Friday, February 11, 2011

Barry's Egypt Video Timeline, Skeet's Fame Increases, and Download Situation Handled

Everyone knows I'm a political activist, but I try to keep the written content about minutiae relegated to personal blogs or publications that deal in that specific business. Politics can be contentious, and I don't want anyone to feel like they have to subscribe to identical views in order to listen to Look What I Did. That said, there are some technically political events that transcend politics.

While I personally feel that the USA has a moral responsibility to stay out of the crisis in Egypt officially, everyone in the world who wishes to live in a free society is cheering right along with these people who just woke up overnight to the fact that they've been suffering under multiple decades of tyranny. Since I'm the type of person who obsessively watches world events like these, I figured I would provide some Egypt Revolution Cliff's Notes in the form of a video timeline of exactly how this sudden flash mob internet revolution came to be. I've been watching Al Jazeera's English Live Stream off and on for days due to their superior coverage of events on the ground in that part of the world. I have drifted off to sleep the past few nights watching swirling swarms of Egyptian patriots defeating tyranny by exercising the rights recognized in the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

Free and unrestrained speech, social media websites, and direct protest action just took a 30-year dictator down in a flash. This should be inspirational to us all.

For those who haven't been keeping up with this ongoing crisis, check out this video timeline. This is intended to show the events that lead up to this remarkable philosophical paradigm shift.

Barry's Egypt Video Timeline

I first learned of Egypt's ongoing tyranny from Coptic Christian refugees that I met while living in Los Angeles. (Back when we were pursuing the Koch/Combat record deal that ultimately increased Skeet's fame and resulted in Minuteman for the Moment.) However, not until the internet began to show abuses did these issues become more well-known to the average person. It was the arrest and imprisonment of bloggers for writing critical speech of Mubarak's administration that first sent shockwaves throughout the internet.

Anyone who is familiar with the FreeKareem movement will remember where the Egyptian Revolution really started. In my view, while the people of Egypt deserve praise for their courage, the real battle at play here is the technology of the internet versus Mubarak's corrupt government. The internet is a vehicle of instant and unchained communication, and this is in direct conflict with a government that seeks to suppress speech.
The above video is a plea from 2007 to Mubarak's government to free Kareem Amer, arguably one of the Egyptian revolution's first major players, whether he knew it at the time or not. The tyranny so inflamed the world that countless worldwide protests went on demanding his release. He had been sentenced to 4 years in prison for words he typed into his blog. 

The suppression of free speech was unfortunately only one of the tyrannical activities carried out by the unchecked executive power of Mubarak's administration. Security forces were routinely committing egregious human rights abuses against citizens, and this was reaching a fever pitch when the Tunisian revolution happened.
A Tunisian college student, after having his street vendor business shut down by security forces for foolish bureaucratic reasons, set himself on fire in protest. The nation exploded into protest in turn.

I will warn you that some of the footage in this timeline is going to be hard to watch. However, it is medicine we need to take. It was much harder for those appearing in the videos, so I think we'll all able to tolerate watching them considering that fact. Of course, feel free to exercise viewer discretion if you feel you can't handle watching what happened to real people in Egypt. These things can happen to anyone when government is allowed unlimited police power.

Inflationary food prices plunged Egypt into the brink. Abusive security forces demoralized the population. Things went nuclear after 48-year old Abdu Abdel-Monaam Hamadah, an Egyptian restaurant owner, set himself ablaze in front of the parliament in Cairo to protest rising food prices.
This videoblog by Asmaa Mahfouz is widely considered the video that officially started the Egyptian revolution.
In the video, she appeals to the machismo of Egyptian men by warning them that she and some female friends intend to protest Mubarak in Tahrir Square on January 25th. Since most Egyptians were aware that security forces regularly responded to protest with human rights abuses, it was clear that these young girls were facing serious danger. They compelled viewers to come join them in protest if for no other reason than to protect them from being hurt or killed by security forces. This may have significantly contributed to the protest going viral. No one likes to see young women getting hurt.

Turns out, people showed up.

If you have a soul, that video will bring you to tears. It is obvious something amazing is happening at this point. However, this is when widespread smartphone videos emerged online showing unbelievably heinous human rights abuses. To bear down on the spread of information, Mubarak shocked the world by shutting down the internet. This came at the same time the US Government was asking for that exact power, so we are very lucky as Americans that this foolish policy was being considered while we were watching a veritable clinic on why it is an example of an abuse of a fundamental human right.

This stuff is not for the faint of heart, but, if Mubarak hadn't already inflamed everyone left in Egypt or -- Hell, the whole world, these types of videos did it.

Mubarak called off his security forces after they were overwhelmed by the protesters, now of such great number as to nearly shut down society. Like any true tyrant, he sent in the military. However, he forgot that, due to the fact that Egypt has a praetorian system of government, the military might not carry out the human rights abuses that he had in mind. They didn't. They just stood there and watched the protest, sometimes even joining in.
When Mubarak's military proved to be the Egyptian version of the Oath Keepers, he decided to encourage his security forces to go home, dress in plain clothes, and engage in violent protest by throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at peaceful anti-government protesters. This struck me as not only insanely tyrannical, but petty and childish.
Also, these "security forces" thought it was in the security interest of the Egyptian people to senselessly beat reporters from major news organizations from around the world. Al Jazeera was banned, and even American news journalists like Anderson Cooper from CNN caught savage beatings by "pro-Mubarak protesters" which is newspeak for Egyptian security forces.
So on February 11th, the protest grew its largest ever after Mubarak delivered a defiant speech on February 10th that Egyptians thought would be his farewell address.

Then, realizing he had nowhere left to turn, Mubarak stepped down, and the internet and the Egyptian people defeated decades of continuous tyranny.

So there you have it, a flash mob style revolution in videos.

In Other News

Today's segment of WHO IS INCREASING SKEET'S FAME?™ sees Skeet's Elron project from his Destined for Increase brand featured in a political protest video by the gentlemen over at Resistance Is Sexy
Also, I wrote a blog for Gazzmic that, if read by all music fans, would fix the music industry. It is called For Music Fans: To Download or Not to Download. 

Please contribute to the viral spread of this blog. Y'all rule.

1 comment:

  1. "I think that would be a really great idea."- xo. xxx