and bags at three or four different checkpoints - very thorough. Men ditto.


http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/092.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 09:50 AM
http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/093.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 09:51 AM
Shouting for Mubarak to go. There was shouting and chanting the whole time, and some oud and drum music.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/096.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 09:53 AM
On Friday, over a million came in for the "Day of Departure"

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/097.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 09:54 AM
There was anger building at this stage that Mubarak hadn't gone. Two days after he refused to resign 15 million people came out and it was clear that the game was over.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/098.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 09:55 AM
http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/099.jpg

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/100.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 09:57 AM
http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/101.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 10:30 AM
http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/104.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 10:31 AM
One for you, TotalMayem...


....



http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/107.jpg
....

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 10:34 AM
On the Square, there was a level of relaxed and open communication that couldn't have been imagined two weeks earlier.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/118.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 10:35 AM
http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/133.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 10:37 AM
Music and poetry at night.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/163.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 10:39 AM
One of the pharmacies

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/180.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 10:43 AM
Anyone who stamped on Mubarak's name on the ground at this place was given an Egyptian pound - worth about 20 cent. It was a p*** take on Mubarak, who had said everyone in the Square had got a payout of hundreds of pounds from the Israelis.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/203.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 10:53 AM
One of the entrances to the Square. Once Mubarak stepped down, the Army wanted to clear the Square as soon as possible. There was an intense debate among the youth leaders and other leadership groupings whether people should go or stay. People were sent out into the streets outside the Square and found that there was a lot of economic desperation due to the closure of businesses and not enough understanding why demonstrations should go on (for removal of the regime and for democracy) after Mubarak had gone. The majority decided to go. Those who stayed offered limited medical support and occupied one corner of the Square as a place for continued discussion and protest activity.



http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/221.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 10:55 AM
Joint Christian Muslim demonstration for unity between the religions.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/224.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 11:49 AM
http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/230.jpg




http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/231.jpg



This hospital, in a Mosque down an alley from the Square, thousands of people were treated during the occupation of the Square and some of the demonstrators died here.

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 11:51 AM
http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/239.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 11:55 AM
Tanks everywhere on the morning of Friday 12th, the "Day of Departure".

A million + people gathered at the Square

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/242.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 11:56 AM
http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/247.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 11:57 AM
http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/248.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 11:57 AM
http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/249.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 11:58 AM
http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/253.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:00 PM
The night Mubarak left - I got very few photos that night :) I lot of tears and hugging, as well as jubilation.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/256.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:01 PM
Celebrations went on for about 36 hours.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/264.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:02 PM
Thanks given

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/272.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:04 PM
Doctors celebrating

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/278.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:05 PM
http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/287.jpg


Proud father places his child's feet on Mubarak's head. There seems to be some deep symbolism also on placing a child on a tank. Shortly after Mubarak's resignation was announced, I saw a father climb onto a tank (the officer in charge less than happy about it) and raise his tiny newborn child, swaddled in a blanket, to the cheering crowds.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/Tahrir%202011%20for%20PW/127.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:07 PM
The Military Police came to close the hospital down. Doctors got their coats signed. I has a little queue wanting to be signed off with "Good Luck" and a shamrock :)

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/288.jpg


http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/Tahrir%202011%20for%20PW/304-Copy.jpg


Army orders the Tahrir field hospital to be stripped out and closed.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/Tahrir%202011%20for%20PW/th_305.jpg (http://s736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/Tahrir%202011%20for%20PW/?action=view&current=305.mp4)

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:07 PM
The Head Nurse - last to leave...

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/289.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:09 PM
Army and Military Police cleared the Square two mornings after Mubarak left, clearing the way for the Square to turn back into intersecting motorways and roundabouts.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/295.jpg




http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/Tahrir%202011%20for%20PW/297-Copy.jpg


The police staged a large and noisy demonstration themselves, looking for a wage increase and other benefits. Shots were reportedly fired from the Ministry for the Interior.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/Tahrir%202011%20for%20PW/310-Copy.jpg

Five minutes after leaving the Square, at the end of the occupation, I came across this picket of bank workers - demanding the return of corruptly stolen money taken by government and bosses, and a wage increase.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/Tahrir%202011%20for%20PW/th_314.jpg (http://s736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/Tahrir%202011%20for%20PW/?action=view&current=314.mp4)




http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/Tahrir%202011%20for%20PW/317-Copy.jpg

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/Tahrir%202011%20for%20PW/316-Copy.jpg

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 12:29 PM
I saw one sign there saying "Mubarak = Shift + Del" lol...

Andrew49
20-02-2011, 12:48 PM
This is a very important photo album of the events in Tahrir Square

It's heartening to see so many Egyptian women at the forefront. I'm asking a Turkish friend to translate some of the posters.

The issues on the posters are very very close to home though!

Freedom
Illiteracy and Ignorance
Poor Health
Oppression
Injustice
Corruption
No Democracy
Thuggery


Eye Opening Diary

Kid Ryder
20-02-2011, 02:46 PM
Wonderful photos CF. So much joy, wonder and defiance, and some sadness too. The pictures of the young people killed are especially poignant - they died fighting for dignities and freedoms they will not get to enjoy. Lets hope that the Egyptian people avenge their deaths in the best possible way - by ensuring that what they died struggling for comes to pass.

C. Flower
20-02-2011, 09:26 PM
Wonderful photos CF. So much joy, wonder and defiance, and some sadness too. The pictures of the young people killed are especially poignant - they died fighting for dignities and freedoms they will not get to enjoy. Lets hope that the Egyptian people avenge their deaths in the best possible way - by ensuring that what they died struggling for comes to pass.

I don't think they'll back down easily, as they really don't have a lot to lose. The Square was full of people again today, demonstrating for the release of political prisoners and for transfer of power to civilian authorities.

C. Flower
22-02-2011, 01:28 PM
Apologies: all of the images on this thread seem to have disappeared - they were linked from photobucket and it took hours of work.

I will not be able to try to fix this until this evening, unless anyone has a quick answer to the problem.

Ah Well
22-02-2011, 01:29 PM
Apologies: all of the images on this thread seem to have disappeared - they were linked from photobucket and it took hours of work.

I will not be able to try to fix this until this evening, unless anyone has a quick answer to the problem.

Nope still there as far as I can see ... using Google Chrome at the mo and they look just fine :)

C. Flower
22-02-2011, 01:35 PM
Nope still there as far as I can see ... using Google Chrome at the mo and they look just fine :)

Thanks :)

IE is working for me. :) The problem seems to be with firefox. :(

Kid Ryder
22-02-2011, 01:43 PM
I'm using th'oul Firefox and the images are displaying grand my end. Must be a local problem CF.

C. Flower
22-02-2011, 01:44 PM
I'm using th'oul Firefox and the images are displaying grand my end. Must be a local problem CF.

Well, I'm glad its only me. :) I don't need to see them anyway lol.

wellwoman
24-02-2011, 05:58 AM
I've been having consistent problems with Firefox dropping my connection, makes me think of Desert Fox. Egypt is important, I beleive the elite are seeing just how far they can push us before we make a stand. We are fast losing the ground we stand on, feels like quicksand to me. I don't like politics but I have awakened to the fact that I can no longer stand on the sidelines while getting on with my own interests. We all need to get active online and offline.

C. Flower
01-08-2011, 02:33 PM
Police and army are clearing all protestors, and the protest camp, from Tahrir Square, on the first day of Ramadan. There are tweets that people are being beaten out of Omar Makhram Mosque.

http://www.livestation.com/channels/131-al-jazeera-mubasher-misr-arabic

The movement is no longer so cohesive, with a gap opened up between the pro-Sharia and pro-democracy movements and that has allowed the army the elbow room to move in.

There is very little public sympathy with long-term permanent encampments, in key public spaces, as a means of moving things forward.

C. Flower
05-10-2011, 05:30 AM
I just came across this profile of one of the intransigeant young activists, who started her protests long before most, and continues them now again as one of few.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle-east/in-egypt-a-dreamer-continues-lonely-protest/2011/08/10/gIQATzF9LL_story.html

The ebbs and flows of political life. The profile describes her as a dreamer, but she seems clear enough about the military regime.

C. Flower
05-10-2011, 02:48 PM
Some good new video from Tahrir Square (Real News) - interviews with protestors and demonstrations against the military regime and the emergency laws.

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=7401

toxic avenger
05-10-2011, 04:11 PM
Truly magnificent blog-thread, cactus, congratulations on it. It should be put up for an award as a vivid account of momentous events.

C. Flower
05-10-2011, 05:53 PM
Truly magnificent blog-thread, cactus, congratulations on it. It should be put up for an award as a vivid account of momentous events.

Thanks toxic. It doesn't seem like more than six months ago. There's more posting about Egypt, in our main thread on Arab activism, but the Egyptian events are a bit lost in there. Things are moving on to a new stage in Egypt now, with elections starting in November, and a growing clarity among the young politicised people that the army and the people are on opposite sides.

fluffybiscuits
06-10-2011, 01:32 PM
CF, You should consider putting the blog entry forward for the Golden Spiders. The description of the people and the picture you painted was excellent but most of all what brought the message home was the comparison to the Irish people. It goes to show we may be a few thousand miles apart in terms of of georgraphy but spiritually they are very close to us.

C. Flower
19-11-2011, 01:36 PM
I'm following the new Tunisian PM on twitter :)

There is all hell going on in Tahrir Square this morning, with birdshot being fired at demonstrators and tear gas shot from the roofs into the crowds.

Demonstrations have been going on since yesterday against the military regime and for the continuation of the revolution.

Dr. FIVE
19-11-2011, 07:25 PM
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2011/11/19/1321725194385/Violent-demonstrations-in-015.jpg

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/gallery/2011/nov/19/egypt-tahrir-square-protests-pictures#

C. Flower
19-11-2011, 07:53 PM
I'm posting this here as the assaults on protestors in Cairo and Alexandria are being justified on Egyptian TV by saying "if they can suppress protests in the West, we can do it here"

Riot Police on UC Davis quad - YouTube

"Occupations" have been under attack across the States for the last three days.

C. Flower
19-11-2011, 07:59 PM
Open Letter to Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi
Posted on November 19, 2011 by crank

18 November 2011

Open Letter to Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

Linda P.B. Katehi,

I am a junior faculty member at UC Davis. I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of English, and I teach in the Program in Critical Theory and in Science & Technology Studies. I have a strong record of research, teaching, and service. I am currently a Board Member of the Davis Faculty Association. I have also taken an active role in supporting the student movement to defend public education on our campus and throughout the UC system. In a word: I am the sort of young faculty member, like many of my colleagues, this campus needs. I am an asset to the University of California at Davis.

You are not.

I write to you and to my colleagues for three reasons:

1) to express my outrage at the police brutality which occurred against students engaged in peaceful protest on the UC Davis campus today

2) to hold you accountable for this police brutality

3) to demand your immediate resignation

Today you ordered police onto our campus to clear student protesters from the quad. These were protesters who participated in a rally speaking out against tuition increases and police brutality on UC campuses on Tuesday—a rally that I organized, and which was endorsed by the Davis Faculty Association. These students attended that rally in response to a call for solidarity from students and faculty who were bludgeoned with batons, hospitalized, and arrested at UC Berkeley last week. In the highest tradition of non-violent civil disobedience, those protesters had linked arms and held their ground in defense of tents they set up beside Sproul Hall. In a gesture of solidarity with those students and faculty, and in solidarity with the national Occupy movement, students at UC Davis set up tents on the main quad. When you ordered police outfitted with riot helmets, brandishing batons and teargas guns to remove their tents today, those students sat down on the ground in a circle and linked arms to protect them.

What happened next?

Without any provocation whatsoever, other than the bodies of these students sitting where they were on the ground, with their arms linked, police pepper-sprayed students. Students remained on the ground, now writhing in pain, with their arms linked.

What happened next?

Police used batons to try to push the students apart. Those they could separate, they arrested, kneeling on their bodies and pushing their heads into the ground. Those they could not separate, they pepper-sprayed directly in the face, holding these students as they did so. When students covered their eyes with their clothing, police forced open their mouths and pepper-sprayed down their throats. Several of these students were hospitalized. Others are seriously injured. One of them, forty-five minutes after being pepper-sprayed down his throat, was still coughing up blood.

This is what happened. You are responsible for it.

You are responsible for it because this is what happens when UC Chancellors order police onto our campuses to disperse peaceful protesters through the use of force: students get hurt. Faculty get hurt. One of the most inspiring things (inspiring for those of us who care about students who assert their rights to free speech and peaceful assembly) about the demonstration in Berkeley on November 9 is that UC Berkeley faculty stood together with students, their arms linked together. Associate Professor of English Celeste Langan was grabbed by her hair, thrown on the ground, and arrested. Associate Professor Geoffrey O’Brien was injured by baton blows. Professor Robert Hass, former Poet Laureate of the United States, National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winner, was also struck with a baton. These faculty stood together with students in solidarity, and they too were beaten and arrested by the police. In writing this letter, I stand together with those faculty and with the students they supported.

One week after this happened at UC Berkeley, you ordered police to clear tents from the quad at UC Davis. When students responded in the same way—linking arms and holding their ground—police also responded in the same way: with violent force. The fact is: the administration of UC campuses systematically uses police brutality to terrorize students and faculty, to crush political dissent on our campuses, and to suppress free speech and peaceful assembly. Many people know this. Many more people are learning it very quickly.

You are responsible for the police violence directed against students on the UC Davis quad on November 18, 2011. As I said, I am writing to hold you responsible and to demand your immediate resignation on these grounds.

On Wednesday November 16, you issued a letter by email to the campus community. In this letter, you discussed a hate crime which occurred at UC Davis on Sunday November 13. In this letter, you express concern about the safety of our students. You write, “it is particularly disturbing that such an act of intolerance should occur at a time when the campus community is working to create a safe and inviting space for all our students.” You write, “while these are turbulent economic times, as a campus community, we must all be committed to a safe, welcoming environment that advances our efforts to diversity and excellence at UC Davis.”

I will leave it to my colleagues and every reader of this letter to decide what poses a greater threat to “a safe and inviting space for all our students” or “a safe, welcoming environment” at UC Davis: 1) Setting up tents on the quad in solidarity with faculty and students brutalized by police at UC Berkeley? or 2) Sending in riot police to disperse students with batons, pepper-spray, and tear-gas guns, while those students sit peacefully on the ground with their arms linked? Is this what you have in mind when you refer to creating “a safe and inviting space?” Is this what you have in mind when you express commitment to “a safe, welcoming environment?”

I am writing to tell you in no uncertain terms that there must be space for protest on our campus. There must be space for political dissent on our campus. There must be space for civil disobedience on our campus. There must be space for students to assert their right to decide on the form of their protest, their dissent, and their civil disobedience—including the simple act of setting up tents in solidarity with other students who have done so. There must be space for protest and dissent, especially, when the object of protest and dissent is police brutality itself. You may not order police to forcefully disperse student protesters peacefully protesting police brutality. You may not do so. It is not an option available to you as the Chancellor of a UC campus. That is why I am calling for your immediate resignation.

Your words express concern for the safety of our students. Your actions express no concern whatsoever for the safety of our students. I deduce from this discrepancy that you are not, in fact, concerned about the safety of our students. Your actions directly threaten the safety of our students. And I want you to know that this is clear. It is clear to anyone who reads your campus emails concerning our “Principles of Community” and who also takes the time to inform themselves about your actions. You should bear in mind that when you send emails to the UC Davis community, you address a body of faculty and students who are well trained to see through rhetoric that evinces care for students while implicitly threatening them. I see through your rhetoric very clearly. You also write to a campus community that knows how to speak truth to power. That is what I am doing.

I call for your resignation because you are unfit to do your job. You are unfit to ensure the safety of students at UC Davis. In fact: you are the primary threat to the safety of students at UC Davis. As such, I call upon you to resign immediately.

Sincerely,

Nathan Brown
Assistant Professor
Department of English
Program in Critical Theory
University of California at Davis

Sam Lord
19-11-2011, 08:10 PM
I hope he has tenure.

C. Flower
19-11-2011, 08:12 PM
I hope he has tenure.

A great letter. So do I.

C. Flower
19-11-2011, 10:56 PM
Tweeted reports saying that 800 plus people have been injured in Cairo today, protesting in solidarity with the Occupations, and against military rule.

One dead, and one person blinded.

http://feeds.breakingnews.ie/~r/bntopstories/~3/D6i4QvebB-A/more-than-500-injured-in-cairo-clashes-529038.html

sinsin
19-11-2011, 10:59 PM
Should We intervene with some humanitarian bombs?:rolleyes:

C. Flower
19-11-2011, 11:08 PM
http://desmond.yfrog.com/Himg615/scaled.php?tn=0&server=615&filename=3d6nz.jpg&xsize=640&ysize=640


http://s3.amazonaws.com/twitpic/photos/full/450845102.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJF3XCCKACR3QDMOA&Expires=1321732128&Signature=qKrjCFiGoZGOgL3TB8I6rSx9KkA%3D



http://s3.amazonaws.com/twitpic/photos/full/450845102.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJF3XCCKACR3QDMOA&Expires=1321732128&Signature=qKrjCFiGoZGOgL3TB8I6rSx9KkA%3D

C. Flower
19-11-2011, 11:13 PM
Live blog on al Jazeera is good. There are protests right across Egypt and one person dead in Alexandria.


http://blogs.aljazeera.net/liveblog/Egypt

"The people want to bring Tantawi down..".

Tahrir Square clashes - YouTube

C. Flower
20-11-2011, 12:22 AM
Clashes erupt in Tahrir Square ahead of elections - YouTube

sinsin
20-11-2011, 01:09 AM
I think I will start start selling Black Sacks on EBay (Eygypt).
How many females are there in Eygypt?
I can imagine how greatful they are to us for our support of the Arab Spring.
And..sorry...I left out the Gays and Christians.:o

Syria..here we come!

Cairo (AsiaNews) – Thousands of supporters of Islamist parties rallied today in Tahrir Square to protest against excessive power wielded by the military.

Led by the Muslim Brotherhood, the demonstration saw pro-democracy parties stay away.

Although they too are against the military, they also oppose Islamist parties’ strong-arm tactics. The latter object to plans that would make the military the guardian of ‘constitutional legitimacy’, and thus give them a final say on the 28 November elections. Unless the proposed constitutional change is not shelved, Islamists say they would escalate their campaign.

“The Muslim Brotherhood are provocateurs,” said Fr Rafic Greiche, spokesman of the Egyptian catholic Church. “They are using these demonstrations to flex their muscle vis-à-vis the military and the nation. However, they are also showing their truer, most intransigent face, which they have cloaked so far under a veneer of moderate Islamic political activism. This could play in favour of pro-democracy parties who have Egypt’s interests at heart, and are not just vying for power.”

Public opinion polls indicate that the Muslim Brotherhood is leading among voters, especially in country’s poorest region, with about 30 per cent. Their camp includes some of the most intransigent and radical Islamic groups like Salafis who are the main instigators of anti-Christian violence.

For example, dozens of Salafis, hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails, yesterday disrupted the memorial service for the victims of the massacre of Christians of 9 October, traditionally held 40 days after death.

C. Flower
20-11-2011, 01:55 AM
I think I will start start selling Black Sacks on EBay (Eygypt).
How many females are there in Eygypt?
I can imagine how greatful they are to us for our support of the Arab Spring.
And..sorry...I left out the Gays and Christians.:o

Syria..here we come!

Cairo (AsiaNews) – Thousands of supporters of Islamist parties rallied today in Tahrir Square to protest against excessive power wielded by the military.

Led by the Muslim Brotherhood, the demonstration saw pro-democracy parties stay away.

Although they too are against the military, they also oppose Islamist parties’ strong-arm tactics. The latter object to plans that would make the military the guardian of ‘constitutional legitimacy’, and thus give them a final say on the 28 November elections. Unless the proposed constitutional change is not shelved, Islamists say they would escalate their campaign.

“The Muslim Brotherhood are provocateurs,” said Fr Rafic Greiche, spokesman of the Egyptian catholic Church. “They are using these demonstrations to flex their muscle vis-à-vis the military and the nation. However, they are also showing their truer, most intransigent face, which they have cloaked so far under a veneer of moderate Islamic political activism. This could play in favour of pro-democracy parties who have Egypt’s interests at heart, and are not just vying for power.”

Public opinion polls indicate that the Muslim Brotherhood is leading among voters, especially in country’s poorest region, with about 30 per cent. Their camp includes some of the most intransigent and radical Islamic groups like Salafis who are the main instigators of anti-Christian violence.

For example, dozens of Salafis, hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails, yesterday disrupted the memorial service for the victims of the massacre of Christians of 9 October, traditionally held 40 days after death.

The comment about "black sacks" is extremely insulting to Moslem women.

That report - if it is a report - is also incorrect about the organisation and turnout in the last two days in Egypt. The protests were by both moslem and secular groups. Coptic Christians took part, men and women. During the last few hours, thousands of Egyptians joined the fighting in the streets leading into Tahrir Square, all against the military regime.

http://justanegyptian.com/2011/11/19/is-this-the-rebirth-of-our-revolution/

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2011/11/2011111881959573228.html

http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/muslim-brotherhood-islamist-groups-rally-egypts-tahrir-square

Dr. FIVE
20-11-2011, 02:07 AM
2 dead. Hundreds injured according to Reuters

sinsin
20-11-2011, 02:47 AM
The comment about "black sacks" is extremely insulting to Moslem women.

That report - if it is a report - is also incorrect about the organisation and turnout in the last two days in Egypt. The protests were by both moslem and secular groups. Coptic Christians took part, men and women. During the last few hours, thousands of Egyptians joined the fighting in the streets leading into Tahrir Square, all against the military regime.

http://justanegyptian.com/2011/11/19/is-this-the-rebirth-of-our-revolution/

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2011/11/2011111881959573228.html

http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/muslim-brotherhood-islamist-groups-rally-egypts-tahrir-square

That is easy to say sitting here.
But I am concerned for those Tunisian and now probably Egyptian women who will be whipped for not wearing it.

Support the bogus Arab Spring....slaughter thousands.

Force formerly secular women to live under Sharia Law.
Two women equals one man.
Walk four steps behind your husband.
Not allowed out unaccompanied.
Religous police stopping and arresting women and men on the street.
Four wives.
Beat them but do not mark them.
A woman cannot refuse sex to her husband.
He can dump her by saying "I divorce you" three times.

A woman needs four male witnesses to prove rape.
Marry a child because The Prophet did.

What kind of crazy PC crap is that?
What about Equal rights and Human Rights?

How can you justify condemning women to live like that?
Do not say tradition.
We had a few strange ones ourselves that thankfuly seem to be ending.:mad:

C. Flower
20-11-2011, 08:02 AM
That is easy to say sitting here.
But I am concerned for those Tunisian and now probably Egyptian women who will be whipped for not wearing it.

Support the bogus Arab Spring....slaughter thousands.

Force formerly secular women to live under Sharia Law.
Two women equals one man.
Walk four steps behind your husband.
Not allowed out unaccompanied.
Religous police stopping and arresting women and men on the street.
Four wives.
Beat them but do not mark them.
A woman cannot refuse sex to her husband.
He can dump her by saying "I divorce you" three times.

A woman needs four male witnesses to prove rape.
Marry a child because The Prophet did.

What kind of crazy PC crap is that?
What about Equal rights and Human Rights?

How can you justify condemning women to live like that?
Do not say tradition.
We had a few strange ones ourselves that thankfuly seem to be ending.:mad:

It seems that you are recommending living under a dictatorship rather than risk people will elect a religious government.

Using that argument, we would still have the British here as they were certainly more secular than our Fianna Fail led governments. They never had a "marriage ban" to keep women out of employment or banned contraception.

Is Libya included in your list of countries along with Tunisia and Egypt by the way ?

C. Flower
20-11-2011, 04:05 PM
Via twitter - a few minutes ago

http://s1-05.twitpicproxy.com/photos/large/451727331.jpg

Three more dead, including a woman, but the Square is filling up very fast and people are saying "Tantawi Must Go" "The Military Regime Must Go"

For anyone who has access to Al Jazeera - it's worth watching now.

C. Flower
20-11-2011, 04:08 PM
Live stream of Tahrir Square

http://www.aljazeera.com/watch_now/

Holly
20-11-2011, 04:15 PM
Did anyone really think the Arab Spring would bring about democracy in the Maghreb and the Middle East?

C. Flower
20-11-2011, 05:05 PM
Did anyone really think the Arab Spring would bring about democracy in the Maghreb and the Middle East?

I think that the world economy can't support democracy anywhere. There's a collision going on between people who want democracy and a decent, moderate, life and the "powers that be" who are trying to keep the banks and economic system going at the our expense.

Democracy is being removed in Europe.

If we want democracy now, we're going to have to get it in a mass way, involving most people directly, not a vote every five years.

Arab Spring was a first step. What is happening is what I expected would happen.

C. Flower
20-11-2011, 05:18 PM
...
Syria..here we come!

Cairo (AsiaNews) – Thousands of supporters of Islamist parties rallied today in Tahrir Square to protest against excessive power wielded by the military.

Led by the Muslim Brotherhood, the demonstration saw pro-democracy parties stay away.

Although they too are against the military, they also oppose Islamist parties’ strong-arm tactics. The latter object to plans that would make the military the guardian of ‘constitutional legitimacy’, and thus give them a final say on the 28 November elections. Unless the proposed constitutional change is not shelved, Islamists say they would escalate their campaign.

“The Muslim Brotherhood are provocateurs,” said Fr Rafic Greiche, spokesman of the Egyptian catholic Church. “They are using these demonstrations to flex their muscle vis-à-vis the military and the nation. However, they are also showing their truer, most intransigent face, which they have cloaked so far under a veneer of moderate Islamic political activism. This could play in favour of pro-democracy parties who have Egypt’s interests at heart, and are not just vying for power.”

Public opinion polls indicate that the Muslim Brotherhood is leading among voters, especially in country’s poorest region, with about 30 per cent. Their camp includes some of the most intransigent and radical Islamic groups like Salafis who are the main instigators of anti-Christian violence.

For example, dozens of Salafis, hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails, yesterday disrupted the memorial service for the victims of the massacre of Christians of 9 October, traditionally held 40 days after death.

There is now clarity about what happened. Friday's big demonstration was led by the MB. On Saturday, a small group of a couple of hundred people, family members mainly of the young people killed last January, knelt and demonstrated in the Square. This group was brutally attacked by the state forces, plain clothes police, riot police and army. More and more people have come into the Square as they saw what was happening. There were battles overnight and 3-5 are dead. Riot police have batoned, tear gas, rubber bullets and bird shot. They are Egyptians of all kinds, mainly not all, young, and including secular and moslem protestors, demanding an end to the military regime. Sympathy protest took place in other towns and cities in Egypt.

At the moment the Square is filling up again and people are arriving from all over Egypt. They say they are preparing for "the long haul."

C. Flower
20-11-2011, 05:28 PM
Looks like Friday's mass demonstration -


Violent Clashes in Egypt, 3 Killed Over 750 Injured - YouTube


Riot police break up the small encampment on Saturday morning - about the same size as Occupy Dame Street.


Egyptian police break up Tahrir sit-in - YouTube


Protesters clash with Central Security Forces in Tahrir Square, Cairo, 19 November 2011 - YouTube

C. Flower
20-11-2011, 05:30 PM
Tahrir Nov 19 2011 - What can be seen from my place - YouTube

C. Flower
20-11-2011, 05:31 PM
Nov 19, 2011 Protesters Clash with Riot Police in Tahrir - YouTube

C. Flower
21-11-2011, 11:04 AM
11 people died in Cairo yesterday. A number of people were blinded or lost eyes from direct hits of tear gas rounds or rubber bullets aimed at the head.

They seem very determined to hold their ground and the same mix of people are taking part as in January and February up to the fall of Mubarak.

C. Flower
21-11-2011, 04:44 PM
There are posts about the last few days in Egypt on the Arab Spring thread.

Just looking at very sad photographs of parents of the dead at the morgue in central Cairo. The people at Tahrir are full of determination but they are calling for more people to go - it's exhausting and the state forces are working shifts.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/21/tahrir-square-death-military-rule

C. Flower
21-11-2011, 05:48 PM
Next of kin phone nos.

http://s1-02.twitpicproxy.com/photos/large/451582217.jpg

Talaat Harb, leading out of Tahrir Square, today.

http://s1-01.twitpicproxy.com/photos/large/451566247.jpg

C. Flower
21-11-2011, 08:10 PM
I'm watching Al Jazeera and the numbers in Tahrir are growing all the time, all calling for an end to the SCAF military regime. The civil Cabinet has resigned.
Over 20 dead now and thousands injured, Cairo's working class youth is fighting a huge battle in the streets with rocks vs tear gas, shot, and rubber bullets. There are field hospitals in the Square and there is a steady stream of ambulances and motorbikes bringing people there.

The US State Department is not happy with these developments and wants the violence to stop.....

The US would not like to think that the people in the square represent the Egyptian people.

C. Flower
21-11-2011, 11:51 PM
http://cdn.theatlantic.com/static/infocus/egypt112111/s_e16_0twitpic.jpg


Video has been showing everywhere of riot police hammering away with sticks at the bodies of men who were clearly already dead.

C. Flower
22-11-2011, 03:14 PM
Based on very many twitter reports from reputable tweeters, Tahrir is packed and more people joining all the time - by the hundred or thousand, marching in from districts and workplaces.

There is a cease fire in the street where the main fighting has taken place - and a report that wounded people are being evacuated from the mosque on the edge of the square. There is a demonstration by families at the morgue. I don't want to think about the number dead at this time. An effigy of a policeman, hanging burning and being beaten with sticks. Several candidates in the Presidential elections in the Square, at least one of them working in the field hospital.

I know, from who is tweeting, that this is the revolutionary element involved, youth, working class/trade unionists, progressive middle classes, progressive moslems.

C. Flower
22-11-2011, 03:58 PM
http://s1-02.twitpicproxy.com/photos/large/453266655.jpg

People marching down from Shubra to Tahrir, to join the protest.

Please note: perfectly ordinary, unscary Egyptians. :)

Kev Bar
22-11-2011, 04:49 PM
"Egyptians are back in business"


http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2011/11/2011112212520220741.html


If that photo above with approx ten dead is anything to go by, the reports of 30 something dead are way off mark

C. Flower
22-11-2011, 04:58 PM
"Egyptians are back in business"


http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2011/11/2011112212520220741.html


If that photo above with approx ten dead is anything to go by, the reports of 30 something dead are way off mark

Thanks. That's a very good blog. Every person there is lucky to be there. The deaths were reported late last night as over 80 but is may well be more: nobody has a full picture, I guess.

The political maturity is very evident, compared with the early days of Jan and Feb.



The crowds are swinging between either demanding the junta setting April 2012 as a date for handing over power to an elected president, or demanding the junta step down immediately in favour of a transitional council - similar to the Tunisian model. Either way, the crowds are stubborn, well-experienced revolutionaries who accept no compromise and have no more tolerance for the junta's speeches and games.

Even the promised parliamentary elections to be held by the end of this month, has become a big zero at the back of our heads. We've learned a hard lesson: no act of revolution can exist under military rule, and therefore no further moves should be taken with the military still in power.

The junta has come full circle. "Guess what, people still demand the removal of the regime!" read a sign in Tahrir. But, most importantly: "Egyptians are back in business." Happy revolution to you!

C. Flower
22-11-2011, 10:20 PM
From listening to Al Jazeera, it seems that there's fighting in Suez, Alexandria and other cities across Egypt as well as a raging battle in the central Cairo streets.

The aim is to bring down the miltary regime.

The US State Department is getting very twitchy.

C. Flower
23-11-2011, 10:59 AM
"Tahrir is a spirit"

The occupations are good, but they aren't Tahrir: everyone there last January and in the last few days knew that going there meant they might die. In Tahrir, the consensus is loose and reassembles itself through the process of the chants and slogans on hand drawn placards. But they do have a goal, of ending corruption, abuse, poverty and social oppression, and it's implications are revolutionary.

Nothing repeats itself - there is always a development and things go forward or back. This time, rather than being on the defensive only, young people and workers have taken the fight to the riot police to drive them back. Instead of demanding the end of the President's rule, they are now trying to root out the military regime, a much deeper going and more difficult task.

I've seen some people who I met last Feb on television, back doing what they were doing then, but far more experienced and politically aware. Other people are tweeting and working around the clock getting blankets, medical supplies, cash etc. for the occupation. Pleased to see them alive. There are 31 new political parties taking part in the elections.

The difference between this process and the abrupt bombing exercise in Libya is immense.

Some good pictures on Al Jazeera

http://blogs.aljazeera.net/liveblog/Egypt

Andrew49
23-11-2011, 11:31 AM
How to prepare and protect yourself from attacks by the Central Security Forces (CSF) and the Military forces, as each uses different weapons and strategies.

Violent Protest Tactical Guide – Defence Essentials (http://abassiouny.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/violent-protest-tactical-guide-defence-essentials/)

C. Flower
23-11-2011, 03:09 PM
Violent Protest Tactical Guide – Defence Essentials (http://abassiouny.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/violent-protest-tactical-guide-defence-essentials/)


"Always stand behind somebody else" is not a piece of advice that everybody can take.

The advice on tear gas and wind direction seems fair enough, but in the last few days the density of bombardment meant that the whole street was filled with gas.

The best comment was get the message out and "get more people there to support you."

Sam Lord
23-11-2011, 03:30 PM
The advice on tear gas and wind direction seems fair enough, but in the last few days the density of bombardment meant that the whole street was filled with gas.



I have been in protests that were tear gassed many times and I have never seen it have the effect on people that I saw in photographs from Tahrir over the last few days. I am quite suspicious about what exactly is being used there.

C. Flower
23-11-2011, 03:50 PM
I have been in protests that were tear gassed many times and I have never seen it have the effect on people that I saw in photographs from Tahrir over the last few days. I am quite suspicious about what exactly is being used there.

There were reports of birth defects after the Jan and Feb events.

There were a lot of canisters found that were "past their sell by date" and malfunctioning, and not in a good way.

People have questioned what the gas is, but from what I've seen the sheer quantity used is incredible, and the streets are quite narrow with buildings up to ten stories either side, so it does not escape.

After a cease fire this morning the MOI police started firing again and there are more injuries. Meds are looking for eye drops called Beanox.

When people are hit at closeish range in the face by a tear gas shell the effects are horrible/ fatal.

C. Flower
23-11-2011, 05:39 PM
Tantawi is offering a referendum on Military rule - the protestors just want it ended.

Added to CS gas, rubber bullets, shotgun pellets and rocks, the rumour and disinformation mill is in operation, as well as infiltration of the square - harrassment of women by police thugs in a few cases.

Rumours spread that the fighting is being deliberately steered by the state forces, and other scare stories.

There has been a sequence of bouts of fighting, with periodic cease fires in some cases obtained by protestors acting as "human shields" and standing between the two sides.

C. Flower
23-11-2011, 08:06 PM
WomenTahrirNov22BridgetteAugerRaphaelThelen.mov - YouTube

C. Flower
23-11-2011, 09:30 PM
http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/node/517749

A woman doctor dead is reported to have died in a field hospital, from CS gas.

The government is reporting 187 police injured in attacks on police stations across the country, and says that popular committees are defending the police stations.

C. Flower
23-11-2011, 11:24 PM
https://p.twimg.com/Ae-IZtLCEAA_e2D.jpg

Sam Lord
24-11-2011, 08:20 PM
Tantawi according to the US Embassy in Egypt (2008) via Wikileaks




Cable dated:2008-03-16T16:43:00
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 CAIRO 000524
SIPDIS
SIPDIS
STATE FOR S AND NEA/FO WHITE HOUSE FOR OVP DOD FOR OSD
E.O. 12958: DECL: 3/16/28
TAGS: PARM, PREL, PGOV, MASS, MARR, PTER, IS, EG, XF
SUBJECT: SCENESETTER FOR MINDEF TANTAWI'S VISIT TO THE U.S. MARCH 24-28
REF: A. CAIRO 452 B. CAIRO 488 C. CAIRO 507
CAIRO 00000524 001.2 OF 002
Classified By: Ambassador Francis Ricciardone for reasons 1.4 (a)(b)&(d).


1. (S) Summary: Defense Minister Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi will travel to Washington, Tampa, and Chicago March 24-28. He will meet senior officials in Washington and at USCENTCOM HQ in Tampa, and view U.S. civil defense arrangements in Chicago. Mrs. Tantawi and as many as five senior generals will accompany him. Tantawi will seek assurances that the USG will not condition or reduce military assistance to Egypt in the future. He will emphasize Egypt's continuing value to the United States as an indispensable ally in the region, and he will press to return BRIGHT STAR to a full field training exercise. The eighty-year-old veteran of five wars with Israel is committed to preventing another one ever. But he is also frozen in the Camp David paradigm and uncomfortable with our shift to the post-9/11 GWOT. Recognizing that he is reluctant to change, we nonetheless should urge Minister Tantawi towards a broader and more flexible partnership based on shared strategic objectives, including border security, counter-terrorism, peacekeeping and civil defense. End Summary.


2. (S) Border Control: Egyptian effectiveness in preventing arms smuggling into Gaza is essential to stopping Palestinian rocket fire into Israel. When the Secretary pushed hard on smuggling in October 2007, the Egyptians finally got serious and agreed to open an FMF case that will deploy counter-tunnel technology to the Rafah border. The case also includes extensive training. The initial shipment of equipment is expected in June. Training will begin this spring in the US, due to Egyptian sensitivity towards having foreigners stationed at their borders. The Egyptians are also building a concrete barrier wall on the Egyptian side to avoid a repeat of the January incursion, in which thousands of Gazans poured into Rafah.


3. (C) The Egyptians insist that they are committed to do all they can to stop smuggling into Gaza. They acknowledge the threat that Hamas poses to their own security and to the peace process. They claim to have discovered more than 200 tunnels since November 2005. Tantawi will argue that Egypt is doing everything within its power but is not the only source of weapons in Gaza. He believes that Israeli politicians are blaming Egypt for domestic political reasons and resents the impact on Egyptian military assistance. He will also urge that the USG exert influence on Israel to ease humanitarian conditions in Gaza. EGIS Chief Omar Soliman has the lead on negotiations with Hamas but Tantawi will also likely urge that Rafah be opened to ease humanitarian pressures in Gaza.


4. (S) With Tantawi we should acknowledge that the counter-tunneling technology that we will introduce this summer will contribute to interdiction efforts but does not represent a complete solution. Indeed the Army Corps of Engineers experts who designed the system have told us that the Gaza border represents a "worst case scenario" for interdiction. In a March 6 meeting with NEA A/S Welch, Tantawi hinted that the Egyptians have adopted additional measures at the border. We are still interested in a trilateral meeting with the Egyptians and Israelis (ultimately perhaps to include the PA) to share intelligence and tactics. So far the Israelis have demurred. We should broaden the discussion to maritime interdiction efforts and also addressing the weapons trail, which starts in Yemen and Sudan.


5. (S) Civil Defense: The Red Sea ferry accident in February 2006 embarrassed the Mubarak government and cost more than 1000 lives. Tantawi will bring to Washington his mandate from President Mubarak to integrate the military into crisis response management. On this he needs and will be grateful for our help -- a small but important advance against the MOD's staunch resistance to engagement with us in shifting their priorities and transforming their forces. ASD for Homeland Defense McHale has suggested including Egyptian representatives in U.S.-based civil emergency exercises


CAIRO 00000524 002.2 OF 002


planned for spring and fall 2008, and inviting GOE officials to a civil defense symposium at the Army War College this fall.


6. (S) Peacekeeping: Egypt has contributed to all UN and AU peacekeeping efforts in Africa, and is sending 1300-1400 troops for the UN/AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID). Egypt has also offered UNAMID two additional mechanized infantry battalions; the UN has accepted one. Despite our repeated requests, the Egyptians declined to contribute helicopters; they simply do not have the logistical and operational capability to operate in Darfur's challenging environment. We recommend that the helo request not be raised again.


7. (S) Reform: In the cabinet, where he still wields significant influence, Tantawi has opposed both economic and political reforms that he perceives as eroding central government power. He is supremely concerned with national unity, and has opposed policy initiatives he views as encouraging political or religious cleavages within Egyptian society. In a speech on March 9, Tantawi said one of the military's roles is to protect constitutional legitimacy and internal stability, signaling his willingness to use the military to control the Muslim Brotherhood in the run-up to the April 9 municipal council elections. On economic reform, Tantawi believes that Egypt's economic reform plan fosters social instability by lessening GOE controls over prices and production. Tantawi rejects any conditioning on Egyptian FMF on human rights or any other grounds. Before this year he thought that FMF was inviolable and regarded ESF as a layer of protection against possible cuts to FMF. He will argue that any conditions on military assistance are counter-productive. He will also state that the military is not behind human rights problems in Egypt and that U.S. Congressional human rights conditionally is mis-targeted.


8. (S) Washington interlocutors should be prepared to meet an aged and
change-resistant Tantawi. Charming and courtly, he is, nonetheless mired in a post-Camp David military paradigm that has served his cohort's narrow interests for the last three decades. He and Mubarak are focused on regime stability and maintaining the status quo through the end of their time. They simply do not have the energy, inclination or world view to do anything differently. Nonetheless, for the benefit of Tantawi's omnipresent aides, we should focus discussions on the future and how to operate as strategic partners as we face the challenges of that future together.

C. Flower
24-11-2011, 08:41 PM
I'm reminded not for the first time of the Communards of Paris in 1848 when I look at Tahrir Square's resistance.

The people in Tahrir and fighting in the streets are overwhelmingly youth, and unemployed people, who have nothing to lose.
Thousands of people have been wounded, arrested and beaten up, and some killed. They are a vanguard.

The MB are at best luke warm in support for the push to end military rule and are focused on the elections.*
It seems to me that a lot of people not involved may hope that the elections can resolve things.

It's just unknowable at this stage who will win, and whether this is just another battle, or the decisive moment of a war.

Sam Lord
25-11-2011, 02:23 PM
Saw an Egyptian journalist on BBC world Service last night. He says that the military control 40% of the Egyptian economy. They also get 1.3 Billion dollars in "aid" directly from the US every year. It goes straight to them and there is no accounting for it to anyone. Apparently they have tried to get a clause that this will continue (i.e. no oversight) included in the new constitution. He said that there is huge skimming of this money going on.

These guys are doing very well indeed and will not be budged easily. They are not just the military but double as neraly half the capitalist class in Egypt. They are on the pigs back and will not be put off it without a serious fight.

There was a well know Egyptian blogger on Canadian news. She is often called upon by the CBC and some US TV channels for analysis. She was grabbed by the military near Tahir yesterday or the day before - savagely beaten and sexually assaulted before being released. Has a broken arm and a broken leg.

C. Flower
25-11-2011, 02:29 PM
Saw an Egyptian journalist on BBC world Service last night. He says that the military control 40% of the Egyptian economy. They also get 1.3 Billion dollars in "aid" directly from the US every year. It goes straight to them and there is no accounting for it to anyone. Apparently they have tried to get a clause that this will continue (i.e. no oversight) included in the new constitution. He said that there is huge skimming of this money going on.

These guys are doing very well indeed and will not be budged easily. They are not just the military but double as nearly half the capitalist class in Egypt. They are on the pigs back and will not be put of it without a serious fight.

There was a well know Egyptian blogger on Canadian news. She is often called upon by the CBC and some US TV channels for analysis. She was grabbed by the military near Tahir yesterday or the day before - savagely beaten and sexually assaulted before being released. Has a broken arm and a broken leg.

This is Mona Eltahawi: I've been tweeting with her back and fore for some time since I was over there. She was 12 hours in the Min of Interior and had one hand broken and the opposite forearm. A guy who was with her has a very serious concussion.

You are dead right about the army. They are on the pigs back and will not go quietly. The best hope is that there has always been a big conscript force so most men in Egypt know a bit about how to fight. And there are some young officers who may shift sides.

The fighting now is being done by the working class youth in the main. They have nothing to lose: no jobs and no life.

Even the cops are getting sick of it, and grumbling about army rule. They would probably rather they ran the gaff themselves.

The US are of course 100% behind the army and are supplying the gas that's killing protestors.

Sam Lord
25-11-2011, 02:41 PM
The fighting now is being done by the working class youth in the main. They have nothing to lose: no jobs and no life.


According to a BBC journalist the front lines have been held by "football ultras". The are organised and have experience fighting the cops. :)

The Brotherhood seems to have stayed away fearing that it will put off the elections ... though I guess some of their young people have joined in on their own initiative.

Sam Lord
25-11-2011, 02:43 PM
This is Mona Eltahawi: I've been tweeting with her back and fore for some time since I was over there. She was 12 hours in the Min of Interior and had one hand broken and the opposite forearm. A guy who was with her has a very serious concussion.



An outstandingly brave woman imo. They have taken nothing out of her judging by the interview. An unbreakable spirit.

Count Bobulescu
26-11-2011, 02:54 AM
Saw the BBC piece. Mona is also a regular contributor to WaPo

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/egyptian-american-columnist-mona-eltahawy-tweets-of-sexual-assault-beating-by-police/2011/11/24/gIQAz8X4sN_blog.html
(http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/egyptian-american-columnist-mona-eltahawy-tweets-of-sexual-assault-beating-by-police/2011/11/24/gIQAz8X4sN_blog.html)
An ITN piece that ran on the PBS Newshour.
(http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/world/july-dec11/egypt1_11-25.html)
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/world/july-dec11/egypt1_11-25.html
(http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/world/july-dec11/egypt1_11-25.html)
A candidate for Parliament speaks. Looks like the military has made a concession and Mo.El Barraidi’s poll numbers are up.
Between the Military, the MB, and the Potestors it is hard to figure out where this is going.


http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/world/july-dec11/egypt2_11-25.html

Hapax
03-12-2011, 12:41 AM
I haven't seen this posted here before. If I've missed it, forgive me.

A very powerful sequence of edited footage from Cairo, uploaded 23/11.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=T9JmBTotCWQ

The Guardian describes it:


. . . although future historians looking back at this period will have ample primary source material available – from a mountain of ballot papers to the hundreds of hours of footage covering rallies in Tahrir Square – their most important asset may prove to be six-and-a-half minutes of jerky video, shot by Bahgat from the heart of the violence.

The film, which consists of a series of clips made over several days at the height of the unrest, directly contradicts many of the claims made by the ministry of interior regarding the type of weaponry deployed by its troops and its insistence that only "reasonable force" has been used to confront protesters.

Better than anything produced by more conventional media outlets, the footage captures the dramatic reality of Cairo's recent clashes. It is also one of the most intense recordings of guerrilla warfare ever produced . . .

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/02/egyptian-cameraman-tahrir-square-clashes

C. Flower
03-12-2011, 09:39 AM
According to a BBC journalist the front lines have been held by "football ultras". The are organised and have experience fighting the cops. :)

The Brotherhood seems to have stayed away fearing that it will put off the elections ... though I guess some of their young people have joined in on their own initiative.

The Brotherhood has opposed this "second push" of the revolution. The political character of the Brotherhood is conservative and reactionary, based on traders/shopkeepers/well-to-do sections of the population. The progressive movement is now crystal clear that the Brotherhood is against them.

The football supporters were at the front of the front line in January too - if you look at the photos of those who died, many of them died in their strips.

C. Flower
03-12-2011, 09:49 AM
I haven't seen this posted here before. If I've missed it, forgive me.

A very powerful sequence of edited footage from Cairo, uploaded 23/11.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=T9JmBTotCWQ

The Guardian describes it:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/02/egyptian-cameraman-tahrir-square-clashes

It was very brutal. Over 80 people were killed over those few days.
At this stage, post election, there are only a couple of hundred people camping in the Square, not much more that in Dame Street. For some people, in particular those who lost family members there, it is holy ground and they will keep going back.

Egypt is in a new phase of political development now. It seems very unlikely that this is the last mass action we'll see in Cairo, but now they will also be dealing with a government operating alongside the military, that was elected for better or worse by popular vote.

C. Flower
21-12-2011, 11:27 PM
http://desmond.yfrog.com/Himg875/scaled.php?tn=0&server=875&filename=e0qpaa.jpg&xsize=640&ysize=640

Statement 92 from the SCAF - "there is an escalation and a plot to bring down the state through attacking institutions."

C. Flower
04-01-2012, 09:22 PM
Mubarak's trial is proceeding. Evidence has been given that Mubarak ordered the mass killings of demonstrators - over 800 died - that started on the "Day of Rage" January 28th 2011.

This article also discusses the role of the Muslim Brotherhood, and of fears that it sees its interests tied to the military.

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Latest-News-Wires/2012/0104/Hosni-Mubarak-ordered-shoot-to-kill-at-Tahrir-Square-say-prosecutors


Suleiman said the decision to use live ammunition was taken on Jan. 27 last year, just before the most violent day of the 18-day uprising that forced Mubarak to step down on Feb. 11.
... The objective, he said, was to kill enough protesters to force the rest to disperse.

Another prosecutor, Mustafa Khater, told the court that special police forces armed with automatic rifles targeted the heads, chests and eyes of protesters.

The prosecution also showed video of the violence taken by TV stations. They showed police officers loading up their weapons with live ammunition and police and fire engine trucks chasing protesters and running them over. One video showed a police officer perched on top of a police car and killing a protester with a gunshot to the head.
...

"The protesters were peaceful, and it was the police that started firing on them," he said. Suleiman said the Interior Minister and the country's intelligence agency ignored or provided little data in response to the prosecution's requests for information on the circumstances surrounding the killings. He said widespread disarray in the state at the time of the probe — around mid-February — or the wish to protect their own may have been behind the lack of cooperation.

Khater told the court that Interior Ministry officials used thugs and hardened criminals to provoke the protesters into violence. The thugs, he said, pelted protesters with rocks, prompting them to act in self defense and appear not to be peaceful.

Jail Nation
17-01-2012, 09:26 PM
i am egyptian and i love my country i used to hate mubarak and i hate tantawy but tell me honestly i has been almost year to the revolution what did become better ? even not the same but worst
_________________________________________________
Jail Nation - USA Jails Addresses and Phone Numbers Database (http://www.jailnation.com)

C. Flower
17-01-2012, 09:40 PM
i am egyptian and i love my country i used to hate mubarak and i hate tantawy but tell me honestly i has been almost year to the revolution what did become better ? even not the same but worst
_________________________________________________
Jail Nation - USA Jails Addresses and Phone Numbers Database (http://www.jailnation.com)

What aspects of life do you think have got worse?

Firstly, while Mubarak was brought down, the power still remains substantially with the army. It was an uprising, and a mass national protest, but not a revolution, as power did not change hands.

There have been elections that appear to have been much more open than previous ones.

The economy has got worse in Egypt as it has here. There is a systemic crisis of the global economy. Food and energy prices are up, industry is increasingly concentrated in India and China. Tourism must have been badly hit in Egypt.

Politically, people have gained a lot of experience. But I don't think venting frustration in an unequal street battle with the army is going to solve things, no matter how brave people are. Political organisations need to be built.

You're "Jail Nation" sig is interesting, btw. What exactly is its purpose ?

C. Flower
27-01-2012, 10:19 AM
Tahrir Square on the 25th January this year.

More people than last year even - people flowing through the square for hours.

The revolution is very far from dead, or a failure.

http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/430808_332473733452065_281226348576804_1042463_132 761922_n.jpg

C. Flower
27-01-2012, 10:37 AM
The Path to Tahrir - YouTube

The path to Tahrir. People breaking silence after 30 years.

C. Flower
15-11-2012, 08:47 PM
Just read @Soundmigration / Mark Malone's thesis on the Egyptian uprising and Social media, which includes a great twitter stream around about page 40.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/71262336/Tweeting-History-An-Inquiry-Into-Aspects-Of-Social-Media-in-the-Egyptian-Revolution

Brought a lot back.

C. Flower
25-01-2013, 03:18 PM
Just saw a scrap of coverage of Tahrir Square this morning on a tv screen. Feeling very much moved by memories of what it was like the two weeks I was there.

At this stage, I understand much better how what happened there is the same as what is happening here - globalised capital running the game, with the IMF going in to country after country, crushing living standards, massive corruption, and no real democracy.

I'm very glad I experienced being part of such an immense movement of people coming together to use the power of their numbers and their determination not to endure passively any more.
It could not have been more unlike the quiet and depressed demo-by-numbers trade union organised marches, held in Ireland. It was far more like the spontaneous protest about the death of Savita Halappanavar, and the determination of the mother and daughter this week to get justice for 10 years of rape. That is the mood, when people have decided that something must change, and that they must do something themselves about changing it.

When people realise that the economic measures being taken here will mean death for some people, while their elected leaders live like princes, and that there is no upturn planned for this year, next year of the next twenty years, we will see the same here.

It may not have solved everything, but it has moved things onto a new level. In Egypt, they have elections, real voting rights and can organise political parties. Foundations have been shaken.

Onwards and upwards:)

fluffybiscuits
25-01-2013, 03:29 PM
Just saw a scrap of coverage of Tahrir Square this morning on a tv screen. Feeling very much moved by memories of what it was like the two weeks I was there.

At this stage, I understand much better how what happened there is the same as what is happening here - globalised capital running the game, with the IMF going in to country after country, crushing living standards, massive corruption, and no real democracy.

I'm very glad I experienced being part of such an immense movement of people coming together to use the power of their numbers and their determination not to endure passively any more.
It could not have been more unlike the quiet and depressed demo-by-numbers trade union organised marches, held in Ireland. It was far more like the spontaneous protest about the death of Savita Halappanavar, and the determination of the mother and daughter this week to get justice for 10 years of rape. That is the mood, when people have decided that something must change, and that they must do something themselves about changing it.

When people realise that the economic measures being taken here will mean death for some people, while their elected leaders live like princes, and that there is no upturn planned for this year, next year of the next twenty years, we will see the same here.

It may not have solved everything, but it has moved things onto a new level. In Egypt, they have elections, real voting rights and can organise political parties. Foundations have been shaken.

Onwards and upwards:)

And thanks for your coverage in that period.

You were ahead of the game more so than other organisations :)

Saoirse go Deo
25-01-2013, 04:43 PM
Don't know how I missed this thread, brilliant stuff.

Well done C.Flower.

One question though, why where you there in the first place? Where you planning a trip which coincided with the uprising or did you go to take part/see such a momentous event?

C. Flower
25-01-2013, 07:21 PM
Don't know how I missed this thread, brilliant stuff.

Well done C.Flower.

One question though, why where you there in the first place? Where you planning a trip which coincided with the uprising or did you go to take part/see such a momentous event?

To take part. :)

Saoirse go Deo
25-01-2013, 07:30 PM
To take part. :)
Well done! :)

The revolution in Egypt seemed to me at the time as a job half done, the army shouldn't have been allowed to take over, although it was probably unavoidable.

C. Flower
25-01-2013, 07:49 PM
Well done! :)

The revolution in Egypt seemed to me at the time as a job half done, the army shouldn't have been allowed to take over, although it was probably unavoidable.

Well, the army was always there: Mubarak was an army man. They run a large part of the economy - own factories, the lot. The best we could hope was that they would stand back and not roll over us as was done in Tianenmen Square. The reason for that was I think that it is a largely conscript army, and there was huge work put in to talking to the conscripts, to persuade them to stand back. There were tanks and personnell carriers at every entrance to the square, the whole time. On the first Tuesday night they were told to fire, and they did not.

Now, there is the army, a new parliamentary democracy dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood (Irish equivalent of FG), that is still very shaky, and a large number of workers and young people who have experience in taking on the regime, and the state.

The economy is worse than ever and people need a solution.

PaddyJoe
25-01-2013, 07:53 PM
Well done on this thread C. There was very little actual on the ground coverage at the time.
And a very brave decision to go over there. There wasn't a queue behind you.
:)

Spectabilis
25-01-2013, 09:39 PM
Well done Cass.

And never forget the women:



http://cdn.dailynewsegypt.com/beta/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/womens-march.jpg

C. Flower
26-01-2013, 03:22 PM
22 died yesterday - very unclear report from the IT.

Death sentences passed in Port Said over the deaths of soccer fans there last year led to uproar - although welcomed by some.

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2013/0126/breaking7.html

There were also shots fired in Cairo, at leftwing demonstrators going to Tahrir Square, it seems by traders/shopkeepers. Business District frustration about disruption of business was a big part of pressure for the end of the occupation two years ago.

C. Flower
11-02-2013, 11:15 AM
http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/256.jpg[/QUOTE]

Two years since Mubarak fell. Two days later, the Square was cleared. There was no resistance, as the end of the occupation had been negotiated with the ad hoc co-ordinating committee. The city authorities and commercial interests were desperate to end the disruption of business and send in hundreds of young people with brooms. Immediately with the end of the occupations economic demands for wages began and there were spontaneous strikes,

Personally, I did not want to leave the Square with the job clearly only half done, and I stayed to the end, but the time was not ripe to go further, as the mass of people felt that dislodging Mubarak was a huge achievement and would open the way to big changes - which it has. But nothing is permanently resolved with the army still having huge power, the US still backing a friendly government, and people in Egypt economically worse off even than they were before, and in the grip of the IMF.


Army and Military Police cleared the Square two mornings after Mubarak left, clearing the way for the Square to turn back into intersecting motorways and roundabouts.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/295.jpg


http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/Tahrir%202011%20for%20PW/297-Copy.jpg


Five minutes after leaving the Square, at the end of the occupation, I came across this picket of bank workers - demanding the return of corruptly stolen money taken by government and bosses, and a wage increase.

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/Tahrir%202011%20for%20PW/th_314.jpg (http://s736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/Tahrir%202011%20for%20PW/?action=view&current=314.mp4)


http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/Tahrir%202011%20for%20PW/317-Copy.jpg

http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx7/cassflower1/Tahrir%202011%20for%20PW/316-Copy.jpg

C. Flower
05-04-2013, 08:36 AM
http://sphotos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/535048_520058211373499_1482078141_n.jpg

C. Flower
09-02-2016, 12:36 PM
Over the last couple of days I've re-read all of this thread (http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?6912-10-Days-in-Tahrir-Square-Diary-Photographs-and-Discussions-C-Flower#.VrnUw-bQpXA)from the beginning and of our thread on the Arab Spring and (http://Over%20the%20last%20couple%20of%20days%20I%27ve%20 re-read%20all%20of%20this%20thread%20and%20of%20our%2 0thread%20on%20the%20Arab%20Spring.%20%20It%20is%2 0five%20years%20today%20since%20a%20mass%20movemen t%20of%20Egyptian%20people%20forced%20Mubarak%20to %20stand%20down%20afer%20a%2030%20year%20rule.%20% 20%20%22The%20People%20Demanded%20the%20End%20of%2 0the%20Regime%22.%20%20%20%20After%208%20days%20of %20battle,%20and%20hundreds%20of%20deaths%20of%20u narmed%20protestors,%20Tahrir%20for%20the%20next%2 010%20days%20was%20a%20state%20within%20a%20state, %20self%20organised,%20and%20buzzing%20with%20ener gy,%20determination%20and%20a%20feeling%20of%20sur prise%20and%20exilaration.%20%20The%20people%20of% 20Egypt%20came%20together%20and%20accepted%20Mubar ak%27s%20departure,%20along%20with%20assurances%20 of%20elections,%20and%20constitutional%20reform%20 to%20a%20democratic%20state%20and%20on%20that%20ba sis%20went%20home%20and%20left%20power%20in%20the% 20hands%20of%20the%20army,%20along%20with%20the%20 judiciary%20who%20proposed%20to%20act%20as%20guara ntors.%20%20%20%20It%20was%20their%20decision,%20a nd%20they%20were%20not%20ready,%20or%20did%20not%2 0see%20the%20need,%20to%20take%20on%20the%20diffic ult%20and%20dangerous%20task%20of%20dismantly%20an d%20replacing%20the%20armed%20forces%20as%20establ ished,%20taking%20over%20the%20running%20of%20and% 20ownership%20of%20the%20country%20themselves.%20% 20%22The%20People%20and%20the%20Army%20are%20One%2 0Hand%22%20was%20a%20slogan%20chanted%20by%20milli ons,%20half%20in%20belief,%20half%20as%20an%20appe al%20to%20the%20army%20not%20to%20crush%20them.%20 %20They%20offered%20themselves%20up%20in%20the%20u nprotected%20open%20spaces%20of%20the%20squares,%2 0protected%20mainly%20by%20their%20numbers,%20and% 20by%20the%20fact%20that%20the%20Egyptian%20army%2 0was%20mainly%20a%20conscript%20army,%20manned%20b y%20their%20brothers%20and%20sons.%20%20There%20fo llowed%20five%20years%20of%20treachery%20by%20the% 20army%20and%20establishment%20and%20anger%20and%2 0disillusionment%20of%20the%20people.%20%20Energie s%20that%20were%20needed%20for%20organisation%20we re%20spent%20on%20repeated%20street%20%20battles%2 0and%20mass%20protests.%20%20%20The%20US%20tooled% 20up%20the%20Egyptian%20army,%20and%20having%20bee n%20taken%20by%20surprise%20by%20the%20massive%20p ower%20of%20the%202011%20rising,%20worked%20first% 20via%20the%20Muslim%20Brotherhood%20and%20then%20 directly%20with%20the%20army%20and%20wealthy,%20pr o-Mubarak%20forces,%20to%20divert%20Egypt%20back,%20 via%20army%20massacres%20and%20mass%20jailings,%20 to%20a%20military%20regime%20even%20more%20brutal% 20than%20Mubarak%27s.%20%20I%27ve%20been%20reading %20blogs%20and%20interviews%20with%20people%20who% 20took%20part%20in%20the%2018%20days)thought about the experience of the truncated Egyptian revolution, and the experience of for ten days being part of it.

It is five years, since the mass movement of millions of Egyptian, 25th January to 11th February 2011, people forced Mubarak to stand down afer a 30 year rule. "The People Demanded the End of the Regime".

People asked at that time, was it a coup, or a revolution. It was neither - it was a moment of hesitation by a mass movement, at which the question of power - who should rule the country - was implicitly posed, and the people stepped back from it.

After 8 days of battle and hundreds of deaths of unarmed protestors, Tahrir Square for the next 10 days was a state within a state, in one space, self-organised, and full of energy, determination and a feeling of surprise and elation. The people of Egypt came together on 11th February 2011 and accepted Mubarak's departure, along with assurances of elections, and promises of constitutional reform to a democratic state. On that basis they went back home and left power in the hands of the army, along with the judiciary who proposed to act as guarantors.

"The People and the Army are One Hand" was a slogan chanted at that time, half in belief, half as an appeal to the army not to crush the people. The people offered themselves up in the unprotected open spaces of the squares, protected mainly by their numbers, and by the fact that the Egyptian was a conscript army, manned by their brothers and sons.

It was the decision of the People when they left the Square and handed power back: they were not ready, or did not at that time see the need, to press on and take on the difficult and dangerous task of dismantling and replacing the armed forces, and taking power, and taking over the running of and ownership of the country themselves – as they had run the Square - equally and communally, with forces that act for them, instead of exploiting and oppressing them.

There followed five years of treachery and political suppression by the army and establishment, and of anger and disillusionment of the people. Energies that were needed for long term organisation were spent on repeated street battles and mass protests. Nevertheless, enormous political experience was accumulated by youth and workers who before had none.

Many Egyptians, whose historic experience of colonialism was under the British, did not recognise the malign, background, role of the US establishment, and sincerely believed that an old style western democracy had been on offer. The US tooled up the Egyptian army, and as is known from leaked cables, having been taken by surprise by the massive power of the 2011 rising, worked at 'transitioning' first through the elected Muslim Brotherhood and then directly with the army and wealthy, pro-Mubarak forces, to divert Egypt back, via an army coup, army massacres and mass jailings, to a military regime even more brutal than Mubarak's. The Egyptian economy is even more devastated, corrupt and unsustainable now than in 2011. Far from new democracies being created, the global economic crisis is driving erosion of democracy, from west to east.

In 2011 I walked the Square for hours every day, observing, discussing with people, working with others on the basic tasks of maintaining the occupation, and also looking for any sign of Egyptian socialists who might be putting forward an alternative, and could not find one. I expect other people were searching too. |I met workers, agriculturalists, Ultras, women from the MB, members of the pro democracy youth movements, doctors, poets and many others. The Nasserites (left nationalists) were openly meeting every day, as was anyone else with anything to say. There was freedom for anyone against Mubarak to be there and speak. After the occupation was over, in the celebrations of Mubarak's departure, I met a girl student, a member of the Revolutionary Socialists, who had not been to the occupation - hard to comprehend this apparent detachment of 'lefts' from an event of enormous revolutionary potential. History, and the state of the socialist movement, has brought us to a point where there is virtually no organisation of the working class that is preparing and is able to seize - or recognise - a moment like that when it comes.

I've been reading blogs and interviews with people who took part in those 18 days of uprising and the experience of “No More Fear”. I've not seen anyone say they regretted being at Tahrir Square, only people who wished they had been, or who, like me, wished they had got there sooner. Everyone who was there knows what revolutionary power of millions of people feels like, even though that power was not used to make a revolution.

There was a moment of hesitation and 'he who hesitates is lost'. People were not ready to go on, but when they are ready, as they will be only when the political organisation and study needed has been done, and when they know that there is no alternative, they will, and not only in Egypt.