Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Demands remain unmet, the death toll rises – and the uprising rises again

This is the third day of a renewed uprising in Egypt. It seems that many of us were waiting for it to happen. And why now, just days before parliamentary elections?

Many demands remain unmet: The emergency laws are still in place, the military council holds on to power (and there was disbelief that it would in fact relinquish it, elections or not), a set of constitutional principles has been written undemocratically, and on and on. The uprising rose again when the protestors found themselves before a violent security state, once again. As the death toll has risen across the country, the protests have intensified.

Should it be surprising that the ruling military council has employed some of the same tactics in response to the uprising as the Mubarak regime did in January-February 2011?

When the protests began to heat up, after the police violently removed protestors from Tahrir square, a spokesperson for the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) publicly declared that the protestors were thugs, unlike the ‘noble revolutionaries’ of the 25 January Revolution. They were troublemakers trying to destabilize the country. Then, the following day as protests spread another member of SCAF spoke publicly declaring that the military will protect the people from the police.

At the time of the 25 January Revolution state forces immediately launched a propaganda campaign branding the uprising as one propagated by ill-doers, foreign agents. And then when the regime removed the police after the street wars on the 28th of January, Mubarak publicly spoke, declaring that he stood with the military to protect the people from the police.

And of course since taking over the country SCAF has been employing many of the same tactics as its predecessor – branding the revolutionary groups as foreign agents, jailing protestors and trying them in military court, and the litany of abuses goes on.

And the revolution must go on. When lives are lost, there is no turning back. When people feel their freedom in open protest, there is no turning back. Justice will be realized.

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