A revolutionary, organic, engaged, democratic space has emerged in Tahrir Square. Numbers swell and fall throughout the day, people come and go, but intense and sophisticated political engagement remains a fixture. From debates about the relative merits of parliamentary vs presidential systems, to proposals about consititutional reforms, to suggested programmes of political transition, there is only one thing on everyone’s mind.
Some debates are held around the numerous microphones, with crowds cheering or booing the speaker’s proposals. Some are held in small circles on the ground that attract passers by eager to listen or voice an opinion, all are open to everyone to participate.
And as the square takes on a feeling of semi-permanence, representatives from all the other revolutionary factions in Egypt have arrived. Young men and women from Alexandria and Suez, from Mansoura and all across the country are settling down in Tahrir to contribute towards the building of a new democracy. In Alexandria, a chant doing the rounds is The Mandate is with Tahrir.
The question on everyone’s lips is how will a unified mandate emerge? Right now, no one knows for sure. But we do know two things. That whatever happens, for the first time in decades, there is a space in Egypt that is home to total freedom of thought and expression and political creativity. And that whatever mandate – or mandates – present themselves from the square, if they are not completely satisfying to the protestors, they won’t be going anywhere. A new society has taken root in Tahrir, and it wont be driven out until the people have won their freedom.
Taken from Occupied London.