Egypt’s Revolution Anniversary Brings Waves of Protest
Protests erupted around Egypt Friday as thousands of Egyptians took the streets, marking the second anniversary of the revolution. Protesters gathered in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez and elsewhere in frustration over the government’s slow progress on post-revolution reforms and a faltering Egyptian economy. The Times of Israel reports that opposition leaders are demanding that President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood suspend or amend the country’s recently-adopted constitution to prevent Islamists’ monopoly on power. Secularists and opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood are calling on the government to live up to the 2011 revolution principles of “Bread, Freedom, Justice,” and are protesting its failure to enact substantive reform. Ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled for later this year, opposition forces are mobilizing to present a united front against the Muslim Brotherhood at the polls, mending the political fracture among liberals since Mubarak’s overthrow.
Moreover, recalling the previous regime’s unresponsiveness to the people, opposition leadership is warning of the “Brotherhoodization” of the state and a continuation of the consolidation of power around a select group that has kept so many Egyptians marginalized, says Sharif Abdel Kouddous. According to Sherif Tarek, it further reinforces the sense that authoritarianism and a lack of respect for the people persists even after a change in government while Egyptians fear that the revolution has done little to fulfill their hopes for human dignity.
Although the Muslim Brotherhood has called on its members to not take part in the protest in solidarity, the feeling of disappointment and dissatisfaction is shared by Islamists who were forced to negotiate religious moderation into the constitution ahead of a controversial race to ratify a new charter, Elie Podeh reports. Morsi himself underscored the sense of disunity in the country on the eve of the anniversary by accusing counterrevolutionaries and remnants of the Mubarak regime of obstructing progress and attempting to plunge the country into deeper turmoil. NPR’s Eyder Peralta reports Egypt is “a nation divided” amid the violent protests that, so far, have left more than 100 people across the country injured.