Emergency demonstrations in solidarity with the uprising of the Egyptian people are taking place across the country to demand that the U.S. government stop all aid to the Mubarak dictatorship.As I've reported many times, the ANSWER contingents have been at the center of every left-wing mobilization over the past decade, from the Iraq war to Proposition 8 to the anti-SB 1070 campaign last year. The left's all-purpose protest machine, ANSWER is bolstered by Democrats and progressives, many of whom have ties to the Obama administration. Code Pink's Jodie Evans, for example, served as a top campaign fundraiser for Barack Obama, and now her organization is leading a fundraising operation for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt: "Code Pink: Obama, Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood Ally Raising (Tax Exempt) Money to Overthrow Egypt Gov’t:
As we reported previously, Code Pink has been on the ground in Cairo since the beginning of the uprising. The group has made nine trips to Egypt in the past two years as part of a campaign to undermine the Egyptian government and the blockade against Hamas-controlled Gaza.For over a week now we've had international solidarity protesters calling for an anti-American, anti-Zionist revolution in Egypt, so, folks might want to step back and go easy on the freedom euphoria just a bit (in favor of a prudent democratic realism).
In any case, Egyptian blogger Sandmonkey, a.k.a. Mahmoud Salem, offers a way forward for Egypt's democracy:
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.That sounds awesome. The only problem is that during revolutionary crises the most highly organized factions often seize power through divide, conquer and assassination politics. We know now that Egypt's Arab street will not be silenced. But the shape of developments is still extremely fluid, and given the left's heavy investment and mobilization in the Muslim Brotherhood, a certain caution is well warranted.
You see, with such Proper citizen organization and segmentation, we’ll have the contact information and location of all the protesters that showed up, and that could be transformed into voting blocks in parliamentary districts: i.e. a foundation for an Egyptian Unity party. That Egyptian Unity Party will be an Umbrella party that promotes equality, democracy & accountability, without any ideological slants. It should be centrist, because we don’t want any boring Left vs. Right squabbling at that stage. Once you institute the structure, start educating the members on their rights and their obligations as citizens. Convince them to bring their friends and relatives into meeting. Establish voters’ critical mass , all under that party.
The Egyptian Unity Party, however, will not be a permanent structure, but rather a transitional entity with a clear and direct purpose: create the grassroots organization to take back the parliament and presidency in the next elections. Once sufficient votes and seats have been obtained, the party will amend the constitution to promote civil liberties, plurality, and truly democratic elections. Once that constitution is in place, the party can disband, and its elected members can start forming their own parties and collations, based on their personal beliefs and ideologies, or they can join any of the existing parties, and breathe some life into their decaying carcasses. We will end up with an actual political process and representative political parties that will actually discuss policy and have to represent those who voted for them so that they can get re-elected. Democracy in action. An old but brilliant concept. A way to ensure that no matter what, we will have a huge influence on who becomes the next Egyptian President come election day in September.