Dear Readers: Engaging with Beers with Demos in a little twitter exchange, I came across this tweet:
The following image from the Egypt Daily News will give you a feel for the crowds, which are totally the envy of any Tea Party. Perhaps I have a larger following in Egypt than I suspected?
Unsurprisingly, Morsi remains defiant:
The Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, has vowed there will be no second revolution in Egypt, as thousands planned to gather outside his presidential palace calling for his removal after a year in power.
In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, Morsi rejected opposition calls for early presidential elections and said he would not tolerate any deviation from constitutional order. He said his early resignation would undermine the legitimacy of his successors, creating a recipe for unending chaos.
Four are reported dead, with the worst clashes in Assiut:
In Assiut, the site of today’s most deadly clashes, army and police have been deployed at the governorate headquarters and at the Freedom and Justice Party headquarters, located 100 metres apart, reports Ahram’s Osama Sediq.
Police are firing teargas in front of the FJP headquarters, where clashes are still ongoing and sounds of gunshots can be heard.
Clashes started when an anti-Morsi demonstration of several thousand passed by the FJP office. The FJP youth, who were forming a human shield to protect the office, thought protesters were attacking them, so they fired birdshot and live rounds, reports Sediq.
For my American fans who want a better understanding of the origin of this phase of Egyptian unrest, time to go to Big Pharaoh. This was posted June 29th and is clearly prescient:
Will June 30 be big?
Depends on who will join. If we had the same middle class crowd that took to the streets last December following the constitutional decree, then nothing much will happen. These folks demonstrate till 10 pm. If we had a newer segment of the society, namely the lower social economic class, then we’re talking. Judging from events in the Delta during the past days, do expect a new kind of protesters. I don’t know how they will look like, but I know for a fact they won’t look like the neat middle class protesters you all loved on January 2011.
What will happen?
Cairo – clashes might happen if the number of demonstrators was massive and they decided to occupy Cairo. In other words, occupy the institutions of power to force the regime to abdicate. If that happened, the Islamists stationed in Rabaa el Adaweiyah will react and the mini civil war will commence.
Delta – This region has been boiling in the past days and will be on fire on June 30. It is controlled by no one. It will be MB vs pissed off apolitical locals who are not affiliated with any political organization. Both are armed and it won’t be nice there. Living conditions will drive people out to the streets and I expect that people from the rural areas, MB strongholds, will participate as well.
Alexandria – we’ve seen a rehearsal today in Sidi Gaber. Live ammunition was used and 2 persons were killed including an American who was taking pictures of the clashes. Just like Delta, Alexandria might witness very fierce clashes.
The Canal cities – there will be mass protests especially in Port Said, however the 3 cities there will remain relatively peaceful. The army is in total control there and MB presence in Port Said in almost nonexistent.
Upper Egypt – There will be demonstrations fueled by the deteriorating living conditions but I am not expecting clashes there nor massive demonstrations.
UPDATE: THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD HEADQUARTERS IN CAIRO HAS BEEN SET ON FIRE. Good. Better than another Egyptian Library!
UPDATE 2: Looks like one of the country’s governors is reassessing his career options: