Tuesday, February 01, 2011

"We want to choose our President because we want to take this country into the future." [Updated with Photos, Links and Quotations]

"This is not just a Facebook revolution, not even an Internet revolution... This is not about the Internet, this is about the needs and demands of the Egyptian people."

(The slogan on her t-shirt reads: "I love my country. It's the government I'm afraid of.")

"Egyptian anti-government protesters sleep in front of an army tank to prevent it from moving during the night." February, 2011.
Text credit: The Guardian
Image credit: Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images (via Guardian here)

Chinese protester stood in front of a column of tanks outside the Tiananmen Square. June, 1989.
Image credit: Unknown (via Seechuen, see my previous blog-post re: June 4th memory here)

"Anti-government protestors hold candles as they walk in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011. Protesters appear to have settled in for a long standoff, turning Tahrir Square into a makeshift village with tens of thousands coming every day, with some sleeping in tents made of blankets and plastic sheeting."
Text and Photo Credits: Emilio Morenatti/AP (via Andew Sullivan's The Daily Dish at the Atlantic).

"Tens of thousands stage a candlelight vigil at Hong Kong's Victoria Park to mark the 20th anniversary of Tiananmen Square." June 4th, 2009.
Text Credit: NY Daily News
Photo Credit: Cheung/AP (via NYDailyNews "Demonstrators honor memory of Tiananmen Square in Hong Kong")

"Protesters Are Awesome: Look at This Beautiful Photo of Christians Protecting Praying Muslims in Egypt"
Text credit: Cord Jefferson at Good.is (via Justbesplendid)
Photo credit: Nevine Zaki/Anonymous (via Cord Jefferson at Good.is)

Further Reading:


Willsin: 埃及

Timothy Garton-Ash: "Not 1989. Not 1789. But Egyptians can learn from other revolutions" (Published: Wednesday 9 February 2011 21.00 GMT)

One leathery old victim of this revolution, at whose death we should rejoice, is the fallacy of cultural determinism – and specifically the notion that Arabs and/or Muslims are not really up for freedom, dignity and human rights. Their "culture", so we were assured by Samuel Huntington and others, programmed them otherwise. Tell that to the people dancing on Tahrir Square. [...]

While we are talking determinisms, let's dispense with another one. In tags like "Facebook revolution", "Twitter revolution" and "Al-Jazeera revolution", we meet again the ghost of technological determinism. Talking to friends in Cairo, I am left in no doubt that these media did play a major role in organising and multiplying the popular protests that began on 25 January. [...] these old and new technologies of communication matter enormously – but they did not prevent popular protest movements being crushed in Belarus and Iran, they do not determine the outcome, and the medium is not the message.

(Bravo to Timothy Garton-Ash for advocating that we should scotch the dangerous notion of cultural determinism on its head -- an excuse all too often used by CCP apologists for disregarding human rights for Chinese people, as well as by that silly colonialist commentator Tao Kit, with his stupid "cultural DNA" theory. Anyway, funny how Garton-Ash happened to reiterate [vanity or more correctly delusions of grandeur alert] *my* line [/vanity or more correctly delusions of grandeur alert] in my comment response to LCL previously on Sunday 6 February, 5:25 PM GMT, on this very post!)

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At Wed Feb 02, 10:16:00 p.m. GMT, Blogger laichungleung said...

I think I understand where is that coming from, that part about not a Facebook revolution not an Internet revolution. But at the same time, Facebook, twitter, YouTube and in short, the Internet is undeniably a great enabler, for better or worse. And that's why people in control feel the need to control or even shut it down. Of course, Internet in and of itself is just a network, not so interesting and it's always what people do with it that makes it interesting and powerful. Most people use Facebook to play Farmvsille in 2008 or so but some use it to start a revolution. The medium is just omni present and uber powerful. I think some credit WikiLeaks for the tumults happened in Tunisia and now Egypt.

At Sun Feb 06, 05:25:00 p.m. GMT, Blogger Snowdrops said...

Thanks LCL for your comment. I just happened to quote that line from her interview even though there are so much more she had said that is worthy of record.

Yes, the Internet is a great enabler indeed, but that's not the whole story, nor even a key point of the story. The medium is *not* really the message, in this instance at least. Of course, I couldn't help but wonder if events might have taken a different turn if we did have Internet as an enabler back in 1989. The thing that kinda galled me is that, whilst we suffered a massacre in 1989, the Berliners got to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall in the same year, also without the help of any modern communications technology.

The Egyptians are united and are brave, despite the government-sponsored thugs attacking them; we once were, too.

At Thu Feb 10, 08:13:00 a.m. GMT, Blogger Sidney Sweet said...

"Revolution is not a dinner banquet." -- Mao Zedong

At Thu Feb 10, 09:00:00 p.m. GMT, Blogger Snowdrops said...

Unfortunately Sidney, that quote from Mao is indeed correct, especially as the Egyptian army itself has been shown to be complicit in torture (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/09/egypt-army-detentions-torture-accused)

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