Monday, April 11, 2011

Revolution LITE isn't Going to Cut it

I woke up this morning to the news of Maikel Nabil Sanad's farcical military tribunal. Sanad was sentenced to three years in prison with charges of insulting the military and spreading false information about the military. He was tried in the absence of a lawyer, because the army set the sentencing date for tomorrow. Many believe that his blog post "The Army and the People are not One Hand"(also available in English) where he uses a chronological evidence based argument to support this claim, was the reason behind the military's targeting of Sanad. Sanad is an Egyptian blogger who describes himself as a pacifist and holds extremely controversial views about Egypt's mandatory military conscription and peace with Israel, which many claim made him an easy target for discrediting by the military.

Following the deposing of Mubarak, the military has failed to convict any of those associated with the old regime, but has swiftly managed to convict via military court, within hours, protesters under charges of thuggery and other fabricated charges. The military has also engaged in wide-spread torture, intimidation and brutal dispersal of protesters. The list of restrictions on freedom, human rights violations and impediments to the fulfillment of the #Jan25 demands is long and well documented and can be easily obtained by searches on google and youtube. Every action by the army sets a precedent, when unchallenged effectively allows yet another action that strips even more people away from their basic human rights under the guise of stability and patriotism. For example, had people effectively mobilized for Amr El Beheiry, the army would not have targeted Sanad.

The #Jan25 uprising has been spatially confined to #Tahrir Square and temporally confined to the weekend. It has constantly been hammered into our heads that its great to express our dissent, but lets not disrupt safety, security and people's day-to-day livelihoods. We have to work, be productive, look forward to building #Egypt and show our objection on #Friday. Saturday the military usually does some abominable act or issue some horrible decree, then issue a strange and vague communique denying these incidents or fabricating some intricate lie. There is not much to say about this other than it seems that the Egyptian army is engaged in psychological warfare with the #Egyptian people, nothing less than George Orwell's #nineteen eighty-four. The military is seemingly using the infamous #doublethink tactic to control and sway public opinion.

There are many there who will unequivocally, without hesitation, attack those who criticize the actions of the military, because of a deep-seated fear of instability. You might be comfortable now, you might be changing your car and you might be making good money, but the economic, political and social trajectory in Egypt are all related. The political arena is in place to ensure that the economic policies serve specific people. When these people are carrying guns, they will not give up either and allow for the loss of their interests. It is a trajectory and while you might feel you have stability what you don't realize is that slowly economic disparity is creeping in and in a few years the material belonging you wanted to maintain by wanting stability are no longer within your economic reach. So keeping dissent in #Tahrir to please others and garner their support is just not going to cut it, not criticizing the army will allow them to constantly push the limits of our freedom, a democracy within a cage, that will never allow real social change. Revolution involves disruption and the while the price of freedom is high and immediate, the price of its absence is even higher on the long run. Whether its #KhaledSaid #AmrElBeheiry or #MaikelNabil, whether you are politically active or not, whether you care about freedom of speech or not, the day you step in the way of the interests of the Egyptian Military Junta deliberately or by accident, justly or unjustly, they will swiftly and mercilessly sweep you out of their way.

This post was inspired through social media conversation with @fazerofzanight

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