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Went to the Kefaya demonstration in Cairo today, not much to talk about. (photos
yesterday downtown was locked for the sake of Putin who is staying in Abdin, today the security folks invented a new technique to fight the mozahra, they had 10 black mercedes (هيئة سياسية) and a big bus with a banner saying Russian Press Delegation, you try to walk thorugh Tahrir square and they shoo you away with the excuse that the russians are here.
after insisting on going to the mozahra they searched my bag several times then allowed me to walk through the russian convoy, tab3an turns out there is no russian convoy the cars where empty (just an excuse? or maybe putin was in the nile hilton toilet wala 7aga).
anyways walk to the court room, the place is basically closed and amn markazy soldiers beat the hell out of anyone who dares approach, move on to journalists syndicate ah yes kefaya is there.
the usual, about 300 protesters jammed in the tight space around the entrance to the syndicate surrounded by thousands of soldiers, Nabil El Ezabi and his croonies, there where like 10 high profile officers there, Boody reports it was the same in zagazig (note to self, when you turn terrorist, best plan is bomb all officers in Egypt on the next Kefaya protest, only the traffic officers will remain and according to most microbus drivers traffic cops are cheap to buy, good thing we're not terrorists).
they had armored cars with water guns coming out of them, they had soldiers moving in formations (very similar to the romans in Asterix) and they had a thousand plaincloths men wala 7aga.
very difficult to get in, many just give up, I start explaining that you have to explicitly tell them you want to join the protest, I'm leading a handful in, this annoys the officers, they take me away and start the questions, ok you're plaincloth I'm not answering until I know who you are, the asshole refuses to answer but calls a uniformed cop to take care of me.
show ID, what you got in the bag? a computer, what you got in the bag? a computer, I SAID WHAT HAVE YOU GOT IN THE BAG? AND I SAID A COMPUTER? aaaah he wants me to show him, why can't they ask? here see? looks nice ain't it.
I start try to take photos of El Ezabi and co, the lower ranks give me nasty looks (ok I'm marked, better not leave alone or I loose the camera or the laptop).
same slogans mostly, no interesting banners, Kermit was the highlight of the protest really, but this time the enthusiasm was high, slogan was mostly unified, everyone chanting etc. there is a new slogan about emad adib can't remember it though.
my mom doesn't answer her phone, we are told about arrests, I worry.
an hour later mom calls, ah she had to teach and she'll be late thats all, what a relief.
Boody calls, Zagazig protest is a failure, they're arresting everyone, ok will call dad and try to locate lawyers. I need names we can't track people unless we know their names.
abother hour, Boody calls, no need to worry, I got arrested too but they let me go and it looks like they're letting everyone go, eshta.
every 30 minutes we stop the slogans and chants to listen to a report about the latest arrests (ain't mobiles great, realtime news reporting), they're aressting people in all 14 cities.
they arrested 30 in the Cairo Metro (memories of painful metro cell experiences arise), any other nation has a freaking cell and a whole police task force for its underground?
news from el menia, they arrested on of the 4 profs who staged a protest last week, Prof. Salem Salam, he has diabetes, they denied him food, water and medecine.
30 minutes later Prof. Salem Salam is in comma or something (oh shit).
Mom tells me about Al Arish, they went there to celebrate Sinai Liberation day by demanding the Liberation of Sinai citizens, the Arish women had a 30 days sit in, they got promises to release everyone so they broke the sit in with a protest and a press conference (tagamo3 al arish is a proper leftist party not the weird things we have in cairo), many sad stories about the women, their kids and their husbans, one man was released on the condition that he orders his wife back, he goes to the tagamo3 with the officers and tells her to go home, her brothers are still in jail so she refuses, he slaps her around and drags her home. few days ago the guy was crying in his cell begging her to do anything to get him out. (ok ma, write this shit down please).
there is a new Shabab Kefaia group, Kefaia youth branch, Sarah talks to me about it, you gotta join, we meet saturdays, sorry saturday is out got another revolution to attend to, well at least join the first meeting where we decide on policy, bosi I'm not that kind of guy, you figure policy and stuff, I'll help with the website and see if I can participate in activities, bas balash saturday.
ok its getting late, this thing is not going to end, I have to go buy tickets to hurghada, head home help manal supervise the construction workers then pack our bags, but can't go out on my own.
the mood is tense, many small skirmishes between us and the soldiers, they say it will be over in 15 minutes, ok we wait.
معتصمون معتصمون معتصمون معتصمون, shiit its not going to end, kefaya wants to break it up, the young socialists want to stay lots of confusions, Kamal and Kamal agree to stay till they release everyone arrested today, makes sense.
this is for real, people sit down, they distribute candy to give us a bit of energy, gah the revolution can wait, I got a vacation planned here, what to do? what to do?
few minutes later some bigguys from Al Ghad are leaving, hey sir can I tag along, I'm kinda worried they'll grab my camera, sure son join.
we walk security is everywhere, we chat about the state of the nation, we arrive at Al Ghad, got a couple of obvious mo7'berin following us, "better come up for a while", eshta I go up, get the full recruitment treatment, promise to join hem again tonight in Bab Al Sha3reya and leave.
Hurghada here I come.