Interview with a man planning to attend the huge planned protest today in Cairo

Parvez Sharma in Al Bab:

Me: I hope you all are ok. Just describe your day—I know tomorrow is very important so I will try not to interrupt.

O: Today was a continuation of other days—We went to Midan Tahrir—It was much larger today—and there were way more women today, amazing—the military followed the same procedure—checked our ID’s and very cordial but I think that there was way more people today—people from all different groups of society from Zamalek to Masriyat Naser, from Mohandessin to Giza…Today for the first time it felt like the people had secured their homes well and could confidently come out—other days many other family members especially housewives had stayed back to guard—but today they were all there—everyone spoke about how the looting was a design by Mubarak to keep us in our homes…Parvez, there were also so many much older people today, you know 60 and above, who had stayed away because of the violence. But today any fear seemed to have disappeared. Really it felt like we knew exactly what we want…

Me: So tomorrow is huge—you must sleep tonight—both of you—all of you—who knows what will happen?

O: We are meeting at Tahrir at 9 am and marching to Helioplos—this is very important Parvez—After 7 days this government comfortable with us spending time in Tahrir and they are even spinning it and saying: See we are allowing protesters in Tahrir, so we are so democratic—It was so clear today that we needed to go tomorrow to Heliopolis, to the presidential palace where Mubarak is hiding…All of the organizing I have seen since Friday really has been through fliers, through pamphlets…today they said—we are marching to Heliopolis tomorrow—if you cant come to Tahrir in the morning then join us on the way…this I a huge turning point in this revolution … huge …. It is also very important Parvez to know that people are saying they request the fall of the regime, not government—its an important distinction…

Me: Have you been watching Al Jazeera?

O: Are you kidding me? I can either be there or stay at home and watch the damn TV and try and get on the fucking internet which is not working and try and do these damn tweets you keep on telling me about…I mean yes, some people watch it when they go home at night and today the word on the street was that the Egyptian media finally caught up with the international media—people were saying that for the first time now they are starting to report—they are showing that there are people, looting, violence—Even State TV…Nile TV is reporting…and you know we also have this state public radio channel…its at 88.7 fm and even they are being more balanced than before, people were saying…. You know till yesterday the assholes were showing streets of Cairo are calm.

More here. [Thanks to John Ballard.]

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