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al-Tahrir Square Protesters’ Declaration

February 4th, 2011 · 3 Comments · Agitprop, Arab Culture, Egypt, Freedom of Speech

Again via Jadaliyya site, the English translation of the al-Tahrir protesters’ Declaration. Translation thanks to Fida Adely.


Declaration: Egyptian Youth Protesting in Midan al-Tahrir

First Main Point: The Promises of the President and the Events of February 2

We have been protesting since January 25 and conducting a sit-in in Tahrir (Liberation) Square. We strongly condemn the brutal attack that was undertaken by the mercenaries of the national party against us at the center of our sit-in on Wednesday February 2 under the pretenses of a demonstration in support of President Mubarak and this aggression continues on Thursday February 3. We are saddened by the participation of some of Egypt’s youth with the government thugs and criminals whom the National Party is used to employing in elections. The regime unleashed them against us after the regime and its media spread many lies about our goals, which are in support of a change in the political regime, to guarantee to us and to all citizens, freedom, dignity of life and social justice – goals also shared by these young people. Thus, we would like to clarify the following:

First, we are a group of young people from Egypt – Muslims and Christians; the overwhelming majority of us do not belong to political parties nor have we been involved in political activities before. Our movement includes old people and children, peasants, laborers and professionals, students and workers and pensioners. Our movement cannot be characterized as driven or moved by a minority given the millions who responded to the call for bringing down the regime. They joined this call last Tuesday in Cairo and in the governorates, in an event in which not one single incident of violence was witnessed nor any attack on property or harassment of anyone by anyone.

Second, our movement is accused of being funded from outside, with support provided by the United States. It is also said that the movement has been instigated by Hamas, and that it is under the leadership and organization of the president of the National Society for Change, Mohammed Elbaradei. Finally, and not finally, it is said that the movement is directed by the Muslim Brotherhood. The listing of these multiple accusations in this way in and of itself shows how false they are. The protestors are all Egyptians. Their goals are patriotic, clear and specific. The protestors have neither foreign weapons nor equipment as the instigators claim. The broad response of the people to the movement reveals that the movement’s goals are the same goals of the Egyptian masses in general, and not the goals of particular faction or foreign entity.

Third, the regime and its media cast false blame upon us for the tensions and instability that you have seen in the streets of Egypt in the previous days and, thus, blame the young people who are demonstrating for the damages inflected upon our interests, the interests of our nation, and the security of us all. It is not the peaceful protestors who let the criminals out of prison to create a situation of thievery and looting in the streets of Egypt. It is not the protestors who imposed a curfew that starts at 3:00PM, stopping work at banks, bakeries and fuel stations. When the protestors organized their demonstrations of millions they came out in the best form, it was well organized, and the demonstrations ended peacefully. The protestors are not the ones who killed 300 people, some of them with live bullets. Nor did they injure more than a thousand people in the previous days.

Fourth, President Mubarak came out on Tuesday to announce that he would not run in the next presidential elections, and that he would amend articles in the constitution, and begin dialogue with the opposition. The official media attacked us when we refused his “concessions” and we decided to continue our movement. Our demand that Mubarak must leave immediately is not personal. It is based upon clear reasons including:

Promising not to run is not a new thing, Mubarak promised when he became a president in 1981 that he would not serve as president for more than two terms, but he stayed in power for more than 30 years. The speech did not put forth any guarantees that his son Gamal will not run for office. Gamal is still a member of the ruling party and can nominate himself in an election that does not proceed under judicial supervision since the speech did not mention amending article 88 of the constitution. Furthermore, the speech deemed our movement a conspiracy waged by forces that work against the interest of the country, as if agreeing to the demands of the people is a dishonor and disgrace. As for starting a dialogue with the opposition – how many dialogues did the regime claim it would start with the opposition in previous years, that ended with Mubarak’s State proceeding in the path of the narrow interests of the entities that control the state.

The events that happened on Wednesday validate our position. While the president was offering promises in his speech, the leaders of his regime were arranging with thugs to plot the brutal attack in Tahrir Square using machetes, knife, and fire bombs. They were accompanied by members of the ruling party who used fire arms against peaceful demonstrators who were surrounded in Tahrir Square. This attack resulted in the death of at least seven people and wounded hundreds of people, some of them with serious injuries, with the aim of ending our national popular movement and keeping the status quo.

Our movement is Egyptian – Our movement is legitimate – Our movement is ongoing

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