Cairo (AsiaNews) - "A revolution to save the revolution," is the motto coined and chanted by the tens of thousands of Egyptians who for two days have been roaming the streets of the main cities of the country. They call for the immediate cancellation of the laws enacted by President Mohamed Morsi to increase his power while awaiting the new constitution. Hundreds of marches, sit-ins and even assaults on the headquarters of the Justice and Freedom Party (Muslim Brotherhood) were organized in Cairo, Baltim, Alexandria, Suez, Port Said, Ismailya. The echo of the protests has reached the resort town of Sharm al-Sheik. At present, the toll is two dead and one seriously injured.
Interviewed by AsiaNews, André Azzam, an Egyptian journalist, describes these days of protest as the "new Jasmine revolution" put forth by those who want a democracy and not a Muslim Brotherhood dictatorship. "In the streets", he says, "we are breathing the same atmosphere as in February 2011. The air is filled with tear gas that irritates the eyes. The dozens of tents that have reappeared after months in Tahrir Square are a sign that the protests will last a long time, at least until Morsi decides to talk to all the Egyptians, and not only to the Muslim Brotherhood". The journalist points out that all of Egypt has risen up against the Islamists. In addition to the protests organized by the main parties formed after the fall of Mubarak - the April 6 Movement, the Egyptian People's Party, the Egyptian Constitutional Party and the Egyptian Democratic Party - even the institutions have arisen. Regardless of the threats of their own officials, mostly close to the Muslim Brotherhood, yesterday all the courts in the country went on strike. Lawyers and judges have indicted the leaders of the Judge Gathering Club, a professional association which allegedly threatened retaliation against its own members in the event of a demonstration against the president.
"Until now, the demonstrations have been peaceful," says Azzam, "however, the police are using all the means at their disposal to prevent further demonstrations. This morning, hundreds of riot police fired tear gas at the tents in the middle of Tahrir Square to force young people to flee. The forces or order are setting up barriers in Simon Bolivar square in front of the U.S. embassy". The authorities are also concerned about attacks against the headquarters of the Justice and Freedom Party in Cairo, which have occurred in recent days in Alexandria, Port Said and Ismaylia, and which prompted the leaders of the Islamist movement to ask Salafis and Islamic extremists to form strings of armed security forces around buildings owned by them.
The moves made in recent months by the Islamists have disappointed many Egyptians, who saw in the extremely organized Justice and Freedom a positive response to more than 30 years of corrupt dictatorship. As in 2011, the inhabitants of the central districts of the capital began to support the young democrats, who after the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood were pushed aside. On 26 November, the residents of the neighborhood where the events took place ruined the first organized march by the Muslim Brotherhood in support of President Morsi in a square 500 meters from Tahrir. The protest coincided with the funeral of Gaber Gaber Falah, a 16 year-old boy from the April 6 democratic movement who died in the hospital from a gunshot wound to the neck. "When people learned that the Islamists were planning a march," says Azzam, "they put up signs and banners that read: 'We do not want the Muslim Brotherhood. Begone from our streets,' forcing the organizers to cancel the protest for fear of armed clashes." Instead of keeping quiet, Islamist leaders have issued a challenge to its opponents in the square and announced for December 1 a huge gathering of millions of people. Saad Emara, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, said that "the civilian forces are playing with fire. It is a dangerous stunt. "
For Azzam, the Muslim Brotherhood's lust for power has led Morsi to commit a serious error of judgment, which could be costly not only to the Islamists, now discredited by at least 50% of the population, but to all of Egypt. "The newspapers," he notes, "are accusing the president of having pushed the country to the brink of civil war. These days in newsrooms in many wonder what is the position of the military, which after the forced resignation of Gen. Hussein Tantawi is also in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood and it is unclear how they will react in the event of an escalation of events." (SC)