January 28, 2011

THE UNIVERSAL BELIEF IN FREEDOM:

Police alone can't keep rulers in power.: Egypt's battle is on (Alaa Al Aswany, 1/27/11, guardian.co.uk)

I am in awe of the young protesters I addressed: Egyptians united by injustice and an anger that won't be tamed

It was an unforgettable day for me. I joined the demonstrators in Cairo, along with the hundreds of thousands across Egypt who went on to the streets on Tuesday demanding freedom and bravely facing off the fearsome violence of the police. The regime has a million and a half soldiers in its security apparatus, upon which its spends millions in order to train them for one task: to keep the Egyptian people down.

I found myself in the midst of thousands of young Egyptians, whose only point of similarity was their dazzling bravery and their determination to do one thing – change the regime. Most of them are university students who find themselves with no hope for the future. They are unable to find work, and hence unable to marry. And they are motivated by an untameable anger and a profound sense of injustice.

I will always be in awe of these revolutionaries. Everything they have said shows a sharp political awareness and a death-defying desire for freedom. They asked me to say a few words. Even though I've spoken hundreds of times in public, this time it was different: I was speaking to 30,000 demonstrators who were in no mood to hear of compromise and who kept interrupting with shouts of "Down with Hosni Mubarak", and "The people say, out with the regime".

I said I was proud of what they had achieved, and that they had brought about the end of the period of repression, adding that even if we get beaten up or arrested we have proved we are not afraid and are stronger than they are. They have the fiercest tools of repression in the world at their disposal, but we have something stronger: our courage and our belief in freedom. The crowd responded by shouting en masse: "We'll finish what we've begun!"


Egyptian government on last legs, says ElBaradei: Exclusive: Mohamed ElBaradei says he is sending a message 'to the Guardian and to the world' ( Jack Shenker in Cairo and Haroon Siddique, 1/28/11, guardian.co.uk)
The Egyptian dissident Mohamed ElBaradei warned President Hosni Mubarak today that his regime is on its last legs, as tens of thousands of people prepared to take to the streets for a fourth day of anti-government protests.

The Nobel peace prize winner's comments to the Guardian represented his strongest intervention against the country's authoritarian government since he announced his intention to return to Egypt to join the protests. "I'm sending a message to the Guardian and to the world that Egypt is being isolated by a regime on its last legs," he said.

His words marked an escalation of the language he used on arrival in Cairo last night, when he merely urged the Mubarak government to "listen to the people" and not to use violence.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 28, 2011 6:47 AM
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