At times its hard to believe that pressure, protest, opposition, have the power to bring about real change. Its not always easy because you can't always see the result right away. In this case it took SEVEN years.
The Palestinian- Jewish Unity (PJU), a Montreal based group, have been organizing protests against Israel's apartheid policy every week since 2001, infront of Israel's consulate in downtown Montreal. Apparently, the bad publicity has finally embarrased the Israelis enough to move their consulate to a more discreet location where they wouldnt be publically criticized. Every week between 20 to 30 people got together in protest and pushing for international boycott of Israel.
Sometimes I wonder how in the Arab world we could never get this amout of order and determination to protest anything on a weekly basis. Granted, that would also involve getting beat up by the police on a weekly basis too, but I imagine some national causes would be worth getting together once a week and saying something about it. Maybe I have an unrealistic understanding of the political context? Maybe. But more so, I think I have a realistic understanding of the mismanagement and disorder of Egyptian opposition and civil society movements. I think the main problem would be to get five or six NGO's to decide on one cause to support for a prolonged period of time and to sacrifice their name as THE organizer of that event. If it takes seven years to get ONE consulte in ONE country (Canada, no less) to MOVE, not even banished, then perhaps we should get started on our own problems now..