Revolutions are not unplanned and leaderless events. Nor do they happen like ‘spontaneous combustion.’ The mass protests that have erupted in Cairo's Midan Tahrir square, and are close to toppling Mubarak's regime, were orchestrated by a handful of Internet savvy organizers known as the April 6 Youth Movement. For two years they planned, strategized, thought things through. Their first act surprised even themselves: in the wake of Tunisia, they called for a day of protest and 90,000 supporters showed up. It was this initial mass, backed by popular enthusiasm, that then propelled the uprising.
To this was added tactical education. A pamphlet entitled "How to Rise Up" was circulated in the days running up to the Friday protests on January 28. The pamphlet, which has been partially translated by The Atlantic, covers everything from what to wear, what march route to take and how to fight back against the riot police.
Could an uprising like this happen in America? Over 25 million folks are now unemployed, 2.8 million homes are in foreclosure while the investment bankers who brought this economic misery cynically reap obscene bonuses and rewards. Blatant corruption rules at the heart of American democracy. And with corporations now treated as people, big business money dictates who is elected to Congress and what laws they shall pass. America has devolved into a corporate state ruled by and for the megacorps.
What would it take for the people of America to suddenly rise up and say "Enough!"? A double dip recession? A crash on Wall St.? A war in the Middle East?
If we want to spark a popular uprising in the West – like a million man march on Wall Street – then let's get organized, let's strategize, let's think things through.