From Mike Levinson
Hello! I arrived safely back in New Rochelle last night, Monday, January 4 from the Gaza Freedom March. I believe that Felice is staying in Amsterdam on an extended visit and that Mirene has gone elsewhere and will return separately.
Wow! What an experience! Too bad we did not make it all the way to Gaza, but what went on in Cairo was amazing, thrilling, challenging, energizing, surprising, scarey and sometimes frustrating! My big regret is that because of the many disruptions to our plans and the great confusion at times, I was not able to spend a lot of the time with fellow activists from Westchester and colleagues from the War Resisters League. We were often separated and had to find other/new friends to spend the activities with.
The spontaneous daily actions we organized on the streets of Cairo were fantastic! And often frightening! And very illegal! Despite the attempts by the Egyptian officials to prevent the local people from witnessing our protests, the everyday Egyptians DID SEE WHAT WE WERE DOING! There were many passersby, both pedestrian and vehicular, and they waved, saluted, cheered, held up the peace sign with their fingers, and shouted chants along with us! I think the local Egyptians got a real kick out of seeing so many Internationals daring to challenge the authorities with public protests; I think it gave them genuine inspiration.
The three of us who travelled on the adventure are waiting to share our experiences, reports and insights with all of you, and we want to hear from you about what it looked like to you in Westchester, what went on locally at support actions (e.g. White Plains Railroad Station) and we are interested in seeing the (local) media coverage. In Cairo, there were color photos of our protests on the front pages of all the newspapers, both Arabic and English. We know that international media coverage was universal!
I plan to attend the local Westchester Middle East Committee Meeting Monday January 11, 7pm at WESPAC-White Plains. See you all there!
I will also attend a local New York City Chapter Meeting of the War Resisters League, Wednesday January 6 and give an informal report.
There will be a big official report back on the trip at the Judson Memorial Church in Manhattan, Thursday January 21, in the evening. Hope people can attend.