For example, you can now protest and practice free speech without fear of police or army repression.
If you are a woman, you can feel safe in the streets and well-protected by the government.
An ample space was given for people to build up democratic parties.
The army is answerable to the people, responsible to a civilian governing body, and prioritizes the will of the people over Western interests and demands.
Egyptians did vote today, in large numbers, and we will have to wait to see the results of this process.
In the meantime, to tell and show us how much more free and democratic Egypt has become since the fall of the Mubarak regime, is Mona Eltahawy, a journalist just returned from her democratic Tahrir free-speech experience (video below):
I was surrounded by four or five riot police. And they just brutally beat me with their sticks. They had these huge sticks. They’re known for their brutality. In trying to protect myself, they broke my arm, here, and my hand, there. Then they dragged into a no-man’s land in between where the protesters stand and where the security forces are, and that’s where the sexual assault happened.[…]
And they realized they had a journalist that had written a lot against the previous regime. I’ve exposed a lot of human rights violations. They know my position on the revolution. So, I think they were probably trying to figure out during those twelve hours, am I more trouble with them or more trouble free? And I would say, as much pain as I was in, they wouldn’t get me medical treatment.[…]
Well, the one’s who beat me and sexually assaulted me are the riot police, and they are conscripts, basically. They’re kind of the lowest ranking soldiers, if you like, of the Ministry of the Interior, and they are the ones on the front line with protests. They are the ones that basically unleashed—-the Ministry of the Interior unleashes them on protesters because they’re just like automatons. All they do is beat. And with women, the sexual violence with women is really important here, because the Mubarak regime began this horrendous policy of targeting female activists and journalists because they wanted to shame us, they wanted to silence us. So, it started then in 2005. But, then the military now—-right now, Mubarak is not in charge anymore. It’s the military , the Supreme Council of Armed Forces. They too have used sexual violence against women. In March, they subjected at least 17 activists to so-called virginity tests, which are sexual assaults. And now here again—-who’s in charge of Egypt? Again, it’s this military junta.[…]
the Supreme Council of Armed Forces, and the head of which is Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi. He used to be Mubarak’s Defense Minister. He’s now the head of that supreme council. Now, I call that council the Supreme Council of Mubarak’s, because we’ve basically replaced one Mubarak with 18 Mubaraks. They’re all Mubarak’s men. They rose through the ranks of military with Mubarak, and here is his former Defense Minister. Mubarak is 83, this man is 81.[…]
More and more ordinary Egyptians, even those not involved in the revolution have been watching the violence that the military and police have unleashed on people and are are realizing that the military is not the guardian of the revolution, but that the military is trying to hijack our revolution.
Also very useful for understanding the context and stakes of the current elections, I highly recommend the interviews on this alJazeera program:Vodpod videos no longer available.