Tuesday, February 08, 2011

USA (heart) Tahrir

About twice a decade, I actually get off my duff, pick up a sign, and exercise my right to peacefully assemble for redress of grievances. It seems to take young people dying in foreign countries, but in the case of Burma last time and Egypt now, I finally made a tiny effort and joined the demonstration in San Francisco last Saturday. People loved the sign, btw, and a dozen strangers took photographs of my wife and myself holding it. Maybe it will help in some little way to make up for the fact that the US government hasn't exactly come out swinging to demand Mubarak get the heck out.

My Egyptian neighbor pointed out that only if Mubarak is out of power can they have a chance of following Tunisia's example and dissolve the corrupt ruling party and chase down the billions of stolen funds. This transition period we're working on will instead give the bad guys lots of time to hide their money and make sure it benefits the economies of Switzerland and the Cayman Islands instead of Egypt.

Let's just hope it works out.

(And an interesting factoid: Egypt has had the most news coverage of any international news story since tracking began four years ago, and the fourth highest of any news story at all in that period. Maybe people are paying attention. While the role of Twitter and Facebook may be overplayed within Egypt, the new social media might be helping with international attention.)

UPDATE: and following the good news today (Feb 11), the Swiss have frozen Mubarak's assets. My neighbor was right.

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