Blogging from prison

Manalaa

A post on Moju recently stated:

The real voices of dissent and engagement are found on the internet these days, but the internet is simply too diffuse to effectively galvanize a revolution.

A powerful counter-point to this statement seems to be Manalaa
, a blog run by two pro-democracy activists in Egypt, one of whom is in prison. As a recent Wired news report points out the blog is:

Young, secular and anti-authoritarian, they link the blogosphere with a democracy movement demanding reform from President Hosni Mubarak, who has been in power longer than they have been alive.

and goes on to say:

…launched two years ago and written in a mixture of English and Arabic, [Manalaa] is an internet rallying point for activists in a nation where state-run media predominate and give little voice to reformers.

It posts announcements of planned demonstrations, political commentary, even photos — with names — of plainclothes security agents notorious for beating protesters. In March, the couple used their blog to organize a sit-in, where more than 100 protesters slept in a downtown Cairo square.

This is a story that brings to sharp relief the ways through which the web can indeed galvanise political action on the ground, even when the pro-democracy content is written by hand in prison.

Good stuff this.

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