Egypt: On Street Activists and Citizen Journalists
Filed Under: Politics, World | Posted: 05/21/2010 at 10:02AM
Comments | Region: Egypt
Between online activists, citizen journalists, and street demonstrators, the cause lost it’s purpose and the internet turned into a soundproof room for cursing and cussing.
After little less than a month following the April 6 strike in support of the textile workers in Mahalla City, during which a number of prominent Egyptian bloggers and internet activists were arrested, preparations for the next round of a planned general strike to mark the 80th birthday of President Hosni Mubarak, on May 4, 2008, are currently spreading all over the blogosphere and the Internet. And like the preparation for the April 6 strike, the internet has a vital role to play in mobilizing for the upcoming protest. SMS, email, blogs, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter: almost all of these outlets are used by Egyptian Internet activists in their campaign the May 4 event. We’ve even seen a Facebookist Movement to Overthrow Mubarak being created. Another group entitled “We don’t want Muslim Brothers” is calling for the strike but without participation of the Muslim Brotherhood, who recently decided to join May 4 protest.
1- Circulating videos showing group sexual harassment downtown [Ar], November 2006, which although strongly denied via officials, yet the continuous talks about the incident online was able to attract attention to the phenomena, and hence proved the incident creditability. It also resulted in the emergence of many campaigns against harassment in Egyptian streets.
2- Publishing another video showing the brutality practiced in police offices, for a microbus driver Emad El-Kebir being sodomized with a stick by Captain Islam Nabih, who was later convicted of torture and sexual abuse in November 2007 and was sentenced to three years in prison.
3- in 2008, the calls for the first civil disobedience started on a facebook group, which later on resulted in extreme riots in ElMahala governate, and other strikes in 6th of April each year, and a new youth movement titled “6th of April” as well.
Ramy Raouf blogged about how Online Media & Digital Devices are used to Release Detainees
Earlier this month, the April 6 Youth Movement staged a protest in front of the Egyptian Peoples Assembly calling for more political freedoms and an end to Egypt’s restrictive “emergency law”, which might be renewed this year, and might be enforced as well by a new “Counter-Terrorism law” which is expected to be extremely repressive. The Egyptian security forces responded to the protesting citizens with a brutal violence, making a score of arrests and convictions.
Few days before the protest, more than 30 human rights and legal NGOs in Egypt announced The Front to Defend Egypt Protestors (FDEP) which aims to provide legal and informative support to the participants in peaceful demonstrations.
On April 6th 2010, EmanAbdElRahman wrote about the crackdown on Peaceful Pro-democracy Protests
On the second anniversary of the first call for civil disobedience in the history of modern Egypt, new protests broke out through out the country. Egyptian police violently beat and randomly detained people to disperse protests calling for constitutional reform – especially downtown in front of thePeople’s Assembly and the Shura Council.
But blogger Ahmed Naje does not see citizen journalism the way those activists see it; heshared his experience when he was trying to write an op-ed about the May 2 strike for Wasla:
He goes on saying:
As for the strike itself
One question is left unanswered