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Egypt: The Importance of Solidarity

January 28, 2011

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Egypt’s on fire, and it’s going to get much worse before it gets better. The Mubarak regime has cut off telephone and internet access, and the US National Guard has deployed forces to Sinai. In some places electricity and water has also been cut off, and one would deduce that the Egyptian regime thinks it can create a media black out to ‘deal’ with the protests as they please. Unfortunately, the barrier of fear has been broken, and there’s no turning back. Egypt is ours now.

What I’ve been trying to explain to people who ask me about the consequences of this, is that right now, consequences don’t matter. What is happening in Egypt, and the anger on the streets, represents decades of continuous repression on all aspects of social, political and economic life experienced by Egyptians of all stripes: young people struggling to find jobs, lawyers, journalists, Islamists and liberal activists suppressed, beaten and brutalised by the thugs that make up Mubarak’s regime.

The demands of the protesters are clear: much needed political and economic reforms, Mubarak to step down after thirty years of rule. These demands are shared by all in Egypt from various political and social backgrounds. Once these legitimate (and quite frankly, about damn time) demands are met, then we can discuss what will follow.

We will analyze what all of this means in due course, but for now these Egyptians desperately need our support. Change, any change, is better than returning to the status quo, and right now there’s simply no turning back to events before January 25th. Tunisia has turned on the lights and the Arab world, from Egypt to Jordan to Yemen to Tunisia, have finally looked around and realised that, yes, we’re all in this together. And change has to come.

To help Egypt, you can do the following:

– Monitor the situation closely via Twitter (through the search function ‘#Jan25‘) and Facebook (‘We are all Khaled Said‘ is the most updated page);

– Write to your embassy urging them to help in any way they can. One way they can do this is by helping create a communication triangle. If all the foreign embassies in Cairo now throw open their secure satellite communication-systems, they will create a strong enough communications triangle to allow Egyptian citizens mobile phone and internet access;

– Join a protest at the Egyptian embassy in your area: protests are being held at Egyptian embassies throughout the world. Find out where and when yours is happening, in order to send a strong signal of solidarity with the brave protesters in Egypt.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 29, 2011 2:07 pm

    Amen

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