Chelsea, Liverpool, Twitter and Tahrir Square
The World’s End in Finsbury Park is a great place so long as you don’t mind sitting amid a swarm of Arsenal fans, and ever since Robin van Persie’s boots caught fire there have been plenty of those about.
I happen to like Arsenal, and to be happy to see them recover from their early season troubles, so it is a trip that I was looking forward to. That is, until I turned on Twitter, and caught sight of the #Tahrir hashtag.
Yesterday in Tahrir Square, the Egyptian army was doing its worst – well, if not its worst, then far worse than any army the world over – that claims to care for its citizens should ever do.
SCAF, or as they are more popularly known on Twitter, “#fuckscaf”, began firing on protesters with tear gas and rubber bullets, and I found that I could not draw my eyes away from the emerging horror.
Twitter is wonderful and cruel. It can illuminate what was previously hidden but sometimes, as when following this #Tahrir hashtag, it is like knowing that your next-door neighbours are being slaughtered and that there is nothing that you can do. And I should say now that there is a link a couple of paragraphs down that many if most of you would rather not click.
I looked again at the Chelsea-Liverpool game for a Twitter update – the game was soon to start. Carroll was on the bench, which was a good thing: I think that he affects the mobility of the entire front four when he plays, and that Kuyt, Suarez, Maxi and Bellamy are a much more troubling proposition for a defence.
Thoughts of Liverpool’s selection soon receded though. I could do nothing but retweet #Tahrir tweets, as the injury list and body count slowly rose throughout the afternoon. Mona Eltahawy and Blake Hounshell have become essential people for me to follow during the Arab Spring, and my eyes were fixed to their feeds. Liverpool scored. Maxi sidefooted the ball into the corner after Mikel was summarily dispossessed and that man just lost his eye to a rubber bullet.
A dead protester was dragged across into the trash by a policeman. Sturridge scored from a Malouda shot that doubled as a cross and the crackdown went on. Glen Johnson nutmegged Ashley Cole and John Terry fell over, and Liverpool took it two-one, and SCAF killed on.
And somewhere in the middle of all that there was a tweet that someone, @IMenna29, sent Mona Eltahawy from Boston, saying “I feel so helpless, what can we do other than tweet?” And I thought, well, tweeting is precisely what you have to do. Because people in Boston and Finsbury Park and anywhere else a thousand miles removed from #Tahrir Square should be reminded from time to time, and should be reminding people from time to time, that there are countries where killing civilians is seen as sport; many of which countries our governments will provide with tools for their play.
Picture:EPATagged in: Andy Carroll, arab spring, Blake Hounshell, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck, Finsbury Park, Glen Johnson, john terry, Mona Eltahawy, Robin Van Persie, SCAF, Tahrir Square, twitter
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