San Pedro Sula Landing in Honduras I felt lost in a dark seam of time. No blackberries were working. The news was trailing the heat and humidity of the city. Finally able to connect in mid-afternoon, it appeared Mubarak’s last play had been trumped on the street, and he was gone.
Speaking that night to twenty young activists about Citizen Wealth and ACORN International and our work supporting ACORN Honduras, I asked how many were on Twitter. Answer: One. I asked how many were on Facebook? Answer: All! I asked how many knew the news from Cairo. A couple of hands were raised. This was a touchy subject. Many of these young men and women had been vitally involved in demonstrating and protesting the coup that pushed out an elected president in Honduras less than two years ago. They were veterans of a failed effort and dispirited despite their energy and commitment.
Their questions wee the right ones? Mubarak is gone? The Army is in. We’ve been there, done that, what’s going to happen their next?
It seems trite and romantic to simply answer, it’s in the hands of the Egyptian people now, but I think that’s actually the right answer. The U.S. State Department may always be willing to settle for stability rather than support democratic struggle whether in Honduras then or Egypt now, as they juggle expediency over principle, but as we see over and over again, the people united can not be defeated.
One of the organizers quoted a few days ago in the paper when asked the same question answered along the lines, that he didn’t care if a “monkey” was “president” as long as it was a “government of institutions.” I cringed at that, though I understood the hyperbole. The military is a huge and powerful institution. Kicking out a dictator and substituting the military, despite the fact that it is a respected institution, supposedly, in Egypt doesn’t seem like a good trade.
An organizer quoted today named Ahmed Sleem, when asked about various future scenarios including army control, answered in a slogan I hope is picked up everywhere: “We know the way to Tahrir Square.”
What has now been won on the streets, can be enforced on the streets. The future is in the hands of the people now.