The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Youm al-Iswid



More Tomorrow!
Here is a copy of the demand that was sent around at the protest today:

Nothing less than the Resignation of Habib El Adly

We the women and men of Egypt will wear black today mourning the deterioration of conditions in our country. We the mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, youth, students, workers, employees & housewives, along with all honorable people in this country will stand today in unity, to demand the

Resignation of Minister of Interior Habib El Adly

We might not have all participated in Wednesday’s demonstrations; however we have all seen the state’s violence to which the women and men of this country have been subject. The state represented in its security forces and the thugs, and even some members, of its ruling party have committed their crimes, protected by the impunity provided by the emergency state or that of a parliament, whose legitimacy is contested. The state committed its crimes in public and while everyone was watching and listening. Wherever their hands reached, their was beating, molestation, sexual harassment; and whenever their voices were heard, it was humiliating chants that in our minds offended the chanters themselves more than anyone else.

The women assaulted on Wednesday were not the first women to be assaulted by this regime, and it was not the first time that this regime resorted to female molestation in public in an attempt to humiliate the people of Egypt and weaken their will power & determination. For decades, Islamist women have suffered from similar practices in state police stations and state prisons. The women of Areesh, the women of Serando, university female students and thousands of other women who were arrested randomly by the security forces, have always been subject to the most brutal torture methods and humiliation in police stations and by state security intelligence, which has turned, under the emergency state, into a wild monster, above all law and beyond all accountability. It is therefore that this apparatus feels safe in escalating its brutality, protected by a regime that has nothing to offer the people except violence.

Though the events of Wednesday 25th, 2005 are considered to be a common practice for this regime, yet the stunning fact on that Wednesday was the declaration of the state that this was the only way it has for dealing with its citizens. The stunning fact was that those events took place in public, downtown and in the presence of international media coverage, whose personnel did not escape actions of violence & robbery that took place this Wednesday. Their equipment was damaged, some of their female journalists were harassed and some of them were detained for a while.

It is the same old unethical weapon used by tyrants all over history; if you want to humiliate a nation, target the dignity of its women. If you want to oppress men, molest their women. If you want to damage a village, rape its women. If you want a prisoner to confess, threaten to rape his wife, sister or daughter!

Today we are telling them that their plans did not and would not work. The dignity of this nation is inseparable from the dignity of its citizens. Today we are telling them that their violence has only strengthened our will and determination to demand and seize our democratic rights. It has strengthened our determination to see an Egypt free of poverty, illness, ignorance and oppression.

Today we vow that we shall do our best, exert all our efforts to make sure that the events of Wednesday 25th 2005 are the last of their type. That it is the last time that the Ministry of Interior would dare to molest our sons and daughters. We will exert our utmost efforts to end the rule of the emergency laws, release all detainees, and liberate the state institutions, universities and syndicates from the domination of the security forces. We will do our best to acquire our fair rights in freedom of expression, freedom of demonstrating and peaceful gathering. We will do our best to make the days of our children better than the ones we are living.

As for now and at this very moment where Egypt is wearing black in mourning for its pride and dignity that were violated on May 25th, 2005, we demand the resignation of General Habib El Adly Minister of Interior, and that he be brought to justice.

Egypt 1 June 2005