2011 actually started on December 17, 2010 although none of us knew it at the time. On that provident day a fruit peddler in Tunisia decided that he was mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. In the year since then, his sentiment has been echoed by millions around the globe in the greatest show of people power that we have seen in more than 40 years.
Mohamed Bouazizi, who could find no other work and took to selling fruits and vegetables, had grown tired of the police harassment. When his complaints to city hall went unanswered, he doused himself with gasoline and lit a fire that is blazing still.
Had his act of defiance happened in any earlier epoch, it most likely would have gained little notice outside of word of mouth, but we now live in an age when word of mouth spans the globe. We have the technology, even in North Africa.
So news of his defiance spread throughout Tunisia in a flash and the people rose up to demand justice from the government. Then, via WikiLeaks, the Tunisian people found out just how corrupt their government really was and started to demand an end to the 20 year rule of Ben Ali. When they did this, their struggle took a revolutionary turn.
Authored by Ahmed Sabry (@A_M_Sabry)
1. Don't go directly to the destination, organize marches from several areas. Marches are like a bus it collects people on the way. Poor areas and affected areas get more supporters
2. Get volunteers in needed professions: lawyers and doctors and set up an SMS system for support (needed medicine, legal representation, etc.)
3. Unify your slogans and demands before you start. Everyone should know before hand why he/she is joining.
4. To make sure it is peaceful, organizers should be around the demonstrations at all times, if anyone gets out of hand arrest him and deliver him to the police yourselves
5. People should meet at an exact time not before or after. Getting a crowd at an exact time doesn't leave room for the government to react as they don't know the exact number.
6. Organizers should not be visible or different (no marks) plain clothes police will always be in your middle taking pictures so do not make it easy for them.
7. Cheerleaders, men or woman can chant routines to fire up the march are very important, silent marches are no no.
8. Start recruiting NOW.
9. Most important, keep it peaceful whatever happens, you will get much more supporters that way.
10. Start adding pictures with signs of people coming. Start youtube videos explaining why you are doing this and what are your demands.
11. Believe in yourself and don't worry about how many will come, everyone who was hurt by the system is on your side.
12. Sit ins are not for everyone, make sure that whoever goes home joins later with food water medicine for others. Never accept money, twitter your needs so people can bring them to you everyday.
Good luck from Egypt
[UPDATE - 6:05 PM ET]
The Egyptian people were out all night partying. Here's a video posted by The Guardian's Jack Shenker:
There has been much jubilation, but, as Egyptians wake up tomorrow, this will be the present situation in Egypt: the cabinet will be no more, parliament's upper and lower houses will be under suspension and the head of the constitutional court will be in the process of forming an interim administration with the military council. (That's all according to Al Arabiya.)
The Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten has published a set of cables that shed light on Omar Suleiman’s willingness to serve the interests of Israel. The man recently appointed as vice-president of Egypt, according to a cable from 2005, was willing to help former head of security in the Israeli Defense Ministry Amos Gilad by guaranteeing there would be no democratic elections in Gaza in 2006. He was also willing to help Israel better manage the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt.
Cables released also reveal that a key motive for opposing Hamas was a fear that the Muslim Brotherhood would be emboldened. 05TELAVIV5864 details a meeting that Gilad wanted kept secret. Gilad talked about his fear of the Palestinian uprising movement Hamas, which was expected to get a large amount of the vote in the democratic elections in January 2006. Gilad was afraid that Hamas would win the election and that a Hamas win would "destroy everything."
This is a first hand eyewitness account from a friend of mine who is in Egypt right now.
25 Jan 11 – The Beginning
I had made up my mind not to go to Tahrir; I had hoped for the best for the protesters. Though the protest was legal, I had a great deal of trepidation about how events could unfold. Hosni Mubarak is well reputed to wield a heavy hand over his people. However a friend wanted to go. Out of concern for him I went. I thought I knew the streets downtown better and could navigate us out more easily. I was wrong.
While Egyptians continue to maintain their uprising against President Hosni Mubarak with a “Day of Departure" today, it is worth looking at what happened in Yemen yesterday. An opposition coalition of Yemenis mobilized in defiance of a plea from President Ali Abdullah Saleh to not protest, rally or engage in any sit-ins, and held their own "Day of Rage."
The protests were considered to be the largest anti-government demonstration that Saleh has “faced in his 32-year rule.” The Guardian reported protesters chanted, “Together we fight against poverty, corruption and injustice.” Given what has been happening in Egypt, the protesters hoped to mobilize in their Tahrir Square, but the government “beat them” to the Square and sent “hundreds of tribesmen to camp out there overnight.”
Protesters called for Saleh to “form a new government” and “let the Yemeni people decide who will rule them in clean, fair elections.”
Amidst the on going protests / revolution, several leaders across the world have spoken out in regards to the turmoil which has over taken Egypt. The following are excerpts from the various governments' press release.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for an end to violence in Egypt. Further, calling on all parties, especially the Egyptian government to authorize peaceful demonstrations, and to allow freedom of expression.
"We expect the authorities and relevant public bodies to respect public liberties, notably freedom of expression." (Foreign Ministry)