Egypt’s democracy activists, understandably, look at America’s Occupy Wall Street movement and see the Arab Spring leading by example. The toppling of President Hosni Mubarak began back in January, when tens of thousands of Egypt’s fed-up 99 percent filled Cairo’s Tahrir Square in a demonstration of unity and a demand for change.
Reports of abuse by jailers, including torture and even death, are too numerous to dismiss.
One lesson from the Egyptian struggle to make its government accountable is that no gains will be won without persistence. More than nine months into its people-powered transformation, Egypt is still under rule of an interim military government. Thousands of civilian prisoners are awaiting military trials, and reports of abuse by jailers, including torture and even death, are too numerous to dismiss.
The Egyptian example also shows that unity is crucial; so Arab Spring veterans took time off from their business at home Friday to march from Tahrir Square to the gates of the United States Embassy, decrying the use of police force against Occupy Oakland demonstrations earlier in the week, and expressing a common cause with protesters across America, and the world.
For more pictures from Occupy Tahrir and what might turn out to be an American Spring, browse through the photo gallery below.