The people have been on the streets for a full week now, facing first the police, who have since run away, and now the soldiers, who have said they will not fire on their own people. Today someone or several someones, nascent leaders perhaps, called for a general strike and millions of people in the street. The government appears to be moving towards a change but still Mubarak clings to power. It’s a half a world away; a storm of protest will be playing out in the Egyptian desert while we are waiting for the winter storm that is coming. We have a decision to make sometime soon as well, about our government, about our elections, but because we are the luckiest nation in the world, here in the frozen north, it will be peaceful, orderly lines at the polling booths, with the most violence coming from puerile attack ads on television.

When we lose our communications, it’s the weather, not a dictatorial government that seeks to keep our thoughts from each other. Tyranny always plays it the same, and always the people will find a way. Remember the underground presses of the French revolution.

From food riots in Algeria, to the fall of the government in Tunisia, to the people in the streets, not just of Egypt, but of Yemen and Jordon as well, the world is a more dangerous place this week. There may be leaders emerging who will take Egypt towards democracy and freedom and away from theocracies and despots, and with it the other countries in the region who have been held down too long.

The people are demanding that Mubarak leave by Friday. It will be a long three days.

Black Bloc

News | About Vancouver | Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games | CTV Olympics.

The protest groups at international events as diverse as the G8 and G20 meetings to the Olympics seem to have become fixtures. According to the article above, a group of anarchists move from protest to protest, dressing in black clothing and wearing masks. It seems to me their only real objective is a day out, play-acting their fantasies, and harming other people as they go.
“Oh but we never hurt people,” they cry.
Really? What about the people whose cars they damaged, and the small shop owners who sees a month’s income disappear to pay for broken windows. Whose cars were they: perhaps a young couple just starting out in life, or a single father, or an elderly woman clinging to her independence?
“Oh but the cause, the noble cause,” they answer.
Cowards and thugs, I say, likely escaping from boring, tedious, low-level jobs, if indeed they have any.
Martin Luther King didn’t hide his face. Mahatma Ghandi didn’t draw courage from being part of a mob. Protest on, peaceful and non-violent marchers. The rest of you, leave.