February 10, 2011 2 Comments
As we were stopped yesterday in one of the citizen check points, asked for our IDs and car license, we were also asked an important question “Are you going to Tahrir?” we had actually just came back from Tahrir and were going home. My friend asked them humorously “Why? You don’t send people to Tahrir?”. He replied “Not from here, we want people to stop going to Tahrir”.
This incident has been repeated often during the past days. It seems Egypt has been split into two camps. Those who want to settle for the status quo, and those who want to continue with overthrowing the government. There is a fake third camp that the government is trying to pass as real, and those are the pro-mubarak protesters who go attack foreigners, pro-democracy protesters and journalists. There has been proof that most of these people are either paid or are part of the police force. Which is why I won’t even mention this fake third camp that was created for the purposes of terror and propaganda.
The issue we are facing now, is that the government cleverly used two factors to split the Egyptian people. The first tactic they used was terror. On Friday January 28th, the entire police force was taken off the streets. Even though the issue was only with the Central Security Forces that were attacking protesters with expired teargas, rubber bullets and live ammunition. Then on Friday night and Saturday they released thugs and looters to steal and attack businesses, the museum and houses. At this point they called on civilians to help the army in protecting their neighbourhoods by organising vigilante groups that set up check points during curfew. The more time these vigilante groups were out of the streets, with thugs attacking them or their friends in other neighbourhoods, the more terror and unrest spread on Egyptian streets and Egyptian households.
The other tactic the government used was media propaganda. For those stuck in their houses while the country is at a stand still and under curfew, the government has been feeding everyone through state TV with nationalist ideas of how we need to save Egypt from falling and that the only way to save it is that the current regime, headed by Mubarak, stays in power and they change some ministers. All channels have an Egyptian flag urging people to protect Egypt, and all the interviews they do are with government officials or people who support them. They disseminate false information about the status of the protests in Tahrir. Since our government still lives in the 20th century, here is what the government did to make sure people didn’t get information from other sources:
- Once they realised that people were watching and trusting a channel like Aljazeera Arabic, they shut it down. They also not only closed, but also raided, their Cairo office and continue to give their journalists a hard time.
- On thursday, they started to intimidate Egyptian bloggers and foreign journalists by detaining them for a few hours, confiscating their equipment, and trying to convince people that they are conspiring against the national security of the country.
As they continue using these methods to mobilize information to their advantage and tell the Egyptian public whatever they want. Here is a list of the best things they came up with:
- Zionists and Americans trained the Egyptian youth to organise this protest to cause a stir in the country and threaten it’s national security
- The Muslim brotherhood are the ones behind these protests so they can gain control of the country and turn it into Iran
- Youth in Tahrir are being brainwashed by the opposition
- Baradei gives everyone one hundred euros and a KFC meal to go to Tahrir
- Pro-Mubarak protesters are more than pro-democracy protests
Here is a video a group of friends made in Tahrir making fun of the first conspiracy theory the government is trying to pass about Foreign agendas:
Note: Two reporters from state run Nile TV resigned their posts this week. One of them, Shahira Amin, said they were instructed to only air the pro-mubarak protests and say nothing about Tahrir. She preffered to go to Tahrir than stay at this job.
The government, by using these two tactics: terror and media propaganda, managed to semi-successfully split us into two groups of people: those who protest in Tahrir and are hindering the economy of the country and those who are staying home or protecting their neighbourhoods. The people in Tahrir are there because they have a vision of what this country can be and they know that if they keep applying pressure we’ll get closer to it. Many of the people I talked to were willing to leave Tahrir after the president’s speech on Tuesday. However, after the attack from the pro-Mubarak hired thugs on Wednesday, they knew they couldn’t leave until this government is gone.
What we need to realise as a nation, is that we all have the same goal. We all want to choose our leaders. We all want freedom of speech. We all don’t want to live under emergency law. We all want a parliment that actually represents us. We all want our human rights. We all want to see Egypt develop. This is a people’s revolution. Even if you are not in Tahrir protesting, you are part of the revolution. We have a group of people in Tahrir protesting on behalf of the rest. We have the youth organising the traffic, the youth staying up all night protecting different neighbourhoods. We have youth active online getting our voices heard, the youth cleaning the streets. We have the people organising all kinds of donations from food, medical supplies and even blood donation. We’re all taking active roles. We’re all in revolt.
Revolutions take time. They require some economical sacrifices. It’s a tough time. It’s easy to blame it on the people still in Tahrir. Let’s remember though that it was the government’s choice to have a curfew. It was the government that took the police force off the street. It was the government that took away the internet, mobiles and SMS. It was the government who released the prisoners. It was policemen and paid thugs who attacked our businesses, houses and protesters in Tahrir. It was the police forces and thugs that killed the people who died during the past days.
What’s crutial though is that we are all part of this movement. This movement awakened something in every Egyptian. When the revolution succeeds, we will all take care of our streets, our country and each other. After all this effort we will work harder because we will know that our effort will be for the common good, not going in the pockets of some corrupt regime.
Egypt will never be the same after January 25th 2011. Imagine how it can be when we overthrow these people who oppressed us?