Egypt: The Revolutionary Moment
Source: The Nation
If the world has a heart, it beats now for Egypt. Not of course, the Egypt of President Hosni Mubarak—of the rigged elections, the censored press, the axed Internet, the black-clad security police and the tanks and the torture chambers—but the Egypt of the intrepid ordinary citizens who, almost entirely unarmed, with little more than their physical presence in the streets and their prayers, are defying this whole apparatus of intimidation and violence in the name of justice and freedom. Their courage and sacrifice give new life to the spirit of the nonviolent, democratic resistance to dictatorship symbolized by the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. That event in fact symbolized a longer wave of revolutions that, spreading like a brushfire, swept dozens of dictators out of power, from the Philippines in 1986 to Poland in 1989, through to the early twenty-first century. But that global contagion had seemed to be flagging recently. Now, dictators all over the world are on their guard again. In Saudi Arabia, the monarchy is looking over its shoulder. Yemen is on notice. In China, the word “Egypt” has been censored from the Internet: the Egyptian autocrats removed the Internet from Egypt; the Chinese autocrats removed Egypt from the Internet.