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Anti Torture Demonstration in Lazoughly

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Yesterday was a very long day, many achievements and stories, many points that we should consider in the future.

It started ok...me, Alaa, Mostafa and professor Laila Soueif arrived near Lazoughly square at 4:30, Mostafa droped us, with the banners and the boxes and left to park his car away. We met Isis and walked to the square. This time there were many "Amn Markazy" cars many police officers unlike the last demonstration in shubra. We arrived found that the amn is surrounding the mozahra on the pavement in front of "Gad" Sandwiches shop but with loose forces. We went in and started distributing the banners.

There were many events, and I cant tell the details of all of them. To me it was a discrete process (as opposed to a continuous process, as in mathematics), it happened in stages, and I don't know about the transformation between any two stages.

All of a sudden, we are not only on the pavement in front of Gad but we are also on the street to its left (when the square is to your back) and more amn came and they started to surround us with tight lines. And they are trying to squeeze us, pushing us with their iron fences. I see Alaa at one of the corners trying to push back with others against el amn so we maintain our space.

We were very few, I think 200 at most and that was a big problem. I dont know why many activists were absent yesterday, and I dont know why some didn't want to have a demonstration and believed the conference was enough?? We have been demonstrating for a month for the abuse that happened on the 25th of may, and u don't want us to demonstrate for the torture that's been happening for years to all egyptians??

Anyway, there were many of these pushings from el amn, but we tried to push back and not be squeezed, and most of the time we succeeded. At one point, we found out that there is another group of protesters beyond the layers of el amn and we tried to join them, some of us were able to open a gap in the layers of el amn and the two groups joined together.

Many people watched us from their balconies, they watched from the beginning to the end, someone was taking photos from his window, and they brought us some water. A guy came and started distributing sandwiches, and then he started asking what are we protesting about, someone asked him "you joined us without knowing what we are doing?" and he replied "I felt you must doing something right!"

We had two banners with el amn el markazy on them, one had a photo of two soldiers and written on it was: Have Mercy on Them and Have Mercy on Us and at the bottom We want to elimenate the Central Security Forces (el amn el markazy) and the second banner had a photo of a group of the soldiers cornering a man and beating him with their sticks.

beating an anti war demonstrator

Alaa, Amr and others, went around with these two banners showing them to the soldiers, talking to them and telling them how can you obey an order to corner a single unarmed person and beat him like this, or we are with you, and we want the recruitment period to be only one year, it was the first time they talk back or smile to us. At one point a guy came and distributed sweets on the protesters and the soldiers, and the soldiers accepted it.

Before the demonstration ended, Alaa and tante Laila spotted the officer who supervised their beating on the 25th of may, and he refused to tell them his name!!

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The demonstration ended few minutes to 6, and people started to leave and go to the journalists syndicate, we were walking towards "Nubar st." (I hope this is the right name) where the ministry of justice is, when they stopped us and starting closing the streets with barricades refusing to let us pass and suggesting that we go from another street since all roads lead to rome. Tante Laila refused to go from another street.

At this moment we were a group of 12 persons, and from this moment all I can tell is glimpses from what happened!

While we were arguing with the police officers about walking through this street, I glimpsed Ahmed with two policemen in regular clothes behind the barricade, I started shouting "they got ahmed", Alaa and Amr went to his rescue and Ahmed came back to us in a few minutes.

All of a sudden, Alaa, tante Laila and professor Nabil Youssef are behind the barricades and the police and el amn el markazy are beating them. I take some photos, Nora tells me to call Aida Seif el Dawla and tell her about the situation, I call Aida and Amr takes the camera from me to take some photos, a guy shouts that Amr hurt him in his leg and shows people blood on his thigh, they are taking Amr away, I go after them bring Amr back and take the camera, go back to where Alaa is not noticing that Amr was dragged again. I saw them dragging Mostafa to the other side of the square his t-shirt is halfway on his back, I started running after him, but I look back and find that Alaa is out, I go tell him about Mostafa, and we run to get him, we bring him back and also bring Mohammed, he was also dragged and beaten. We bring them back but they stole their cameras!!

They surround us with amn markazy in the square at the beginning of Nubar st. Everyone is ok, but Dr. Nabil was beaten very cruelly and he is very tired. Some of the police in regular clothes stand with us in the circle arguing about what we did and that we should have left from another street like the rest of our colleagues, they talked about democracy and how we couldn't have done anything of this sort 20 years ago, they are here to protect us, and the persons who stole the cameras were thieves though Mostafa said that the guy who stole his camera had a walkie talkie..I ask him: "If you are here to protect us why don't you go arrest the thieves??" but he never answers me.

Me, Alaa and Nora hold up the banners and go around with them, we start making calls to people to tell them about our situation, and call journalists to come and report what's happening. Tante Laila opens her bag and distributes the newspaper she has on the group, and she starts working on the masters paper she is supervising to spend the time. Uncle Seif (Ahmad Seil el Islam Hamad, lawyer) was supposed to have an On Air interview with Al Jazeera around this time, so Aida Seif el Dawla went On Air instead of him and said you can not talk to Ahmed Seif el Islam right now because he is held back by police forces with a group of people...etc. That was an excellent move.

A couple of journalists come and take our names, someone brings us cold water, people standing to watch, and among them a lady who was there when we ended the demonstration and saw all what came after, she asked me before the amn came to surround us about who are this lady (professor Laila Soueif) and this man (professor Nabil Youssef) I answered her very quickly but at that time I was very anxious about what happened to my friends. She stayed with us till we left.

Negotiations begin, we say that we are going to stay here till they either bring back the 2 stolen cameras, or they let us walk through that street..the bastards already opened the street for cars and buses but they don't want to open it for us.

A small group of protesters from the early protest join us, and after a while the police let us walk down the street (of course they won't admit that they are the thieves who stole the cameras), but on the condition that we keep the banners down..it turns out that they were afraid that we hold the banner with el Adly's photo and Resign, under el Adly's window!!

We leave, most of us go to the journalists syndicate. On our way strangers greet us, people ask us "you are the protesters?", "Your friends are waiting for you at the syndicate", etc.

We arrive at the syndicate, found the rest of the early demonstration sitting on the steps, they give us a very warm greeting and clap their hands...and we start again "Yasqout Yasqout Hosni Mubarak".


Problems we had and learned lessons:

  • we were very few ==> we were pushed a lot by el amn
  • same slogans, no slogans were designed for the event
  • if it is a small group we should stick together, because they will try to separate us and corner individuals
  • if you are beaten, defend yourself, never give them the other cheek
  • if they corner you, you should generate as much noise as you can to attract people to help you

Comments

if you are beaten, defend yourself, never give them the other cheek

I've been thinking about this. If you're surrounded and being beaten by 10 people in such events, what do you do? Should you really fight back? You're always outnumbered and outpowered.

Maybe you should just focus on one of the 10, hold to his throat with the aim to kill him (he probably won't die, but he'll be scared to death).

Maybe you should just focus on one of the 10, hold to his throat with the aim to kill him (he probably won't die, but he'll be scared to death)

That's how you wind up with the other 9 trying to kill you. Neither would it be a hard time for them.

If the government will respond about the brutality, they should be contacted about it. If they will not, the media should be driven to address the brutality and the government's nonresponsiveness.

That might be the most one can suggest, beside: Don't wind up in front of the ten.

Greg Walker [email protected]

Hello,

…...God released this song through me and instructed me to send it to you. If you pray and listen to His spirit you will know what to do…….

I posted it at: www.howlong.us

Your brother in Christ, Gregory