Opinion

Egypt: You Can’t Win by Beating up Anderson Cooper

IMAGE BY ALEX METTE

by Eric Frenkil
CONTRIBUTOR

Media repression is rather silly when your country is flooded with famous reporters and citizen bloggers. Take Anderson Cooper, for example, who was struck ten times in the head by government-supported mobs: “Many of us have been attacked. It happens quickly, spirals out of control. All you can do is stay calm and try to escape. … We try to position ourselves in different spots. We find balconies that give a view of the battle. But if we can see them, they can see us. Sometimes you have to stop, close the curtains, move somewhere else.”

Mubarak is done. It’s over. His vice president won’t run. His son won’t run. Nearly all his ministers and party leaders have been fired or resigned. So what is he fighting for? The protesters resemble more of civility than the state ever did. The government could never take care of the trash and yet these “hooligans” have set up separate recycling bins for organic and non-organic waste. They feed each other. They take care of each other’s wounds. And they protect themselves from the government-supported violence.

The constitution says that an election must be held within sixty days if Mubarak steps down. Having spent a short time living in Cairo, I know that the people are ready to put their country on the right track. Egyptians would lift themselves out of this mess if the government would just let them. The NGOs, for example, will be glad to operate without fear of being shut down by the Orwellian Ministry of Social Solidarity.

Mubarak, step down already. You had your thirty years. Your blaze of glory has cost more than three hundred lives. The people have spoken not only through these protests, but through six assassination attempts during your regime. They won’t leave Tahrir Square just like the journalists won’t leave Egypt. Everyone is inspired, even our friend Anderson:

“When morning comes you see the makeshift metal barricades, the hand-forged weapons, dug-up rocks, bandaged bodies. They are still standing their ground. Fear has been defeated, they’ll tell you. There’s no turning back. They bought this square with blood, paid for it with pain. Bruised, they’re not broken. Battered, they’ve not bowed.…They’ve stayed in the square and today more kept on coming….Fear has been defeated. There’s no turning back.”

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