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Revolutionaries on the rooftop (part three)

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Of the youth who are here, 90% of them are university graduates or are still students 90% of them have had higher education They are cultured people who are aware of their rights and obligations They know how to get their rights They are people who have aspirations of living in peace and safety very normal people, not terrorists like they say we are not affiliated with any political party, we are from all strata of society Some people are well off, high class, and some people have very low living standards Every social and intellectual level, every sect And as I mentioned 90% of them are university graduates who are educated and aware unlike the thugs he employs For me to get into the square, four days ago I came here from my house and to get in I had to stand with the thugs outside for about two hours to be able to get in here They stand outside and don't let anyone in and whoever they catch they beat up In those two hours I saw kinds of people I have never seen before People of a very low standard, who don't understand anything 90% of them are uneducated, with primary school degrees or former convicts, people with criminal records people with roughed up faces, people from bad neighborhoods people who don't understand anything These people have either been paid, or are being led blindly But thank god the people on our side are well educated university graduates and people who are politically aware And what do you think Mohammed? The youth who are hereā€¦ by the way they are not just youth there are people other than the youth There are old men, there are people over 40 there are those younger than 20, there are women The people who are here represent a state of aggravation throughout the whole nation Everyone suffers, there isn't one person who doesn't suffer Everyone down there is struggling, everyone at home is struggling even the people who come to oppose us, they suffer those who support the president struggle as well, but they've been paid off Our demands, the demands of the youth are not related to a specific social class they are not because of a particular thing we hate about the regime or something we don't want or want to fix Our demands are because of general corruption which is now present everywhere in everyday dealings, in everything in every part of society there is now corruption You have to deal with bribery you have to deal with favoritism you have to deal with nepotism When you speak your mind you have to be very careful of your words in case someone from the secret police or from state security is listening so they don't arrest you and frame you in some case People are afraid to exercise their natural rights guaranteed by the law and constitution so they don't get taken away to any police station and subjected to insult and abuse Thats why when people took to the streets on January 25th and 26th when they burned the police stations, there was a sense of oppression and anger within all people They burned the stations because of this sense of oppression they were letting it out the abuse that they've seen at the hands of police and the interior ministry and the corruption we can see in the system Our regime is trying to make it seem like some of these youth groups have been infiltrated, to try and affect Egyptian public opinion trying to make it seem that there are foreign elements to affect Egyptian public opinion People in their homes who sympathize with us will not anymore, they will think we are agents of foreign countries who are trying to destabilize our nation On the other hand they try to make it appear that these youth are affiliated with certain groups, banned groups like the Muslim Brotherhood because the West are afraid of Islam They hate Islamists, or they are afraid of Islamists coming to power in a certain country And there are examples of this there is Pakistan and the Taliban and Iran When Islamists take over a regime they become enemies of the West, particularly America So they try to present this image that these youth are being driven by and Islamic trend, or a Salafi trend They want to tell the west quite simply these are the ones who will take over in Egypt the Islamists that you suffer from everywhere else that you fight against everywhere else, this is the alternative you will have in Egypt so do not support them, they try to take away the West's support for us by spreading these ideas that whoever are leading the youth are Muslim Brotherhood They also try to spread other ideas to people, to Egyptian society that amongst the youth are other political factions who want to lead them and come to power and among them are foreigners whose only aim is to uproot the stability of our nation and to spy for the sake of foreign entities even though the foreign entities the government refers to are their patrons They are agents of America and Israel they say Iran is a threat, but Iran is far from being able to do anything like this to Egypt Their efforts go towards making it look like these youth are part of the Brotherhood They want to pull away the West's support for us they want to show us like we are agents and traitors and that we will uproot the stability of the nation To take away the sympathy of those in their homes, who won't sympathize with us anymore That's it, these are the youth who are here The people who are here represent all strata of society Some are well off, some are average, some are below the poverty line There are people from all strata There are intellectuals, there are ignorant people but for each person his demands are not classist We are not here because of specific demands not because of living standards or anything like that In our current situation we are living on the bare minimum surviving on anything, under very difficult circumstances with many dangers But we feel that at this moment, we are living with our dignity The Egyptian citizen can live with his dignity and be satisfied with the bare minimum, as long as he has his dignity But what people feel now is that they are living on the bare minimum and not even that, and without dignity still You could convince me to live on this bare minimum if you said the reason was that you weren't taking aid from America so you don't have to bow to their demands so you don't become an agent of the Jews so you don't starve Gaza so you don't spread corruption in the country But he does all of those things, and is still letting us starve he insults us in our own country, and he discourages us from practicing our political rights We don't express our opinions which is a right guaranteed us by the law and constitution The youth who are here today express 99% of public opinion 99% of public opinion The people who stand against us are people who either don't understand are members of the ruling party, are sympathizers of the president are being paid, are being used by NDP candidates NDP candidates have gotten used to this after 30 years using thugs to collect votes and to rig elections they are used to this, these are their methods, and we are used to this They use their power to gather people, it is now a game of politics using force whoever is powerful is the one who participates in politics Whoever has money will be able to hold power in his hands and participate in politics Its like what the president did, the marriage of authority and money this is what created all the corruption in Egypt Ahmed Ezz has monopolized steel, and many other things and businessmen have become close to the president including Hussein El Sayed who owns two thirds of the tourist resorts in Sharm El Sheikh And by the way Hussein El said is a personal friend of Mubarak and was with him in the air force El Maghrabi, Hisham Talaat Mustafa, many people In our system here, quite simply, there is no accountability It doesn't bring to account whoever makes mistakes we have a saying which says " El Ala raso batha.." Or "Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones" So when Mubarak holds a minister accountable for something or an official who made a mistake, or a businessman who spread corruption or made mistakes this guy will come out and expose what the president does as well He is afraid of this and this is why he protects them, so they can protect him as well So they don't expose him This is the opposite of what would happen before when there were people who were more noble than him more dependable, more generous who were in charge of the country and would hold people accountable they provided us with a dignified life in our country Yes we lived on very little but we felt like we had our dignity in our country As I said, we are prepared to live on the bare minimum as long as we feel like we have our dignity that we are walking down the streets with our dignity Not like when a policeman sees me in the street and decides to make life difficult for me asking me about my ID, and even if I have my ID and am obeying the law and I have my military paperwork, obeying the law I don't have a weapon or hashish or drugs or anything just for the sake of it he will stop me and make me pay to pass And if you don't pay, he will make up a charge and throw you in prison this is how things work here The people down there are not here because of one or two or three things they are here because corruption is everywhere around them it surrounds them everywhere, that's all

Video Details

Duration: 10 minutes and 9 seconds
Year: 2011
Country: United States
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 1,455
Posted by: evanchill on Feb 6, 2011

Young protesters occupying an apartment building near the site of fierce battles between pro- and anti-government crowds discuss their motivations, the events of the past two weeks, and the diverse make-up of Egypt's democracy movement. (With reporting and translation by Lara el-Gibaly)

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