Thursday, August 04, 2011

Mubarak’s Trial – Never Lose Heart

Seeing Mubarak in a cage, being tried through the will of the people is one of the greatest testimonies to the revolution. Only the most ardent of skeptics could claim that Mubarak would have showed up in court on 3 August if it wasn’t for the 8 July sit-in. It wasn’t the Islamists who came out on a very short burst and went back home before the day’s end, it wasn’t the SCAF who has unjustly tried over 10,000 people in military courts, it wasn’t the passive people who did nothing but criticize. They were the brave protesters of the July 8 sit-in. This is a great triumph for protesters in the face of adversity from the most powerful people in the country.

Before seeing Mubarak in court, I hadn’t really cared for what would become of this farcical trial, but then it hit me. We did it; we forced a tyrant into court despite being surrounded with his own people. We fought our way through traps and snares to come out on top.

I am still certain that the SCAF has no real intention of brining Mubarak to justice and when the pressure eases, they’ll go back to their old tricks. But we have forced them into this, they can pretend all they want that it isn’t real or that they’re in control, but part of it will always be real. They are now performing to please the crowd. No matter what happens afterwards, we brought a president we deposed to court and we demanded justice. This can’t be taken from us.

I must confess the events of the past few days wore me down. I was inclined to let it all go and try the all-comforting blindness of denial. I too can ignore the facts or fit them to my conclusions. I too can fain superiority and pretend to be above it all because both sides are mistaken. I too can condemn without knowing, can pick up and drive to the North coast and pretend that what I believe about the matter doesn’t matter.

My deep sorrow resulted from grave injustices experienced around us. It was exacerbated by the smear campaign against the sit-in and protesters. The large show of muscle by Islamists on Friday 29 July, and people’s insistence on not seeing it for what it is, troubled me. I sincerely believed in the 8 July sit-in and felt the demands were necessary to move forward. We were accused, defamed and degraded by people around us. To make matters worse, people cheered as Tahrir square was violently evacuated.

At the height of my temptation, I was reminded by a friend what it means to hold on. Without him even knowing how I felt, he sent me a message encouraging me to endure. I was reminded how much comfort I felt being around like minded individuals who held on to the closest thing possible to the truth. I was reminded of the sorrow that fills me when someone gives up on it.

The July 8 sit-in triumphed. It brought Mubarak to Cairo in a cage, it pressured the SCAF not to try the protesters it violently evacuated in a military court, it took the moral high ground. At a time when citizens were calling for execution of protesters, the protesters called for fair trials of their oppressors. The difference between citizens and protesters they were mad at was that citizens want selfish forms of justice while protesters want justice for all. At a time when the SCAF were spreading rumors about 6 April and protesters peacefully heading to the Ministry of Defense, the protesters spoke the truth and courageously soldiered on into the venomous trap set up by the SCAF, the police and armed thugs. The protesters proved beyond a doubt they are the better people, not those of the police, not those of the armed forces and not those who do nothing but criticize.

If there is one thing I must constantly remind myself of, it’s to choose the right side, not necessarily the winning side. There are far too many people around us that need us to keep the faith and never lose heart. There are so many strangers that are closer to us than people we see every day. We need to hold on to what we feel is right for one another. We must stand for justice when we can, because when injustice catches up with us, others will stand up for us too. We’re in troubling times when things too quickly get too dark, but no matter what, never lose heart.

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