January Flashback

2 Jan

 

 

These days last year, we were running from city to city protesting sectarian strife post the deadly bombing of Alexandria church 20 minutes into the new year. We chanted death to Habib El Adly, we demanded justice and to hold those in power accountable for not protecting churches, and repressing us for asking for our dignity and equality. While crackdowns on Tunisian revolutionaries were taking place, activists in Egypt were watching closely hoping for victory for what was known then as the #Sidibouzid up-rise. As fellow Arabs calling for freedom, we stood in solidarity with Tunisians in their fight hoping the domino effect would hit us soon and save us from our dictatorship misery. On January 2nd, we called for a stand with candles in Talaat Harb sq in solidarity with Tunisians that soon enough turned into a protest against police and sectarianism. The stand was held by only tens of supporters and was shortly raided by state police, telling us no one can stand here, four of my friends got arrested while Ramy Raoof and I ran down on Talaat Harb st escaping police after my phone was almost broken by a police officer when I was trying to take a video.

 

 

 

We regrouped with more supporters on the way, and we marched down the streets of Talaat Harb chanting “To Mohamed tell Bolus, tomorrow Egypt will be Tunisia,” a chant that combined Muslim and Christian unity in the face of sectarianism for a better free Egypt in support of the Tunisian revolution. We marched down Ramsis st and immediately we were met by hundreds of riot police, and finally cordoned for nearly 8 hours without anyone allowed in or out of the cordon for any reason.

 

 

Along with Mona Seif, Ramy Raoof, Haitham Mohamedain, Aida Seif, and many other brave souls, we stood there chanting, tweeting, never giving up, and telling those officers, “Tomorrow when the revolution comes, it will put you in prison.” The night ended, we went home, and protested again in Shubra in solidarity with our Christian brothers & sisters at El Massara church sit-in, where I also was cordoned for nearly 10 hours by riot police while thousands clashed with police on Shubra st.

 

January 7th, the Coptic Christian holiday, was spent differently. Muslims and non-Muslims went to form human chains around churches on midnight for Christians to have a safe mass. Later that day, we stood in black with candles on Kasr El Nile bridge mourning the loss of our Christian brothers and sisters from the Alexandria church bombing.

A year later to think that we had multiple churches attacks, whether in Imbaba in April or Aswan in October, post a revolution that happened only weeks after the kind of solidarity & unity shown post Alexandria church bombing is incomprehensible, but explainable. It is explainable by one reason and one reason only because the regime is still alive and kicking. The people STILL demand the removal of regime. Sectarian strife has been one of the many tools used by the regime to divide and rule people, so it is not a surprise that attacks against minorities do still happen, but unfortunately, they happen at a greater loss and more viciously.

 

 

Who can ever forget that the same army who is supposed to protect its civilians could run-over Christians with military tanks? The loss of Mina Daniel and others makes you wonder at what cost will we win this revolution? The answer is clear and seen everyday and in every revolutionary’s eyes in Tahrir willing to die for Egypt to live.

I have no doubt that with this kind of support, courage, and bravery, we will free Egypt from SCAF, which is the same regime that killed and repressed us since 1952. This year, the year of freedom, as I am calling it, will be different and it already has since we started the year celebrating in Tahrir, Muslims & Christians, hand in hand against SCAF. Welcome 2012…

3 Responses to “January Flashback”

  1. remy January 5, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

    word.

  2. Lu Candido January 15, 2012 at 12:20 am #

    Please, this people needs solidarity to live. Send a message.

    Urgent Campaign: Pinheirinho’s(1) residents demonstration against threat of forced eviction

    Urgent solidarity,
    In defense of Pinheirinho,
    No to the reintegration of ownership,
    No more intimidation and repression.

    In the early hours of January 05, 2012, residents of the Pinheirinho Community in São José dos Campos, São Paulo State, Brazil, were surprised by 05:30 in the morning. A huge police operation was implemented leaving everyone perplexed. On the grounds that they were seeking for drugs, weapons and possible fugitives from justice, the police imposed the panic in the community.

    Residents have been living a routinely panic since the Judge Marcia Faria Mathey Loureiro determined the reintegration of ownership to the bankrupt estate “Selecta” whose proprietor is the mega real estate speculator, Naji Nahas. It is at best strange the judge’s decision since the legalization of the community and the area transformation into a district were underway and well advanced at the appropriate government offices, after all, about two thousand families have already lived there for eight years.

    Despite the official explanation of search and seizure, the real purpose behind this huge police operation held within Pinheirinho Community, is to intimidate the community and to search for excuses to justify a cowardly action for eviction of the ground.

    We repudiate the Judge Marcia Faria Mathey Loureiro’s decision and we also repudiate such an intimidating attitude of the public security agencies. We express our solidarity towards the Pinheirinho community and demand that Alckmin’s Government, responsible for public security in the state, does not authorize any action aimed at the eviction of the ground, now occupied by working men and women who struggle to have a home. By doing so the Governor will avoid what may come to be a real tragedy.

    It is worth registering that the State Government agencies have already declared in favor of the occupation’s regulating and the Advisor of the Secretariat of the Presidency, Wlamir Martines, condemned the possible evacuation of the area and reiterated the government’s interest in the acquisition of that land area. He said that in case of emergency, he will trigger the National Secretary for Human Rights to intervene and prevent the eviction.

    The CSP-Conlutas will continue to give unrestricted support to the residents of Pinheirinho and will join the actions of resistance and struggle in defense of the right to housing, as well as demanding that all levels of government to prevent a possible tragedy to the lives of residents and their families. We urge the organizations to send a motion in solidarity with the community as well as a motion to repudiate the police action.

    Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic : sg@planalto.gov.br

    São Paulo State Governor: Geraldo Alckmin galckmin@sp.gov.br

    Mayor of São José dos Campos – Eduardo Cury: gabinete@sjc.sp.gov.br

    Judge Márcia Faria M. Loureiro: sjcampos6cv@tj.sp.jus.br

    cc to secretaria@cspconlutas.org.br

    (1) Pinheirinho Community – It is an area long abandoned by its owner, the mega real estate speculator, Naji Nahas. The occupation of Pinheirinho has its origin in the great housing shortage in Sao Jose dos Campos (SP). There are 9 million people, mostly women and children, who have been living at Pinheirinho since 2004.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Christion brothers | Betsegars - January 3, 2012

    […] January Flashback « Tahrir & Beyond […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: