Egypt's anti-coup protesters break curfew silence

Anti-coup demonstrators found a novel way of making their voices heard without being subject to arrest for breaking the curfew.

Egypt's anti-coup protesters break curfew silence

World Bulletin/News Desk

In a bustling city like Cairo, any deliberate effort to make noise at 9 pm would typically go unnoticed in a city plagued by the nonstop cacophony of car horns and crowded streets.

However, since a strictly-enforced night-time curfew was imposed by the country's new army-backed rulers, the streets of the city that never sleeps have fallen into a ghostly silence.

The government imposed the dusk-to-dawn curfew in hopes of curbing mass protests sparked by the bloody dispersal earlier this month of two major sit-ins staged by opponents of a July 3 military coup that deposed Egypt's first democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi.

Anti-coup demonstrators, however, have found a novel way of making their voices heard without being subject to arrest for breaking the curfew.

"Walking in the street is banned after 7 pm, but standing on balconies isn't," said one post on a Facebook page devoted to outsmarting the curfew.

"We will deliver our message on every street in Egypt. Bring your biggest cooking pot, stand on your balcony and start banging for 15 minutes from 9 pm every day," it added.

Organizers say the campaign aims to give voice to the popular rejection of the July coup.

The campaign has drawn a wide response from Facebook users, with three pages attracting more than 15,000 users within a few days.

Cyber-activists say the sounds of banging pots and pans were easily heard in Cairo's upscale Nasr City and Heliopolis districts, both in eastern Cairo, where the curfew is tightly enforced.

Some participants expressed satisfaction with the wide participation of their neighbors, many of whom joined the drive out of curiosity.

"Every day, more people are joining the banging; tomorrow, Egypt will be rocked by the banging of our pots and pans, which are stronger than bullets," Nasr City resident Noha Ayman wrote on the 'We Will Break Curfew, Bang Pots' Facebook page.

Salama Naeim, who lives in the same neighborhood, said that she had been encouraged to open her window and join the campaign after seeing her neighbors take up the new form of protest.

"We will continue our banging until we break the coup," she wrote.

Some users even captured their banging on film.

"Be brave; take photos of your neighbors [participating in the campaign] and post them on Facebook," wrote one campaigner, using the pseudonym Abu Yusuf, who attached a photo of a family banging on cookware.

Fatma Mohamed, from Heliopolis, replied that she and her sisters had stood on the balcony the night before and made considerable noise.

"I was very enthusiastic because the campaign gave coup supporters a headache, and because I managed to make my voice heard -- even during the curfew," she wrote.

The banging does not, however, come without its problems. Rania Abdel-Momen, who lives in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura, said she was insulted by her neighbors for breaking the silence.

"But that didn't stop me," she said defiantly. "The experience gave me the courage to bang pots and shout, 'Down with military rule'."

Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Ağustos 2013, 10:18