Egyptian activists' protest plan, translated to English


As I publish this blog post, we're just a few hours away from the planned start time of mass protests in Egypt, possibly the largest yet in a week of historically large gatherings calling for Hosni Mubarak to step down from some 30 years in power. Alexis Madrigal at The Atlantic tells Boing Boing,

A Twitter follower stepped up to translate excerpts from the Egyptian protest plan that's been floating around (the one that said don't use Twitter or Facebook). We're only publishing excerpts -- i.e. this is more general information and demands, not tactical stuff -- but they are amazing.
Translations and scans are here at The Atlantic.


  1. This is nothing like publishing the location of troops, this is more like publishing an itinerary of where troops will be.

    If you want to claim the moral mantle of a noble profession, first, do no harm.

    1. Bah, I don’t think that holds water. This document was being widely distributed on the internet IN ARABIC, in a non-secure fashion. The only thing the guys at the Atlantic have done is to make the document readable for people outside Egypt, who don’t read Arabic. I think the Egyptian police don’t look to the Atlantic’s english-language coverage for this sort of thing.

      1. Honestly, this was probably originally published by SDS in the late 60s and translated into Arabic before being translated back. Or maybe even by the Bolsheviks in the 1910s.

        We also wore steel-toed boots for getting our feet run over by cop motorcycles and duct taped rolled-up newspaper to our forearms and shins to prevent breakage by baton.

        1. Duct-taping newspaper to you as makeshift armor is an impressive idea. Not that I hope to ever need to use it, but I will keep that concept in mind.

    2. Others have shot down your POV on “outing” this stuff, but c’mon. Chill out. Multi-national revolutions are happening in Africa. Show some support.

      1. Showing interest is not the best support. I clicked here to see the collective suggestions to improve the pamphlet.

        I like the newspaper armor. It is better than the pot lid idea, because if done right is not visible and is more readily available and hard to call a weapon. Could a detailed wiki styled directions or a make issue be done?

        I don’t think the secrecy of a pamphlet like this is as important as not getting caught with it or caught distributing it. Misdirection like, I saw a police officer drop this and picked it up.

        I would think the spray paint is not that effective because by the time you get close enough to use it you would be toast.

        Bags filled with soap to defeat vehicle traction?

        How about bags filled with some opaque but common material to block the dictators cameras?

  2. Interesting use of spray paint. On seeing the aerosol I wrongly assumed it was for tagging until I read the leaflet

  3. I just hope this doesn’t end up like Tienanmen Square– scores dead, and nothing substantive accomplished.

  4. Fair enough, it really is terribly interesting, but I’d rather have seen it after the successful protests.

    It’s weird to see the underdog’s playbook all out in the open, before the game, published by a underdog-friendly news source. Good to know it was already widely distributed. That wasn’t clear, and the story comes off as a scoop rather than what it is – another distribution channel.

    If you have the numbers, it actually seems like good tactics.

    1. We don’t need to think paternalistically here. We can’t protect them from our leisurely position here in a Boing Boing comment thread.

      There have already been days of protests, some deaths, some beatings, some torture, some extrajudicial detention. How does one define “successful” for this population? Best not to, and let them define for themselves.

      At any rate, this English translation of an already widely available document in Arabic does no harm.

      1. I can’t hardly do shit for them from here. Got suggestions? You seem to have a good lead/instincts on how to help. What could we do from here?

        I was just talking about the shock value of seeing something like this printed openly, rather than distributed secretly – not so much trying for a paternalist cheeto revolution by proxy- as wishing it had been clearer that what the Atlantic published was already widely known mass protest 101, and what the protesters would want.

  5. You know what’s more badass than a sooper-sekrit strategy to kick someone’s ass?

    Telling someone exactly how you’re going to kick their ass and then proceeding to do so.

  6. Our office had a presentation by the local emergency services on shelter-in-place kits and go-bags. They recommend duct tape in both, because “you will always find things that need duct taping”.

  7. OMG – I click on a link to yahoo that had video of the protester who was shot. They ran an ad before it. I was for Tide. It started with something like, “Got tough stains?”

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