Cairo is a mess, again. Well, Tahrir is, and it is completely localised to Tahrir and streets leading to it- so please don’t worry about me... all is quiet at Hotel Bellylorna (well, as quiet as it ever is with singers and dancers living together!)
Everyone I speak to has a completely different take on the last 2 days of unrest in Tahrir.
Some strongly believe that the young people in Tahrir who have been arrested and shot at deserved everything they got, saying they were told not to protest and they chose to put themselves in that place, therefore they want trouble.
Some believe that the protests themselves are mistimed and everyone should wait until the elections to see what happens. However, they are unhappy about the strong arm response by the police and their methods of clearing the square, and therefore although they might not have supported initial protests, now they strongly believe in supporting anyone who wants to put their voice across in a peaceful manner without fear of being shot at.
There are those who say the police have been guilty of horrific attacks on the protesters. Firing tear gas, rubber bullets and bird shot into people’s faces. I know of at least two who have lost eyes due to this. There are others who believe that the protesters went armed with rocks etc ready for a fight and with intent to create chaos and burn police vehicles.
I quite honestly don’t know.
My sources of information are local TV and news, which does seem biased in supporting the police. Then there is twitter and face book, which is 100% in favour of what the activists are doing and very anti the military. Then there are various other independent news channels and online papers which seem to be on the side of the protesters.
I can understand if the nation is frightened of being ruled by the army. There have been too many military trials of civilians this year, and I can see that will only continue if the army stay in power.
I can also see why many people are frightened of the Islamist parties winning the votes. They certainly know how to campaign, dishing out gifts and educating supported in how to vote etc. However, they could potentially threaten the way of live for many of us involved in music, dance and tourism. I don’t have any evidence of this , but am sure that one of the first things they would limited is venues serving alcohol, for example, which would seriously affect tourism and entertainment in Cairo. I know many Egyptian Copts who are very scared how their life might change for the worst if a fundamentalist type government get into power.
Who knows what will happen in the future for Egypt? One friend said to me today, what happens the parties who are actually set up by the army actually win the votes to maintain power? If that happens then people will accuse the elections of being rigged, no? But it could happen. I have spoken to a few people who miss Mubarak and wish he was still in power. Someone else just now said of course there won’t be peace, not yet. The army need to stay in control until Mubarak dies at least... otherwise all the heads of the army will share the blame with the big man. If he dies, then all the blame for the last 30 years can be placed on him and the country can move on. Who knows? As I say, everyone I speak to has a different take on it all.
God be with those fighting for what they truly believe is right.
No-body knows what will happen next. Those speaking against the protesters said the same things back in January, and then when they ‘won’ the revolution they supported and backed them. It seems very deja vu to me.
I understand people who just want people in Tahrir to go home, they want peace. Peace might be easier, businesses can run more smoothly on a day to day basis, but peace doesn’t ever bring change. And Egypt needs to move forward in so many ways. Change really is needed!
Are we in revolution 2? NO... personally I think we are still in the first one... except that in round one people gave up too easily. The activists in January had many demands... but the main one that everyone knew was they wanted Mubarak out. However, He was only the figurehead for the regime and what they really wanted, but couldn’t push for once Mubarak left, was to rid the country of the regime that was running it.
We can only hope that in the political unrest which is sure to follow the next few months that what is best for the long term good for Egypt is what happens, and that those who have suffered greatly, and those who have died, since January 25th won’t have done that in vain.