February 9, 2011

Alan Chin in Cairo: The Opposition Recharging

The protest in Cairo spread to the Parliament, which demonstrators marched to for the first time yesterday and rallied today as well. In what have become, by now, ubiquitous scenes of earnestness paired with humor and high spirits, the crowd chanted anti-Mubarek slogans, sang, danced, and redoubled the energy required for a sustained campaign. There seems to be a realistic sense amongst the protesters that they have to keep the pressure up, lively, entertaining, and sharp. The government’s combination of threats and negotiation don’t have enough credibility to convince the people on the streets.

At the headquarters of their parliamentary bloc, the Muslim Brotherhood gave a press conference. Spokesman Mohammad Mursi (above) said, “The regime has fallen and is not legitimate and now it must leave,” signaling that their participation in talks with the government have thus far failed to achieve a clear path to transition. Initial meetings on Sunday have not been repeated, and Mursi also said that between 70 to 100 people he knew of have been arrested and tortured in the last two weeks.

Meanwhile, back in Tahrir Square, protesters figure out solutions to practical problems of logistics. Volunteers cleaned the ground and removed trash, brought food and drink. And when thousands sleep in a public square without electrical outlets, resourceful souls make the most out of an extension cord. Twitter, Facebook, text-messaging, and all the other much talked-about tools of the contemporary activist rely not only on unblocked networks, but on recharged batteries.

–Alan Chin


Here you can find the series of all the photo-reports from BagNews since the Middle East crisis began.

Precious post: A Crowded Square

Next post: Extreme Shock and Rage

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