A small rally to celebrate Egypt's victory.
It was delightful. I had only meant to stay for a few minutes, but ended up staying a couple of hours and came home with my throat hoarse from chanting.
But it was small, probably about 50 people, maybe a bit more.
Luckily for me, neither the Palestinians nor the peace activists were there--it was a primarily socialist crowd. Not that I don't support the Palestinian cause, but when a large group of people gathers in the US and the women are ALL wearing hijab, something is definitely wrong, as there have to be some females who are assimilated or just rebels. In the pictures of Tahrir there were many women wearing hijab, but there were also many women who weren't. If I see a woman in hijab sitting next to a woman in jeans, I know there is freedom to choose how to dress. If there's an entire community and ALL the women are in hijab, then the ones who wanted to wear jeans were beaten into submission, killed, or kicked out of the community. And I haven't forgotten the Palestinian guy who tried to pick a fight with me because my sign said, "Free Gaza" instead of "Free Palestine." His friends pulled him away, but I've tried to avoid their rallies ever since.
Anyway, today was terrific. Mixed crowd, very multi-culti, mostly African-Americans and Mexican-Americans leading the chants, with everyone joining in.
But across the street there was one lone nut with a sign that said, "No Islamic revolutions." I know he could see us and hear us, but he couldn't seem to get it through his head that there wasn't a single Islamist among us. Funniest thing was when we were wrapping up, we had to cross the street to go put away the signs. The moment we started across the street towards him, he grabbed his stuff and hightailed it out of there as if the devil was after him. He'd been calling us "Jew-haters" among other things, so maybe he actually believed his own propaganda?
Anyway, now that the Egyptians were successful in forcing Mubarak out, people are asking who's next. I don't think it will be a patriarchal country. As I Tweeted earlier, and have said many times, if you want to get somebody's boot off your throat, you're going to need both legs to run and/or fight, so the first thing to do is to check to see that your own boot isn't on somebody else's throat. If it is, you're not going to succeed because you've only got one leg to stand on. The youth of Egypt realized that the problem wasn't Muslims against Christians, but patriarchy against humanity, so they were able to attract their best and brightest, many of whom were both young and female, and humanity won.
Sectarianism can only continue the violence of thousands of years. It cannot begin to do things differently. So I don't think most other Arab countries are ready for revolution, or for democracy, and I know that the United States and Israel aren't. Palestine doesn't seem likely either, and neither does Yemen. I could be all wrong. We'll see.
One amusing Tweet said that the number of people drunk in Cairo right now should definitively put to rest any fears of Islamic influences on the revolution. ;)
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