Celebrating Egypt’s Nonviolent Movement

I chose this photo of Egypt’s nonviolent civil resistance movement because a) it shows a Muslim woman leading the charge and women were at the core of this revolutions leadership, b) it shows the helmets of the riot police up close and personal, and c) she is holding the “iron fist in a velvet glove” symbol adopted by the Serbian civil resistance movement that deposed Slobodan Milosevic in 2000. Serb student leaders helped train the Egyptian youth leaders in nonviolent tactics and philosophy.

The roots of preparation and planning for the “18 days of revolution” that we’ve watched on Al Jazeera were noted in a 2010 article by Sarah El Deeb. She says:

Inside a small apartment tucked away in a middle class Cairo neighborhood, a trainer teaches a dozen volunteers of a budding opposition movement the basics of political organization — communication, recruiting, gathering signatures.

The instructors draw inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King and download books from American scholar Gene Sharp, whose tactics of civil disobedience influenced public uprisings against authoritarian regimes in Serbia, Ukraine, Georgia, Iran and elsewhere. (From Egypt’s Youth Build A New Opposition Movement, Call for Democratic Reform)


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