The next wave of the Egyptian revolution: Egypt army ultimatum deadline passes as hundreds of thousands take to Cairo streets
July 3, 2013

The military ultimatum given to President Mohamed Morsi has passed, as hundreds of thousands of people take to the streets. Morsi previously rejected the deadline, which gave him 48 hours to meet the demands of the people before facing army intervention.

According to some reports, Morsi has until 5pm local time to either form a coalition government or face the prospect of a coup. 

The meeting between Commander-In-Chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces, Abdul Fatah Khalil Al-Sisi, and political forces is still ongoing, Al Arabiya reports. The most important issue being discussed is reportedly that of sending reassuring messages to the Brotherhood’s leaders. 

The two sides seem unwilling to budge, with protesters stating that Morsi and his Brotherhood party are pushing an Islamist agenda on Egypt. 

The Brotherhood, on the other hand, says the army’s actions amount to a coup and says that its members are ready to become martyrs to defend the president.

There is only one thing we can do: we will stand in between the tanks and the president," Gehad El-Haddad, the MB official spokesman, told Reuters on Wednesday.

We will not allow the will of the Egyptian people to be bullied again by the military machine.”  

Morsi believes it would be better to die “standing like a tree,” defending the electoral legitimacy of his office, than to go down in history as having destroyed Egyptians’ hopes for democracy, presidential spokesperson Ayman Ali said, as quoted by Reuters. 

Army sources had previously said the army would issue a statement after the deadline expires at about 5 p.m. (1500 GMT) but no time has yet been set for official statements, according to the Facebook page of Egyptian military spokesman Col. Ahmad Muhammad Ali.

At least 39 people have died since anti-Morsi protests began on Sunday. A night of deadly clashes in Cairo on Tuesday night claimed the lives of 23 people, most of whom died in a single incident near Cairo University.

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"This is the second wave of the Egyptian Revolution," said Hani Shukrallah, speaking at the Socialism 2013 conference in Chicago. Shukrallah is one of Egypt’s most respected journalists, who was forced out as editor of the English-language website Ahram Online under pressure from the Muslim Brotherhood.

IN TERMS of sheer numbers, we have not seen this before. This was not just massive numbers in the major cities. It spread out this time into the provincial cities, many of them for the first time. This is especially true in upper Egypt in the South—many of these areas had stayed out of the 2011 revolution and the subsequent protests. Today, everybody’s out in stunning numbers.

We’re talking about millions of people. And they will not go home. They will be there until Morsi resigns.

There’s one story from the protest where reality almost becomes poetic: A pregnant woman and her husband go to Tahrir Square, and she gives birth at dawn on June 30 in a field hospital, and they decide to call the baby Tamarod, or Rebellion. I don’t know how they’ll bring her up with that name, of course—it may be quite a tough time.

Right now, the state and the ruling class are very deeply divided and fractured. So we had demonstrations of police officers in uniform, with their handguns on their side, saying, “Down with Morsi and down with the Muslim Brotherhood”. These are unprecedented scenes—very, very weird.

One message from a friend of mine said that one of the major Internet service providers is providing free wifi access around the presidential palace. She wrote that the capitalists are helping us against the Muslim Brotherhood so that they can screw us later—but that we should use it, so we can screw them later.

When I was up late last night, I was getting the early morning posts of people on the Internet before they went out for the demonstrations. And there was this amazing sense of joy—people saying things like “Good morning revolution.” And at the same time, you had people starting statements with “If I don’t come back…” It was the two things together: joyful, but they knew they were going into something that they might not come back from.

One post on Facebook went like this: Today, for the next 24 hours, there will be the final viewing of the body of the Muslim Brotherhood, deceased at 85 years of age; burial to take place tomorrow. There was that kind of sense of fun—and that’s an aspect of the Egyptian Revolution all along. There was always this humor—sometimes very bitter, sometimes very sharp, sometimes just hilarious.

In Mahalla, an important industrial city in northern Egypt, workers were coming out of the factories and heading out to marches. In 2011, we didn’t see much of that. We saw a lot of strikes in the last week of the revolution, which tilted the balance of forces quite markedly—there were something like 200 strikes within that week. But this time, we have seen marches coming out of the factories and heading toward squares or toward city halls, and occupying them.

In Mahalla, a trade union organizer was talking to Ahram Online, and he told them that not a single Muslim Brotherhood member dares to show his face in Mahalla. And he said that by this afternoon, there would be 1 million workers in the street.

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Egypt clashes continue for yet another day, despite Morsi declaring a state-of-emergency and preparing to arrest hundreds of citizens. Morsi continues to become more violent, more brutal and more repressive in his response to Egyptian citizens critical of his tyranny.
January 28, 2013

Police tear-gassed protesters in Cairo on Monday as clashes still gripped Egypt despite a declared state of emergency aimed at suppressing democracy in the region. The citizens on the street meanwhile reject president Morsi’s call for a dialogue as unrest enters its fifth day. They’ve done that before and know that Morsi is interested only in usurping more power from the people.

The violent unrest across Egypt rages on despite a 30-day state of emergency in Egypt starting Monday evening that President Morsi declared yesterday, as protesters pose a larger threat to Morsi’s power grab.

Morsi also set curfews from 9pm to 6am in the three most cities of Port Said, Suez and Ismailia where protesters are most loudly demanding democracy and transparency from the state. Further unrest is anticipated as many refuse to be repressed by the restrictions.

Many people believe a curfew will also be imposed on the capital, where police continue to brutally attack and fire teargas at protesters in Tahrir Square. A bystander was shot dead in clashes near the iconic venue, AFP reported Monday morning. Protesters are reporting that he was shot dead by government forces.

Thousands of people took to the streets of Port Said later on Monday to attend funerals of the most recent victims of police violence and repression. Reuters reported that mourners waved teargas canisters at television cameras to demonstrate that it is the brutal repressive police force who is to blame for the murder of Egyptian citizens.

Talks rejected

As the violence continues leaving now some 50 people dead, Egypt’s main opposition group, the National Salvation Front, has rejected President Mohamed Morsi’s calls for senior politicians and groups to join a national dialogue, saying it “could only lead to a dead end.” Recent interactions with Morsi have shown that he has no interest in fostering democracy in the region.

Speaking after the emergency meeting Monday afternoon, leading member of the coalition, Mohamed ElBaradei, said the proposal by the Islamist leader was “cosmetic and not substantive.”

The National Salvation Front will only attend talks, ElBaradei stressed, if a list of conditions laid by the opposition is met.

Earlier, smaller opposition groups also rejected president Morsi’s offer to negotiate because “the dialogue is a waste of time if the president doesn’t take responsibility for the bloody events.” They will not allow Morsi to get away with unapologetic, violent murder against citizens fighting for democracy.

Shortly after the state of emergency was declared, some 200 people marched in the streets of Ismailia, Reuters reported citing witnesses. “Down with Morsi, down with the state of emergency,” they chanted.

There have been reports of male mobs groping and assaulting isolated women in Tahrir Square amid the unrest. Twenty-five cases of sexual assaults by officers and others trying to suppress female protesters have been reported over the last few days. Some have been stripped naked and one was raped, local women’s rights campaigners told The Guardian.

Egypt’s cabinet later approved a draft law to give the army the power to arrest civilians. A cabinet source told Reuters that the army would “behave like a police force,” meaning detainees would go to a civilian, rather than a military court.

However, Cairo-based journalist Bel Trew told RT that there “have already been calls for protests to break this curfew starting at 8pm [Monday night], they say, in defiance of the president.”

"Security forces are now able to arrest citizens and detain them for up to 30 days without charges. So we’re likely to see a wave of arrests across those three cities as people violate the curfew and clash with police,” she said.

Rallies have been taking place in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez and half a dozen other places as citizen outrage continues to spread like wildfire. Protesters have taken to the streets in greater numbers following Saturday’s death sentence verdicts over a stadium stampede last February.

On Sunday, thousands turned out for the funerals of 35 rioters who were killed in previous Port Said protests on Saturday. Teargas was fired and gunfire was shot into the funerals. In Cairo, there was so much teargas in the air that Cairo journalist Bel Trew was struggling to get her words out.

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One man has been shot dead and over 400 people injured in fresh clashes in the Egyptian city of Port Said. The death toll has risen to 48 as violence on the streets of Egypt continues for the fourth day in a row.
January 27, 2013

18-year-old Abdel Rahman Farag was killed by a gunshot wound to the chest, the city’s head of hospitals told Reuters. More than 416 people suffered from teargas inhalation, while 17 sustained gunshot wounds, he said.

Thousands of people turned out for the funerals of 35 rioters who were killed in Port Said on Saturday. The mourners shouted,”There is no God but Allah, and Morsi is God’s enemy” after praying for the dead at the city’s Mariam Mosque. Teargas was fired in the vicinity and gunfire was heard nearby. Emergency vehicle sirens were also heard, a witness told Reuters.

Thousands of demonstrators also gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Sunday. Protesters threw petrol bombs at riot police who were firing teargas.

Rallies have been taking place in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez and half a dozen other places, many of which have become violent. Protesters have taken to the streets in greater numbers following Saturday’s death sentence verdicts over a stadium stampede last February. 

Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed El-Beltagy has urged Egyptian authorities to “step in with full strength!”

Protests reach back to Friday when nine people were killed in a separate demonstration against of the Islamist Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.

The outbreak of violence is a consequence of Saturday’s sentencing of 21 people to death for their role in the deaths of 74 people at a soccer stadium riot and stampede last year.

Spectators were trampled and eyewitnesses saw some thrown off balconies following a match between Al Ahly and local team al-Masri.  But many eye witnesses reported police of playing a role in the deaths. The sentencing was reportedly followed by the immediate deaths of two policemen.

About 18 prisoners in Suez police stations managed to escape during the violence, a security source reported. Approximately 30 police weapons were stolen. Soldiers have taken up positions at important state facilities, including the local power and water stations, administration buildings, banks and courts.

Protests have been spreading throughout Egyptian cities since Thursday, prior to the sentencing. Opponents of Morsi have been gathering to mark the second anniversary on Friday of the beginning of the revolution that led to Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow.

Infuriated protesters report that Morsi has betrayed the economic and representative goals of the previous revolt.

"None of the revolution’s goals have been realized," protester Mohamed Sami told Reuters.

Bel Trew, who is on the ground in Cairo, said, “There’s a lot of anger toward the president – this started just at the end of last year when he pushed through what was seen as an unpopular constitution drafted by an Islamist dominated constituent assembly. People also say that he has not made any of the changes that were called for during the January 25 revolution two years ago, so he’s really lost quite a lot of legitimacy on the streets.”

“Right now here in the capital there are clashes raging between protesters and security forces on the…lots of tear gas in the air here in down-town Cairo. Rocks have also been exchanged.”

“Security have increased their presence around government buildings, as the focus of the anger here for protesters is very much against Morsi’s administration… the situation in Egypt really descends into a bit of a crisis”

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The revolution continues: Sharif Abdel Kouddous on Egyptian revolution’s 2nd anniversary, protesters’ demands mostly the same
January 25, 2013

Two years ago, thousands of Egyptians filled Tahrir Square sparking the revolution that brought down dictator Hosni Mubarak. Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous joins Democracy Now! live from a protest march back to Tahrir.

"You hear many of the same chants that we heard two years ago — ‘Bread, freedom and social justice’ — and for the downfall of the regime, that they see has continued two years after Mubarak’s ouster," Kouddous says. "The difference between what’s happening now and what’s happened two years ago is that there’s a lot less unity, and we’re seeing a much more polarized country."

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Anti-Morsi protesters break through wired fences of presidential palaceDecember 7, 2012
Several guards have been injured after protesters broke through barbed wire around the presidential palace in Cairo. Tens of thousands have come to the palace to slam Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s bid for absolute power.
Friday again saw thousands marching towards the presidential palace in Cairo, while hundreds others rallied in the iconic Tahrir Square. The demonstrations were called by opposition forces, which include various leftist, liberal and democratic groups.
“We want to see the fall of the regime,” chanted the crowd venting their anger with President Morsi, the drafted constitution and the Muslim Brotherhood.
The palace has grown surrounded with barbed wire fences and concrete blocks. Police, national guard troops and military are guarding the place, including the tanks brought in Thursday.
The protesters rallied peacefully for several hours, but as night fell some began attempting to remove the barbed wire. 
RT’s reporter Bel Trew watched the crowd remove the barricades and flood the streets around the presidential palace. There, the demonstratots climbed onto army tanks waving flags and chanting slogans against President Mors. Others tried to get over the gate or remove the barbed wire.
Protesters told Trew that the Republican Guards “just stepped aside and let people pass.” The guards are currently standing next to their tanks and other posts, but not getting involved with the protest.
“At the moment the mood here is more jubilant than violent. People are dancing and singing, there’s a lot of drum beats and football chants,” Trew says, adding that the protesters are set to spend the night rallying right in front of the palace.
At the same time, Muslim Brotherhood supporters are gathering in an area near the palace, Trew reports via Twitter. If the two camps meet, it could bring a repeat of Wednesday’s violence, when at least six were killed and hundreds injured after Brotherhood supporters drove out opposition crowds camped outside the palace.
Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood Friday once again slammed the opposition’s attempts “to stall the democratic transition.” In its Twitter feed, Egypt’s most influential religious movement called on the nation to rule the country by ballot on the constitutional referendum which is set for December 15.
On Friday, Justice Minister Ahmed Mekki said the constitutional referendum might get rescheduled. 
“The president is ready to talk with political figures without any preconditions. He is open to the idea of postponing the referendum to reach a consensus over the contentious articles. He is ready for that, even if it means the constitution will return to the assembly,” Mekki said.
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Anti-Morsi protesters break through wired fences of presidential palace
December 7, 2012

Several guards have been injured after protesters broke through barbed wire around the presidential palace in Cairo. Tens of thousands have come to the palace to slam Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s bid for absolute power.

Friday again saw thousands marching towards the presidential palace in Cairo, while hundreds others rallied in the iconic Tahrir Square. The demonstrations were called by opposition forces, which include various leftist, liberal and democratic groups.

We want to see the fall of the regime,” chanted the crowd venting their anger with President Morsi, the drafted constitution and the Muslim Brotherhood.

The palace has grown surrounded with barbed wire fences and concrete blocks. Police, national guard troops and military are guarding the place, including the tanks brought in Thursday.

The protesters rallied peacefully for several hours, but as night fell some began attempting to remove the barbed wire. 

RT’s reporter Bel Trew watched the crowd remove the barricades and flood the streets around the presidential palace. There, the demonstratots climbed onto army tanks waving flags and chanting slogans against President Mors. Others tried to get over the gate or remove the barbed wire.

Protesters told Trew that the Republican Guards “just stepped aside and let people pass.” The guards are currently standing next to their tanks and other posts, but not getting involved with the protest.

At the moment the mood here is more jubilant than violent. People are dancing and singing, there’s a lot of drum beats and football chants,” Trew says, adding that the protesters are set to spend the night rallying right in front of the palace.

At the same time, Muslim Brotherhood supporters are gathering in an area near the palace, Trew reports via Twitter. If the two camps meet, it could bring a repeat of Wednesday’s violence, when at least six were killed and hundreds injured after Brotherhood supporters drove out opposition crowds camped outside the palace.

Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood Friday once again slammed the opposition’s attempts “to stall the democratic transition.” In its Twitter feed, Egypt’s most influential religious movement called on the nation to rule the country by ballot on the constitutional referendum which is set for December 15.

On Friday, Justice Minister Ahmed Mekki said the constitutional referendum might get rescheduled. 

The president is ready to talk with political figures without any preconditions. He is open to the idea of postponing the referendum to reach a consensus over the contentious articles. He is ready for that, even if it means the constitution will return to the assembly,” Mekki said.

Source

Arab uprising continues: Anti-Morsi protesters swarm presidential palace
December 4, 2012

Police have fired tear gas to stop protesters from approaching the presidential palace in Cairo as tens of thousands take to the streets to demonstrate against the assumption of nearly absolute powers by the nation’s Islamist leader.

The violence erupted when protesters pushed aside a barricade topped with barbed wire several hundred yards from President Mohammed Morsi’s palace walls. Police fired tear gas, and then retreated. There were no immediate reports on casualties.

In the coastal city of Alexandria, some 10,000 opponents of Morsi gathered in the center of the country’s second largest metropolis. They chanted slogans against the Egyptian leader and his Muslim Brotherhood.

The marches come amid rising anger over the draft charter and decrees issued by Morsi giving himself sweeping powers. Morsi called for a nationwide referendum on the draft constitution on Dec. 15.

It is Egypt’s worst political crisis since the ouster nearly two years ago of authoritarian president Hosni Mubarak. The country has been divided into two camps: Morsi and his fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood, as well as ultraconservative Salafi Islamists, versus youth groups, liberal parties and large sectors of the public.

Hundreds of black-clad riot police deployed around the Itihadiya palace in Cairo’s district of Heliopolis. Barbed wire was also placed outside the complex, and side roads leading to it were blocked to traffic.

Thousands of protesters gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, joining several hundred who have been camping out there for nearly two weeks. There were other protests around the city. These were separate from the demonstrations outside the palace.

"Freedom or we die," chanted a crowd of several hundred outside a mosque in the Abbasiyah district. "Mohammed Morsi! Illegitimate! Brotherhood! Illegitimate!" they also yelled, alluding to Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood.

"This is the last warning before we lay siege on the presidential palace," said Mahmoud Hashim, a 21-year-old student from the city of Suez on the Red Sea. "We want the presidential decrees cancelled."

Several hundred protesters also gathered outside Morsi’s residence in an upscale suburb not far from the Itihadiya. “Down with the sons of dogs. We are the power and we are the people,” they chanted.

By nightfall, the crowd outside the palace was estimated at more than 10,000, with many chanting “erhal, erhal,” Arabic for “leave, leave” and “the people want to topple the regime” - two well-known chants from the 2010-2011 Arab Spring revolts.

Morsi, who narrowly won the presidency in a June election, appeared to be in no mood for compromise.

A statement by his office said the Egyptian leader met on Tuesday with his deputy, prime minister and several top Cabinet members to discuss preparations for the referendum. The statement appeared also to suggest that it is business as usual at the presidential palace, despite the rally.

A large turnout would signal sustained momentum for the opposition, which brought out at least 200,000 protesters to Cairo’s Tahrir Square a week ago and a comparable number on Friday, demanding that Morsi’s decrees be rescinded.

Source
Photos

This is Tahrir Square in Cairo right now: occupied, lively & packed with protesters. 
Anti-Morsi demonstrators filled the Square last night after a decree issued on Thursday expanded his powers and shielded his decisions from any sort of judicial review until the election of a new parliament expected in the first half of 2013.
"We don’t want a dictatorship again. The Mubarak regime was a dictatorship. We had a revolution to have justice and freedom," 32-year-old Ahmed Husseini said in Cairo.
Click here to watch a livestream of Tahrir.

This is Tahrir Square in Cairo right now: occupied, lively & packed with protesters. 

Anti-Morsi demonstrators filled the Square last night after a decree issued on Thursday expanded his powers and shielded his decisions from any sort of judicial review until the election of a new parliament expected in the first half of 2013.

"We don’t want a dictatorship again. The Mubarak regime was a dictatorship. We had a revolution to have justice and freedom," 32-year-old Ahmed Husseini said in Cairo.

Click here to watch a livestream of Tahrir.

Cairo’s superficial clean-up brings graffiti artists out in forceOctober 9, 2012
Last month the authorities in Cairo whitewashed a mural that had become an international shrine to anti-establishment street art, raising the question of whether graffiti should be protected on the grounds of free speech.
The wall in Muhammad Mahmoud Street paid tribute to the martyrs of the revolution, a memorial to hatred of the army and police, and to the rebellious spirit unleashed during and after the uprising. The day after the clean-up, graffiti artists of all persuasions gathered to restore the memorial. They wondered why the authorities were in such a hurry to efface images which for months had attracted tourists and analysts from all over the world. Some suspected that overzealous officials, encouraged by the new Islamist regime, might be tempted to censor pictures supposedly banned by Islam.
But it seems that the motives of the newly appointed authorities are much more prosaic. In the past few weeks the new governors appointed by President Mohamed Morsi have been busily cleaning up the streets of Cairo and Alexandria with an enthusiasm only equalled by the widespread disrespect for the authorities that developed under formerPresident Hosni Mubarak.
Mubarak kept social unrest under control by allowing whole swaths of the population to work and find housing with total disregard for the rules. At best such policies fostered indifference to the law, but in many case they fuelled outright hatred of the authorities. How is Egypt's new-found democracy to put down roots with such a legacy?
In the absence of any far-reaching reforms the public space has become, since Morsi’s election, the focus of a wild drive to patch up appearances. Apparently inspired by some unrealistic desire to turn over a completely new leaf, the Muslim Brotherhood is determined to clean up the streets of Egypt, before even beginning to purge the rotten apparatus of state.
Around Tahrir Square, stripped of its tents, gardeners are planting flowers and palm trees. Meanwhile squads of police track down any errant graffiti and harass the thousands of roaming vendors who clog the city streets. Surely this is an unfortunate initiative in an overpopulated megacity where the informal economy represents more than a third of gross domestic product.
On 7 September the police in Alexandria raided the historic used-book market on Nabi Daniel Street, kicking over stalls, tearing up books and smashing shelves. This operation caused such an outcry that the culture minister in person expressed his disapproval.
As part of their cleaning frenzy the Brothers have also instructed several groups of well-meaning youths to deal with the heaps of rubbish which block the streets of towns all over Egypt. This cosmetic initiative drew sarcastic comments from the rag trade, which has been struggling to cope with the problem for decades.
The victims of the police clampdown are not fooled by the authorities’ dreams of flowerbeds and superficial tidying. Skulking in the entrances to buildings, street vendors are quick to voice their resentment. “To restore confidence the government should start by making gifts to people, rather than depriving them of the little they have,” said one trader struggling to keep hold of his goods. “Apart from the rubbish,” he added, stumbling over a heap of junk.
Any hopes of graffiti being legalised seem extremely unlikely, even if on the day after the destruction of the Muhammad Mahmoud mural the prime minister, Hisham Qandil, expressed reservations, condemning the whitewash and encouraging street artists to produce new graffiti on Tahrir Square “true to the spirit of the revolution”.
The response was almost immediate. “If you change your trousers without having a wash you get a rash”, read the message on a wall in Talaat Harb Street. And in Muhammad Mahmoud Street itself there was a face poking out its tongue in defiance and saying: "Erase it again, you cowardly regime".
Source

Cairo’s superficial clean-up brings graffiti artists out in force
October 9, 2012

Last month the authorities in Cairo whitewashed a mural that had become an international shrine to anti-establishment street art, raising the question of whether graffiti should be protected on the grounds of free speech.

The wall in Muhammad Mahmoud Street paid tribute to the martyrs of the revolution, a memorial to hatred of the army and police, and to the rebellious spirit unleashed during and after the uprising. The day after the clean-up, graffiti artists of all persuasions gathered to restore the memorial. They wondered why the authorities were in such a hurry to efface images which for months had attracted tourists and analysts from all over the world. Some suspected that overzealous officials, encouraged by the new Islamist regime, might be tempted to censor pictures supposedly banned by Islam.

But it seems that the motives of the newly appointed authorities are much more prosaic. In the past few weeks the new governors appointed by President Mohamed Morsi have been busily cleaning up the streets of Cairo and Alexandria with an enthusiasm only equalled by the widespread disrespect for the authorities that developed under formerPresident Hosni Mubarak.

Mubarak kept social unrest under control by allowing whole swaths of the population to work and find housing with total disregard for the rules. At best such policies fostered indifference to the law, but in many case they fuelled outright hatred of the authorities. How is Egypt's new-found democracy to put down roots with such a legacy?

In the absence of any far-reaching reforms the public space has become, since Morsi’s election, the focus of a wild drive to patch up appearances. Apparently inspired by some unrealistic desire to turn over a completely new leaf, the Muslim Brotherhood is determined to clean up the streets of Egypt, before even beginning to purge the rotten apparatus of state.

Around Tahrir Square, stripped of its tents, gardeners are planting flowers and palm trees. Meanwhile squads of police track down any errant graffiti and harass the thousands of roaming vendors who clog the city streets. Surely this is an unfortunate initiative in an overpopulated megacity where the informal economy represents more than a third of gross domestic product.

On 7 September the police in Alexandria raided the historic used-book market on Nabi Daniel Street, kicking over stalls, tearing up books and smashing shelves. This operation caused such an outcry that the culture minister in person expressed his disapproval.

As part of their cleaning frenzy the Brothers have also instructed several groups of well-meaning youths to deal with the heaps of rubbish which block the streets of towns all over Egypt. This cosmetic initiative drew sarcastic comments from the rag trade, which has been struggling to cope with the problem for decades.

The victims of the police clampdown are not fooled by the authorities’ dreams of flowerbeds and superficial tidying. Skulking in the entrances to buildings, street vendors are quick to voice their resentment. “To restore confidence the government should start by making gifts to people, rather than depriving them of the little they have,” said one trader struggling to keep hold of his goods. “Apart from the rubbish,” he added, stumbling over a heap of junk.

Any hopes of graffiti being legalised seem extremely unlikely, even if on the day after the destruction of the Muhammad Mahmoud mural the prime minister, Hisham Qandil, expressed reservations, condemning the whitewash and encouraging street artists to produce new graffiti on Tahrir Square “true to the spirit of the revolution”.

The response was almost immediate. “If you change your trousers without having a wash you get a rash”, read the message on a wall in Talaat Harb Street. And in Muhammad Mahmoud Street itself there was a face poking out its tongue in defiance and saying: "Erase it again, you cowardly regime".

Source

Egypt anti-sexual violence protesters in Tahrir attacked

An anti-sexual harassment demonstration organized by over 20 Egyptian women’s groups in protest against the recent escalation of assaults in Cairo’s Tahrir Square was attacked about an hour and half after it began by unknown troublemakers on June 8.

The participants reported being attacked by a mob of “thugs” who attempted to throw rocks and glass at them, but the clash was over quickly as volunteers securing the protest intervened to stop it.

No injuries were reported by the women as of late Friday evening.

This is not the first time a women’s rights march was attacked in Tahrir Square.

Last March, and on International Women’s Day, a march of tens of women was attacked by a cynical mob of men who did not like women protesting for more rights.

Several female protesters were injured and one woman had to have 8 stitches in her head. Almost all of them were groped and sexually assaulted in the attack.

A 2008 study by the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights (ECWR) found that well over two-thirds of Egyptian women are sexually harassed daily in the country.

Source

Tahrir Square erupts after Mubarak verdict (photo)June 3, 2012
Pro-democracy protesters called for another revolution today after packing into Tahrir Square last night following the verdict that Hosni Mubarak’s two sons would be acquitted of all charges and set free. His senior policemen were also found innocent on corruption charges. 
Although Hosni Mubarak was served a life sentence, justice was not fully served as many of Mubarak’s officials went free after carrying out orders to kill protesters during the height of the Arab Spring in 2011. Demonstrators were enraged that Mubarak’s life was spared with a soft jail sentence as thousands of family members of revolutionaries killed under the regime took to the streets.  
Protesters in Tahrir Square are raising tensions leading up to Egypt’s first free presidential election, in which former Mubarak prime minister Ahmed Shafiq is grasping the lead ahead of Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood. Revolutionary candidate Hamdeen Sabahi lost in the first round of elections last month.
Anti-regime demonstrators fear Saturday’s sentence could prove that the Mubarak era of oppression is not over and may even continue with a vengeance if Shafiq is elected. 
“This was not a fair verdict and there is mass rejection of the judge’s ruling,” said one protester, Amr Magdy. “Tahrir will fill up again with protesters. In Egypt the only way you can get any justice is by protesting because all the institutions are still controlled by Mubarak figures.”

Tahrir Square erupts after Mubarak verdict (photo)
June 3, 2012

Pro-democracy protesters called for another revolution today after packing into Tahrir Square last night following the verdict that Hosni Mubarak’s two sons would be acquitted of all charges and set free. His senior policemen were also found innocent on corruption charges. 

Although Hosni Mubarak was served a life sentence, justice was not fully served as many of Mubarak’s officials went free after carrying out orders to kill protesters during the height of the Arab Spring in 2011. Demonstrators were enraged that Mubarak’s life was spared with a soft jail sentence as thousands of family members of revolutionaries killed under the regime took to the streets.  

Protesters in Tahrir Square are raising tensions leading up to Egypt’s first free presidential election, in which former Mubarak prime minister Ahmed Shafiq is grasping the lead ahead of Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood. Revolutionary candidate Hamdeen Sabahi lost in the first round of elections last month.

Anti-regime demonstrators fear Saturday’s sentence could prove that the Mubarak era of oppression is not over and may even continue with a vengeance if Shafiq is elected. 

“This was not a fair verdict and there is mass rejection of the judge’s ruling,” said one protester, Amr Magdy. “Tahrir will fill up again with protesters. In Egypt the only way you can get any justice is by protesting because all the institutions are still controlled by Mubarak figures.”

Egyptians raise their shoes in a sign of rejection of presidential runoff candidate Ahmed Shafiq, an ex-prime minister under the ousted regime of Hosni Mubarak, during a protest in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square on June 1. Earlier this week, attackers set fire to Shafiq’s headquarters following the announcement that he was to face the Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Mursi in the second round of Egypt’s presidential election on June 16-17.

Egyptians raise their shoes in a sign of rejection of presidential runoff candidate Ahmed Shafiq, an ex-prime minister under the ousted regime of Hosni Mubarak, during a protest in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square on June 1. Earlier this week, attackers set fire to Shafiq’s headquarters following the announcement that he was to face the Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Mursi in the second round of Egypt’s presidential election on June 16-17.

An Egyptian protester holds a national flag as he chants slogans at a rally in Tahrir Square in Cairo Egypt, on May 4. Thousands rallied in Egypt against the country’s ruling military council on Friday, two days after a flare-up of street violence left at least nine dead and fueled a wave of Islamist-led opposition to the generals ahead of presidential elections.

An Egyptian protester holds a national flag as he chants slogans at a rally in Tahrir Square in Cairo Egypt, on May 4. Thousands rallied in Egypt against the country’s ruling military council on Friday, two days after a flare-up of street violence left at least nine dead and fueled a wave of Islamist-led opposition to the generals ahead of presidential elections.