Egypt Erupts

2013-635082798039643119-964By :

Sunday marked Mohamed Morsi’s first anniversary as president of Egypt. By evening it was clear—if there had been any doubt left—that he had little to celebrate.

Already on Saturday, amid mounting violence, Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood had had to whisk him away to safety amid reports that protesters planned to march on his presidential palace. At least eight people, including a young American man, had already been killed in demonstrations. Offices of the Brotherhood’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, had been set on fire in the cities of Alexandria and Dakahlia.

The opponents of the Islamist regime claimed to have gathered 22 million signatures on a petition to oust Morsi—almost double the 13 million who had voted for him a year earlier. These opponents are an unlikely coalition of (relative) liberals, supporters of the previous regime of Hosni Mubarak, and even more extreme Islamists of a Salafist bent. All are united—for now—only by an iron determination to topple Morsi and his regime.

That regime, in the eyes of the protest movement, is responsible for Egypt’s ongoing economic deterioration that includes mounting inflation, wide-scale unemployment, a steep drop in tourism, shortages of basic commodities, plummeting foreign investment, and dwindling cash reserves. Accompanying the acute economic crisis is a breakdown in social order with the police rendered impotent, rampant crime in the streets, and minorities like Christians and Shiites suffering severe persecution.

The protesters also charge the regime with subverting Egypt’s political institutions. The parliament was disbanded a year ago, and early in June the Senate was declared unlawful. The Brotherhood, say its opponents, has imposed its own Islamist constitution on the country, stacked government with its supporters, and generally betrayed its supposedly democratic mandate while miserably mismanaging the country.

Read more at Front Page

Patrick Poole did an excellent job of live blogging the protests on July 29th and the 30th. He continues today on twitter. Here are his recommendations for following what’s going on:

For some background on today’s protests, here’s some background reading and links to their Twitter accounts:

Ahram OnlineAhram Online breaks down the playbook for 30 June anti-Morsi protests

Betsy Hiel, Middle East correspondent for the Pittsburgh Tribune Review: Egyptian liberals, moderates angry over American support for Muslim Brotherhood

Nervana Mahmoud gives a run-down of this week’s news: A Tale of Two Egypts

The Big PharaohThe Road to #Jun30

Sarah El Deeb of the Associated Press: Tensions rise ahead of protests

Some of the English-language Egyptian press I’ll be following today include Al-AhramDaily New Egypt, and Egypt Independent.

And don’t forget to follow me on TwitterTyler Gammon has put together a great Twitter list to follow today’s protests.

Also see Cairo Scene live bogging



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