Thursday, June 01, 2006

I Never Thought Of Myself As Subversive

Asthmatic bronchitis and travel to see kids abroad have a way of keeping a person too busy to follow up on friends and the usual internet contacts. My eye was caught today by a USA Today blog post to the effect that it was dangerous to blog in Egypt today. Whoa Nelly! I had to follow that link.

The story that followed is one that is familiar to us here without the mention of the blogging so much. Alaa Seif al-Islam and a number of other young activists, many of whom happen to blog, were arrested (kidnapped is a more descriptive word of the process) in conjunction to demonstrations in Cairo for the independent judiciary and press. These young people have been very badly treated and with the resilience of the young are willing to keep at their activities. Americans of my generation will recall similar stories with regards to demonstrations against the US government during the war in Viet Nam. Many of the young people then were also subject to some pretty rough treatment by police who were more sympathetic to the military than the demonstrators. I point this out lest people are too quick to say, "But that would never happen here!" It did and it does. Government machines work to protect themselves everywhere.

There are links in the story that am posting from to Alaa and Manal's blog from Cairo and many other blogs, including templates for protests of the treatment of the demonstrators. Do follow and read. Do not imagine for a moment that you are free of the possibility of this happening to you, no matter where you live. This can happen to anyone.