Nytt

Det går en indirekte linje fra Bill Clinton og George Soros til ungdomsbevegelsen som veltet Hosni Mubarak. Den direkte linjen heter Otpor.

Otpor var den serbiske ungdomsbevegelsen som styrtet Slobodan Milosevic. Den fikk penger av Soros-stiftelsen Open Society, og også Clinton-administrasjonen og andre regjeringer som den norske bidro med assistanse.

Den amerikanske samfunnsfilosofen Gene Sharp hadde utviklet en håndbok for hvordan man med ikke-voldelige midler styrter et diktatur.

Det var samme metoder som opposisjonen i Ukraina benyttet da den gjennmførte Oransjerevolusjonen. Det må foreligge en undertrykt misnøye og protest. Gene Sharp har utviklet tanker og metoder for hvordan man setter mennesker i bevegelse og hvordan man organiserer dem. Det var utenlandske penger, filosofi og assistanse med i både Serbia, Ukraina, Georgia og Libanon, og også bak Kafiya-bevegelsen i Egypt.

Både Vladimir Putin og lederne i Kina har forstått trusselen, og har derfor gått hardhendt frem mot organisasjoner som får hjelp utenfra.

Men det forsto ikke Mubarak, for han gjorde hele tiden de gale tingene, som bare økte oppslutningen.

David D. Kirkpatrick og David E. Sanger rullet opp bakgrunnen for den vellykkede revolusjonen. Man blir svimmel av drømmene og ambisjonene disse unge hadde, som plutselig materialiserte seg i storpolitiske bevegelser. Det var bare å sette hjulet i bevegelse.

Bakgrunn – 6. april-bevegelsen

The Egyptian revolt was years in the making. Ahmed Maher, a 30-year-old civil engineer and a leading organizer of the April 6 Youth Movement, first became engaged in a political movement known as Kefaya, or Enough, in about 2005. Mr. Maher and others organized their own brigade, Youth for Change. But they could not muster enough followers; arrests decimated their leadership ranks, and many of those left became mired in the timid, legally recognized opposition parties. “What destroyed the movement was the old parties,” said Mr. Maher, who has since been arrested four times.

By 2008, many of the young organizers had retreated to their computer keyboards and turned into bloggers, attempting to raise support for a wave of isolated labor strikes set off by government privatizations and runaway inflation.

Egypt var en mildere politistat enn Tunisia, skriver New York Times-journalistene. Norske journalister fikk det plutselig travelt med å oppgradere Mubarak til diktator da de forsto at han kunne falle, og samme oppgradering har skjedd med Muammar Gaddafi. Nå er han plutselig et monster. Det har vi ikke hørt mye om før. Da har han nærmest vært en del av landskapet.

Egypt var sterk på internettungdom, mens Tunisia hadde en sterk fagbevegelse. De unge begynte å utveksle erfaringer.

De tillyste generalstreik i Egypt 6. april 2008, men bare i Mahalla ble den effektiv. Der slo politiet til, og det ble en hendelse som satte spor etter seg.
Det spesielle var at streiken var organisert rundt en Facebook-side.

After a strike that March in the city of Malhalla, Egypt, Mr. Maher and his friends called for a nationwide general strike for April 6. To promote it, they set up a Facebook group that became the nexus of their movement, which they were determined to keep independent from any of the established political groups. Bad weather turned the strike into a nonevent in most places, but in Malhalla a demonstration by the workers’ families led to a violent police crackdown — the first major labor confrontation in years.

Just a few months later, after a strike in the Tunisian city of Hawd el-Mongamy, a group of young online organizers followed the same model, setting up what became the Progressive Youth of Tunisia. The organizers in both countries began exchanging their experiences over Facebook. The Tunisians faced a more pervasive police state than the Egyptians, with less latitude for blogging or press freedom, but their trade unions were stronger and more independent. “We shared our experience with strikes and blogging,” Mr. Maher recalled.

Aktivistene så seg om etter modeller for hvordan man styrter et autoritært regime, og fant den serbiske ungdomsbevegelsen Otpor. Den fikk hjelp av Soros og lot seg inspirere av en amerikansk forfatter, Gene Sharp.

For their part, Mr. Maher and his colleagues began reading about nonviolent struggles. They were especially drawn to a Serbian youth movement called Otpor, which had helped topple the dictator Slobodan Milosevic by drawing on the ideas of an American political thinker, Gene Sharp. The hallmark of Mr. Sharp’s work is well-tailored to Mr. Mubark’s Egypt: He argues that nonviolence is a singularly effective way to undermine police states that might cite violent resistance to justify repression in the name of stability.

The April 6 Youth Movement modeled its logo — a vaguely Soviet looking red and white clenched fist—after Otpor’s, and some of its members traveled to Serbia to meet with Otpor activists.

Myk makt – myk revolusjon

At tanken om ikke-vold skulle få ny drakt i internettalderen, er naturlig. Nettet står for individuell frihet og transparens, og tillater organisering og mobilisering, opphever alle avstander og gjør alt samtidig. Det er en myndiggjøring som truer alle hierarkiske strukturer som ikke er legitime.

I tillegg kom en annen faktor: egyptere i eksil. De var en ressurs. Mange egyptere hadde dratt til Emiratene og lært mye om moderniseringen der. De ble nettbrukere og hadde ressurser.

Another influence, several said, was a group of Egyptian expatriates in their 30s who set up an organization in Qatar called the Academy of Change, which promotes ideas drawn in part on Mr. Sharp’s work. One of the group’s organizers, Hisham Morsy, was arrested during the Cairo protests and remained in detention.

For et år siden fikk bevegelsen et tilskudd i form av Googles markedsdirektør for Midtøsten, en ung mann ved navn Wael Ghonim.

Then, about a year ago, the growing Egyptian youth movement acquired a strategic ally, Wael Ghonim, a 31-year-old Google marketing executive. Like many others, he was introduced into the informal network of young organizers by the movement that came together around Mohamed ElBaradei, the Nobel Prize-winning diplomat who returned to Egypt a year ago to try to jump-start its moribund political opposition.

Mr. Ghonim had little experience in politics but an intense dislike for the abusive Egyptian police, the mainstay of the government’s power. He offered his business savvy to the cause. “I worked in marketing, and I knew that if you build a brand you can get people to trust the brand,” he said.

Ghonim bestemte seg for å utnytte drapet på bloggeren Khalid Said, som ble drept av politiet i Alexandria.

The result was a Facebook group Mr. Ghonim set up: We Are All Khalid Said, after a young Egyptian who was beaten to death by police. Mr. Ghonim — unknown to the public, but working closely with Mr. Maher of the April 6 Youth Movement and a contact from Mr. ElBaradei’s group — said that he used Mr. Said’s killing to educate Egyptians about democracy movements.

He filled the site with video clips and newspaper articles about police violence. He repeatedly hammered home a simple message: “This is your country; a government official is your employee who gets his salary from your tax money, and you have your rights.” He took special aim at the distortions of the official media, because when the people “distrust the media then you know you are not going to lose them,” he said.

Ghonim brukte Khalid Said-saken til å vise at mediene løy. Han bygget opp en kritisk sans hos lesere og publikum: Sannheten måtte finnes andre steder. Slik svingte lojaliteten fra regimet til opposjonen.

After the Tunisian revolution on Jan. 14, the April 6 Youth Movement saw an opportunity to turn its little-noticed annual protest on Police Day — the Jan. 25 holiday that celebrates a police revolt that was suppressed by the British — into a much bigger event. Mr. Ghonim used the Facebook site to mobilize support. If at least 50,000 people committed to turn out that day, the site suggested, the protest could be held. More than 100,000 signed up.

“I have never seen a revolution that was preannounced before,” Mr. Ghonim said.

Det oppsto en uformell allianse – 6. april-bevegelsen. El Baradeis folk, noen liberale og venstreorienterte partier og ungdomsbevegelsen til Brorskapet. Men lederne i Brorskapet følte ingen trang til å delta. De stolte ikke på den virtuelle verden.

Det var de velutdannede og godt betalte som ledet an 25. januar. Men tilstrømmingen var enorm. Plutselig handlet det ikke lenger om matvarepriser og ytringsfrihet, men om selve regimets eksistens. Snøballen begynte å rulle.

Mr. Maher of the April 6 Youth Movement said the organizers even debated storming Parliament and the state television building — classic revolutionary moves.

“When I looked around me and I saw all these unfamiliar faces in the protests, and they were more brave than us — I knew that this was it for the regime,” Mr. Maher said.

Det var nå de fikk råd og veiledning fra kontakter i Serbia, Tunisia og Academy of Change i Emiratene.

It was then that they began to rely on advice from Tunisia, Serbia and the Academy of Change, which had sent staff members to Cairo a week before to train the protest organizers. After the police used tear gas to break up the protest that Tuesday, the organizers came back better prepared for their next march on Friday, the 28th, the “Day of Rage.”

Det var denne fredagen som endte med at partihovedkvarteret til det regjerende Nasjonaldemokratiske partiet ble brent ned. Det fremsto som spontant og anarkistisk på TV, men aktivistene hadde forberedt seg på slaget med politiet. De bar tomme mineralvannflasker rundt kroppen for å dempe slagene fra politikøller, brukte spray til å dekke til vinduene på politibiler, og stappet filler inn i eksosrør. Etter dem timers slag hadde de vunnet over politiet.

Av venner i utlandet hadde lært å bruke hvitløk mot tåregass, og melk i øynene. De var organisert i lag som avløste hverandre i fremste linje.

I Washington dukket Barack Obama opp på et møte om Egypt. Det skulle bli ett av mange Obama deltok i. Han så en mulighet for å lage en alternativ versjon til jihadistenes, en annen «fortelling» som kunne appellere til de unge.

By the end of the 18-day uprising, by a White House count, there were 38 meetings with the president about Egypt. Mr. Obama said that this was a chance to create an alternative to “the Al Qaeda narrative” of Western interference.

Mubarak lyttet ikke til Obamas råd. Tirsdag 1. februar lovte han å gå av i september, men ikke før. Onsdag 2. februar slapp han mobben løs på demonstrantene. De forsøkte først ikke-voldslinjen.

The protesters — trying to stay true to the lessons they had learned from Gandhi, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Gene Sharp — tried for a time to avoid retaliating. A row of men stood silent as rocks rained down on them. An older man told a younger one to put down his stick.

But by 3:30 p.m., the battle was joined. A rhythmic din of stones on metal rang out as the protesters beat street lamps and fences to rally their troops.

Nå sluttet Brorskapet seg til kampen. Det hadde stått på sidelinjen, men mobiliserte nå for fullt og tok straks ledelsen. Aktive i fremste linje var også supporterklubbene til to av Kairos mest kjente fotballag.

The Muslim Brotherhood, after sitting out the first day, had reversed itself, issuing an order for all able-bodied men to join the occupation of Tahrir Square. They now took the lead. As a secret, illegal organization, the Brotherhood was accustomed to operating in a disciplined hierarchy. The group’s members helped the protesters divide into teams to organize their defense, several organizers said. One team broke the pavement into rocks, while another ferried the rocks to makeshift barricades along their perimeter and the third defended the front.

“The youth of the Muslim Brotherhood played a really big role,” Mr. Maher said. “But actually so did the soccer fans” of Egypt’s two leading teams. “These are always used to having confrontations with police at the stadiums,” he said.

Mubarak holdt enda en trassig tale før han ble avsatt av de militære.

Tunisia har ikke bare inspirert Egypt og andre land, slik mediene sier. Det er snakk om konkret samarbeid og utveksling av erfaringer og strategier.

Stikkordet er ungdomsoverskuddet og sulten på en fremtid med mening og muligheter. Det fossile Libya var som skapt for å bli veltet av en slik bølge.

Man kan ikke annet enn sympatisere med bølgen, men hva som følger er helt åpent.

Now the young leaders are looking beyond Egypt. “Tunis is the force that pushed Egypt, but what Egypt did will be the force that will push the world,” said Walid Rachid, one of the members of the April 6 Youth Movement, which helped organize the Jan. 25 protests that set off the uprising. He spoke at a meeting on Sunday night where the members discussed sharing their experiences with similar youth movements in Libya, Algeria, Morocco and Iran.

“If a small group of people in every Arab country went out and persevered as we did, then that would be the end of all the regimes,” he said, joking that the next Arab summit might be “a coming-out party” for all the ascendant youth leaders.

A Tunisian-Egyptian Link That Shook Arab History