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Millions Turn Up the Heat in Egypt


mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:Tahoma”>Despite hundreds of thousands of Morsi supporters rallying in Cairo on the same day, there can be no doubt that the one-year old Muslim Brotherhood government is under siege. 

mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:Tahoma”>“We reject you,” Tamarod petitions signed by millions declared emphatically before each phrase, “…Because Security has not been established; …Because the deprived have still no place to fit; …Because we are still begging loans from the outside; …Because no justice has been brought to the martyrs; …Because no dignity was left neither for me nor for my country; …Because the economy has collapsed and depends only on begging and,…Because Egypt is still following the footsteps of the United States.” 

mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:Tahoma”>Young Tamarod Rebel organizers switched tactical gears to prepare for June 30 by taking into account police repression of public protests that have increased fears and anxieties and dramatically reduced the size of protests this year. 

mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:Tahoma”>Instead of simply calling for another demonstration, a broad educational campaign was begun with the ambitious intention of gathering 15 million signatures calling for early presidential elections in order to oust Morsi and to release the ever tightening grip of the Muslim Brotherhood. 

mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:Tahoma”>Ultimately, as June 30 protests approached, credible news agencies reported 22 million people actually signed the Rebel petitions, another unprecedented milestone in a country of 84 million.

By contrast, Morsi was elected with 12 million votes on June 30 last year and that was only by the narrow margin of 51 percent. Many indicated they voted for Morsi in the second and final election round because there were only two choices left – Morsi and deposed dictator Hosni Mubarak’s cohort, Ahmed Shafik. Others indicated they voted for Morsi because they believed his religious values enhanced his promises to address the country’s grave social problems. 

mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:Tahoma”>In addition, opposition grew ever more steadily once it became clear that neither were Morsi’s religious values leading to needed economic and social reforms. Instead, his religion was a thin veneer to conceal sectarian and divisive intentions to entrench the Muslim Brotherhood and even more conservative, traditional Islamists into leading government positions. 

mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:Tahoma”>The western press often describes the conflict in religious terms to avoid confronting real economic and social problems that is the horrible heritage of U.S. and European investment and aid policies that stress military strength and imports over the country’s domestic economic development. 

mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:Tahoma”>“Morsi is selling the same merchandise that Mubarak sold, only…there’s an Islamic label on it,” said lawyer Abdel-Aziz, a leader of the Tamorad Campaign, as quoted in the May 29, 2013 English.Ahram.org. He added that, were Morsi to shave his beard and look into a mirror, he would “see Mubarak staring back at him.” 

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mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:Tahoma”>Foreign investors, western diplomats and Washington, in particular, were stunned. It explains the immediate reaction on July 1 of the equally shell-shocked Egyptian army brass to “give [all parties] 48 hours, as a last chance, to take responsibility for the historic circumstances the country is going through."
 
"If the demands of the people are not met in this period,” the televised broadcast statement read, the army “will announce a future roadmap and measures to oversee its implementation."
 

mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:Tahoma”>Holding power for one year before the 2012 election of Muslim Brotherhood leader Morsi, the army failed to enact any meaningful reforms while killing and jailing more protestors than during the entire 29-year emergency-decree rule of Mubarak. A significant section of the population would no doubt be reconciled to another takeover by the military as an alternative to Morsi, but there is today a far more conscious and mobilized opposition to this option, openly expressed in statements by important leaders of Tamarod. 

mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:Tahoma”>With these considerations in mind, it is more likely the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces issued more of a veiled threat to exert maximum pressure on both the Muslim Brotherhood and the “loyal” opposition National Salvation Front (NSF) to come to some kind of agreement, such as a coalition government. 

mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:Tahoma”>Even if a new government coalition does emerge, it will only succeed in buying some time for the entrenched power structure. Just as all other government renovations have failed, this new “construct” will soon also “destruct” in the face of unaddressed problems of unemployment and rising inflation. 

mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:Tahoma”>It is precisely this dangerous dilemma that has forestalled Morsi from approving pending IMF and World Bank offers of money attached with such onerous stipulations. 

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mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:Tahoma”>Unlike other upsurges in the Arab world of recent years, the Egyptian rebellion stands atop the field for a number of reasons. 

mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:Tahoma”>On the contrary, the Tamarod education campaign has begun an important broad discussion on separating church and state in a civil society, on recognizing international standards of labor and women’s rights, on increasing the minimum wage and social subsidies, on ending privatization schemes and protecting state property and on investing loans directly into the economy to create millions of jobs rather than using the money to pay off Mubarak’s debts to foreign banks and governments as demanded by the IMF and World Bank. 

mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:Tahoma”>Leading up to June 30, discussions in plazas, squares, work sites, schools and homes throughout Egypt became, in effect, assemblies of the people. 

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"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:Tahoma”>Carl Finamore arrived in Egypt only a few hours after Hosni Mubarak was deposed on February 11, 2011 and he has been back reporting twice more on the anniversaries of the revolution. He can be reached at local1781@yahoo.com
 

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