Sunday, June 17, 2012

The next battle will take longer than 18 days

Issandr El Amrani
Al-Masry Al-Youm
Sun, 17/06/2012

"........This may be unpopular to say, but a good part of the blame for the lack of a clear idea of what the revolution is lies with the revolutionaries themselves. Some seem to be content with constant attempts to recreate the mood of those magical 18 days in Tahrir Square, but any recent visit to the square tells another story. The revolution was not the occupation of the square itself, but the act of taking it and routing security forces in order to do so. If you’re allowed to retake the square anyway, if it becomes a dedicated protest zone like the steps of the Journalists Syndicate once were, it’s hardly a transgressive measure anymore.

The revolutionaries also failed to define what it was they wanted from this revolution, and to sell this idea to the wider population that, most of the time, is not interested in protests and marches. To recapture the imagination of the population, to take their rivals off-balance once again, the revolutionaries have to strike where it’s least expected, and in a manner that is novel. The next battle might not be won in public squares, but in courts, in Parliament, in activism that takes place in dirty alleyways and isolated villages, and in the field of ideas and civil society, with humility and perseverance. And it’s going to take a lot longer than 18 days."

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