Tens of thousands have been demonstrating in Tahrir Square, Cairo, in the “day of departure” today, with few reports of violence. Hosni Mubarak, despite mounting international pressure, has still refused to step down. He said in an ABC News interview that he’s “fed up,” that “if I resign today there will be chaos,” and that he’s afraid the Muslim Brotherhood will take over.
What kind of chaos does he have in mind? Tens of thousands of people demonstrating in the streets for over a week, with no sign of stopping? Or perhaps something like what he unleashed on Cairo on Wednesday, when paid pro-Mubarak mobs descended on protesters with weapons?
This is a claim dictators love to make, that they are the only ones maintaining order, and that without them, everything would fall apart. Actually, everything has fallen apart with you still in office, Mr. Mubarak, and it’s not going to stop until you leave. You’re the one creating the chaos. The thousands upon thousands of your people in the street against you today are behaving quite well in contrast.
As K-pop fans and Black organizers and artists are demonstrating, joyful, powerful movements draw more people in and reflect the kind of world we want to live in.
If soldiers train for armed combat, why wouldn’t activists train for toppling the political-economic structure that’s killing our chance for a just future? The stakes are just as high.
Uganda’s COVID-19 experience underscores the seemingly universal opportunism of authoritarians amidst crisis, as well as opportunities for resistance.