Live Tracking of Protests in Egypt
The End of Peaceful Protest in Egypt
“Massacre” has been used to describe the events of today, August 14, in Egypt – a massacre of the Muslim Brotherhood. Led by the army, state security forces undertook an operation this morning to clear the two primary points of continuous protests held by members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo – Rabaa Adawiyah Square and Renaissance Square. The death toll differs according to sources but, with the truth laying somewhere between the extremes, it is clear at least 100 people were killed in the ensuing armed confrontations. Whether supporters of the ousted Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi were armed or not is outweighed by the irreversible violence exercised by Egyptian security forces against them.
This military-cum-police action comes after weeks of peaceful sit-ins by Morsi supporters protesting the military against his usurpation. Even the violence of July 8, which killed 51 Muslim Brothers, did not force the hand of the Muslim Brotherhood to the trigger. The only thing that it did trigger was further demonstrations against the military, calling for the restoration of Mohammad Morsi to the presidency. This was not going to happen nor will it. The undisputed show of strength on the part of the Egyptian military highlights this fact. President Adli Mansour’s imposition of a month long emergency law today provides the military with the cloak of legitimacy that it could well have just done without.
During the day, while the clearing out of the squares in Cairo was taking place, Muslim Brotherhood members took to the streets in other parts of the country. Notably and expectedly, these cities included Aswan and Alexandria. They set roadblocks on the main road connecting the latter to the coastal city of Marsa Matrouh, about 160 miles to the west.
At this point, it is too early to tell what the night will bring to Egypt. A curfew has been imposed from 7:00 PM to 6:00 AM, but it is unlikely to mollify those most closely or strongly affected by the events of today. These events highlight the fact peaceful protests contrary to the goals of the ruling military are not to be treated lightly.
Events today indicate they’re more likely to be obliterated than tolerated.
With a recourse to public discourse so decidedly shut, it may well be action against the military regime becomes more violent in form than it has been in recent weeks. This course of action will undoubtedly warrant a violent reaction from the state.
This slide towards mutual violence may not take place over night, but attacks against the state followed by operations against those responsible must not be counted out. For all their resiliency over the years, the Muslim Brotherhood is not likely to fall away as speedily as some in Egypt may hope for.