The Youth Movement Cracks Up

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I don’t have any real comment to make about this, but the LA Times has an interesting story today about Egyptian politics in the post-Mubarak era:

The new breed of professionals who helped topple President Hosni Mubarak is watching its rebellion turn into a political struggle among the country’s splintered opposition forces….The major rift in the youth movement is between the Coalition for the Jan. 25 Revolution Youth and a clique of urban professionals led by Google executive Wael Ghonim and dentist Mustafa Nagar. The two groups had shared strategies in a ransacked travel agency and under a tent during protests in Tahrir Square that began in late January. But talks with the government involving members of the latter group in the last days of Mubarak’s rule angered some members of the coalition.

“The guys from the coalition didn’t like it,” said Nagar, who has a persistent cough after inhaling tear gas during demonstrations. “They accused us of selling out the blood of the martyrs. And now that same coalition is trying to meet and talk to anyone they can. We are split from them completely.”

….The split in the youth movement began when members of Ghonim’s group met with the government to protect protesters from security forces and resolve the crisis in the days before Mubarak fell. It was further aggravated when Ghonim, who was arrested Jan. 27, was released from jail 12 days later and instantly became the new face of the revolution after an emotional television interview.

Unlike a number of coalition members, Ghonim did not have a long history in the dissident camp. One coalition member referred to the Google executive as “just the support” because he posted a Facebook page that helped provide a catalyst for the demonstrations.

I don’t think there’s anything unusual about this. It’s just normal politics. Still, it’s also fairly predictable, and there’s not much question that this kind of infighting gives the Egyptian military a lot more leverage over the future of the country than they’d otherwise have. And since they’d have a lot of influence even under the best of circumstances, this probably means their political role really isn’t going to change much. The whole piece is worth a read.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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