Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Protesting Dictatorship

Today’s marches were special. I joined the Shubra march which was the biggest march I’ve ever been to. I could not see the beginning or the end of it.  Surpassing January 28th? Perhaps, but that’s not the main issue. It has been ages since the protests have been that unified. We all denounce the constitutional declaration set forth by Morsi which gives him dictatorial powers over the nation. We will not agree what should happen next but we’re in agreement on what shouldn’t happen next.

Tahrir square 27 November 2012
The constitutional declaration is an insult to people’s intelligence. Morsi underestimated how people may forgive for a while but not forget. They were not swayed by retrials of former regime members, we’ve lived through two years of that and it was not fruitful. They were not swayed by promise to help martyrs’ families, the police were creating new ones with their brutality as he spoke those words.

This is the first time we’ve had mass marches in the evening. The square was full on a work day and people went to march right after work on a Tuesday. This is the first time we’ve welcomed some of the former regime supporters.

Having former regime supporters seemed like a cop-out to some, but it’s truly a triumph for the revolution. The former regime supporters, referred to as felool, have chosen the one way of protest they’ve most criticized. We organized the protests. We chant in the protests, we chant against Mubarak’s regime, we chant against the police thugs and we chant against Mohamed Morsi. This is our revolution; the same demands for a different tyrant.

Supporters of the former regime are called felool but that is not an accurate description. They are felool supporters because they support the symbols of the old regime. The fact of the matter is that those who support injustices have been called felool and so by that rationale, Morsi supporters are the new felool.

We have called on justice for all Egyptians, the former regime supporters are part of the nation. We must lead with our ideals as we have always done. We must draw them nearer to us. They must understand that we do not deserve to be tortured in police stations, or killed during protests. They must understand that our way of protesting and clinging on to calls for justice is what they must embrace.

Their beloved army and police won’t help them with this. They need to learn how to stand up together with us for what’s right. Our numbers are great now and it’s no sin to change your mind. They have changed theirs. Even the bystanders on the sides of the street using their cell phones to record our protests, they are supporting us now instead of cursing us like they used to.

Things are turning around a little, we are uniting. The Brotherhood is lying frantically trying to spin things around, but we are not fooled. Protesters were overjoyed at finding one another, finding that many people who share their rejection or a fascist state.

Morsi’s attempts at destroying the revolution are not without resistance. The revolutionary demands have been bread, freedom and social justice. Prices are soaring, freedom is being constrained by the constitution being written and by his dictatorial power grab and at the same time social justice cannot be achieved with neo liberal policies that mirror his predecessor. The IMF loan conditions will not benefit the poor. The revolution called for democracy and power sharing. How can dictatorship be interpreted as democracy even if it is just temporary?

Part of the reason we protested against Mubarak was because of having too much power. Those supporting Morsi are the new felool .They are supporting the making of tyrant. Ikhwan members have no opinion of their own, they're brought up in a culture of blind obedience. They went out to support Morsi's decisions before they even knew what they were. We on the other hand are free.

A good portion of those protesting Morsi today gave him their votes and were willing to give him a chance provided he fulfilled his promises. He broke all of his promises and has shown no willingness to share power.  He hasn’t even considered backing down despite the overwhelming objections to his decrees.

Morsi is controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood who takes all the decisions for him, with al-Shater's leadership. We don't have an independent president who can take a decision as to what's best for his people. He has called on the Brotherhood to support his decisions because he could not trust people to support such a dictatorial power grab.

We will continue to protest tyranny and dictatorship. We cannot trust the intentions or those unwilling to listen or compromise. A man who is willing to declare himself a temporary dictator will be willing to declare himself a permanent one.


Anonymous said...

You should never align yourself with felool. You guys have completely different goals (your goal is a democracy there's is reversion to a dictatorship). Disagree with the declaration and pressure Morsi to change it (and resist any attempt made by Morsi to become a dictator). But why should you ally with people who want to work against the revolution? The courts are still corrupt so we still have to tread carefully so that it doesn't become a lot harder to safeguard the revolution (just as during the military transitional period when nobody really knew what was happening behind the scenes).

Wael Eskandar said...

Anonymous, for when you come back. The point of the whole post is that felool supporters are aligning themselves with us. We will never align ourselves with members of the old/current regime in general. We have to differentiate between them and their supporters. Their supporters are Egyptians who just chose something sinister. We must win them over, but never align ourselves with their goals.