” Egypt is not struggling with its past, present and future. Egypt in not struggling with its identity. Egypt is even struggling with the basic definition of what is right and what is wrong”
The dramatic events of the last two days have ignited yet another debate between the supporters of the military council and those who are against it.
Rather than joining the pointless debate, I rather highlight few points:
1- The confrontation was inevitable, Three week of sit-in was bound to build up tension between the two sides.
2- Following months of unrest since the 25th of January, resident of down town Cairo has lost their privacy and peace and certainly feel under siege. Their growing hostility toward the protestors became evident during the events of Mohamed Mahmoud. It is not surprising that they were hostile at the protestors as the army was trying to disperse the Occupy Cabinet sit -in. Yesterday, State TV made every effort to interview these resentful residents and highlight their problems.
3- Egypt undoubtedly needs new street protest culture, where both protestors and police learn to respect the law of the land and each other’s right and dignity.the law of If and when this happen, we will never witness throwing rocks and Molotov between both sides.
4- There are clear and well-known methods for dispersing angry crowds. These should start by a clear plan designed according to the severity of the situation. Simple methods like spreading leaflets warning protestors of planned evacuation, the use of water cannons should be tried first before things escalate. The whole operation should be conducted with discipline and professionalism.
5- As I wrote in my previous piece “Rules Of Engagement” bit.ly/w0VJzO army and police need change and reform. Obviously neither the police nor the army are willing to embrace any. Some of the photos/videos of the army soldiers - yfrog.com/klo623j and arb.st/t38WNWare frankly disgusting ( if true).
6- Egyptian security forces (both police and army) seem to have lost both respect and deterrence. Following years of indoctrination of ruthless tactics, January 25th revolution left them with low morals, humiliated and even anger. This was clearly reflected at their vicious treatment of the protestors.
7- Tit for Tat have no place in a professional force, as @arabist mentioned in his piece http://t.co/7fE9ZQQg “Why the hell are police and soldiers engaging in rock-throwing? Who is running this place? It’s an abdication of authority and responsibility” By reciprocating stone throwing is not just silly, but counter-productive and only lead to more causality
8- The main aim should minimizing human loss, judging by events of Maspero/ Mohamed Mahmoud and occupy cabinet, these aim was not fulfilled -to say the least- Even if protestors provoked the police and the army, it is the duty of any force to deal with any provocation in a professional manner and absorb tension rather than aggravate it.
Meanwhile, the vast majority of Egyptians are indifferent to the recent development, and many turning against the protestors. As Tim Marshall (Sky news Foreign affairs Editor) tweeted yesterday: “@Skytwitius Watching Cairo pics important 2 remember that 84M Egyptians are NOT taking part. If you don’t get that you dont get #Egypt”
The wide gap between Twitter feed #OccupyCabinet and the general Egyptian public opinion is so alarming. This gap reflect a serious crisis of the entire society and will not narrow unless those responsible held accountable for their own actions.
It is easy to label the protestors as thugs and criminals. Just a word of warning, those “thugs” are the sons you did not raise, the students you did not teach and the youth you never cared about.
A medical student was not a thug, Al-Azhar Sheik was also not a thug.
May all the martyrs rest in peace.