Egypt - Reaction to Morsi and MB seizure of power

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Mark.
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Nov 29 2012 19:53

3arabawy: Morsy has failed even in the simple bread and butter issues

Mark.
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Nov 29 2012 20:21

Another photo of that flag flying from the MB offices in Alexandria

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ocelot
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Nov 30 2012 11:51

The MB have announced that their planned demo for tomorrow, originally annouced to take place in Tahrir, will now be at Cairo University. i.e. they have backed down from an inevitably violent confrontation with the anti-Morsy protestors still occupying the square (and probably the ultras).

Also, another change of plan is the constitution delivery timescale. In the "constitutional" declaration, Morsy originally extended the deadline for delivery of the constitution for a further two months, putting it back to mid-February. Under the pressure of events, the islamists remaining on the constitutional council (the non-islamist members have mostly withdrawn under protest) staged an 18 hour marathon session yesterday to go through the charade of passing the new constitution, which will be delivered to Morsy this Friday afternoon. The announced schedule is that he will proceed straight away to calling the referendum on it for mid-December. Clearly the Ikhwan are desperate to try and switch political momentum back towards an electoral process, where their dominance has been shown in the past. Also it conveniently hits the deadline of the December 19th IMF meeting to approve the $4.8 bn loan (and the other $10 bn or so, tied to it).

AA: Egypt constitution finalised as opposition cries foul

Mark.
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Nov 30 2012 23:31

Egypt Independent: Thousands converge on Tahrir

Ahram Online: live updates 1 ------ live updates 2 ------ photos

Mark.
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Dec 1 2012 12:26
Arabist wrote:

Taking a break from translations from the press, we offer you this week an impassioned Facebook missive by Karim Ennarah, a human rights activist reacting to Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s controversial decree. Ennarah offers a critique of the Muslim Brotherhood’s use of the revolution to legitimate what many see as a power-grab, whereas its record shows it collaborating with the old regime and protecting it from revolutionary justice...

In translation: dismantling the Brothers' revolutionary self-image

Mark.
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Dec 2 2012 23:16

Sarah Carr: Uncle Morsi

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ocelot
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Dec 4 2012 23:55

RT: Morsi flees as angry crowd storms palace in Cairo, battles riot police

redsdisease
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Dec 4 2012 23:58

http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=294627

Quote:
Officers fired teargas at up to 10,000 demonstrators angered by Morsi's drive to hold a referendum on a new constitution on Dec. 15. Some broke through police lines around his palace and protested next to the perimeter wall.

The crowds had gathered nearby in what organizers had dubbed "last warning" protests against Morsi, who infuriated opponents with a Nov. 22 decree that expanded his powers. "The people want the downfall of the regime," the demonstrators chanted.

"The president left the palace," a presidential source, who declined to be named, told Reuters. A security source at the presidency also said the president had departed

redsdisease
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Dec 5 2012 00:00

Damn, beat to it by ocelot...

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ocelot
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Dec 5 2012 00:14

Heh. Don't you just hate it when that happens? tbf a com re-shared it on FB, and looking on Twitter it looks like we're at least 3-4 hours behind the breaking. Still, trust RT to put a hyper-ventilating spin on the story.

Bloomberg filed this slightly less exciteable (and marginally more informative) at 8:32 GMT.

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ocelot
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Dec 5 2012 00:24

Hmm. I guess we know Al Ahram are feloul media, still the demonstrators they choose to picture in their gallery look pretty prosperous to me,

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContentMulti/59773/Multimedia.aspx

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Dec 5 2012 14:42

AA: Violent clashes possible as Islamists plan 'massive' counter-demonstrations

Quote:
[...]
The leading FJP member also revealed that the group and its Islamist allies are to hold "massive" demonstrations in support of the president in front of the presidential palace in Cairo’s Heliopolis district at 4pm on Wednesday. Later on Wednesday, official Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson Mahmoud Ghozlan made an official statement confirming the decision to demonstrate.
[...]
The FJP source shrugged off the possibility of clashes between Morsi’s loyalists and the dozens of protesters who have been holding a sit-in front of the presidential palace since Tuesday night. It was unclear, however, whether the Islamist group did not believe that such clashes might actually take place, or if they were unconcerned that they might. "Let what may happen, happen," the FJP source told Ahram Online.

sounds pretty clear to me.

Quote:
The source also confirmed that the FJP would take part in pro-Morsi demonstrations on Friday, which had been announced late Tuesday night by Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya, following a meeting of Islamist political forces at the Muslim Brotherhood’s headquarters in Cairo’s Muqatam district.

The recently formed opposition coalition group the National Salvation Front, for its part, had called for a new round of demonstrations, both in iconic Tahrir Square and in front of the presidential palace for what they have named "Red Card Friday." The Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist allies’ choice of the same day for counter-demonstrations seems to further underline the possibility that the group, from which President Morsi hails, is no longer concerned about avoiding potentially bloody clashes between loyalist and opposition protesters, both of whom have proven capable of bringing tens, even hundreds of thousands onto the streets.

(same source)

So assuming the Ikhwan/Salafi mob rout the few dozen campers still hanging around the presidential palace this afternoon, the stage looks set for a head-on confrontation after prayers on Friday.

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Dec 5 2012 15:32

where's the Kaiser Chiefs when you need 'em?

Egypt Indy: Clashes erupt outside presidential palace, Brotherhood announces rival sit-in

Quote:
Clashes have erupted between anti-Morsy protesters and Islamists in front of the presidential palace, privately-owned TV channel Al-Nahar has reported.

The TV channel, in live reports from the scene, said that Morsy supporters boxed opposition protesters in from two sides, leading to scuffles.

The clashes come after both the Popular Current, led by former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi, and the Muslim Brotherhood called for rival demonstrations outside the presidential palace Wednesday, raising the specter of clashes between both sides.

The Muslim Brotherhood Guidance Bureau announced on Wednesday that its members will also start a sit-in in front of the presidential palace until the constitutional referendum is successfully held.
[...]

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ocelot
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Dec 6 2012 11:20

Hum. 5 dead and over 400 injured after hours of rioting was a good deal more intense than I was expecting. Friday could be brutal.

EI: Five confirmed dead in palace fighting overnight as morning calm prevails

Quote:
A tentative calm had settled on the Heliopolis streets surrounding the presidential palace by early Thursday after a night of rock throwing and fighting between the president's supporters and opponents.

At least five people have been confirmed dead, according to doctors and state news sources. State-run MENA news agency reported 446 injured.

Several armored personnel carriers and tanks were deployed in the area Thursday morning as about 2,000 Muslim Brotherhood members continued to chant pro-Mohamed Morsy slogans, eyewitnesses told Egypt Independent.
[...]
Fighting quickly broke out when Morsy's Islamist supporters joined the ongoing demonstration Wednesday and vowed to stage a sit-in until the constitution is approved.

Physician Charles Hanna estimated that the makeshift clinic set up at the evangelical church near the protests had treated more than 40 injured protesters who sustained fractures, injuries from stone throwing and birdshot and deep cuts from knives.

"There were all kinds of arms used in this battle, very scary," he said, adding that the volunteer doctors treated the wounded from both sides.
[...]
Pro-Morsy protesters are manning checkpoints at the entrances to the streets leading to the palace to prevent opposition protesters who are now based in Roxy neighborhood from approaching, according to MENA.

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Dec 6 2012 13:44
Quote:
“It was a brutal, brutal mess,” says Abdel-Rahman Hussein [Al Masry Al Youm/Egypt Independent journo] in Cairo after witnessing pro and anti-Morsi supporters throw stones, petrol bombs and trade gun shots with each other in overnight clashes.

It was Morsi supporters who escalated the violence by using birdshot and it was opponents of the president who bore the brunt of the injuries, he said.

Morsi is not expected to make concessions in his speech today and his pronouncement are unlikely to diffuse the crisis, Abdu said.

I don’t think anything he says will have that much relevance any more because now there is death and now there is blood, the situation has shifted. It is entirely different, it is not a political spat [any more].

The opposition insists that dialogue with the president is only possible if he revokes his new powers, but it may be too late for even that concession, Abdu argues.

The paradigm has shifted. Once there is death and blood everything changes. Opposition forces cannot now be seen to hold a dialogue with Morsi, because their supporters will say ‘no, our people died and so there is no talking’.

Expect massive protests on Friday and for the death toll to rise, Abdu said.

The resignation of several of Morsi’s advisers highlights how isolated the president and his Muslim Brotherhood supporters have become, he added.

But the deployment of tanks outside the presidential palace raises questions about whether the army has become involved in the political standoff, Abdu said.

I would surmise that is in the interest of the army to defend Morsi because the constitution that he is trying to pass through, cements their privileges that keeps them a state within a state.

I think they have learnt their lesson not to intervene too overtly in politics again. But their interests lie with the draft constitution.

Guardian liveblog

Caiman del Barrio
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Dec 6 2012 14:25

Gigi Ibrahim's reporting the death of a RevSoc member:

Quote:
I just want to say that @abojan25 is 1 of the pure revolutionary journalists i've met. long time activist & journalist.he is clinically dead

Also:

Quote:
Friend's relative talked to #Ikhwan in the streets yesterday. Most said they were told protesters were atheists and supporters...of gay marriage. The rest had no idea why they were there and hadn't read the constitutional draft

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ocelot
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Dec 6 2012 15:42

I've no doubt most of the pro-Morsy guys will believe that they're fighting to save the country from a conspiracy of feloul, atheists, commies, queers, copts and feminists bent on either restoring NDP power or destroying Islam and selling the country to the Israelis or whatever. Just as the majority of those fighting them probably believe they are defending the country from a Taliban-style theocratic dictatorship or a new US-backed Mubarak-style dictatorship only with Islamic window-dressing (actually that last one is not quite so far fetched imho, but anyway...). That's always the way in civil wars, each side thinks they're defending decency and ordinary folks against a pack of devils.

Still there are some signs of disquiet amongst the ranks of the Ikhwan and not just the various presidential aides and advisors who have announced their resignation today and yesterday.

Quote:
"The trouble is that Morsi went too far with the constitutional declaration; he was trying to abort what seemed to be an inevitable ruling by the administrative court to dissolve the constitution-drafting committee and the Shura Council – but he could have done it differently," said a Muslim Brotherhood member who asked for his name to be withheld.

He added that such a ruling would in effect derail the process of transition and "keep the country in a state of stagnation."

According to this young member of the country's oldest and most influential Islamist group, the way the constitutional declaration came out, and the way the political management has been run since, is not to the liking of all the Muslim Brotherhood leadership and "not to the liking of the Muslim Brotherhood youth" – the latter being the young Brotherhood cadres who chose to join the 25 January protests in their early days before the group's leadership had endorsed them.

For the younger generation of the Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi's political choices dovetail with what they perceive as the group's negative image as political opportunists. For some members of the group's leadership, according to this same source, the current confrontation with Morsi amounts to a de facto confrontation with political Islam – and it is unlikely to serve the interests of political Islam.

AA: Peaceful resolution of Egypt's political crisis unlikely in short term, observers fear

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Dec 6 2012 16:05

This actually from last night. Just by way of confirming a suspicion that the intensity of round 2 yesterday evening couldn't have been sustained without them.

AA: Ultras Ahlawy on their way to Egypt presidential palace

Quote:
Hundreds of hardcore fans of Ahly football club, the Ultras Ahlawy, are on their way to the presidential palace in Cairo's Heliopolis, to aid anti-Morsi protesters who were attacked by the president's supporters in the late afternoon hours of Wednesday.
Meanwhile, a number of marches organised by different political groups are also on their way to the presidential palace.

Supporters of the president headed to the palace and attacked protesters who have been holding a sit-in following Tuesday's mass protests against the president's controversial constitutional declaration and the draft constitution.

caulfield32
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Dec 6 2012 20:30

The remarkable thing about dictators is how dumb they can be. Saddam did not have to lose his position of power, nor did Mubarak or Omar, Amine or even Hitler for that matter. All they had to do was play in cool and not get over impressed with themselves nor overestimate their power. But then, that is a good thing.
Cheers,
David

luckysafehaven
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Dec 6 2012 22:40

Egypt has lots of Problems like what Nation does not have similar problems including National Identity.. Who is really in charge over there? Stop the violence you all need to decide Nationally who will lead you.. Any one in their right mind that wants the job with so many sides that do not agree. You live in a Violent Society what do you expect freedom with no cost or Blood shed that's how you Roll... Surprise the World and create a New Government from Trust find a Neutral Leaders I am sure there are many Good Trustful People that can help Egypt someone needs to STEP UP.. Someone that is a real Leader not a from background of the former Military or someone already connected with the old regimes!! Take time Think about your future Sit Down engage in real talks peacefully!! Engage invite the General Public as part of this Process, Time to heal forgive forget move on too many mistakes to correct.. As soon as you bring up the past everyone gets too emotional and loose sight forming your New Government..Keep Focused on your Goals!! Freedom Independence Nation Security? Life is too short to keep fighting over the same issues that never get resolved..Start Spending more the National Funds on taking care of your people, instead buying more weapons!! Fighting Violence is Out Dated, We the people want NO MORE WARS or Violence!. Tough Sell when all the Video Games are about fighting..Accept each other Learn to work together no matter how difficult, you all live together!! . Stop the Violence never resolved any thing.. Peace on Earth Good Will To ALL....

radicalgraffiti
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Dec 6 2012 23:25

lucksafehaven you appearer to have no conception of how power works, what states and nations are, that random capitalisation don't make you posts more convincing, or that this is anarchist site.

Caiman del Barrio
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Dec 6 2012 23:58

http://www.twitlonger.com/show/k8papn

FJP offices raided in Maadi (forgive the hateful tone of the article).

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Dec 7 2012 11:06

It appears the pro Morsi faction of the MB has been stirring up trouble but doesn't have the numbers in Cairo and Alexandria to win the street clashes outright.

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Dec 7 2012 18:09

This from the Guardian:

The Guardian Liveblog wrote:
UPDATE: Protesters in the industrial city of Mahalla have ejected the city council and announced their autonomy from the “Muslim brotherhood” state, Sara Abou Bakr of Egypt Daily News reports, among others:

“We no longer belong to the Ikhwani state,” they announced from the city council.

Mahlla is known for its clashes with the police in 2008 which some analysts consider to be the spark of the January 25 2011 revolution.

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Dec 9 2012 16:04

Interesting backgrounder

EI: Blog: Cheese and other contentions at the presidential palace clashes

Quote:
[,,,]
Many in the pro-Morsy camp believe that their opponents are alcohol drinking moral degenerates who are funded by Western powers. Two men told us that they had found dollars in the possession of protesters they had captured. They believe also that local media is in conspiracy against them, and that Tuesday’s newspaper strike is evidence of this.

Class is an important factor here, too - perhaps as important as the religious divide ostensibly separating the two camps. The pro-Morsy camp visible yesterday was mostly made up of middle-aged men from a lower to middle class background in sturdy practical dad slacks or galaleeb. They jogged into battle, breathlessly chanting, some of them who had come straight from work holding plastic bags and suits.

The antis were a diverse mix including hip youngsters, women in jeans and so on as well as protesters who looked exactly like the other side.

In addition to claiming their monopoly on Islam, the pro-Morsys seem genuinely to believe that there exists only one version of the “real” Egypt and that they are it. It explains their bafflement over opposition to the constitution and the lack of diversity amongst its drafters.

There is a video online of the moment Morsy supporters attacked the palace sit-in.

An incensed man is seen waving a box of processed cheese he found in a tent in the air while he rants, “Hamdeen Sabbahi! (leftist [Nasserist] former presidential candidate) ElBaradei! Processed cheese you scum!?!”

The exact link between processed cheese and Egypt’s opposition is a riddle known only to this gentleman, and he was perhaps in an overexcited state, but it exemplifies this suspicion of the familiar as something alien and nefarious.

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Dec 11 2012 10:08

A bit of a backwards scramble re the new taxes agreed with the IMF for their bailout deadline of 19th Dec. Presumably if the referendum passes by Sunday, the taxes will be re-announced by Monday (17th) in time for the deadline. But a U-turn in under 24 hours looks like evidence of panic, nonetheless.

AA: Egypt president Morsi halts tax hikes, calls for dialogue

Quote:
In a statement in the early hours of Monday, the Egyptian President suspends the implementation of tax increases announced Sunday afternoon
Ahram Online, Monday 10 Dec 2012

Egypt President Mohamed Morsi has retracted his Sunday decisions to increase tax burdens on the Egyptian people, and ordered the government to carry out a "social dialogue" on the measures before implementation.
In a statement issued on his official Facebook page at around 2 am on Monday, Morsi said he had put on hold the measures of raising sales taxes on a wide range of consumer goods and services that were made public Sunday afternoon.

“[The President] does not accept that the Egyptian citizen carries any extra burdens without consent. His Excellency has decided to halt the [tax raising] decisions until the degree of public acceptance is made clear,” the statement read.

The measures represent the implementation of an economic programme that Egypt has proposed to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in order to be eligible for a $4.8 billion loan. They are aimed at reducing public deficit through increasing state revenue.

Morsi has already reduced subsidies on butane gas and electricity as part of a government austerity programme.

Among other products, sales taxes were increased on steel, cement, soft drinks, beer and cigarettes as well as a variety of services, including mobile-phone services, air-conditioned transportation, and cleaning and security services.

Egypt has already secured a preliminary (staff-level) approval for the loan and the IMF board of directors is expected to approve the facility on 19 December.

The timing of the measures, less than a week before the 15 December scheduled referendum on the draft constitution, was seen as inappropriate by many observers given that the new taxes were expected to incur public anger.

For its part, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), from which Morsi hails, issued a statement Sunday evening denouncing the President’s decisions and demanding they be put on hold.

“[The party] calls on the head of the government [Prime Minister Hisham Qandil] to halt these decisions until they are submitted to the People’s Assembly after its formation,” the FJP said in a statement.

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Dec 12 2012 09:40

AA: Egypt-IMF loan agreement postponed

Quote:
Egypt has asked the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to delay its approval of a $4.8 billion loan until next month due to domestic political circumstances, Prime Minister Hisham Qandil said at press conference on Tuesday.
"The government asked the IMF to postpone its decision concerning Egypt's $4.8 billion loan," he said.

"In light of the unfolding developments on the ground, the Egyptian authorities have asked to postpone their request for a Stand-By Arrangement with the IMF," an IMF spokeswoman confirmed in a written statement.
[...]
Some analysts have said the move to delay the loan is a result of President Morsi's decision on Monday to reverse his previously announced tax rises and subsidy reductions on butane gas and electricity which were part of the IMF loan deal.

The Egyptian government has been in negotiations with the IMF about the loan since October 2011.

follow the money

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Dec 12 2012 12:21

Does anyone have more information on Mahalla? What's going on in there? How did people organise? How did government reacted? I basically know that they've announced "independence", but nothing there's more about it....

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Dec 12 2012 15:25

There was an article in yesterday's Libération (French & paywalled, unfortunately), but that didn't really say much apart from people threatening a (local) general strike and the local Mayor laughing off the suggestions that he had been ousted. Reaction in other parts is also fairly cynical (see this piece in the Egypt Daily News).

So, apart from the recent fighting between the Islamists and the Mahalla Club Ultras and other pro-rev forces (including textile workers union types), not much of significance appears to have actually happened. Certainly it's not something the army have bothered to dispatch any forces to. But I stand to be corrected on this.

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Dec 12 2012 15:57

http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/hands-initiatives-grow-fighting-sex...