By Amr Fouad
Those who triggered the first spark, making a fire without a stick or stone are rebels, iconoclasts with a lot to lose but and a vision for the future.
Not only did they defy the notorious regime in Egypt, they have even “defied gravity” to quote the lyrics of Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now”. As in this song, we should call those life-givers “The Fahrenheits.”
Nobody is certain of the outcome of this Rainbow Revolution as we Egyptians are dealing with a regime that derives its legitimacy through spreading mayhem, and of course the panacea sweeping out of it; the magical pill of fear and self-preservation.
But all fear evaporated and the protesters showed their determination, tarnishing the face of the regime with their blood oozing out of their defiant chants and beaten-up faces.
The adrenaline rush cracks a warm smile in the eyes of those who protested in Tahrir Square, especially on Jan. 25 and 28. Before these two specific dates every average passive Egyptian thought all those protests would be easily suppressed like the ones before. But actually, the previous protests were the seeds we are harvesting now in the Rainbow Revolution.
A friend of mine was thrilled, “the more experienced protesters picked up the tear-gas canisters and cast them back at the police; fear is gone.”
The landscape of protesters sandwiched the police and the rhythmic resounding chants were heard right after Friday prayers.
A hail of teargas canisters were madly hitting balconies, setting some on fire, an armored vehicle mercilessly zigzagged through the rioters, blood was spattered over faces and asphalt, protesters collapsed in the hands of others through the monotonous utterly fruitless chants of “Selmia” (Peaceful).
Yet the most amazing thing is the way my friend challenged every ounce of fear on his way to join protesters on the “Friday of Wrath”. He’s one of a new breed of activists rising up in this revolution; I call them “Immediate Activists” because before the Jan. 25 and in the momentum that followed the Tunisian revolution, these ordinary middle class citizens — a class I thought was gone — were dreamers, busy with their daily lives, careers, bringing up their children in the endless fight against the maddening inflation.
Deep inside they all dreamt and believed in Rousseau’s words: “What do people gain if their very condition of civil tranquility is one of their hardships? There is peace in dungeons, but is that enough to make dungeons desirable?” This is a category most of us belong to. But Rousseau’s words are inherent in all of us even if we’ve never read them before.
Those dreamers allowed the current regime to sustain the way our lives were run, all for the sake of stability, before they decided to break free from the dungeons into the unknown rather than the matter-of-fact, connecting with their smoldering emotions engulfed in a stability of suppressed instability.
This unity of feelings and causes that brought together the long-time activists, the masses and the immediate middle classes is the backbone of the Rainbow Revolution and the strength that makes the people endure those days in Tahrir Square.
The regime is, as always, muddled in an array of Freudian defense mechanisms of both denial and projection.
President Mubarak must leave now before the removal of the whole regime. The useless jargon about the constitution shouldn’t be a valid argument in this force majeure of a situation. And let me remind everyone that a country like the UK has no core constitutional document although it has the oldest parliament in the world.
This is not only because of the horsemen that stormed through the protesters on Feb. 2 and the bloodbath that the pro-Mubarak thugs and sociopaths caused, but because this time the virtual youth steering this revolution are savvy and won’t fall into the trap of March, 25 1954 when President Nasser and the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC) lied to their countrymen, pretending to cancel bans on political rights and the return of political parties with the election of an assembly with the full authority of parliament and the dissolution of the RCC by July 24, 1954.
What really happened was that Nasser’s mobs had planned a general strike two days after, attacking and defaming political parties and the parliament, demanding the fall of democracy in favor of the 1952 revolution and it’s presumably innocent council.
These are exactly the same tactics that sustained military rule in Egypt till now with the Mubarak regime creating the same chaos with the blame-game — in 1954 it was the British Occupation, today it’s Iran and the usual suspects.
Even the two unconfirmed assassination attempts on VP Omar Suleiman are replicas of the better-preformed drama of the Muslim Brotherhood’s attempt to assassinate Nasser.
The majority of Egyptians want the right to choose their president. As for the NDP, it now more like the MDP.
M is for Molotov not majority.