Monday, December 28, 2009

Things are moving quickly

Okay y'all, here's what's going on. I apologize for the lack of posts for the last several weeks, but things got hectic. But now, I'm in Cairo and there is a lot to talk about.

It seems like I've finally figured out how to blog from here. I don't have the pictures thing worked out yet, though I've taken tons and tons of them. Will post as soon as I can with pictures.

For now though, here's the updates.

Egypt is saying that "no way" are we getting into Gaza. There is a much bigger political situation at play (including prisoner swaps, heightened tension at the border because of refugees trying to get into Israel from E. Africa, etc.).

On the ground here, things are changing minute by minute. The French delegation took over the streets in front of their embassy, camped out, and then won a meeting with their ambassador. There's about 300 of them apparently, and they are still camped out there.

I was with a group of folks (several hundred) who went to the place where the buses were supposed to be leaving from, because we were going to have a protest there. We had to deal with some hostility from the police when there weren't many of us, but they chilled out a lot when more people came. It's been this cat and mouse game all day. First they tell you you can do something, then they tell you that you can. It's clear that we are getting a lot of privilege as internationals, because they have been cracking down on Egyptians pretty hard.

Here is the thing: we are trying to bring humanitarian aid and attention to a population of people that are slowly being starved off. It is criminal that we are being prevented from doing so.

After the protest this morning, when we got out of the pens that they had us cooped up in, we got some food and a break. Then we went to the UN building to have a protest outside of it. A delegation went in to negotiate, while roughly 700 of us were out on the street, again penned in. They are working on seeing if we can get the aid that we have brought in, even if Egypt doesn't let us travel there.

I left that protest a couple of hours ago, but folks are talking about camping out there tonight, and holding the space the same way that the French have taken their embassy. Things are still moving minute by minute.

Sorry if this is scattered. I promise that there will be lots more anecdotes and photos later. I'm just trying to get a little bit out while I have the chance.

More soon...

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