Saturday, January 26, 2013

Egypt: The People Still want the Fall of the Regime

By Juan Cole

"On the two-year anniversary of the demonstration that kicked off the Egyptian Revolution and the Second Republic, hundreds of thousands of Egyptians came out to demonstrate. They were not so much commemorating the fall of the Mubarak regime as protesting its successor, the government of Muhammad Morsi, the first freely elected Egyptian president in history. In the city of Suez on the canal, anti-government forces clashed with police, and 7 of the protesters and one policeman are said to have been killed. Another protester was killed in Ismailia. Hundreds were wounded throughout the country......

Morsi, representing the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood, has acted high-handedly has favored market-based solutions to the country’s problems, and has cracked down on striking laborers. It has provoked the anger of secular, centrist, feminist, Coptic Christian, leftist and labor groups.

In Cairo, there were several centers of protest, including the iconic Tahrir Square downtown, the presidential palace, the Maspero area around the state television station, and October 6 bridge linking the downtown area with neighborhoods beyond the Nile. There were active clashes between protesters and police on October 6 bridge for much of Friday. The army and state security forces used tear gas against the protesters. A youth anarchist group, the “Black Bloc,” which dressed themselves in black, including masks, attempted to set fire to the presidential palace with Molotov cocktails before being dispersed with heavy tear gas barrages. But most of the Cairo protests, despite provocation by security forces, remained peaceful.
Protesters are consolidating their position in Tahrir Square and pledging to camp out in it until their goals are met."

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