Exclusive - Gigi Ibrahim Extended Interview Pt. 2

  • Aired:  06/04/14
  •  | Views: 23,146

Activist Gigi Ibrahim describes the sort of framework that is necessary to create a successful democracy in Egypt. (5:48)

[ APPLAUSE ]>> Jon: THE CAMPAIGN?

>> IT'S A CAMPAIGN. ANDSHE IS A REVOLUTIONARY

SOCIALIST, SO I'M PART OF THESAME --

>> Jon: YOU'RE PART OF HERGROUP.

>> YES.

>> Jon: WE ARE BACK WITH GIGIIBRAHIM.

SHE HAD VISITED US AFTER THEAPRIL REVOLUTION WHEN MUBARAK

WAS OVER THROWN. THEN OF COURSEMORSI BECAME THE PRESIDENT.

HE WAS OVER THROWN. DEPOSED.

SISI CAME IN. NOW HE IS, THETHING ABOUT SISI I WANT TO

MAKE CLEAR, THOUGH, IS HE'SPOPULAR.

THIS IS NOT A SITUATION WHERE HEHAS LOST EGYPT.

IF YOU WENT THROUGH THE STREETS,SISI.

THERE IS TRUE POPULARITY HEREFOR THIS MAN, YES?

>> WHEN YOU PLACE PEOPLE UNDERCURFEW FOR FIVE MONTHS AND

SUSPEND RAILROADS AND SENSOR ALLTV AND MEDIA WHETHER PRIVATE OR

STATE OWNED. ANDYOU HAVE NOT ONE VOICE THAT

IS SAYING ANYTHING DIFFERENTTHAN

WHAT IS BEING FED TO YOU IN THISMEDIA, IT'S SIMILAR LIKE -- YOU

KNOW MANY COUNTRIES.

THEN THE PEOPLE WANT ASTABILITY.

THEY WANT LIFE.

THEY WANT TO HAVE THEIR BREADAND STABLE LIFE.

IMAGINING THIS HAS BEEN GOING ONFOR THREE YEARS.

PEOPLE ALSO FEEL LIKE THEREVOLUTION DIDN'T CHANGE

ANYTHING. SO, BEING THE MILITARYTHE BACKBONE OF THE COUNTRY

AND HOW MANY PEOPLEFANTASIZE ABOUT THE ERA

OF NASSER AND SO ON, THEYTEND TO FAITH IN THE MILITARY

BECAUSE THEY CAN'T REALLY SEEAN ALTERNATIVE TO POWER.

>> Jon: RIGHT.

>> AND MORSI REALLY HAD THEOPPORTUNITY TO SHOW SOMETHING

ELSE BUT HE COMPLETELYTHREW THAT IN THE TRASH AND JUST

FOLLOWED IN THE FOOTSTEPS OFMUBARAK

WHICH ULTIMATELY GAVE HIM THEEND AND BEING REMOVED.

>> Jon: THIS IS A BROADERDISCUSSION.

IT SEEMS LIKE THE REGION ISTRAPPED BETWEEN TWO RELATIVELY

AUTHORITARIAN EXTREMES.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

>> Jon: ONE IS THAT SORT OFPAN-ARABIST NASSER MILITARY

RULE. THE OTHER IS, IS A MOREMILITANT MOSQUE THAT IS

ALSO SOMEWHAT AUTHORTARIAN.

WHERE IS THE SPACE FOR A MOREPROGRESSIVE OR DEMOCRATIC?

AND WHERE DO YOU BUILD, YOUKNOW,

IT MAKES SENSE THE BROTHERHOODFILLED THE VACUUM AFTER MUBARAK.

BECAUSE THEY WERE THE MOSTORGANIZED.

THE MOSQUE WAS VERY ORGANIZED.

IT MAKES SENSE THE MILITARYWOULD FILL THE VACCUUM ONCE

MORSI LEFT.

HOW DO THE PEOPLE IN THE STREET,IN THE SQUARE, ORGANIZE WELL

ENOUGH TO ALSO PROVIDE PEOPLEHOPE FOR STABILITY?

AND IS THAT A POSSIBLE THING TODO WITH THE REGION?

>> YES.

THERE ARE TWO POINTS WITH THIS.FIRST OF ALL,

PEOPLE WHEN YOU LIVE UNDERPOVERTY THEY ARE JUST THINKING

ABOUT THEIR BREAD AND BUTTER.THEY'RE NOT GOING TO EVEN START

THINKING ABOUT POLITICS,B ORFREEDOM OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT IF

THEY DON'T HAVE ANYTHING TO EAT.

SO, FIRST OF ALL POVERTY.AND, SECOND OF ALL, A

LITTLE SPACE FOR ACTIVISTSLIKE US OR MAHIENOUR OR THE

THOUSANDS IN PRISON THAT CANWORK AND ORGANIZE TO BUILD AN

ALTERNATIVE TO POWER.

TO BUILD A THIRD WAY.

THIS IS WHAT WE HAVE BEEN TRYINGTO DO FOR THE PAST THREE YEARS.

YES, WE WERE, YOU KNOW SO BUSYRUNNING AROUND SQUARES AND MAYBE

NOT DOING -- MAKING THE BESTDECISIONS.

BUT, WE'RE LEARNING THROUGH THEPROCESS OF REVOLUTION.

THIS WILL TAKE YEARS. AND WE'REHOPING AS REVOLUTIONARY

SOCIALISTS OR ASREVOLUTIONARIES TO BUILD

AN ALTERNATIVE TO POWER THROUGHTHE PROCESS OF REVOLUTION.

THIS TAKES YEARS.

>> Jon: YES.

>> THIS TAKES YEARS BUT YOU NEEDAT LEAST THE SPACE TO DO IT.

SO, WHEN YOU CENSOR SOCIAL MEDIAAND MONITOR IT AND TRY TO DETAIN

ACTIVISTS, YOU KNOW, FROM JUSTBASICALLY WHAT THEY WRITE OR

YOU CRIMINALIZE PROTEST. OR YOU,YOU KNOW, STOP THE BASSEM

YOUSSEF SHOW. AND ANYKIND OF SILENCE, ANY VOICE

OF OPPOSITION OR ANYBODY WHO ISCRITICAL OF THE GOVERNMENT

THEN HOW ARE YOU GOING TO BUILDAND ORGANIZE PEOPLE ON THE

GROUND WHO WILL HOPEFULLY PUTTHE DEMOCRACY THAT WE'RE AIMING

FOR. SO IT'S -->> Jon: IS THERE A SIMPLE

INFRASTRUCTURE THE PEOPLE OFEGYPT COULD INVOLVE THEMSELVES

IN ON A MORE LOCAL LEVEL AWAYFROM THE MOSQUE, AWAY FROM

THE MILITARY THAT ALLOWS THEMTO BUILD THOSE SKILLS TO EARN

THE TRUST OF THE PEOPLE. OR ISTHAT, IS THAT A BIT OF A --

>> RIGHT NOW THAT PLACE ANDSPACE IS VERY SMALL.

THIS IS WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO DOAT THE MOMENT.

PRESERVE WHATEVER POLITICALSPACE OF FREEDOM THAT WE HAVE

LEFT AND PROTECT AND KIND OFLIKE BUILD ON THE GROUND, ON

THAT LITTLE SMALL VOICE THAT ISSTILL RAISING THE VOICE OF THE

DREAM, BRED FREEDOM AND SOCIALJUSTICE OF THESE PRINCIPLES

THAT THE REVOLUTIONSTOOD FOR TO BEGIN WITH.

SO, WE'RE HOPING TO JUST HOLDONTO THIS SPACE SO WE CAN BUILD

AND ORGANIZE PEOPLE. BUT DOWE HAVE THIS SPACE?

AS YOU CAN SEE WE DON'T.

WE REALLY DON'T.

IT'S COMES AT A VERY HIGH RISK.IF YOU GO OUT AND YOU START

TALKING A DIFFERENT RHETORICFROM THE GOVERNMENT AND

MILITARY YOU'RE AUTOMATICALLYLABELED AS A TERRORIST,

MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD,A TRAITOR, AGENT OF THE WEST.

SOMEONE WHO SHOULD BECRIMINALIZED AND PUT IN JAIL.

THEN YOU GO TO JAIL AND YOU DIE,OR YOU SUFFER, GET TORTURED.

WE HAVE BEEN IN THIS CIRCLE.

IT'S VERY DEPRESSING. BUT, ATTHE SAME TIME SO MANY PEOPLE

ARE FIGHTING ON THE GROUND. SOMANY PEOPLE, EVEN IF WE'RE SO

FEW AND HAVE LESS OF A VOICETHAN WE HAD THREE YEARS

AGO WE STILL CAN MAKE AN IMPACTJUST TO FIGHT FOR THAT DREAM.

AND WE WILL FIGHT FOR IT WE WILLWIN.

INEVITABLY I BELIEVE WE WILLWIN.

>> Jon: NO, I DO THINK THATINEVITABLY THIS IS THE DIRECTION

OF SOCIETIES IF THEY DON'T WISHTO COLLAPSE UPON THEMSELVES HAVE

TO GO.

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