The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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i think they're getting smaller
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Egyptian Protests Live Updates from Huffington Post, while CNN reports Protesters head toward heart of Cairo as tanks stand by, as hundreds of protesters gather at Tahrir Square.

It's always tanks.

I was only a kid when Tiananmen Square happened, and that wasn't the first time a government unleash them on its own people, but it was the first time it penetrated what they really meant, what they were. Bombs were scary; planes with bombs were scarier. Missiles, guns, napalm, sarin gas, the power of well-armed, soulless military unleashed; compared to a hydrogen bomb, I wasn't seeing a giant, unwieldy, slow, awkward looking metal contraption as a threat, right up until that's exactly what it was.

Granted, I was below the age of reason, but now, intellectually, if asked which I'd rather face, hydrogen bomb shouldn't be the knee-jerk choice. I'm still sitting in front of the TV watching the people who seemed so small, fragile, and it didn't seem like you could outrun that. Even if it was slow, maybe that was because they never stopped. Even when you did.

Since then, they're almost a trademark of a government's loss of control over its citizens; they roll out, slow and merciless, faceless with the message, You are now the enemy.

It's always tanks.

But now it's also the internet, as giant and unwieldy, but never slow, and powerful the way a tank can't ever be, two things that herald collapse or revolution, tanks and killing the internet, and the internet, that I get. Egypt rolled out its tanks and cut off its internet, because a tank is huge and a person may seem very small when they stand before them, but they're so much larger than can be imagined when they don't have to stand alone.

Protesters in Venezuela took over the Egyptian Embassy in a show of solidarity for the people of Egypt. They returned the embassy to Egypt after speaking with their Foreign Minister.

Egypt Protests and Twitter Reacts including this:
RT@timbray: RT@Mpegg: The Internet is sad tonight and has the porchlight on for Egypt


Anonymous is declaring war on the Egyptian government, and return to root with mass faxing of wikilinks cables to Egypt, along with a group called Telecomix offering up their dialup and going to ham radio. Then they joined forces to get the internet back to Egypt one way or another.

Tanks seem smaller than I remember. Or maybe people are just getting larger.

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I can understand a little bit of why they are protesting. I went to Egypt last year on a cruise and the garbage hadn't been picked up in months, the canals had dead animals in them and yet people were still fishing there and corruption was rampant. I'm not sure that will change with a new government but hopefully things will get better for them.

I think it's a time of breaking points. I live in a nation where oppression is the name of the game and we don't even blink as our rights are infringed. But I think breaking points are being reached across the world and no one cares about the tanks anymore. There comes a point in one's life where you are so beyond miserable, where life is so hard and such a struggle every moment of the day that the risk of death seems nothing compared to the risk of continuing to live like this.

I wish we'd march on our streets like they are marching on their's. I'm so proud of them.

I was researching your country's stock market! With two dictionaries! Islamabad Stock Exchange, sorry, it just hit me when I was answering your comment that three days ago I was trying to find English-language sites on the Pakistan and Lebanon markets.

I think it's a time of breaking points. I live in a nation where oppression is the name of the game and we don't even blink as our rights are infringed. But I think breaking points are being reached across the world and no one cares about the tanks anymore. There comes a point in one's life where you are so beyond miserable, where life is so hard and such a struggle every moment of the day that the risk of death seems nothing compared to the risk of continuing to live like this.

I feel weird saying I hope so, but it's honest--I do hope so. I hope, I guess, that it's good and peaceful, and no one gets hurt, but mostly, I hope its successful, that people are able to exercise their right to self-determination and end governments that are as much their enemy as any foreign power could be.

Tunisia and then Egypt start revolutions, all in a month; Tunisia still floors me. In an embarrassing way: I was researching stock markets and found one for Tunisia, was all irritated that it wasn't listed in Wikipedia, because hello, small or not, they had a stock exchange dammit, and then was utterly floored as I hit google to find their site that they'd decided that day to stage a revolution. One that no one had seen coming.

Apparently Anonymous saw it coming. And Telecomix, for that matter. I keep being surprised by people being surprised; Anonymous were always revolutionaries. I'm just surprised it took them so long to realize that themselves.

*hugs* Good luck.

With us, we have so many internal matters in terms of religion/sects that the chance of us uniting under anything is just.....unthinkable. That's what makes us pathetic. We have democracy but we abuse it. It's not just our politicians who abuse it, it's us ourselves. I'm afraid I'm at a point of no hope.

But Tunisia and Egypt. They've floored me (interesting use of phrasing I know).

As for our stock sites....oh boy. Did you find anything in the end? I once tried to find out if a company was registered as a public limited company with the Islamabad Stock Exchange. At the end of the day, I almost cried. So I can understand your pain.

a tank is huge and a person may seem very small when they stand before them, but they're so much larger than can be imagined when they don't have to stand alone.

I... just... YES! FUCK YES!

::Zen gives you a kiss on the forehead::

Something about that post in anonNews, with the cheerful thanks to anyone attacking testing their new host, just made my entire morning. Reading about the faxes and the radio signals, the people running workarounds through Tor, through the AUC servers that had outside proxies set up already, and off satellite phone signals, made me realize just how close we all are now. And how much harder it is to keep things secret and silent.

That can only be a good thing.

From here:

While some protesters clashed with police, army tanks expected to disperse the crowds in central Cairo and in the northern city of Alexandria instead became rest points and even, on occasion, part of the protests as anti-Mubarak graffiti were scrawled on them without interference from soldiers.

“Leave Hosni, you, your son and your corrupted party!” declared the graffiti on one tank as soldiers invited demonstrators to climb aboard and have their photographs taken with them.


*breathes*

There are a lot of things that make this different: Egypt isn't China, 2011 isn't 1989. But still, like you, when the tanks start to roll I hold my breath.

Thank you for this post.

(Deleted comment)
I had not heard about the last chunk of information. Thank you!

Whenever I see a tank, it's always a sign of the originator's despair. Like, it's the last ditch effort because it worked once (worked horribly horribly once) but every time afterwards its gets increasingly less effective.

There's also the nightmare mental images of them being turning into moving coffins for the people inside, but that's probably only me.

(OT, but what is the best way to get a hold of you?)

The funny thing? If Anonymous ends up in the history books as other than a tiny footnote, I'll be utterly shocked. And yet... when they do shit like this, (as opposed to the horrible sociopathic bullshit they pull sometimes) they exemplify everything that's awesome about the internet, and everything that's awesome about the people who use it. You got a question? Someone on the internet knows the answer. You got a problem? Somebody on the internet's got your back.

I think I might be developing a little faith in humanity. ...it stings a bit. XD

But the wondrous thing about these tanks: The military is opening them up, stepping outside onto their tanks, and joining the protesters

The tanks, for once, are on the right side of history.

(Source: Al Jazeera film shown on AJ English last night) the protesters climbing onto the tanks are kissing and shaking the hands of the soldiers, not attacking them.

A fun response on one of the message boards I'm on:
There was a short scene from Alexandria (I think) which I felt was quite heartening. There was a tank in the middle of a sea of protesters. Soldiers were up on the tank and a civilian clambered up on the tank and stood on top of it, beaming with happiness. One of the soldiers went and spoke to him, motioning him off the tank. I think the conversation went something like this.

Civilian: I'M ON A TANK!
Soldier: Please step down from off the tank, sir.
Civilian: I'M ON A TANK!
Soldier: Please, sir, remove yourself from the tank.
Civilian: I'M ON A TANK!
Soldier: Sir, get off the tank.
Civilian: I'M ON A TANK!
Soldier: Get off my tank!
Civilian: I'M ON A TANK!
Soldier: GET OFF MY GODDAMN TANK!
Civilian: I'M ON A TANK!


The Army was also asking the citizens to disperse: so that they could tell distinguish between the protesters and the looters (the looters are presumed to be the police).

GO ARMY!

I was in grade school when Tiananmen crushed me. And I couldn’t understand why or how because only a few years earlier, People Power happened in the Philippines. And looking back, I am amazed at how much organizing happened without the internet and in a country and in a time where most people didn’t have phones.

I think the difference was that the filipinos knew how a free press worked even if they didn’t have it anymore. Likewise, there is an entire nation of Egyptians who lost internet for a night and might lose it again but not their memories of how a free internet works. The press and the internet are just tools. Here’s hoping that govt’s don’t catch on that what’s more important is how emboldened and entitled citizens feel.

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