Sunday, November 20, 2011

How Egypt Justifies Its Brutal Crackdown: Occupy Wall Street


Two people were killed in Cairo and Alexandria this weekend as Egyptian activists took the streets to protest the military's attempts to maintain its grip on power. And guess how the state is justifying its deadly crackdown.

"We saw the firm stance the US took against OWS people & the German govt against green protesters to secure the state," an Egyptian state television anchor said yesterday (as translated by the indispensable Sultan Sooud al Qassemi; bold ours).

Yeah—it gets harder and harder to maintain a moral high ground when videos like this and pictures like this are unavoidable. But American police haven't killed anyone! Indeed! That's definitely something worth bragging about: so far, cops here have only sent a single person to the hospital with brain damage. U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

Meanwhile, in Egypt, the protesters—mostly young liberal activists and Islamists—are engaging in "running street battles" with police after shutting down Cairo's busiest square.

In particular, they're protesting the proposed principles for a new constitution—under which "the military [and its budget] would be exempted from civilian oversight."

Update: Just as we hit "publish" on this post, authorities launched a major assault on Tahrir Square in an attempt to evict it of protesters. Al-Jazeera has a live feed here.

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