Book excerpt: The secret plan that started Egypt’s revolution | Features read full article at worldnews365.me







The next is an edited excerpt from Rusha Latif’s new e-book, Tahrir’s Youth: Leaders of a Leaderless Revolution. The e-book tells the story of the younger activists who sparked the mass uprising in Egypt that led to the spectacular collapse of the federal government of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 and who struggled within the succeeding years to remake the nation. The excerpt explains the technique conceived by the organisers to assist Egyptians, particularly these of decrease class backgrounds, overcome their worry of the police and be part of them en masse within the streets on January 25, 2011. Twenty secret places have been introduced on social media websites, which served as a decoy from a twenty first secret location.

The activists I interviewed confirmed that the key technique for the January 25 protest was the brainchild of April 6 activist Mahmoud Samy, a dapper and astute younger man acknowledged for his intelligent improvements in street-protest techniques.

A son of Cairo’s well-liked quarters himself, he was properly versed within the areas, mobility, and vulnerabilities of its subaltern inhabitants and understood find out how to negotiate them in his planning to the benefit of January 25’s day of protest.

This class capital knowledgeable his number of Nahya Avenue within the impoverished, casual quarter of Bulaq al-Dakrur, close to his neighborhood Awsim, as the positioning of their twenty-first secret location and the beginning of their march.

The purpose was to determine find out how to get Egyptians to beat their worry of the police who patrolled their neighborhoods and be part of their protest. “When I thought about it,” Mahmoud mentioned,

“I recalled that one of the things we often encountered before this during protests is that the people watching were afraid to join us. Why were they afraid to join us? Because our numbers were small. So you have two choices: you make it so that there are no police, or you make sure that your number is large. How do you make yourselves many? There was the idea of the snowball, that the more headway your march makes, the larger it swells.”

The thought was to begin with a secret rally in a low-profile, confined area located in one in all Cairo’s many crowded well-liked neighbourhoods.

There they’d focus a number of hundred of their fellow activists to impart the phantasm of a big crowd to spectators needing the reassurance of security in numbers earlier than deciding to affix in.

What attracted Mahmoud essentially the most to Nahya Avenue in Bulaq, of all the favored areas he surveyed, was the bridge on the finish that linked it to Arab League Avenue, a significant, bustling thoroughfare peppered with high-rise condo buildings, retail outlets, and eating places.

The overpass completely tied this casual space to the upscale district of Mohandiseen, the place they may probably attract much more demonstrators, showcasing of their march a various cross-section of society.

In the event that they deliberate it proper, they’d shock police and observers with a blinding present of resistance hitherto unseen in these components.

With the assist of fellow April 6 organiser Amr from Imbaba and one other peer from the Youth for Justice and Freedom Motion, Mahmoud designed a route and plotted the main points of a march that will take them from their assembly level close to a small, nondescript bakery on the far finish of Nahya Avenue down Arab League Avenue, permitting their numbers to snowball earlier than they’d hyperlink up with the demonstration at Mustafa Mahmud Sq..

There, they deliberate to steer a standing demonstration for a number of hours earlier than dispersing.

To make sure the profitable execution of this protest, they visited the world repeatedly within the two weeks main as much as Police Day to hold out apply runs, timing how lengthy it might take to stroll, jog, and run to see how a lot time they would wish to synchronise with the marches coming from different components of Giza in addition to Shubra, which have been being deliberate by different teams just like the Revolutionary Socialists. In addition they developed methods for doable police ambushes.

There was no agency intention to protest in Tahrir Sq. at this stage, though Mahmoud and his friends had lengthy dreamed of descending upon and conquering the sq. with hundreds of protesters.

Situated in Cairo’s downtown, Tahrir – which appropriately means “Liberation” – was the biggest public area within the metropolis, and it derived its symbolic weight because the flashpoint for political resistance from the encircling establishments of state energy.

Mahmoud shared that there was some discuss of the circumstances underneath which they may contemplate heading to Tahrir.

He mentioned that the settlement was to proceed to Tahrir if luck was on their aspect and their numbers reached one thousand, a goal which they felt on the time was fairly formidable.

This displays how unlikely they felt it was that they’d have the ability to rally a big sufficient group of protesters to make such a dramatic and daring transfer.

January 25: Managing a Common Rebellion

On the morning of January 25, Mahmoud, Amr, and the remainder of their cohort anxiously ready to execute their plan.

To make sure high secrecy, the plotters solely knowledgeable ten activists of the Nahya location.

Every was informed forward of time to have their cells meet them at a second location someplace in Cairo of their selecting, and from there they have been to steer them clueless to Nahya.

Every thing went in accordance with plan.

At 12 p.m., roughly 250 activists managed to evade the discover of police and meet within the small plaza in entrance of a neighborhood bakery referred to as Al-Hayyis, nestled on this dense and crowded impoverished space.

Zyad the legal professional, who spoke softly until he was in revolutionary mode and railing in opposition to the institution, delivered a rousing handle directed at native residents peering over from their balconies.

“Today is January 25, Police Day!” he roared into the megaphone. “We decided to come here today to tell the Egyptian government that we will no longer be silent!”

He beckoned the crowds to affix them: “Today we either stand side by side and take our rights together, or we lose the chance! It’s now or never!”

Zyad had their ears. The rally rapidly started to swell and movement over into the neighboring alleyways.

Activists started marching, calling on the multitudes watching from their balconies to affix them: “Ya ahalina! Indammu ilayna!” (Our folks! Be a part of us!), they chanted, “Inzil! Inzil!” (Come out! Come out!).

The numbers that heeded the activists’ name dramatically exceeded their expectations.

Anticipating to rally a thousand residents at finest from Nahya Avenue, as an alternative they left it with a shocking march at the very least 5 thousand protesters robust, which solely continued to snowball because it made its manner down Arab League Avenue.

Their numbers have been so massive that when the close by Central Safety Forces caught wind of their march and rushed to the pedestrian walkway on Nahya Bridge to dam them, the protesters have been in a position to forego that route altogether and take over the site visitors lanes as an alternative, making a mockery of the officers who have been hopelessly outnumbered and will do nothing to cease them.

It was a triumphant second for the activists who, for the primary time, had managed to overwhelm and disorient safety forces. They have been deliriously joyful. Abdelrahman described their utter shock and euphoria as they poured over Nahya Bridge and splashed onto Arab League Avenue:

“I’ll never forget the scene when we got onto Arab League. It was as if the people were gushing from beneath the ground. This was one of the most moving scenes . . . and we began crying and hugging each other, and we kept shouting, ‘Intasarna!’ (We won!) What had we won exactly? Who knew?! What was coming, nobody knew!”

Mostafa additionally recalled the second excitedly:

“Just the fact that we were able to participate in a march like this, that we were able to witness a march this big, was a sheer victory. We started embracing each other and kissing each other, and the people were looking at us like, ‘Who are these crazy people?!’ . . . Before this we’d organise a march and at times we’d be only twenty or thirty people. When there were five hundred in our protests we were over the moon. . . . Now, we couldn’t see the beginning of the march from its end! We were so beside ourselves you would have thought we were drunk. I’m talking borderline hysteria. . . . And then there was this feeling at this moment, that if this many people had mobilized, that meant something major had shifted in the country. A leap had happened in the people’s political consciousness – a radical change, a deep desire for freedom.”

Because the Nahya marchers approached Mustafa Mahmud Sq. at 2 p.m., they have been met with hundreds extra protesters.

Their numbers have been additionally so massive that they have been simply in a position to break by the cordons of the safety forces that attempted to comprise them.

At Mustafa Mahmud Sq., it turned clear to these main the march that the enthusiastic response of the folks was unprecedented, qualitatively and quantitatively completely different from something they’d ever skilled earlier than and from what they’d anticipated.

At this level, they agreed it required a special plan of action.

Realising they’d a possible rebellion on their palms, activists from this level onward began making on-the-spot selections, which have been knowledgeable by the wealthy political expertise gained by their lively participation in a number of, albeit a lot smaller, road demonstrations.

This gave method to a really current organising course of in a fluid dialectic between the unfolding road occasions and their political abilities. Tarek’s reflection captures this finest:

“My feeling at this moment was that the street had mobilised, finally! … The explosion that we wanted had actually happened! All of us were thrown into a state of shock because we didn’t. . . . I mean, we had thought a lot about how we would get the people to come out, but we had never thought about what we would do with the people if they did come out. We were all dazed and like, ‘What are we going to do with all these people?!’ Because we hadn’t expected that they would come out. So when they actually did, it was like, ‘Ok, so what are we going to do now?!’ That’s when we started to say, ‘To Tahrir Square!’”

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