Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cairo meets the movement, with tears and chaos and exaltation

Great piece by Philip Weiss who's in Cairo with the Freedom march. Luckily he wasn't in one of the two buses which headed to Gaza only to be barred to denied entry.
"Today the Gaza Freedom March fragmented slightly when in the face of stern opposition from their fellows about 80 people headed off to Gaza on buses, the rest staying in Cairo.

But wait, weren’t you trying to go to Gaza? Yes, but it has been quite a drama. How to state this clearly…"


  1. "Still Code Pink went forward with its plan, and at 6:30 this morning the lucky few gathered on a sidewalk on Ramses Street near the bus station. Over the next 4 hours I witnessed agony and torment, and said a secret blessing that I had not tried to get on the buses last night. A crowd of those opposed to the 100 stood outside barricades set up around the buses and shouted "All or none!" and "Get off the Bus!" It turned out that they had many confederates among the 100 who boarded the buses– confederates who at a signal marched off the buses, some giving heroic speeches.
    The people staying on the buses leaned out the doors to say that the Gazans wanted them to come so as to to join their march to the Israeli border on the 31st. But they wavered. Indeed, you saw some of the most resolute activists on the planet—Bernardine Dohrn, the law professor and former member of the Weather Underground; Ali Abunimah of Electronic Intifada; and Donna Mulhearn, an Australian woman who was a human shield during the beginning of he Iraq war, board the bus and get it off it, and then board it again and get off it, and on and on."

  2. What, I keep wondering, are ordinary Cairenes doing, saying, thinking, while all this is going on their midst? I'm sure there are cops and mukhabarat  preventing any demonstrations of solidarity or attempts to communicate, but there's usually a few hardy individuals who manage to make a breakthrough. 

  3. The bast laid plans in those situations is understanding what you are up against and having a plan,  than working that plan while you are there.  It has to contain a lot of contingencies with goals,  attached to various cells of individuals. 

  4. i kind of understand wanting to stay untied, but i dont understand why it would hurt the movement if a few went.