Just recently, Tunisians were able to oust an unpopular dictator with very little violence. Borzou Daraghi reports that the protests in Tunisia were 3 years in the making. He reports that 3 years ago:
Activists and some elements in the country’s main labor organization, the General Union of Tunisian Workers, or UGTT, saw an opening in Gafsa and tried to advance the cause of the movement, using video posted to YouTube to publicize the plight of the locals in a campaign that lasted six months. Ben Ali’s response was harsh.
As Tunisia struggles to develop a civil society that can fill the hole left by the dictatorial regime, Egyptians have taken to the streets. MideastYouth.com is following the story from Egypt here. The blogger states:
In brief, Tunisia has made people, not only in Egypt but all across the region, to believe that the ousting of any totalitarian regime is within reach, if people actually march into the streets, not only on the internet. Signs of releasing anger has spread all across Egypt by tearing Mubarak’s pictures in several areas.
Events in Egypt can be followed live on Al Jazeera and Crowdvoice is also keeping track of events.
The New York Times has an overview of the “smoldering fury” in Egypt (Egyptians’ Fury Has Smoldered Beneath the Surface for Decades)
The Egyptian police have a long and notorious track record of torture and cruelty to average citizens. One case that drew widespread international condemnation involved a cellphone video of the police sodomizing a driver with a broomstick. In June 2010, Alexandria erupted in protests over the fatal beating by police of beating Khaled Said, 28. The authorities said he died choking on a clump of marijuana, until a photograph emerged of his bloodied face. Just last month, a suspect being questioned in connection with a bombing was beaten to death while in police custody.
Bloggers talk about their experiences with MSNBC. They quote blogger Noha Atef: “Police never beat me, but more than one time summoned me. I was advised by them to stop blogging, while my family were threatened of my disappearance, rape and ‘punishment’ if they didn’t stop me.”
Finally (for today) Enduring America has been covering events in Egypt on their live blog.
- Two Faces of Revolution: (Or, why dictators fear the internet)
- Arseh Sevom’s 2011 Review
- Power, Communication, and the Internet
- Reform, Revolution, and Change
- The Death of the “Twitter Revolution” and the Struggle over Internet Narratives