The following press release was created last night by a committee of Anonymous participants who have been engaged in OpTunisia and OpEgypt for much of the last month. It was provided first to ABC but may now be distributed at will.
Additionally, our Guardian op-ed from yesterday - created in conjunction with a similar Anon committee - provides some additional insight into what Anonymous has been doing to assist and why we feel this movement is so worthy of assistance in the first place. A second op-ed should be appearing on al-Jazeera later this weekend.
Over the last few weeks, North Africans have expressed an ardent desire for liberty, democracy, and justice for both themselves, and for the world. While most in the West responded with a mild interest and cynicism for which our culture has become rightly reviled, Anonymous responded with action. Beginning with Tunisia and continuing on to Egypt, thousands of world citizens have dedicated their lives to securing the liberty of others, providing tools, expertise, and long-sought encouragement to those who have already earned their rights by virtue of fighting for them.
When Tunisians bristled in indignation at the chains that have bound them for far too long, the world was silent. Anonymous was not; and thus the online venues of state propaganda were taken down and in some cases replaced with our own clear message that those who want our help will get it.
When protests erupted upon the occasion of one fruit vendor's bravery, the media ignored it. Anonymous did not, and thus Tunisians were provided with the Guide to Protecting the North African Revolutions.
When Wikileaks confirmed the cruelty and corruption of the Ben Ali regime, Western governments did nothing. Anonymous organized hundreds of Tunisians directly and thousands more indirectly.
It was the Tunisian people themselves that overcame the tyranny to which they had been subjected. They did so in the context of the digital reformation, with unprecedented assistance provided over a mere few weeks. Others will follow. Some have already begun.
History has consistently taught us that the revolutionary potential of each individual is never to be underestimated. That Mohamed Bouazizi, a simple fruit vendor, could set the flame of democratic change alight throughout the Middle-East surely defied the expectations of those presumptuous enough to believe that they could predict the path of history. We should be both inspired and humbled by the massive potential and responsibility revealed to exist within all of us by the actions of this previously unremarkable man. If he is forgotten, it will merely be due to having been followed by so many others.
All protests such as the ones we have witnessed recently are inevitably wreathed with naysayers and cynics, but there should be no confusion about our intent. Some have described the actions of Anonymous as those of an "armchair revolutionary" sort. Such a description fails to take into account the massive power of communication technology in the modern age. It fails to recognize that the age of mass communication and information exchange has opened up a frontier of possibilities, for both those in authority and the people of the world. It inaccurately characterizes the efforts of Anonymous as ineffectual and insinuates that the Egyptian people have gained nothing from our support. This is untrue, as Anonymous has been helping to spread information pertinent to the well-being of Egyptian protesters just as it has been attacking the administration's means of efficient communication. Both techniques are designed to increase the effectiveness of the protesters and decrease the ability of the Egyptian authority to stifle them.
That the Egyptian regime has reacted to the yearning of its citizens by shutting down the nation's communications is the smoking gun that should tell the world that communications are the key to liberty. That we live in the communications age should, and has been, of great alarm to all who love their power more than their people, or who consider themselves to be the only ones capable of governing the world around them. That they have failed to provide any real security should remind all concerned that such people are not only unnecessary to true security, but a perpetual threat to same.
Anonymous is a machine that harnesses the talent that other, lesser institutions often fail to acknowledge or incorporate. Man is a creature that builds institutions and thereafter loses his grip on them. Anonymous cures institutions that are dying and destroys institutions that ought to have died long ago.
All significant human activity is the result of human collaboration - including this very press release. And the means by which humans may collaborate has exploded - not expanded, not increased, but exploded - in such a way as to allow any man on earth to talk and work with any other man.
Such issues will be explored soon enough. In the meantime, we demand that all normal communications be restored to the people of Egypt by January 29th, 12:00 midnight, Eastern Standard Time. That we have occasion to make such a demand in the first place should be enough to convince all good men that the world needs revolution. That we have made it in full view of all men should be enough to convince them that we now have the means to back it up - not just against this regime, but against any and all parties that continue to prop it up even after it has conceded that the truth is its enemy.