The PBS documentary titled Cairo Revolution is about the response of ordinary Egyptians on Mubarak’s oppressive government leadership. It is about non elitists who grew increasingly discontent with the happenings in Cairo. It is about ordinary citizens who could not continue to watch the heightening levels of corruption and injustice.
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The revolution followed several years of repression in Egypt. Youthful Egyptians got tired of the rising police brutality and interrogative torture upon the citizens. Other issues including election rigging and refusal to hand over power by the Mubarak regime fueled the protest. The young people constituting of not less than 60% of the population became tired of the rising unemployment rates. Many of the Egyptian youth became unemployed despite having university education.
The people wanted change and would do anything to see that change. A group of young people led by a technology savvy civil engineer formed a movement – the April 6 youth movement. The movement started campaigning in 2008. They organized a peaceful protest against the injustices experienced by textile workers. The success of that protest led to the formalization of the movement with a mission to organize and mobilize ordinary people to fight for their rights.
It took three years to regroup, strategize, coin the movement’s agenda and launch out. They demanded that Mubarak and his children should never run during presidential elections. They called for immediate dissolution of the national assembly and a repealing of the emergency law.
Other issues included reformation on the constitution and government policies. The movement was out to denounce corrupt leaders and bring a lasting change to the unemployment problems of the youth. They wanted to see Egypt freed from police brutality. The revolt became a massive success.
Organizing for a revolution is not an easy task. The difficulties to be dealt with became enormous. The government was not ready for any anti government protests and would use government tools to deal with any assertions against the regime. The youth movement got into planning despite the government’s opposition.
The movement had obvious strength that the government did not know. The strategy included the use of cyber space – internet to spread the planned revolt. The leaders of the youth movement used social media channels including face book, twitter and blogging to mobilize the youth and further their anti government slogans.
They used viral videos showing excessive brutality during police interrogations. Other means of communication included the use of cell phones to send short messages that the youth forwarded to all the contacts on their cell phones. The movement also spent quality time together studying the works of Nelson Mandela and the student led resistant in Serbia. One of the key leaders of the April 6 movement went to Serbia to learn the art of non violent protests.
He learnt how to teach others to protest peacefully. He also learnt how to put demands in a peaceful way and how to organize and get people into the streets. The movement’s success resulted from the massive support received from the youth and eventually across the entire population.
The movement’s team work and skill in planning, organizing and mobilizing paid off. The government’s reaction only served to strengthen and catalyze the movement’s success. The use of non violent techniques learnt from the Serbian experience solidified the movement’s success.