It definitely now seems certain that the Egypt protest movement will not be petering out! It also sounds like tomorrow will be a huge, huge day. Yet still there are a couple of ways in which the protest movement there can be destroyed or damaged—and “total state crackdown” is an unlikely one. The state most likely does not have those kind of resources, and the movement has reached a state where state-sponsored violence will be met with resistance.
• Media starvation. It’s unclear from here to exactly what cities can still receive Al Jazeera. It’s also unclear if their staffers will be arrested or deported. It’s hard to organize without Internet and without media feedback—though they’re doing an incredible job. That’s addressable though; if the cellphone networks disappear, well, radio will work!
• Food starvation. Food has tripled in prices in areas; import and export has halted at the ports. (To look at it another way? People are bringing food to the protest’s front lines for free, so, you can also say that food prices dropped 100% in some areas as well! And may I also say that just because people like to say often that “women are making food and bringing it to the protests” does not mean that this is a movement made of men, at all: here’s some very good evidence.)
• International meddling—and possibly, the U.S. “hands-off” policy and idiocy that is going on from Obama and Hillary Clinton. Although, despite how shocking their tepid speeches have been, there is a valid political point to the U.S. looking non-involved, and it is possibly not all Israel-related: it gives credence to a liberation movement, not least in part because later people can’t say that the demonstrations were CIA-sponsored! That’s a first. (It may not however help that the richies of the world, busy skiing in Davos, apparently have no interest.) Other meddling that’s damaging involves total stupidity, like the blisteringly stupid front page of the Sunday Los Angeles Times that touted the “looting” and “chaos” and “lawlessness.” If you’re near L.A., won’t you do us the favor of throwing some rocks through their despicable windows? Thanks! (A note from my attorney: do not do this. Express your disgust in reasonable and peaceful ways!) In America, just like in Egypt, we’re now so often dependent on raw news.