People are scared.
Non-violent resistance, even from its name, is not scary at all. If it is anything it has been the most human and the most peaceful act of resistance and liberation of the oppressed. It’s a bit strange to find all this fuss and discontent from this movement. As many non-violent practitioners put it so well that non-cooperation with evil is just as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good. That we will not attack our oppressors, on the contrary, we see our oppressors as friends, that need to be liberated just as we need to be liberated. Still nothing scary about the idea. This post will not revolve around what non-violent resistance is, explaining civil disobedience or general strikes. I believe everything is reflected by how we perceive the world, and how we perceive human nature. So lets explore what was the chain of thought that lead to ideas like non-violent resistance and general strikes. Just to put our self in perspective the two main directions revolutions and resistance movements take are armed resistance and non-violent resistance.
“This, then, is the great humanistic and historical task of the oppressed: to liberate themselves and their oppressors as well. The oppressors, who oppress, exploit, and rape by virtue of their power, cannot find in this power the strength to liberate either the oppressed or themselves. Only power that springs from the weakness of the oppressed will be sufficiently strong to free both.” Paulo Freire, although he writes mostly about educational methodologies but at least his first chapter for his book pedagogy of the oppressed is a must read.
A general strike in the Egyptian context now is yet another step towards our struggle to be liberated from forces that have proved to be selfish and have acquired a crazy fetish for power and wealth. I would say the people obsessed with power and money should be perceived and treated as addicts. Addicts for the material and for the feeling. Addicts don’t acknowledge they are addicts. Actually the first step to be cured from an addiction is to acknowledge the existence of that addiction. But that is not the case till now. These addicts are high on power and money that their predecessors scored. They would not see their wrong doings. So they need to be pressured, not oppressed. If I fuck up I expect my friends to tell me that I fucked up, and for every time my friends are silent I will dig deeper in my fucks and ups.
It is funny how a little number of people are ruling so many people. Its all in our minds. Again its all about perspectives. Just as civil rights activists stated a few decades ago that the strongest weapon slave owners had is to convince the blacks that they are slaves, and whites are there masters. That becomes the reality of the slaves themselves. But as soon as they see the truth, that they are free individuals. That we were created all equal. That we have rights and that we should demand those rights. We should unchain our mind from previous misconseptions, that the SCAF are not the rulers of the country. We are the rulers of the country, they have forced themselves upon us, and we are rejecting them as they have failed. As bobby’s famous words “emancipate yourself from mental slavery, non but ourselves can free our mind”
The question comes back to how to demand these rights. and I believe that non-violent resistance, non-cooperation, civil disobedience are all the most effective, peaceful and permanent way to demand these god given rights. We are not aiming to be oppressors of the oppressors, but rather restorers of the humanity of both, peacefully. Quite the dreamers huh!
If you don’t agree its ok. don’t strike. its your choice. You stand for what you believe in, not what others believe in. The most beautiful thing about our revolution is that we don’t take orders. I know I was never given an order to join one protest or the other, and I am sure we are all -mostly- the same.
Our struggle is for basic human rights. and we have every right to fight for it. we will unite for it, we will risk our lives for it, we will lose a part of our salary for it. Its our contribution, our sacrifice. If this struggle doesn’t represent you, its ok. but have your own struggle however you feel is appropriate. Struggle, struggle for a more just world, for equality, for freedom of expression, for dignity for whatever you believe in.
“I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of human rights” Desmond Tutu