This article was originally written in response to #IdleNoMore – however, after talking to my good friend Tarek Nasr, who is responsible for the original piece, we decided it’s time to be revamped and released again for #NoDAPL.
(You may see the original, “A Message from Tahrir to #IdleNoMore” here.)
Having started our own uprising roughly 2 years ago and continuing to struggle for Bread, Freedom & Social Justice we have learned a lot (and continue to learn) from this once in a lifetime experience.
Having said that I will divide this post into 3 parts; the first some advice (hopefully valuable) to my Indigenous brothers and sisters and the many Water Protectors from all around the globe, 2nd to the American Government & the 3rd to the American Media.
Indigenous Relatives & Water Protectors
● Firstly I need not be thanked for supporting your cause, for as a member of an oppressed people it is my cause as well. I may not understand your language or your customs but I understand being oppressed and fighting for your rights and freedoms as human beings and that is more than enough to unite us
● The #Jan25 revolution has taught us that as oppressed people all over the world from Tunisia to Egypt to Syria to Yemen to Sudan to Greece, Spain and many others that our plight is connected. In Egypt if we were simply fighting against our own government we would be free by now, but alas we are part of a global community that is structured by Western Nations in a manner that serves to benefit a select few by oppressing everyone else. A victory in Spain, Yemen, Egypt or anywhere else helps all those involved by weakening the machine that serves those in true power
● You need a common theme to all your Protests / movements. Goals that you can unite the majority of your constituents with and can use to benchmark where you are as you continue to consolations from the opposition. For us it is “Bread, Freedom & Social Justice”.
● Don’t settle for less than what you truly deserve.
● The will try to divide you, they will succeed in getting you to scuffle with one another at times, your end yardstick should be the objectives you set. If you haven’t achieved them stay strong, stay united, root out those who are looking for minor reform as opposed to true change and continue on your path.
● Take pride in your history and culture.
● Frame wins in the battle for Freedom as big, perhaps even bigger than they actually are. It is important to give everyone a reason to stay positive.
● True change doesn’t take a week, 18 days or a month. it takes time, usually years, be prepared for a long haul.
● Make heroes of all your martyrs that fall on the path to freedom. Always remember them. They didn’t die for minor reform, they died for change.
● Clearly pin-point those of your own that are against change.
● You will be called infidels, traitors to the great nation of America and unpatriotic. Don’t worry about it too much, its one of many narratives the media uses to attack true revolutionaries.
● Use graffiti and other forms of art to push your cause.
● Mass media will frame the story to the liking of those in power, even in a “democracy” like America. OWN Social Media. It is your most important media outlet.
● Don’t give up, we are all with you in heart and spirit.
● To all the Indigenous and Water Protector youth; you are the heart and soul of this revolution. Be proud of who you are and where you came from. Most people live and die without changing the world or being part of something truly historic, this is your chance.
To the American Government:
● What starts out as a small issue that can be easily handled if went about fairly and quickly can escalate into something that can take down your entire government very quickly. When we first went down on January 25th we weren’t calling for Hosni Mubarak to step down, 3 days later we did, 18 days later he was gone. As you may know he is currently in jail where he will spend the rest of his life thinking about what could have been.
To American Media Personalities:
● You can choose to either report the actual news or fabricated lies, which side of history will you be on?
#NoDAPL will succeed and as an oppressed people we are with you every step of the way. May we march together hand in hand as free people soon. God Bless.