My Cardboard Box

If I was a forward-thinker…

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Spent yesterday reading a post by Sandmonkey:

Today started with two very important facts: 1) The Mass resignation of important Mubarak regime figures from their posts in the Ruling National Democratic Party…; 2) The number of people who called me asking what the next move for the Tahrir Protesters will be and were disappointed by the lack of a clear way forward to the movement. They feared the protests would lose momentum and this historic moment would slowly dwindle and die…. Now, I am not a leader of this movement, and god knows I would be loathe to name myself as a spokesperson for the 5 million individuals nationwide who have joined these protests.

If anything, I am simply a promoter and a participant who is way too proud of the fact that this is a movement with no leaders or representatives. In many ways this has helped the cohesion and unity of those protests: people agreed on a set of demands that promote general democracy, accountability and freedom. Demands that promote self-governing and personal rights no matter what your ideological leanings may be. We thought that was enough, and now we are thinking it might not be after all…

So here are my two cents: next time when you head to Tahrir, alongside blankets and food and medicine, please get some foldable tables, chairs, papers, pens, a laptop and a USB connection. Set up a bunch of tables and start registering the protesters. Get their names, ages, addresses & districts. Based on location, start organizing them into committees, and then have those committees elect leaders or representatives. Do the same in Alex, In Mansoura, in Suez, in every major Egyptian city in which the Protesters braved police suppression and came out in the thousands. Protect the Data with your life. Get encryption programs to ensure the security of the data. Use web-based tools like Google documents to input the data in, thus ensuring that even if your laptops get confiscated by State Security Goons, they won’t find anything on your harddrives. Have people outside of Egypt back-up your data daily on secure servers. Then, start building the structure.

Reading his article, Sandmonkey’s organization isn’t really a ‘Tea Party’ type, but it’s close in that there would really be no physical, central organization. But it is thought-provoking.

If I was a forward-thinking type with a political organization behind me(and thus money and skills to get the mundane things done), I’d be looking for volunteers who’ve done this type of political organizing before and can teach it, money to buy laptops, offshore server access, developers to come up with phone apps, Facebook enhancements, etc. Send the teams in to teach and guide(or bring willing Egyptians someplace where they can be taught), send in the gear, monitor their progress, help out when needed. No political slant, no ‘do it our way’ and above all, keep quiet about it – before, during, and after. Let the Egyptians take the credit.

Kind of a Code Red (as in ‘red state’ and as opposed to the already-present-in-Egypt Code Pink).

Too bad it won’t happen. The Republicans are too backwards, the Democrats (and their lackeys) are too invested in the status quo. And the Libertarians are too stoned, too ayn randish, and/or have their fingers wrapped too tightly around their wallets.


Written by PappyBro

February 7, 2011 at 21:30

Posted in Musings

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