Egyptian Bloggers Parse London Riots in Real TimeBy ROBERT MACKEY
Egyptians and Tunisians took revenge for Khaled Said and Bouazizi by peacefully toppling their murdering regimes, not stealing DVD players.Mon Aug 08 20:34:38 via TweetDeckMosa’ab Elshamy
Tuesday, 11:10 a.m. Update: The morning after this post was published,Sarah Carr, a Cairene blogger who is a dual citizen of Egypt and Britain, wrote a blog post about the riots, “Love Me, I’m a Looter,” which began with the observation that she is from a south London suburb where riots broke out on Monday. “I’m from Croydon,” she explained. “Someone has to be.”
As the riots in London continued for a third night on Monday, Egyptian bloggers, watching events unfold on live television, debated the meaning of the violent confrontations between young people and the police, which reminded some of them of their own pitched battles on the streets of Cairo a few months ago.
Just a few minutes after one CNN correspondent, Dan Rivers, was forced to scurry behind police lines — as bottles were thrown at him and his cameraman in the south London neighborhood of Peckham — the reporter suggested that the riots had seemed to gain a kind of “momentum” through social networking. The dynamic, Mr. Rivers said, reminded him of the way protests had built and spread through cities in the Middle East earlier this year.
Watching Mr. Rivers report from Peckham, an Egyptian blogger and activist who writes as Zeinobia commented, “The CNN reporter in London is acting as if he is in war zone.” Moments later, she added, “Oh, God, they are attacking the CNN crew in London and it was a live action.”
Trying to get her head around the mayhem, Zeinobia — who took part in the protests that forced Hosni Mubarak from power — asked her followers on Twitter to explain what was happening. A Cairo radio anchor, who writes asLinaNileFM on the social network, responded, “Riots broke out in North London over a police shooting, started peacefully then turned violent with cars and buildings burnt down.”
As she switched between coverage of London’s riots on CNN and Al Jazeera, Zeinobia wrote, “To be honest I do not understand why protesters would set shops and houses on fire.”
To be honest I do not understand why protesters would set shops and houses on fire by all measuresMon Aug 08 20:13:59 via TweetDeckZeinobia
Just before Mr. Rivers suggested to viewers of CNN that the rioters in London seemed to be more interested in looting than protesting, Zeinobia made a similar observation from a much greater distance, writing, “I am sorry but you do not loot to object the murder of a young man, you are using his murder.”
I am sorry but you do not loot to object the murder of a young man , you are using his murderMon Aug 08 20:37:53 via TweetDeckZeinobia
Mosa’ab Elshamy, another Cairene blogger and activist who played a role in the protest movement in Egypt, took a similar view of what was happening in London, writing on Twitter:
Buildings are on fire, shops are being looted while many “activists” on my timeline are cheering on, calling it a revolution.
After images circulated that showed a London electronics shop being looted, the Egyptian blogger added that even though police brutality sparked revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia, “Egyptians and Tunisians took revenge for Khaled Said and Bouazizi by peacefully toppling their murdering regimes, not stealing DVD players.”
Later, after he was rebuked by another activist blogger, Nora Shalaby, for “simplifying” the London riots, Mr. Elshamy observed that the “thugs” in Egypt who were deployed to attack protesters on behalf of the Mubarak regime “had nothing to do with the revolution and were stopped by people — Londoners need to do that.”
A bit later, Ms. Shalaby replied, “I don’t support looting or burning but when you marginalize a community for decades you have to except something like this to happen.”
@mosaaberizing I dont support looting or burning but when u marginalize a community 4 decades u have to except something like this to happenMon Aug 08 20:57:53 via SeesmicNora Shalaby
Another prominent Egyptian blogger, Alaa Abd El Fattah, who has beenoutspoken in his hatred for the impunity with which Egyptian police officers have gotten away with murder in the past, also joined the debate,commenting, “seems to happen periodically in Europe, police kills poor boy, riots erupt, hours later nobody talks about police killers just looters.” A short time later, he added, “the point being, when the event is injustice committed by a state against an already marginalized community expect trouble.”
Mostafa Hussein, another blogger and activist, pointed out, simply, “2011 is an exceptional year.” He then added some criticism of the British state broadcaster’s coverage of the riots that seemed to echo what was said in January and February of Egyptian state television reports: “BBC is making it sound like young people have a single aim and that’s to loot and vandalise. Nothing or very little on why they are doing so.”
BBC is making it sound like young people have a single aim & that’s to loot and vandalise. Nothing or very little on why they are doing soMon Aug 08 20:37:42 via twiccaMostafa Hussein