Egyptian Activists' Action Plan: Translated


Egyptian activists have been circulating a kind of primer to Friday's planned protest. We were sent the plan by two separate sources and have decided to publish excerpts here, with translations  into English. Over Twitter, we connected with a translator, who translated the document with exceptional speed.

What follows are side-by-side translations of nine pages from the 26-page pamphlet. They were translated over the last hour and pasted up in Photoshop to give you an idea of what's in the protest plan. While the plan itself contains specifics about what protesters might do, these excerpts show how one might equip oneself for clashes with riot police. Egyptian security forces have repeatedly beaten protesters as the level of violent repression of demonstrations has ratcheted upwards. For more context on the pamphlet itself, the Guardian UK ran a summary of it earlier today.

As you'll read, the creators of the pamphlet explicitly asked that the pamphlet not be distributed on Twitter or Facebook, only through email or other contacts. We're publishing this piece of ephemera because we think it's a fascinating part of the historical record of what may end up becoming a very historic day for Egypt.

The pages included are 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, 12, 13, 22, and 26. You can click to (roughly) double the size of the images.

Update 8:21pm: People have asked why these particular pages were chosen. We had limited resources, so we knew we'd only be able to translate an excerpt. My guiding principles were to stay away from the small amount of tactical information in the pamphlet. Instead, we ran the more general pages. There is nothing in these pages that goes beyond standard advice and broad political statements. Broadly, we were trying to balance the historic nature of the document and protest with the safety of protesters. Publishing this excerpt was the compromise at which we arrived.
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Update 8:48pm: Our translator requested that his name and Twitter handle be removed from the post. We complied.

Updated 8:57pm: Added context around why this information might be necessary for protesters.

Update 9:32am: A refinement of the document's translation has been made. Meanwhile, the Internet remains shut off in Egypt as protesters across the country clash with security forces wielding large amounts of tear gas and powerful water cannons. While the Internet remains shut off, @Jan25Voices is tweeting updates from phone calls with Egyptians. Al Jazeera English is providing excellent coverage from the ground.

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Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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