Breaking news: 31 demonstrators arrested!

My laptop is going to be operational tomorrow, so that's when I am going to be back at posting things. However, this, couldn't wait!

There was a demonstration planned for the day, to protest against the egyptian constitutional changes, which pretty much outlawed independent candidacy, and made the emergency law permenant under the guise of the terrorism law. I had passed by the area today, and there was about 20 state secuirty soldiers trucks. The area was flooded with black uniforms. Apparently the demonstration went as planned and the police cracked down on them and arrested 31 demonstrators, amongst which are bloggers Mohamed al taher and Meit.

The way it worked was as follows: The police seperated the area of Talaat Harb from The Tahrir square, so many demonstrators couldn't get to Tahrir square. So a group of 100 of them made a demonstration and were chased by the police into a dead end alley and were kept there. There were fringe demonstartions all over the surrounding area, of groups of 2-5 demonstrators staging their own demonstrations independently from anyone else. The Police reportedly cracked down on them in the alleys and the streets surrounding the area. An eye-witness friend informed me that she saw 2 demonstrators getting the shit kicked out of them in a side street and then getting arrested. The Police has reportedly arrested 29 others the same way.

As you can see the terrorism law is working effective immedietly, and used as expected as a tool against political opposition. If this is anything, it's an omen of dark times ahead. 

The tone, has already been set!

The list of the names in arabic can be found here. 

13 Comments on Breaking news: 31 demonstrators arrested!

  1. Aardvark EF-111B
    March 15, 2007 at 11:34 pm

    Tyranny has been ligitimized for the next 50 years, and that is nothing but the start!, This is going to be long long and bloody !!!

  2. leo
    March 16, 2007 at 1:28 am

    Gulag, anyone?

  3. Trav
    March 16, 2007 at 4:11 am

    Get out Monkey, while you still can!!!

  4. habibi
    March 16, 2007 at 7:08 am

    Battleground Egypt. Theocracy vs Democracy. Sharia vs Secular. If Egypt falls……..

  5. Adam B.
    March 16, 2007 at 9:21 am

    What always boggles me, not only in this case but all over the world, is where oppresive governments find the policemen willing to do their dirty work…?!

    I mean, they have to go home after work and function in a society that (hopefully!) despises their actions. They might have to beat up their childrens friends or the local butcher where they shop every day. I can’t figure out how they manage to live a normal life…! Do they live in segregated camps or what?!

  6. S. Weasel
    March 16, 2007 at 10:12 am

    Take care of yourself, sand monkey. Discretion is the better part of keeping your butt out of jail.

  7. Nasser
    March 16, 2007 at 1:29 pm


    how brilliant!!

    ever though of sending your name and a sample of your enlighting analysis on the situation in Egypt to the Darwin Award team?

    how does this news item fit under “Theocracy vs Democracy” or “Sharia vs Secular” given that he arrested demonstrators include some Islamists and that the demonstration itself was held by Islamists and secularists??

    read and learn before you open your mouth

  8. Maha
    March 16, 2007 at 1:37 pm

    Adam B. you’re right! Thats what I have been asking myself too. Its not only the police, its also the army.

  9. Adam B.
    March 16, 2007 at 6:32 pm

    7. Nasser:

    Secular tyranny or theocratic tyranny; who cares – they’re just as bad. Only two differences are:
    1. A theocratical rule is ALWAYS a tyranny; a secular one is not.
    2. A theocratical rule always argues that it and it alone is the one and only truth and everyone else are, per difinition, wrong; a secular one is never so presumptuous – it just is, either by way of force or by way of vote.

    As long as islamists do not agitate anti-democratic views, preach against basic human rights, or argue in favor of religious preferential treatment, no one should deny them the right to demonstrate. Unfortunately, none of the abovementioned points are usually relevant when it comes to islamist, hence the general distaste from the rest of the world, including disgruntled sandmonkeys! 🙂

  10. US
    March 17, 2007 at 2:28 am

    This answer got rather longer than I had anticipated: So long post warning…

    @Adam B:

    There’s probably a big litterature on this subject just waiting for you (and me, I’ve not read all that much)… Some personal thoughts to make things a little easier for you to understand:

    For starters, I don’t think a lot of these SS guys believe their actions are necessarily immoral or wrong, or they wouldn’t be SS guys in the first place. Rather, something like this is a(n unpleasant) part of the job. The job sometimes involves tweaking the surcomstances just a little in order to achieve what you believe is right or do what you have been told to do, or a combination. As a SS officer, sometimes you have to get a little rough to avoid mass hysteria or revolution, and if you don’t believe this to begin with, you’ll accept this line of thought as time goes by. Think about Jack Bauer. People find all sorts of ways to rationalize and defend their actions and choices, also when these to an unbiased observed (or themselves ten years before) seem utterly undefendable. It also “helps” that the development is most likely an incremental one, going from bad to worse. My guess is that you don’t start out your education/brain wash process in the State Security by beating some guy up in the interrogation cell (if it was, I would assume that they would have a major recruitment problem in the long run, as only maniacs would seek in). But as time goes by…

    On a more situation-specific note; the people the government would use in a situation like this are often those who either are psychos who like beating people up, or they are people fond of power who have already gone some way down the wrong road mentioned above – the latter groups representatives probably also already have a vested interest in the system, benefiting economically and otherwise from the way the system works today (of course the two groups overlap). They can’t afford to be nice.

    Group mentality also comes into play here; if the people in the top make it clear that they don’t want this to happen again and that you should use force, if you don’t but the rest of your group do or want to, expect your next assignment to have something to do with parking tickets or filling out forms in a boring desk job. And kiss all kinds of future promotions goodbye for ever. That is, unless of course you don’t do something really bad and get yourself fired, perhaps after getting the same treatment as the demonstrators. As for the SS officer beating up someone he knows: If he met someone he knew, he might try (or claim that he tried) to make things a little easier for him. But odds are he doesn’t know the people he arrests in the streets – he is a government official, a lot of the demonstrators are against everything he stands for: They wouldn’t have much to talk about.

    On another related note: I don’t think people in general are all that hostile towards the SS-people – not as much as they should be anyway. Even if you are, it’s dangerous to express your views in the open. However, remember that a lot of people, not only SS-people, do believe that Kareem should have been killed, not imprisoned. If it is dangerous to oppose the system and group pressure mechanisms also works the other way, there’s no need for government officers to live isolated lives because people disapprove of their actions. The generation-gap is important here too – even if someones uncle was annoyed that some SS officer he knew had beaten up his nephew, well – Kareem is after all just a young troublemaker and so are many of the demonstrators. In oppressive states, it’s most often the young people that want change and the older generation that holds them back. The demonstrators should just stay at home and study or whatever, instead of making it necessary for the police to intervene – it’s their own fault if they got beat up. If enough people think along these lines, or if you are unable to say anything else unless you want to be arrested and/or beat up as well, isolation wouldn’t be a problem for the people doing the dirty work.

  11. Adam B.
    March 17, 2007 at 7:48 pm

    10. US:

    Quite right – take my earlier comment as more of an expression of exasperation rather than sincere bewilderment… 🙂

    I can certainly appreciate that other cultures view these demonstrations differently than we in the west do, and all sorts of factors apply when it comes to the supposed social stigma of filling out the ‘thug’ role. I just have a hard time imagining why someone would willfully put their personal resources at the disposal of an oppresive regime.

    Take the case of personel patrolling the berlin wall during the cold war – today, most of these see their actions as unacceptable, but back then they didn’t question their orders, nor did their surroundings offer any sort of consequence to these actions, despite the victims being ordinary next-door people. The result was the survival of the represive regime to the detriment of everyone, including the guards, who could have just found another job…

    It’s difficult for a sane mind to fathom…!

  12. lynne
    March 17, 2007 at 8:46 pm

    SM, I wish that you would leave while you can. Can’t you go study something somewhere? You need a Master’s degree! Stay away for a while until things simmer down. I am worried about you—take care!

  13. US
    March 18, 2007 at 1:00 pm

    Indeed it is Adam.

    But it still is a question that needs to be given some thought. I think that some level of public knowledge about the mechanisms that drive society toward the oppressive state and work against change once that outcome has been reached is both a very important element necessary in order to avoid making the mistakes of the past, and to make reform of such systems easier. Which is part of the reason why I wrote the previous post. Another reason is that my impression is that unfortunately, it is also a subject that is very much neglected – even among the people who truly love living in a free society.

    My main point was that oftentimes people filling this role is either caught in a bad equilibrium or they are simply people who should never have had the power to do what they do. That is not to say that they do not have a responsibility and that their actions should go unpunished. But it is an important lesson in order to make the bad equilibrium unattainable or counteract the development towards it. If we just remain puzzled and never go any further, we won’t learn anything.


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