Monday, July 8, 2013

Democracy for all in Egypt!

The military & police violence against the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) is extremely alarming & threatening not just to the MB but to the broader movement for democracy. Going after the MB with tanks & squat teams, media censorship, & mass arrests was the first act of the military when it  retook control. This would be seen as provocation by the MB, an incitement to actively resist & defend itself.

Those who support democracy in Egypt do no stand mute when hundreds of MB members have been injured in conflict with the Egyptian army & riot cops & over 51 have been shot down today in Cairo alone by a military re-exerting its control. It is certain that while 14 million Egyptians mobilized against the theocratic & neoliberal policies of Morsi & his MB supporters, they were also mobilizing for greater democratic rights & not for violent, ruthless suppression of a political minority.

The arsenal & tanks now directed at MB partisans will tomorrow be turned on the revolution. It is no accident indeed that Palestinians are also in the cross hairs of Egyptian military weapons. The border has been closed between Gaza & Egypt, Palestinians returning to Gaza by way of Egypt have been deported back to other countries, smuggling tunnels between Gaza & Egypt continue to be flooded with sewage by Egyptian soldiers.

One may disagree entirely with the political agenda of the MB but that provides no justification whatsoever for massacring them. Here two MB members face off against the military blocking entrance to the HQ of the Republican Guard in Cairo. This is the site where, according to witnesses, soldiers & riot cops opened fire on MB members who were holding a sit-in. A sit-in! Not a riot; not even a protest march--but a sit-in!

Some will argue the Egyptian military is heading off a counter-revolution by going after the MB. In response, let it be said ‘counter-revolutions don’t usually do the sit-in thing; they pick up guns.’ There are certainly thugs among the MB--just as certain as there are police agents stirring this conflict to a fever pitch. The video of Ali Ahmed, the 12-year-old Egyptian boy that went viral testifies to the sophisticated level of political discussion among Egyptian activists & their ability to sort this stuff through. Our job is solidarity with the democratic thrust of this movement--not with the reactionary forces set in motion by the military & its US backers.

Demand “No US aid to Egypt!” “No US aid to Israel!” “Open the borders with Gaza!” “Democracy for all in Egypt!”

(Photo by Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images)

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