Saturday, February 05, 2011

Must they Protest?

There is a recurring pattern regarding the protests. On the day of the protests Jan 25, State Television remarked that the protests started well but turned violent in the middle of the day. This was done to justify police violence. On Jan 28, reports of the protest of Jan 25 changed completely, and the whole day was turned miraculously into a flawless, peaceful march, but that the real perpetrators infiltrated the protests on Jan 28. Some of the protesters were accused of setting police stations on fire.

In the following weeks, the same thing happened, again and again. Previous protests were commendable but the most recent were or maneuvered by a foreign agenda. Do you see a pattern?

Today, Safwat El Sherif and Gamal Mubarak have been removed and Hussam Badrawy, a man of more moderate opinions was put in charge of the NDP. Those who have asked for an end to the revolution have celebrated its triumphs. Every day they ask for protests to end, and are surprised by the results of its continuation.

On Friday Feb 4 there was propaganda that almost 70 percent of the protesters were from the Muslim Brotherhood. Irrespective of sources that tell me otherwise, how does one reconcile the mixed messages? There were around one million people in Tahrir, this means 700 thousand of them were Muslim Brotherhood. If they had that many people in Tahrir, they would have been obvious for starters. If the Muslim Brotherhood had these numbers, why weren’t they there on Friday? They wouldn’t have waited all these years to start demonstrations. It’s highly improbable. Also if Muslim Brotherhood were leading this movement, why would they stick so much to the peaceful demonstration philosophy?

If 70 percent were the brotherhood, that leaves 30 percent. Since almost everyone has been accused of having a hidden agenda, we can estimate a total of 25 percent of Syrians, Iranians, Israelis, Tunisians and Americans, which leaves 5 percent that can only be Egyptians unhappy with our dictatorship. Does that even make sense?

The game is to convince people that protesters are to blame. But are they now? Let’s consider the facts. The reason work did not resume after protests is because the internet was out and because the Ministry of Interior let prisoners out. So why are protesters being blamed? It’s because the government said so, and nothing else. Why is there a curfew? Because the government has organized militia to terrorize Egyptian people. If you come to think of it, protesters are to blame because they stood against tyranny and terror, and for that the whole of Egypt is punished using tyranny and terror. When you ask protesters to go home, you are asking for the punishment by the government to stop. You are succumbing to the tyranny we all resent. People are risking their lives for our collective rights, and they’re being backstabbed by those who fear oppression and thus will end up being oppressed.

The argument that the economy is collapsing is meaningless. It is also a form of collective punishment. The regime is hurting our economy to scare us. Why do you support the regime in the terrorist activity of destroying our economy? Don’t you know that if corruption is removed, we’ll rebuild our country in very little time? Don’t you know that one corrupt official like Ahmed Ezz can balance out any deficit even if they punish us like this for another month?

Before talking of the economy, remember again how it is being robbed. Our losses due to theft and corruption are more than those due to the suspension of trade. We will make it up when we become a true democracy. There will be investments to rebuild and this time, they will flow to the economy rather than some Swiss bank or mansions in Paris, New York or Frankfurt. Mubarak has 40 -70 billion dollars of our country’s wealth. To put that into perspective, our total deficit is 32 billion dollars. Don’t worry about our economy, if some people can amass that much wealth, then the country will be fine when they leave.

To those saying ‘give the government a chance’, I agree, but what’s stopping them? If they are true to their promises, the country will change irrespective of the protesters. The protesters are there to ensure that the decisions taken align with the promises. If the protesters had left when you first asked them to, Safwat El Sherif would have still been in power, Ezz and Adly on the loose, and a million other promises not unfulfilled. You really don’t know what you’re talking about asking people to leave and reaping their victories. You’re entitled to have an opinion, but please don’t discourage those in Tahrir fighting for your rights. It’s enough as it is that you’re not doing any of the fighting.

If the regime is not changed, you will have a powerful, more oppressive police state. This is a regime that shuts down phones and the internet. This is a regime that sends in camels and horses to disperse crowds. This is a regime that runs people over with police trucks. This is a regime that promises freedoms and safe passage to all protesters in Tahrir and arrests them as its Prime Minister makes these statements. Do you think it is in any way serious about reforms?

These people have died and been injured and you’re upset because you weren’t able to go to the movies or make an extra hundred pounds? Freedom comes at a cost and you’re not paying any of it. If you want to be enslaved by a tyrant, it’s your choice, but don’t force others around you to become as cowardly as you are.

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