Some of you may have seen my blog entries pertaining to rallies dedicated to the Iranian Protesters. I have continued that sort activism in 2011 and despite it still being a very young year, the events of this year have been extraordinary and Earth-shattering. A full-scale Revolution took place in Tunisia and Southern Sudan held a historic vote on the issue of secession from the North. This week the entire world has been following the shocking turn of events in Egypt. Egypt was the first or second country that came to mind once Tunisia's president had fled the country. People posited if the Tunisians can do it, Egyptians can do it as well. Pundits dismissed the idea claiming the nation of Egypt is not similar to Tunisia in terms of population and circumstance so a widespread phenomenon mirroring that of Tunisia was not likely or even possible. Egypt was not going to be the second domino to fall, but on Tuesday, January 25, that conjecture, and dream to some, did in fact come to pass as motivated Egyptians entered the streets. They brought with them a list of demands pertaining to income, justice, personal liberty, individual rights and term limits. Each subsequent day's protests appeared to get larger and larger leading up to the all-important "Friday Of Anger" scheduled for January 28. This movement is massive in volume and significance and it merits everybody's attention and reflection. I had to be a part of this momentous event and show my solidarity to the brave and determined Freedom Fighters on the streets. My commute to Journal Square in Jersey City, New Jersey was over 90 miles one way and I had barely slept all week due to my desire to keep abreast of the happenings in Egypt (activists did an excellent job disseminating information as it was revealled). Despite the fatigue, I just had to attend.
My photographs and video footage are literally behind the action ...
Here I am at the Rally. I look pretty worn-out here. I only got four hours of sleep on Monday, four hours on Tuesday, four hours on Wednesday and ZERO hours on Thursday! I was alert though and my success in battling the fatigue was predicated to my drive to inform the Egyptians watching from back home and the Egyptian diaspora that someone in the USA cares about their plight and their cause. A mere twelve hours of sleep in four days makes a guy look very rough (and to top it off, almost an entire additional day has passed with no sleep due to my putting this blog entry together) ...
Here I am with a group of very appreciative Egyptians. They were touched to see a non-Egyptian take such an interest, and personal commitment by driving so far, in this current situation. This would have been a great pic if I did not blink!
Another one ... I am wearing an Egypt-themed tie!!
I made some signs for the Rally ...
Slogans in English and German:
I do have a personal connection to the country. This photo was taken on the Giza Plateau in February 2006:
This next poster is a collage featuring some key (what I consider key) individuals in this struggle. These are screen shots I made from recently-filmed videos that have been circulating on the internet:
The men and their words and actions truly capture the intent and essence of this movement.
One video showcased the steadfastness of the man who said "I will die today". He is standing up for a cause that is so important, he would give his life. A true person of conviction. This really puts the matter into perspective for all of us.
The other man believes in the solidarity and shared mission of the Christian, the Muslim and the Atheist ... rights for all of us and the inevitable fight for those rights. His passion is genuine and this is a rallying call for everybody. I was wide-eyed and in awe when I heard him say all of that.
The other man who stood in front of the truck - that was Egypt's Tiananmen Square moment. It was so similar to that. My eyes focused on that scene and I got chills watching it. He stood there and took the blast from the large hose.
This is not some phony rhetoric - this is a genuine effort and these protesters epitomize the struggle for all humans. This is extraordinary and incredibly emotional. This is true change.
The final poster was difficult to photograph so I provided two versions. You can see the proverbial domino effect ... the Tunisian domino falling on the Mubarak domino:
More photographs can be found at this link: http://s169.photobucket.com/albums/u213/portaltothepast/North%20America/New%20Jersey/Egypt%20Rally%20NJ%201-28-2011
I filmed parts of the Rally in Journal Square with an introduction and my final words at the end:
The url for the above video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tImJPA8hchA
The Egyptian Association For Change hosted the Rally. Their website is: http://eacusa.org
The Rally was a fine example of human beings coming together to speak out against atrocities and brutality and the various examples of injustices that take place every day. I told several people that for years it has been "Us" versus "Us" while "They" watch ... it should be a unified "Us" versus "Them" ... the ones who seek to keep "Us" divided.
I will continue to monitor this topic with great interest. To the Freedom Fighters in Egypt - my thoughts are with you. I wish you all the best during these extremely important times in your personal lives and in the history of your country. May Victory be achieved soon.
Yes, may Victory be achieved soon and may I get to sleep soon. As I mentioned, I did not sleep Thursday night and due to my putting this blog entry together, almost another day has passed where I have been completely awake. Now I am getting to sleep ... finally.
I am a(n) researcher and archivist.
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