Viva la revolution
Sarah Eissa discovers a new way to support movements for change
Revolutionary movements like 25 January were launched to fight corruption and other violations by the authorities. "Products to Support Revolutionary Movements" is a new group created to support such movements.
Islam Magdi, 22, a student in the Faculty of Archaeology at Cairo University, and a member of the 6 April activist movement, is Cairo's marketing coordinator of the group and the young man behind the idea. According to Magdi, the idea was inspired when he saw a charity organisation selling products to help it achieve its aim of supporting moral values. He and his friends thought of doing the same with revolutionary movements such as creating banners and printing publications. "Because I am a member in 6 April I know that most of the movements are self-funded," Magdi commented on claims that such movements are funded from outside the local arena and from abroad.
Products to Support Revolutionary Movements produces notebooks called "No to Military Trials" plus T-shirts inscribed with protest slogans. Magdi added that a campaign of one of the presidential candidates asked them to produce products for them but they decided to work only for revolutionary candidates.
Magdi says 50 per cent of the products' profit goes to the revolutionary movement while the other 50 per cent supports youth working on the products, designs and printings. He cited another advantage of the products: they attract people's attention to the movements and helps them to know more about them.
What about the response? Products to Support Revolutionary Movements has a Facebook group of 1,240 members. "I thought people stopped to write using pen and paper but notebooks were sold in a hysterical way, especially the 'No to Military Trials'," Magdi says. He added that around 800 notebooks were sold in only two demonstrations. 6 April bought 1,000 notebooks from the group during celebrations marking the group's marketing strategy.
Because there are swindlers who have sold free stickers before, how do people know they are buying the products from the right people? Magdi said that before any product is produced, the group makes an announcement on its official page and that the products will really support the movement.
Until now the group sells its wares in Abgadeya bookstore and the Hisham Mubarak Law Centre. It also sells them in events activists go to such as sit-ins and demonstrations.