Like most of the world, I was one of those that watched the developments in Cairo. I would say most, not all, because from what I understood China banned Egypt from their search engines, so they effectively lost a part of their geographical understanding of the world during the revolution. But it seems that it doesn’t matter if you stop access one way or another – anyone who can find a way of breaking the barriers can change the world.
A major issue that protests often confront with is violence. The key to this is where the violence comes from, especially the ones who start it. In the student protests here in the UK, it’s anarchists (read as: pointless mobs that join protests simply to cause pointless destruction) that bring down the end argument, and they’re usually fighting against the police and causing destruction that isn’t intended by the general protesting groups. It deflates any argument and causes the problem of violence to override the message the people are trying to get out.
This protest in Cairo avoided that for the most part on the protesting side. Police were the ones attempting to silence the uprising, which ultimately failed when the reaction overwhelmed their numbers. That got the military in and – in a move I will forever respect the Egyptian military for – they held a completely neutral, controlled stance on the entire process. It was after this that supporters began renewed violence, even executing cavalry charges against massed numbers of people. In doing so, they only inspired more supporters to the people of Egypt demanding change – and who can blame them? Who would take the side of those whose entire intention is to be violent in getting their matter across? In the end, fighting isn’t the only way to win, and the people of Egypt shown that in their stoic defence and determination against hardship.
Another major issue that some have is momentum. Some protests are planned only for a day, a specific day that is somehow relevant to the decision being made somewhere important. The student protests carried through up to the day they made their choice and then it dispersed and collapsed when the vote was passed. There was no after-plan, no push to get minds changed, even when it seemed nothing would change.
What those people saw was a continual development of momentum, practically spoon-fed by the regime itself (ironically, perhaps). Numbers simply grew when people heard that there’s a growing number of protestors against the regime in place. When the police violence was replaced by military mediators that swore not to fire upon their own people, an influx of families came in. We are talking children, women, elders, people who came from all walks of life, united in one common cause. Not even the charges of camels and horses could halt the growth of this protest, which added more fuel when one of several key figures made itself known, and the reports of million-plus strong numbers meant that they were certainly outnumbering those willing to stand against them.
If numbers like that did happen to charge through to bring down a government, an army might not have had enough to stop them all. And with their continued frustration, that was becoming an inevitable possibility. Even the blind had to see that something had to give, and in the end – peacefully and thankfully – it did. The fact they persevered through an influx of professionals – medical aid, food supplies, a system of distribution and a general community feel to the protest – only added to the unity among the people, and kept morale high.
Egypt has, for a long time, been seen as some jewel in the Middle-East that is influential in all aspects of the area and beyond. In the historical documentary “Ancient Worlds”, it was often the place everyone tried to get on their side, and it seems a lot of that influential presence remains even today in the area. The fact that it’s people can overturn a regime that has been omnipresent there for three decades in a matter of almost three weeks is a historical feat that will be echoed across many countries.
I have been quoted on Twitter, saying that “a leader may lead a country, but people make the country. Without the people, one cannot lead.” It would be a message any overruling government seeking to ignore the pleas of the masses may want to take into account, because it is increasingly becoming commonplace across the globe. I warned some time ago on this blog that 2012 would begin a Third World War. And increasingly, the suggestion of a global civil war is looking to be on the cards, with the increasing amount of riots occuring even now in 2011. Right now, all eyes will be on Egypt to see what happens when a major country is forced into change, but after this anything goes, and all the major countries will be looking within their own borders, awaiting the day that it happens to them.
Change is coming, and it’s wind will carry it around the world in a global revolution.