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the day starts in Imbaba, we arrive at Kamal Khalil's campaign headquarters and the good news start coming in, no judges monitoring the elections in Imbaba at all they're all state attorneys (guess how independent they are).
polling station are separated by gender, we got to one of the women's polling stations, very quite, nothing happening, youth from the Kamal Khalil campaign are sitting outside distributing leaflets, they say thee are no major violations but the turnout is very low and the only people who show up know very well who they'll vote for.
that doesn't despair them though, no one expects Kamal to win we are using elections as a platform so they distribute the leaflets and talk to voters about Kamal Khalil and socialism, they even talk to the people coming out of the voting station.
We are told there was no ink in one of these stations but they brought it after a candidate representative objected, we see the rotating ballot (a voter goes inside the polling station with a ballot form already marked and has to bring back the empty ballot, this is the only way those who paid for votes can make sure they people they paid vote correctly).
various small violations, nothing you can make a media fuss about and nothing you can't stop if you where more organized, so far so good.
we move on to the women station nearby, a local lady (obviously poor) decided to adopt Kamal Khalil, the moment she sees a lady she knows she grabs her ans start telling her about the lamba (lightbulb) guy. we chat together, she talks about their local problems and how they need a representative with a spine and a pair of balls, someone the government can't scare, she tells stories of how all the past MPs failed them and how widely hated the local government candidate it.
why we don't put this nice lady in a bus and go collected voters?
what bus in the voters that's illegal
no it is not illegal, it is illegal if you abuse public property to do that
maybe but it is unethical
aw fuck it, when will we ever learn, we can't be pompous and holier than though about politics, whats is fucking wrong with helping your voters get to the station? and besides think of the effect it will have on the lady, it will make it HER OWN CAMPAIGN. forget it, we are not here to win anyway.
while talking to the lady a local goon tries to convince me that assembling in front of the polling station is not allowed (yeah me and Manal and the lady are a big crowd and the buses with microphones and hundreds of kids screaming are just a picnic right).
the third polling station is too quite, children running around like crazy shouting about Mohammed 3emara and distributing leaflets, to the little kids elections are a blast, they get a day off school and they get paid to run around make noise, litter and have a great time, they are also trying to understand their local politics, they ask everyone who do you work for (who do you represent ya3ni), ah so the weirdos are socialists, the thugs are government supporters and the underfed represent the local drug lord (see valuable life lessons, who needs school).
We head back to the campaign headquarters where we meet Amr, now it is time to help voters figure out where they're registered, good thing we put the voters list in a searchable database (I don't hear no one saying thank you), no one is fucking registered, candidates for municipal elections, people who voted in the latest presidential elections, youth born between 1982-1986 who where supposed to be automatically registered once they got their national ID, we fail to find them in the database.
yaaaaay we found someone, cool I feel useful.
time to go look at other districts, we plan to go to all the places that has Kefaya candidates, we start with Giza where Mohammed Al Ashqar is running, not that he has any chances against ultra billionaire Abu El Einein (yeah the guy whose son has a tendency to kill people in Marina).
We start with campaign headquarters, the place is almost abandoned.
first we start with a women's polling station, things are quite, we meet one of the NGO monitors and have an interesting chat, they say the things are happening in the men's station, lets go.
we are greeted by Al Ashqar's representatives, they tell us about the haunted polling station, Abu El Einein somehow managed to remove 8 ballot boxes from 8 different polling station, and move them to an ad-hoc poling station outside the district (where else but in famous Omraneya), it was found by chance, stories of how they went to the police and how the Muslim Brotherhood voters went and voted there making it look like a legal station, yadayadayadayada
A guy distributing leaflets for the NDP labour candidate, approaches us, he informs us that he is only supporting this candidate because he is a relative, and that he thinks Kefaya and co have a very valid point, but he complains about how they are not mobilizing the right way (tell it bro).
we seem to have garnered alot of goodwill and trust, we really need to figure out how to leverage it.
voter turnout is not low it is zero, no one shows up but while we are talking (and while Mahmoud was jumping from place to place trying to record some interviews) hundreds of voters flock by all at the same time, we soon find out they are not residents of Giza at all, they come from Suez and other governerates, Abu El Einein managed to register thousands of them in Giza and bused them to, they're all registered in the same ballot box, they all have brand new voters cards, they have slave masters with them organizing them in lines and controlling the flow, some of them have ink on their fingers.
I sneak inside the polling station, the judge (a real judge) is an honest guy, he is furious but legally he can't do anything, candidate representatives are confused, the judge coyly convinces them to call the candidates and bring them ASAP.
Al Ashqar comes with two independent candidates (not opposition but not the faux independents who join the NDP after they win) they make a fuss, the lady candidate tells the fake voters about the 4 who got arrested, the voters are scared shitless and start running away, their slave masters close the school door and lock them inside then proceed to sooth them and explain to them that everything is perfectly legal.
after alot of fighting the judge suggests they record the national ID number of each voter so further investigations can be done, honest as he is he refuses to get involved though and asks the candidates to do the lists themselves, the candidates want the list to be legally binding and insist the judge should do it, they bicker about it all.
now this bickering halts the voting process completely, the poor fake voters are restless, they're not here by their own choice, they probably work in some factory owned by Abo El Einein.
Al Ashqar does his Kefaya routine, he gives a good speech about how corrupt the government is, I hear some of the fake voters saying "they can't tell who we vote for", OMN they're actually thinking about sneaking in and voting for someone else?!!!. "what this guy is saying is true" (talking about Al Ashqar), I get closer to hear more but of course the moment they see me they shut up, too bad.
and then finally Al Ashqar shouts "MEN OF GIZA LETS SHOW THESE BASTARDS THAT WE ARE NOT FAGGOTS, THEY COME HERE TO INVADE US AND CHOOSE FOR US". and all of a sudden anyone around from giza grabs water hoses, garbage cans, bricks, broom sticks, whatever weapons are available and beats the shit out of the fake voters.
it was amazing, a handful drove away the hundreds upon hundreds of fake voters (not that the poor Suez guys tried to fight back, they where obviously searching for an excuse to flee).
The candidates ran after them in the streets shouting Down Down Mubarak, and Kefaya, it was great, the two independents would never have shouted against Mubarak, so I guess we won two more Kefaya supporters.
what they did was illegal and violent, but it was the right thing to do.
Like in bolywood movies (aka indian movies) the police came after the action and pretended to restore order, we lingered around until polling time was over and we headed back home.
the moment we arrived home I got a phone call form Nora, she was crying and telling me how the judge who was responsible for counting votes in Imbaba kicked Kamal Khalil and his representatives out of the room and proceeded to forge the ballots himself, WHAT THE FUCK.
we run to Imbaba, THIS IS IT, THIS IS WHERE WE MAKE OUT STAND, I try to rally people, the only thing I can think of is how we are going to storm that building and save the ballot boxes.
we arrive at Imbaba, a crowd of almost 2000 locals is gathered around Kamal Khalil, these are voters who care about their votes, people who are angry about what is going on, in the most obscene terms you can imagine they explain how no one voted for Ismail Hillal the NDP candidate and they don't like the idea of him winning by forgery.
We shout anti regime slogans, I work the crowd making them even more angry.
I'm still assuming we are going to attack the building, there are 2 dozen central security soldiers around, their officers are hiding somewhere but what the fuck we are two thousands they don't scare us.
in the middle of it all a guy approaches me, he tells me he is a microbus driver (they're known to be very tough and violent), and that we have among us 40 more microbus drivers and a bunch of 3arbageya (donkey or horse cart drivers, also known to be tough) and that they are willing to do anything, ANYTHING to save the vote, they put their faith in our leadership.
GREAT, I got a crowd of two thousands angry men, some of the local toughs, a revolutionary socialist candidate surrounded by his well organized cell, what else do we need.
I talk to Kamal Khalil's campaign people and tell them about the driver, their response is we don't want to break the law (WHAT FUCKING LAW A JUDGE IS FORGING THE VOTE), and we don't want to use violence (FAIR ENOUGH USE NON VIOLENT DIRECT ACTION THEN).
A7A, what does that mean?
what do I tell the guy??
give me an alternative then, let me say to the guy we will not break the law or use violence but we will do this or that.
and the answer is we already protested and we'll continue with the protest?????!!!!!
I go back to the guy and deliver the message, now I don't usually care about values of machismo and male pride, but at this moment I felt my penis shrinking and my balls contracting, I felt like a total sissy.
they guy gave me a look (aha it would take me weeks to forget this look) and said we trusted in Kamal Khalil because they told us he doesn't fear no one, because they said he spent years in jail and wouldn't mind going back if that's what it takes, because he stood there and cursed Mubarak and the dreaded Imbaba police station.
he didn't explain what he meant but it was quite obvious, that we are fake, that we are hear to shout slogans but lack the courage to do what it takes, that we are not fucking revolutionaries, that we are fucking fags.
man what a blow to my self esteem, I fucking hate myself now.
but it gets even worse.
after halfheartedly trying to maintain a protest Kamal decides we'll go the police station to file a complaint, WTF we'll go to the police station to complain about the actions of a judge? we'll go to the police station that tortures your voters day and night? we'll go to the same fucking police station that you threatened to attack when they arrested someone from your campaign.
we march to the police station, almost no one from Imbaba joins us, when we arrive we try to picket the fucking police station, but our candidate tells us to please go protest on the opposite sidewalk (gah we can't even pretend to be fearless protesters?).
after 5 minutes we stop shouting slogans and just sit there, there are no more than a dozen of us, we wait and wait and wait and wait.
Kamal Khalil comes out, doesn't speak a word to anyone, looks totally depressed, and leaves us abruptly!!!!!!
what do we do now? go home. WTF what about the people still gathered outside? nothing.
we go back to the polling stations, take our posh cars and leave with our tails between our legs, we get jeered at, we show the good people of Imbaba the real side of us, we abandoned them, we didn't even wait to hear the result, in one night we destroy everything we worked for in Imbaba.
but you know what's the worst part? no one notices, no one cares.
the revolutionary socialists still think they did the right thing, there is NO FUCKING PROBLEM AT ALL
the day doesn't end here, it ends in Dokki among the Ikhwan youth standing outside the agricultural museum where the Dokki votes are being counted, their candidate won, everyone knows it, but the mighty Amal Othman won't hear of it, the judge finished counting but won't announce the results, we just wait.
again it is a big crowd, we ask them what are you going to do it they make it as if your candidate lost? and the kids say whatever our leadership tells us.
we give up and leave them to their vigil and go back to bed.
next morning we learn that the results in Dokki where forged and Amal Othman won, the Ikhwan youth did a very small scale protest after Friday prayer.
Kamal Khalil got 600+ votes in Imbaba.
Voter turnout is between 10% to 24% (of registered voters, only a small percentage of illegible voters are registered) Districts can be won with 6000 or even sometimes 3000 votes.
the NDP and the Ikhwan can't get more then 6000 votes average, in the district where they spent more on buying votes they only got 2500 votes.
you make your own conclusions.
prodigy - poison