It sucks that these tweets will probably be used against Luke Gates, an IU student studying abroad in Cairo who was recently detained by Egyptian police for allegedly participating in recent riots, but they sure are great. The detention of these three Americans seems like a weak attempt on the part of the Egyptian military to de-legitimize the protests, or blame the riots on “outside agitators.” We’d like to subvert their intentions by using this opportunity to draw connections between the struggles in Egypt and our struggles here in Indiana and the U.S. more broadly. Total solidarity with the accused!
From CBS news:
In his Twitter account, one of the three U.S. students detained by Egyptian military admits throwing rocks during the Tahrir Square protests and complains about his eyes stinging from tear gas, the shock of seeing dead bodies and hurting his knee and arm in a crowd surge.
Luke Gates, 21, an exchange student from Bloomington, Indiana, is one of three U.S. students detained by Egyptian military for allegedly throwing Molotov cocktails during the protests at Egypt’s Tahrir Square. Gates is a junior with a double major in political science and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures.
In his tweets, which ended Nov. 21, Gates runs the gamut of youthful anguish – “College is such a joke,” “What are you doing seriously?” and “I just don’t want to feel anymore.”
He also appears to get swept up in the excitement of the protests:
- Nov. 21: reports of tear gas being fired from AUC campus on Tahrir, university officials have started investigating
- Nov. 20: back to tahrir tonight, as police set fires to everything, no doubt they will blame it on protesters
- Nov. 20: earlier tonight rubber bullets a charge and then a retreat, my knee and elbow are f***ed up #toolegit seeing all of this #tahrir
- Nov. 19: 6 hours at tahrir, enough tear gas for tonight
- Nov. 19: we were throwing rocks and one guy accidentally threw his phone =(
- Nov. 19: now class? ugh. my arm is sore and my eyes still burn a little
- Nov. 19: saw them hanging from the bridge, and you realize death is the only thing thats immortal
- Nov. 19: its only scary cuz i feel so reckless
- Nov. 19: yes live bullets we have the shells, i was here!!
- Nov. 19: wish the protests in new york looked like the ones in tahrir. #pu***es
The three Americans attend the American University in Cairo as exchange students. The school, which sits on Tahrir Square, the central protest site, confirmed the students’ arrest. In addition to Gates, the other two students are Derrik Sweeney, from Georgetown University and Greg Porter from Drexel University.