If anyone's been following the news in Egypt there are a lot of issues that are leading up to the demonstration on 30th June. There are a lot of sides to the issue and it's like untangling a big old knot. The economic situation is bad. You can read about some of it in the article Watching Egypt Crumble
Is this the Egyptian Revolution 2.0 version people have been talking about that's been coming for months? Is this the prelude to the "Egyptian Civil War" that others are salivating over the idea of? Lately I've heard and read about go to war in Syria for jihad, go to war in Ethiopia for water, go to war with the US and Israel because they are the true enemy, and now it's a civil war in Egypt because the revolution isn't over. The recent Egyptian revolution is touted as one of the most quick and peaceful revolutions in history. I guess we'll see if they really want a bloody revolution like in Les Miserable set during the French Revolution. Let's hope it still remains largely peaceful with little bloodshed.
The 30th June Protest is spurred on by the Tamarod aka "Rebel" petition. Most of the news these past few days has been about this up coming open-ended sit-in at the Presidential Palace on 30th June. It sounds like it could be a huge demonstration. The "Rebel" group has 7 million signatures. Which falls just short of half of their 15 million signatures goal for their petition to call for Morsi to step down and hold early elections.
The Al-Wasat Party is calling for an "urgent national reconciliation meeting" ahead of 30th June demonstration because of fears of violence at this demonstration and to discuss the issues. Source
Those they called to the meeting include:
The Wasat Party, Abdel-Ghafar Shuk of the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, Ihab Shiha of the Asala Party, Mohamed ElBaradei of the Constitution Party, Mohamed Saad El-Katatni of the Freedom and Justice Party, Amr Moussa of the Conference Party, Amr Hamzawy of the Free Egypt Party, Nasr Abdel-Salam of the Construction and Development Party, Hamdeen Sabbahi of the Egyptian Popular Current, Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh of the Strong Egypt Party, Abu El-Ela Madi of Al-Wasat Party, Ayman Nour of Al-Ghad Party, Sayed El-Badawy of the Wafd Party, Emad Abdel-Ghafour of Al-Watan Party, Younis Makhyoun of El-Nour Party, Mohamed Abul-Ghar of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party and Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail of the Salafist Raya Party.
This 30th June demonstration is being spun by the MB and Islamists as a cover by the opposition for bloodshed. I can see how they'd have that idea with the recent second half of a show aired by the popular Bassam Youseef where the musical performance included the Egyptian version of Les Miserable. In the last half minute Youssef sings with the group editing the words to the French Revolution song. If you know the history of the French Revolution it's one of the most bloody in history. LINK
Here is the voice of the audience I can hear it
Calling for a change
Bread, dignity and humanity
on going life bread for the poor
the weak and the helpless
feel the light in their heart again
and their days turn to the better
They also have good reason to be concerned based on previous experiences with large demonstrations getting out of control. Plus Egypt Islamists are calling for counter-demonstrations. Their demonstrations are scheduled for the 21st June. Source
Interestingly enough the Salafists have stayed away from the press on this one to avoid a "war like tone". I kind of like their statement in the article about it. It seemed more collaborative and peaceful, but I really can't be sure about them with everything I've read in them in the news since their rise to power.
Then you've got Gamaa Islamiya leader El-Zomor saying "Communists want violence in Egypt's streets". They condemn the 30th June demonstrations because it's against the people's will, and say join the counter-demonstrations and defeat them like we did during the revolution. Source
Really? Who are these communists you speak of? I beg to differ that it is the will of the people being done because the people were promised inclusion in the democratic process by the candidate they voted into power and the people have all but been left out as he preformed a naked power grab aligning the parliament with his people. It is only the "Islamist will" that is being done. This is not the democratic process that was promised. It is a bastardization of it!
Morsi has been accused of suppressing or seeking to suppress opponents and journalists who criticize him by accusing them of defamation. Human rights lawyer Gamal Eid says there were four times more complaints about insults to the president" during the first 200 days of Morsi's presidency than under the Hosni Mubarak's entire 30-year rule. Source
Freedom of speech is not being protected as the President promised in public appearances that he wouldn't seek prosecution for protesters or what was said about him. Since then protesters are being prosecuted and the world watched the huge debacle with Bassam Youseef, Egypt's John Stewart, being brought in for questioning for insulting the president on his satire comedy show. This only helped his viewership grow to 20 million plus and further his drive not to have his voice silenced.
Then there was the ruling against the NGO's in Egypt and Morsi's latest laws basically making it impossible for NGO's or any outside interference with his new government thus isolating Egypt further. Judicial Travesty in Egypt
And the Egyptians hate the US for it because they think we're supporting the MB.Source
For the longest time after the revolution I was asking myself, "Where are the police? Where is the security?" I get the security situation in Egypt now and why it is the way it is. The original start day of the revolution called "The Day of Rage" was scheduled to be on the same day as the national "Police Day" for a purpose.
Thousands of Egyptians took to the street on January 25, 2011, which used to be celebrated as Police Day, to protest security agencies’ oppression under Mubarak.
The Egyptian police were over powered and disgraced by the protesters and Mubarak had to call in the Army. The Army used the youth based uprising to oust Mubarak. Then then Muslim Brotherhood ousted the Military. Now the opposition is trying to oust the Muslim Brotherhood who promised to be inclusive but have shown to be anything but.
The Egyptian government has no checks and balances other than the people demonstrating in the streets and the judiciary branch "somewhat". The parliament is seen as largely lopsided MB. Then the upper parliament was nullified by the Judiciary ruling saying they were illegally appointed but can remain and serve without power. Who didn't see that one coming when Morsi started appointing his own rubber stamp people just like Mubarak circumventing the election? Now the lower parliament that was voted in has also recently being ruled illegitimate but still has law passing powers.
Meanwhile the President and the MB just shrug off the people demonstrating and the judiciary rulings as they're in a full on power grab in complete disregard for the multiple fractions of society that make up the fabric of Egypt that have largely lived peacefully side-by-side for decades. They not only excluded anyone else from writing the constitution the MB rushed to make a solely Islamic constitution where 9 year old girls can become brides. Yes, that really has happened and is law now! They also blame the opposition for not being able to distinguish between what they are responsible for and the problems they've inherited from decades of corruption.
"Meanwhile, in their evaluation of the government’s performance, citizens should distinguish between problems resulting from the failure of this government and the problems inherited from previous regimes that for long decades robbed the country's wealth."
I get that it's only been a year and that democracy is a slow moving beast. However, the MB's separatist attitude and focus on making an Islamically ruled nation, and screw everybody else that has a stake in this pie instead of including them, is what's really screwing this myopic government. They need to come together for the common good not separate the particulates, and everybody who doesn't align with their way of thinking is on the outs, "oh well sorry".
Things like auctioning off gifts received by state officials isn't going to do much for their treasury. LINK
Laws passing harsher punishments for street crimes by an illegitimately ruled Shura Council (Upper Parliament) is pointless and isn't going to get the country anywhere when the police are disgraced and there is a security vacuum. LINK
Tourism is in the dumps because of the instability. Article: Come to Egypt you'll practically have the place to yourself
It's a cute article, actually, talking about Upper Egypt somewhat and how to take advantage of the lull in tourism. Though I don't agree that security is reinforced when I've read the opposite is going on and that in effect is probably why tourists are keeping away.
Over 300 police officers have died since the revolution. My husband explained that it's not because of outlaws killing police so much as it about how the police were corrupt. They'd kidnap and torture people. Then post the person's humiliation on Youtube showing them being slapped, punched, kicked, electrocuted. Basically the police had an utter disregard for the rule of law and abused their authority. People feared them but over came that fear since the revolution and those 300 dead officers are most likely because of an old debt being repaid. People don't respect the police and so the crime rate rises because the police have lost their authority.
Over in the Sinai Peninsula near Sharm it's become a common place for tourists to be kidnapped by Bedouin Tribal members seeking to use them as bargaining chips to negotiate with the authorities. While some of the more concerning heavily armed attacks on authority have also happened in this region. Source
When there is no security in Egypt because it was corrupt and the people revolted against that demanding basic human rights, respect, dignity and to have the basic needs met like a living wage and bread, and the government they freely elected promised all of them inclusion in the democratic process, and they've come to discover they've been lied to about it. Then it's no wonder things are a real mess. The new government is also compounding the problem while they focus on menial things that only serve their interests.
Meanwhile the country's history is also being destroy and the culture is under attack. The beautiful Sufi's sacred sites from the 9th century are being bombed by the rising Salafists influence as their line of thought is being forced down people's throats. Source
The Salafists also suggested to cover the Great Pyramids of Giza in wax and do away with the other historic sites around Egypt as well. Source
During this turmoil Egyptian heritage sites such as the 14th century Bab Al Wazir Historic Gate of Cairo was bulldozed so someone could slap up a new building. The Bab Al Wazir gate, one of the medieval portals to the old city of Cairo, was among the remaining gates of the Islamic city. Source
And Islamists are also attacking the culture through not just their historical sites but their artistic heritage. See Burning Down the House: Artistic Freedom Under Fire
It's about the Cairo Opera House Strike and the current demonstrations in Zamalek at the Ministry of Culture.
Only a few weeks earlier, a lawmaker and member of the ultraconservative Islamist Nour Party called for banning ballet from the Opera House, denouncing it as "the art of nudity" and for "spreading immorality."
"This comment [by the Nour lawmaker] is not a comment. It is a potential draft law," says poet Fatema Naoot, noting the rise of political Islam in post-revolutionary Egypt. "Previously, we would leave them, we would say this is freedom of speech."
"But now that these people are our lawmakers, they have the ability to deprive us from [the arts] if they want to," she says.
No more Opera, no more ballet? In the last year drinking alcohol and bikini's at the beach also came under attack until the businesses interfered and they realize the economy needs tourism.
The only solution offered on Egypt in the news lately is one Thomas Friedman wrote in the New York Times about a sustainable solution. He used an insightful analogy about how everyone has a stake in the environment that serves them more than serving themselves. Egypt's Perilous Drift
I agree in a way. Egypt needs a green revolution. I mentioned before about how they can use their own garbage to get the energy they need to make solar powered devices to power their buildings or biofuel to create methane to cook their food. It will take work and a change in the mindset to see the dignity and value in it.
However, the possible solutions hardly seem to be discussed as much as what's wrong with the society, people's needs, and their enormously large expectations. Until the basic needs of all the people of the Egyptian society are met like food, shelter, water, clothing, and civility then everything else can't seem to fall into place.
Probably the most telling item of the gravity of this upcoming 30th June grass-roots demonstration is the extreme measures the current government is taking to protect themselves.
Security measures for the June 30 protest are really surprising. The presidency tasked two contracting companies with putting up two big gates in the street located between the area of “Bawba 5” and Al-Salam castle and asked them to put up electronic doors through which cars and people heading to the castle may pass. The street will be completely closed and will only be used to confront any attempts to storm the castle. Electronic iron gates of a two-meter height, and that come up from the ground in cases of emergencies, will also be put up. All gates will be linked to electric detonators through an electric circuit with high voltage, and they can electrocute anyone who places his foot within an area of one meter square. All this will be done before the end of the month. Meanwhile, a security official said that a week before the protest, the republican guards will close 14 streets around the castle, using concrete walls and barbed wire. Tanks and armored vehicles will be stationed behind all five doors and they will provide protection from inside.
Egypt's first democratically elected president is terrified