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Action Plan for Egyptian Protesters (2011)

Document type:
Pamphlet

    Action Plan for Egyptian Protesters (2011)

    Commentary

    In January 2011, anonymous Egyptian activists began circulated a twenty-six-page pamphlet throughout the streets of Cairo in advance of one of Egypt’s first mass protests, planned for Friday, January 28. Entitled “How to Revolt,” the flyer includes specific, detailed instructions for how to conduct mass demonstrations, take control of government offices, and confront riot police. It calls on demonstrators to initiate their protests peacefully, and to march nonconfrontationally toward government buildings while attempting to persuade police and soldiers to join their cause. The pamphlet, which ends with the rallying cry “Long live Egypt,” asks readers for assistance in circulating the flyer using email and photocopies but warns against using social media, such as Facebook or Twitter, which at the time were closely monitored by the Ministry of the Interior. Protesters are advised to first gather within their own neighborhoods, away from police and military view, and then to move as a group toward key government installations. The presidential palace, certain police stations in central Cairo, and the state broadcasting headquarters are designated as priority targets, which protesters are advised to take control of “in the name of the people.” The pamphlet, which includes detailed diagrams, drawings, and maps, delineates specific demonstration routes and crowd formations, and even suggests a certain attire: hooded jackets, goggles, scarves, and running shoes. Trash can lids, to guard against baton blows and rubber bullets; first aid kits, to protect against injuries; and roses, to convey peaceful intentions; are also recommended. Certain “positive” slogans are suggested for chanting, such as “Long live Egypt” and “Down with the corrupt regime.” In addition, poster images are provided as examples, with one showing a riot officer wedged happily between a covered, traditionally-dressed elderly woman and a young, uncovered woman dressed in modern attire. The happy protester is holding a sign that says, “The Police and the People Stand Together Against Oppression! Long Live Egypt!”

    —Chrystie Swiney

    How to Protest Intelligently

    Important Information and Tactics

    Please distribute through email[,] printing, and photocopies ONLY!

    Twitter and Facebook are being monitored. Be careful not to let this fall into the hands of the police or state security.

    The Demands of the Egyptian People

    1. The downfall of the regime of Hosni Mubarak and his ministers

    2. The cessation of the Emergency Law

    3. Freedom

    4. Justice

    5. The formation of a new, non-military government with the interests of the Egyptian people at heart

    6. The constructive administration of all of Egypt’s resources.

    The Strategic Goals of Civil Disobedience

    1. To take over important government buildings.

    2. To attempt to win over members of the polic[e] and army to the side of the people.

    3. To protect our brothers and sisters in revolution

    Steps for Carrying Out the Plan

    1. Assemble with your friends and neighbors in residential streets far away from where the security forces are.

    2. Shout slogans in the name of Egypt and the people’s freedom (positive slogans).

    3. Encourage other residents to join in (again with positive language).

    4. Go out into the major streets in very large groups in order to form the biggest possible assembly.

    5. Head toward important government buildings—while shouting positive slogans—in order to take them over.

    […]

    Some Examples of Signs

    The Police and the People Stand Together Against Oppression! Long Live Egypt!

    How to Publish and Disseminate This Information

    1. We ask you not to use Twitter or Facebook or other websites because they are all monitored by the Ministry of the Interior.

    2. Distribute by email or printing or photocopying especially if you own an office or store.

    3. Do not betray your fellow citizens and ensure that this not fall into the hands of anyone who works for the police.

    Now that you know, please pass it on!

    Long live Egypt!

    Source: “Egyptian Activists’ Action Plan: Translated,” The Atlantic, January 27, 2011, available at http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/01/egyptian-activists-action-plan-translated/70388/.

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