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Women at the heart of struggle | The Electronic Intifada

Women at the heart of struggle | The Electronic Intifada.


Even tear gas cannot blind us.

In the absence of helicopters, gunfire, and breaking glass my mind is starting to flashback to the first days, when the internet was blocked and I could not share what I was seeing happen around me. So before I force myself to sleep, in the strangely quiet Cairo night, I leave you with one more thought… 
All the people were with this movement before the government’s propaganda machine caught up. I know this because even with eyes blinded by tear gas I could see the bottled water being dropped from apartment windows to the protesters fighting for their right to demonstrate for a free Egypt on the streets below.


There is considerable risk that if Mubarak stays in power or even in the country there could be a covert crackdown on those involved in the demonstrations. The process of building the new government could then be co-opted with political life in Egypt returning to business as usual: intimidation, oppression, and corruption. The turn of events including the violence of the last few days was orchestrated. The spin from state media and the politicians’ statements make it apparent that the government is still up to its old tricks. It is clear that the regime has not changed its behavior in the least and is simply playing a political game to get out of this situation and indeed to turn it in its favor. Trusting dictators is foolhardy… you know what they say: fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

The following list is of some of the pieces which do not add up.

  1. Journalists attacked/arrested damaging cameras
  2. Ramses Hilton looted/raided targeting cameras
  3. Restriction on leaving house at any time with out ID
  4. Covert collaboration between thugs and army (it’s curious that whenever violence breaks out between thugs and protesters the army is no where to be found, while on other nights they have taken over the checkpoints from the neighborhood watch and there is a base right around the corner)
  5. Intimidation of neighborhood watch groups (passive reaction to thugs, allowing passage to and from fighting protesters)
  6. Intimidation of foreigners to keep us in homes even outside of curfew.
  7. Intermittent problems with mobile connections and website access, including inability to upload media to youtube/BBC and disruption of specific numbers and international calls
  8. Infiltration of demonstrations by pro-Mubarak people taking photos
  9. State media portrayal of the demonstrations as foreign instigated and supported and accrediting it to the Muslim Brotherhood thereby discrediting the popular movement and claiming that demonstrators are divided.
  10. Military police arresting sub-Saharan Africans in home and girls food shopping, not accepting UNHCR blue cards as ID.
  11. Attack on pipeline by “a big terrorist operation”, according to state media, is too convenient (opportunity created to show that country is insecure and at risk because of the demonstrations).

Revolution KFC

Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Returned about an hour ago from Tahrir square. We were a mixed group of Egyptians and foreigners, while we were told by an army officer near our house that we could not go in, when we tried from the next street we were ushered in with little problem after they were convinced that we were not journalists.

We were met by a friend with koshari to eat (a very typical Egyptian fast food) and everyone was laughing and taking pictures of us seated on the ground eating it because the Egyptian media has been saying that foreigners are instigating the protests and that KFC is feeding the demonstrators… so our “KFC” was a hit. People were all smiles to see us, admittedly a little amazed that we are still here in Cairo, but happy about it. The feeling in Tahrir is that victory is very close. The topics of conversation now are what will happen next: what shape will the government take and which groups will have power? Mubarak leaving is just a matter of time.

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