Solidarität mit Ägypten - Solidarity with Egypt
Eine kleine Demonstration am Kölner Dom am 6. Februar 2011.
A small demonstration at the Dome of Cologne on February 6th 2011.

When I arrived at the dome at noon on Sunday, February 6th 2011, I did not see any demonstrators at all. Only those three Police vans and one motorbike were signs, that something was supposed to happen here. But watching around, I only saw a few Muslim women, talking to each other. Finally they headed away at the right side of the Dome.

I waited for some more minutes. Four guys appeared, who had signs, which they did not show yet, but I went to them and asked, if they are the demonstration to support the people at Tahrir. They said yes and asked if I also came for this purpose. I said, that I hoped to make some photos to put them on the internet to show the Egyptian people that there is support from Cologne and they found this to be a good idea.

Having not more demonstrators, I shot some photos. Only later I realized that one of the guys – the one who agreed to photos first – always kept his face covered behind his sign. The women I had seen before came back and took out the Egyptian flag to wear it around their shoulders. It was cold and windy at the Dome. More people came by and by.

Still the demonstration was small. When we were about fifty, they decided to start a march through the side streets to the Central Station. The police was joking about the small number of people. I started filming with my little digicam, while walking. I heard a taxi driver say: “And here comes the tv…”

We ended up infront of the station. People built a circle and started chanting. I don’t understand Arabic, but I recognized some of the chants people reportet via Twitter from Tahrir. Many chants were in German also. I saw a guy sit down on the stairs to the dome and writing down some words, he later chanted. More and more people found us or heard the chanting. Some people stopped and asked, what it was about.

An old lady, obviously German and a little extraordinary, stood with the watching police for some time. Then she came over to us and explained, that the revolution is wrong for Egypt. Mubarak is such a beautiful man! She explained with words and gestures, that revolution was a European invention and that the Egyptians got infected by this. After Mubarak there would be another dictator and he would not be as cute as Mubarak.

Another man tried to read the signs. A demonstrator said: We also got some signs in German! And he showed him one, saying “Hau ab Mubarak”. This means “Get out” or “Get lost, Mubarak”. But somehow that man did not get it and said: “I never heard his first name before! So it’s Hau ab?” He had to laugh himself, when the demonstrators had to explain, that this was his own language and not Mubarak’s first name.

Suddenly a reporter of the local tv station appeared and began to film the people. The still small group gathered on the stairs infront of the dome and chanted, while he was filming. A bummer came from the station and started to ask the chanting people for some money, not realizing, what was going on.

After some time we returned the whole way back to the front of the dome. People were talking about the time frame the demonstration was allowed officially and what to do next. More and more bypassers watched or took photos. I had taken photos and made videos until my memory card was full. A German girl asked me, if I wanted to take over the sign, she had carried, because her hands got too cold. So I took it and marched back with them to the Central Station.

Some German guys surprised us all. Standing infront of the station with a big loudspeaker and a micrphone, they suddenly joint the chantings and it turned out that they had been waiting for the demonstration, too.

Finally some people made some speeches, including one of the German guys. He said, that countries like Egypt only served as the shoeshine boys for the western world and that it was time, they decided about their own fate.

A woman from Tunesia had spoken before at the dome. She had said, that Tunesia still is fighting and she wished, Egypt could solve these problems more quickly. She said, the Arabs are all one and they stand together. None of their countries should be a puppet for America or Europe or whoever. They should not copy others, but realize their own way of democracy.

When I left, I had seen a small demonstration of a few people, realized, that in my country many don’t understand, what’s going on, and seen proud people hoping for their own future.