Friday, February 11, 2011

Voices of the day: 'We did it.'

Olfa G. Tantawi, Truthout: Many analysts in the media speak of Egypt's economy, they say that the economic growth did not trickle down to the poor and this is why this is happening. This is too simplistic. This revolution is not about poverty and need. The people in the streets from all walks of life, rich and poor are there because they want freedom, freedom, freedom, freedom...

In the media they speak of an international community afraid of a power vacuum, they speak of a fear from Islamic radicalism. Others speak of the absence of the building blocks of democracy. This is exactly because they do not understand the nature of this revolution. The people, literally for the first time in history, are taking the lead and deciding for themselves. The government will continue to make its concessions and offers, and the street is the judge...

The absence of a person or a group of persons as a recognizable leadership group of figures is intentional. The intellectual young people who started all this are actually leading by spreading awareness among the people in the square rather than by giving orders, and this is making the pressure of the street crowds even more forceful.

A reader of The Daily Dish: The pivotal moment was last night, when the protesters, despite their profound and understandable disappointment and anger, resisted the impulse to act with violence. At this point, most of the military leaders must have realized that, even if they themselves were willing to stand by Mubarak, the rank and file would not turn on the protesters... Days, months or even years from now, I would predict that the demonstrators' peaceful response to Mubarak's refusal to step down on the night of Feb. 10, 2011 will be viewed as the turning point in this revolution.

Jack Shenker, The Guardian: The march from the presidential palace back to Tahrir square was a wall of sound... Amid the jubilation, though, there was a moment of reflection for those who died to make this day possible. 'Be happy, martyrs, for today we feast at your victory,' sang the crowds... As the procession reached the high-walled Ministry of Defence, Egyptians could not resist reminding their new overlords of who now held the balance of power in the Arab World's most populous nation. 'Here, here, the Egyptians are here,' they shouted up at darkened windows, pointing down to the street.

'For 18 days we have withstood tear gas, rubber bullets, live ammunition, molotov cocktails, thugs on horseback, the scepticism and fear of our loved ones, and the worst sort of ambivalence from an international community that claims to care about democracy,' said Karim Medhat Ennarah... 'But we held our ground. We did it.'
Image source here.