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Rantings of a Sandmonkey

Be forewarned: The writer of this blog is an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off

Thursday, December 01, 2005

In our democratic elections we shoot voters

Our democratic experiment keeps getting weirder and deadlier by the minute, with the police shooting at would-be voters, and voters doing everything they could to go in and vote. The whole thing is so surreal, I figured no one would believe me unless I showed you pictures of what happend as well. Here is what went down: Riot police battled voters Thursday, killing one person and blocking entry to polling stations in opposition strongholds in the third and final round of Egypt's legislative elections. Police fired into a crowd in the Balteem district of Kafr el-Sheik, killing Gomaa el-Zeftawi, a fisherman, and wounding 60 other people, said Mohammed el-Ashqar, a campaign worker for a Nasserite opposition candidate. [...] Voting proceeded normally in some towns, but in two villages visited by an Associated Press reporter — one the hometown of a Muslim Brotherhood candidate, the other of an independent candidate — police were blocking voters. In some southern towns, voters were intimidated by lines of police outside stations. In some towns, such as the Delta city of Zagazig, where a Brotherhood candidate was favored, voting proceeded without violence or intimidation. But in several constituencies, The Associated Press saw that voters had been barred. gather In Balteem, supporters of the Nasserite candidate Hamdeen Sabahi began pushing and shoving riot police who blocked them from the polling station. The police tried to disperse the crowd with night sticks and tear gas, but voters responded by hurling stones, el-Ashqar said. stones Finally, the police fired into the crowd, killing el-Zeftawi But that's not all. People really wanted to participate and make their vote count, and they decided to outsmart the police who is preventing them from going in, by using laders to sneak into the polling stations like thieves. In one village, men and women determined to vote resorted to sneaking into the polling station, putting up ladders to climb over back walls — out of sight of police barring the entrance — and slipping through bathroom windows to get in. getting up wow el israr whoa Those people braved serious injury so that they can go in and excersize their constitutional right to vote. The Police, which was supposed to facilitate and protect them tried to prevent them from even using that way to get inside the polling station. remove Needless to say, I am disgusted by all of this. But I can't phrase what I want to say better than what this guy, Samir Fikri, an average egyptian voter, said: "I'm calling on his excellency, the president, to appoint the members of parliament because no one has been allowed to vote. ... It would save the money wasted on elections," Sameer Fikri, a would-be voter in the village of Sandoub, said sarcastically. Seriously. Cause this is a joke.


At 12/01/2005 02:51:00 PM, Blogger Crazy Girl said...

Come on now lets admit it...Who actually though Mubrak would would allow free and fair elections.. I say he start with the small stuff first..Mubrak is not going anywhare untill he is shot dead or he drops dead.. And than a war will break out with his sons.. Come on now.. We knew this would happen..

At 12/01/2005 03:05:00 PM, Blogger Chimera said...

SM, I just linked your excellent post to my site.

We in Canada are in election mode right now (voting on 23 January 2006), and we thought things were nasty here!

All we do is call each other names.

And the Canadian government hasn't turned the police/military on the citizens since the FLQ Crisis in 1970, when the Prime Minister invoked the War Measures Act that he, himself, designed.

Stay safe!

At 12/01/2005 04:32:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

Man these people want to vote so bad!

Who said Arabs didn't want democracy?

At 12/01/2005 04:37:00 PM, Blogger أحمد said...

فضحتنا امام الاجانب و الكنديين


At 12/01/2005 05:09:00 PM, Blogger Crazy Girl said...

lol to Ebles
Ma3lesh but the fadeha happened a long time ago.. LOL

At 12/01/2005 05:21:00 PM, Blogger Crazy Girl said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 12/01/2005 05:26:00 PM, Blogger Crazy Girl said...


I was wondering what would be your take if America actually stepped in and got involved in this whole voting mess in Egypt. The reason I say this is because I had a heated talk with lot of the American-Arabs here and they seemed to be upset and thought maybe interference would help.
I think it could work and but it my cause a war..I don't know I wonder what people think. Plus I also think here we are on the outside looking in. So I cant say what its like over there anymore.

At 12/01/2005 05:52:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This breaks my heart to see. I've always felt American's who never bother to vote should have to just once know what it is like to face something like this. I hope this makes the Mainstream news so the world can see just what people will resort to to try to have their voices heard. Freedom and justice for all!

At 12/01/2005 06:49:00 PM, Blogger newc said...

I AM so proud of you Egypt!

At 12/01/2005 07:09:00 PM, Blogger DazzlinDino said...

Much like watching voters in Iraq brave bombings and walk for miles to vote isn't it. And we here in Canada have a hard time getting 65% to vote and only have to walk across the street....

At 12/01/2005 07:44:00 PM, Blogger thewiz said...

SM; way cool to see that the people would not be denied. The genie of democracy is out of the bottle and will not return. It has been unleashed.

BP has talked about how the MB have worked to take care of their people and have gained the trust of many people. Mubarak must now be more responsive to the people or his party and his son will be tossed out next elections.

If he tries to fight it by force or violence, he will loose. With all the mass media, the internet, cell phones, cell cameras, the truth will get out. He must work with the people or be let behind.

It may well be messy. It may well be ugly. But it is inevitable.

At 12/01/2005 11:04:00 PM, Anonymous J.Doe said...

Those pictures of people just wanting to exercise their right to vote are shocking.

At 12/02/2005 02:26:00 AM, Blogger iosefo said...

Hi Sam,

Go to http://www.abrahamic-faith.com and you'll see on the left a menu. Scroll down and click on jokes. The Jokes are great but the one titled "slogan" is something you may want to post on your site. I promise you, you'll not be dissapointed. PROMISE.

At 12/02/2005 06:30:00 AM, Blogger عبدالله النديم said...

أطالب بمعاملة المصريين طبقا لاتفاقيات الامم المتحدة الخاصة بمعاملة اللاجئين بإعتبارهم رعايا دولة أجنبية وبموجب إتفاقيات جنيف بإعتبارهم أسرى حرب برلمانية

At 12/02/2005 07:00:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

Stunning pictures, Sam. The ladders, the shootings (!)...that IS surreal. So much we take for granted in America, forgetting even our own beginnings. I guess some people won't ever understand it unless they live it.

"For those who have fought for it, freedom has a taste the protected will never know."

At 12/02/2005 10:04:00 AM, Blogger Louise said...

Actually, Chimera, the War Measures Act dates from the beginning of WWI. I doubt Trudeau had anything to do with it, but I've always admired him for what he did with it. He understood that Quebec separatists were hopelessly naive at best and the fringe elements were darn right dangerous.

That man had guts, conviction and wasn't afraid of wishy-washy do gooders who were wringing their hands as a Quebec cabinet minister was being murdered and a British diplomat was kidnapped.

I admit it. I'm still smitten by Trudeaumania, even though I no longer subscribe to many of his ideas and have doubts about the wisdom of some of the things he accomplished. But hey, no one can predict precisely how things will turn out.

The man did have a vision for Canada which he never once relented. He put Canada on the global map, the way no other Prime Minister before or since has done. He was a statesman, in other words, in the true sense of the word, and he called a spade a spade.

He was irreverant and wise at the same time. Who else could get away with doing a pirouette while walking behind the Queen of England and later sit at the same table as her and sign a document which finally gave Canada a constitution and the right to amend it without seeking approval from the British parliament. ;-)

I miss him and his style and I especially miss his massive balls. We need another like him to lead the Conservative Party. BTW, I see more Trudeauism in the Conservative Party ethic than I do in the current Liberal party ethos, if such exists. He lived by his principles. Nuff said.

Sorry Sandmonkey for my little rant. The Middle East needs a Pierre Eliot Trudeau. You should study his career.

At 12/02/2005 10:40:00 AM, Blogger أحمد said...

انت تعرف ان دى مدرستى الثانوى
و ان السور دا يا اما نطيت عليه

At 12/03/2005 06:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Egyptians: Those photos of you sneaking up a ladder to shimmy in a bathroom window to avoid your own police in order to go vote make me love you.
I apologize if you infer that I am overlooking or belittling the genuine tragedies of that day, but when I see these images, I want to propose that if any Egyptian has to go through a potentially dangerous physical obstacle course to vote, their votes should count double. I'll go so far as to propose a stupid American-style reality TV show where you can physically launch yourself at a series of aperatures like a skee-ball to find out how many votes you are entitled to cast.
I want to say we have it too easy here in America with out voter expectations, but, no, what we have should be standard operating procedure. It Should be too easy for you and others.
Not that I am entitled to speak for the United States goverment, but I am sorry we are continuing to give international aid to the Egyptian government when they have their police, among OTHER THINGS, block thier own citizens' access to their polling stations. Do you and other Egyptians feel our financial assistance is proper given such practices?
I thank you for your time.

Troy Z

At 12/04/2005 02:16:00 AM, Blogger Freedomnow said...

I was amazed at Bush's total commitment to freedom in the Middle East. Even in the light of the fact that Islamic militants are quite good at getting out the vote. So America pushes for Democracy when that could lead to a hostile Islamic regime taking over.

Some could call that foolish, but some would say it is a commitment to a set of ideals that cannot be compromised.

Egyptians have a friend in the White House if they want one...

At 12/09/2005 01:17:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, now that the egyptian public has seen what the 'thin blue line' will do at election time, you can plan on how to overwhm it for the next time. may i suggest Roman Cenurion tactics? remove the hoods and trunk covers of your cars and use them as riot shields, form a wedge, and maybe even chain the front line together, then drive at the thin blue line in your choice of a point aimed at the center or a crescent aiming at the ends, and bind the police up in a bundle so they can't block your way into the polling places? or force them apart with the wedge formation to let the crowds flood thru? and disarm them as you drive them back?
there're more of you than there are of them, and there are plenty of materials suitable to be sheilds for the looking around you.
each side learns from what the other does, so they'll probably use vehicles to try to block you the time after that. so come prepared with long stout lumber to use as levers to overturn the vehicles and shove them aside again! anticipate and counterplan. of if not levers, a wedge formation of cars driven at the line in the same roman strategy, to force open the line of resistance to let the crowd thru.
ehy, if the LAPD were forced to abandon all effort to control the LA riots in 1992 and just retreated, that right there proves that the people CAN overcome the police if the numbers are great enough.
the civil rights marchers of the US south braved similar police opposition in the early 60's and ultimately won. you can DO this.


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