A one-sided conversation with a middle-aged communist named Zahara, demonstrating on May Day in front of the Kentucky Fried Chicken in Tahrir Square.
We’re trying to gather the workers today to ask for our rights, establish a real party for the workers, and defend our rights. You see this flag? This is the first time that we raise the hammer and sickle in more than thirty years. Sixty years. We painted them ourselves. We don’t have any money. No money! It’s a new flag. But we hope it might become more widely available. We hope the street vendors will start to sell them, so we don’t have to make them ourselves.
Here in Tahrir there are only a small number of people demonstrating for the workers. But Al-Mahalla? That’s where the factories are. It’s full of demonstrations. In Alexandria, Ismailia, and Tanta, too.
The secret police prohibited the working class from expressing its opinion, because it threatens the capitalists all over the world. American capitalism wants to accumulate money, and Egyptian capitalism also wants to accumulate money, so the working class was driven to hell. For example, in Yemen there is a crushed social class where all people are very poor, without anything to wear — they only have their slippers. It’s a social class conflict also in Syria, and here, too. We’ve been demanding that Mubarak step down since 1999.
Mubarak changed the Egyptian people. Now the Egyptian people suffer from depression. They suffer from schizophrenia, they have paranoia. We are a people with paranoia! I am going through many crises. I walk in the street, talking to myself. Me, an intellectual, walking in the street talking to myself! He made us lose our minds.
Israel has lost an agent who has been working for their country for thirty years. He dismantled the working class, the factories. Today Israel is going through a boiling state. It has no idea who is coming after Mubarak — it will never have someone like him again. He sold the factories, he sold the gas, he built buildings on top of the farmland. The youth don’t work because they were kicked out of factories. The girls don’t get married. They get social diseases from not getting married and from unemployment and they commit suicide because of lack of opportunities.
And the corrupted still rule Egypt. The faithless. The revolution did not succeed yet.