Saturday, May 13, 2006

How far are you willing to go? What are you willing to risk?

I used to live outside Egypt for years as my friends know. Reading the news from outside, I would feel that the country is ready for revolution, that at least young people were active and ready to do something.

The reality is that yes, people really hate this government, and this system. Regardless of their economic class. This system has succeeded in the impossible of pissing nearly everybody off.

The regime is still successful in one thing though, which is scaring most of the population from doing anything. Politics probably is still considered by many people, especially older generations as dangerous and risky, and for good reason.

I mean, it not as bad as Nasser's days. They learnt to let people talk to each other and blow off steam without worrying about it. The red line is clear and drawn. Talk to your family, talk to your friends, but if you cross the line and think of organizing anything, or taking part in demonstrations or anything significant like that, that's when they'll get you.

So where does that leave people like us? Discussing politics in a Kahwa recently, a friend asked, what would it take for you to join a demonstration in the street. My reply was, it would need to be something like the Ukraine Orange revolution, when masses of people are in the street. But the recent demonstrations related to the Judges, no, sorry, it's not something I'm proud of, but it's too small, too easily squashed to be joined. We know what they can do to a person they arrest. Are you willing to risk that? And for what? People got beaten up and arrested and are rotting in jail now. Other than bloggers, and people talking to each other, I don't see a massive feeling in the population rising to protect these people. Who else is going to help them? The US ? haaa, give me a break.
It's not enough for a few martyrs to walk in a demonstration in this country and expect to change anything. Unless there's some strategy to have the population behind it, protecting it in some way, it's probably not effective and suicidical.


Blogger SeattlePharaoh said...

You can't run before you walk. Today there might be a small protest for the judges, tomorrow it will be a little bit bigger and so on. If you look at some of the most prominent revolutions of the past 30 years, for example in Poland in the early 80s, East Germany and Ukraine lately they all had several things in common.
1- A subdued population. No one can argue that all of the regimes mentioned above were totalitarian and had their populations under control. So fear of the government was present in all of the cases above.

2- For the most part all of the above were driven by a few individuals and they created the spark. Yushchenko and his campaign camp in the Ukrainian revolution and the Solidarity movement lead by Lech Wałęsa in Poland's case. East Germany might be a special case whereby it was a case of a population at large revolting. In the other cases it was individuals or small groups that lead the way. The masses just follow espeically if they hate the government.

Mon May 15, 08:19:00 PM GMT+3  

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