A New Struggle in Egypt
On Wednesday, July 6, protesters in the Egyptian city of Suez carried out the most violent protests seen in that nation since the demonstrations earlier this year that resulted in the toppling of the former government led by Hosni Mubarak. After 10 policemen charged with the murders of protesters during those revolts were acquitted, demonstrators took to the streets; they damaged a government security vehicle, a courthouse, and several police vehicles parked in the city.
While alarming in many facets such as Egypt's rapid descent from peacefulness and stability to violence and popular animosity, Wednesday's events are part of an even larger trend in which a rift has formed between the Egyptian military and police and the people who pushed for change in the first place. While Egypt's revolution would not have been possible if not for military support, ever since Mubarak's fall, citizens of Egypt are wary of an unnecessary military involvement in government and have protested against this on multiple occasions; after protesting and demanding freedoms, the Egyptian population is not going to allow the military to overtake the nation and subjugate the people in the style of Hosni Mubarak.
The acquittal of the policemen and the subsequent revolts in Suez demonstrate the extent of this deepening rift; people associate the military and police force with the old Mubarak regime and demand democratic change and an increase in freedoms, while the military and police look to protect their own and retain their power. This crack in the foundation of a rebuilding nation could indeed broaden to engulf the entire population and could undo the efforts of the thousands of protestors demanding freedom, democracy, and peace.
The deepening abyss between the interests of the Egyptian populace and the military and police forces may eventually put an end to what at one point appeared to be the most successful post-Arab Spring situation. Following Mubarak's fall, Egypt appeared to be fully equipped and ready to move forward with a democratic government; its population of young, educated scholars exceeded that of its surrounding nations, and judged by the success of the popular revolt, the entire nation was united in a nationalistic bond.Continued on the next page