مصر... الثورة هي الحل
Since the revolution’s first days, thousands of Egyptians were murdered by a stubborn, persistently arrogant, regime intent on retaining power. Tens of thousands more have been forced into Sisi’s jail cells. This week, Radwa Mohamed, an ordinary Egyptian, who dared criticize Sisi after the deaths of Egyptians by electrocution during last month’s heavy rains, was snatched by security forces. Her crime: Speaking out. How can this hemorrhaging stop? To some it might appear that killings, arrests, and systematic torture might prevent revolt. Fact is, the opposite is true. Before Egypt lies a choice between two R’s: Reform or Revolution?
Egypt’s modern history has been littered with coups and revolts. But to revolt against a blood thirsty class, whose crimes rise to the levels of war crimes, is tantamount to attacking a cornered tiger in a dark cave.
But the eternal Egyptian chanteuse, Om Kalthoom, put it best ‘’Lil Sabr hidood” (Patience has limits).
Notwithstanding, over 60,000 - and potentially over 70,000- are estimated to be political prisoners of the Sisi regime, and just six weeks ago over 4000 were arrested in response to rare September demonstrations. Over 32.5%, of Egyptians live below the poverty line and nearly 7% live in extreme poverty; those heart wrenching figures include 66.7% and 59.6% of Assiut and Sohag’s populations languishing below that mortal danger line. Sisi and cohorts continue to suck the country dry while, heartlessly, killing Egyptians by forcing them to jump from moving trains to their death and allowing them to perish in electrocuted street flooding. Then there is the existential danger posed by the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Any country is water poor if its water supply is less than 1000 cubic meters per person. Egypt’s figure is currently 570 cubic meters per person and projected to drop to 500, without factoring in the GERD, in 5 years. Sisi not only fails to find solutions, hides a continuously deteriorating “war on terror’’ in Sinai, while building more palaces for himself and his top cadres. But a growing gap between the millions who continue to suffer the after effects of a brutal, IMF-mandated, Sisi approved, austerity program after the 2016 currency devaluation and an elite who, endlessly, reap the benefits of unabashedly tethering their being to regime survival.
Egypt is imploding, it has been a long time coming.
This week, Radwa Mohamed, an ordinary Egyptian, who dared criticize Sisi after the deaths of Egyptians by electrocution during last month’s heavy rains, was snatched by security forces. Her crime: Speaking out.
#Egypt's masked Joker said, “I am barely able to contain the anger of our youth in all the governorates, but there is a moment for revolution God willing, this much is clear, there is no path other than a revolution’’.
Former Egyptian ambassador, assistant secretary for foreign affairs, Moatsim Marzooq, concurred and tried to change this. In August 2018, Mr. Marzooq threw his pebble into the political pond. Marzooq’s manifesto was, in large part, a referendum on Sisi’s rule. “Do you accept the current regime’s continued governance ?” The path forward would be decided by a simple majority (50% +1), agreement would validate and explicitly support his policies, the reverse would constitute a constitutional declaration ending the Sisi presidency and declare a transitional government. Two weeks later, the ambassador was in jail.
Amputating discourse is a move the regime has perfected.
This past October, Ahmed Tantawi, an opposition Parliamentarian, within the limitations of an “opposition” chosen according to general Intelligence’s wishes, learned this lesson the hard way. Tantawi first came to the spotlight during the sale of the Egyptian Islands Tiran& Sanafir to Saudi Arabia when he snatched the microphone from a government expert in mid-June 2017 who supported the sale.
Tantawi has not relented and proposed a road map which both government and many in the opposition objected to for different reasons. An end to Sisi’s presidency in 2022 proved to be the most contentious. A government, which passed constitutional amendments enabling Sisi to remain president till 2030, felt this was a brash parliamentarian’s trespass; Speaker of the house Abdel Al went so far as to say that critics of the regime “should leave the country’’.
Many dissidents questioned the regressively reformist nature of granting a sinking Sisi three years of governance when demonstrations had already broken out demanding Sisi’s departure. Thus, the reprieve was a misrepresentation of the people’s wishes. No less troublingly, Tantawi’s plan depends on a mirage of a parliament to affect change. Nonetheless, the formation of 12 Parliamentary committees to address Egypt’s myriad social, economic and political polemics was a necessary stirring of the waters.
Less than 72 hours later Abdel Al, the Parliament Speaker and Sisi’s ultimate Yes Man, announced Tantawi would be referred to an ethics committee. Tantawi confirmed the arrest of a worker from his office and numerous friends.
Zyad el-Elaimy, former lawmaker and prominent dissident, was arrested in June, along with at least 7 other opposition figures, for merely having “hope’’, the name of a political organization they formed to jump into the political fray. But the regime wants all voices silent- other than its own.
Egypt has become a dichotomy where both sides march towards a potentially deadly confrontation.
The seeds of revolt have been sown. Before the 1st days of September 2019 there were only suspicions.
Those suspicions became reality when Mohamed Ali , the contractor/actor, splayed open the gut of corruption by Sisi and his military elite before Egyptians. His first video appeared during the 1st week of September. Less than 2 weeks later, demonstrations broke out in multiple governates stretching from Marsa Matrouh to Suez and back to Cairo. Though the demonstrations quickly petered out due to an immense security presence and a massive arrest campaign throughout the country, Egyptians could see the superheated tip of a subterranean volcano through the rising smoke.
That the opposition has started to come to a more telling understanding of the breadth of opposition, not just to Sisi, but to the system, is no small matter.
Many fail to understand that for a revolt to surface you don’t need millions in a nation of 100 million. Arguably, the initial spark won’t need to broach the million mark.
Imagine the following: 100,000 demonstrating in main thoroughfares in Cairo, 50,000 marching on Alexandria’s Corniche, 30,000, each chanting in Mahala and Suez, 20,000 screaming in Luxor and Aswan and Sohag-remember those poverty numbers are higher in the south. Those numbers only total up to 270,000 demonstrators, but when strategically peppering the nation, think demonstrations of that size wont tip the scale?
Clearly the Egyptian Joker must be thinking the same- organization is key. Shortly after Mohamed Ali’s videos, other videos started to emerge by a person, wearing the Joker’s mask, calling for the organization of Sisi opposition into a cell structure of sevens. Revolution, he explained, is not the goal, changing the system is. Speaking to Egypt’s youth he said “you cant wait for a Brotherhood or a party to liberate you…our freedom is within our grasp’’. While it’s impossible to know the group size, due to security precautions, the social media presence on Twitter, Facebok, YouTube and Telegram is sizeable and appears to be increasing.
Speaking, exclusively to Raseef22, the Joker said, “I am barely able to contain the anger of our youth in all the governorates but there is a moment for revolution God willing”. This much is clear: “there is no path but the revolution’’, insisted the Joker.
To those who worry about any potentially violent inclinations the Joker assured, “the people will not be victorious with violence, no matter which of the two sides wins the loser would be the nation’’.
The ‘’non-movement’’ is succeeding where Mohamed Ali failed: understanding that without organization and proper timing any effort to step into the void will fail.
Just as attacks on Mohamed Ali rained down via state-controlled TV stations, the same is occurring with the Joker. They are not: ‘’a stable country and groups form gangs to sow instability”. Moving on, the announcer insulted Dr. Tamer Gamal, the person believed to be behind the joker, calling him ‘’a third-rate cabaret style belly dancer’’. These attempts to discredit were belied on Tuesday when masked National Security officers stormed the Doctor’s family home and kidnapped multiple family members.
You don’t parry with an opponent unless you take them seriously and after the September protest scare, this regime is frightened by its own shadow.
No calculated, unarmed political soul rushes towards confrontation against an armed, sadistic and organized foe unless his very existence depends on it and they have a plan. Right now, the only player on the scene with a clear plan of organization and defined tactics is The Joker.
By amputating political dialogue, activity and organization, be it through suppression, manipulation or arrests, the regime is gambling that those who walk the revolutionary plank will not be large enough to pose a mortal danger
A collision course has been set and if it is to be revolution then let it be as bloodless as possible, recognizing freedom never comes cheaply.
Let it be a revolution that does not stop till the mechanisms of governance are reimagined and structures rebuilt.
When silence equals death…revolution is the solution.