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Defying Brutal Military Might, Morsi Supporters Take to Streets in Egypt

Critics warn of 'ominous' developments following military ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi

Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Defying military threats, thousands of supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi are pouring into the streets Friday demanding the power-wielding military 'break the coup' and reinstate the Islamic president.

The army issued a statement ahead of the rally promising that individuals showing "any deviation from peaceful expressions of opinion" will "endanger his life," AFP reports.

Largely centered around Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque, the center of an ongoing pro-Morsi encampment, the day of protests—dubbed "Breaking the Coup"—has spread to small demonstrations elsewhere in Cairo and in several towns across Egypt.

As seen in tweets by Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Kouddous, the crowds fortified themselves with flags and pro-Morsi paraphanalia and—anticipating another brutal crackdown by the military forces—piles of stones. 

Meanwhile, anti-Morsi activitists are planning a rally later Friday in Tahrir Square and outside the presidential palace.

The July 3rd ouster, initiated by the youth-led Tamarod (Rebel) movement, was—on the surface—against an "arrogant and grossly incompetent Muslim Brotherhood government," as the editors of The Nation write in a recent editorial. However, the true goals were not dissimilar to those professed back during the 2011 revolution: "bread, freedom, and social justice."

"Just as it did with the January insurrection against Mubarak, the army is riding the tiger of popular revolt," the Nation editors note, lamenting that the power of the revolutionaries has now been largely co-opted by the Egyptian military who, after forcing Morsi's removal, have instituted a brutal campaign against his supporters.

"It’s disturbing that so many people, in Egypt and abroad, who protested the army’s abusive sixteen-month rule before Morsi’s election are now cheering the overthrow of Egypt’s first democratically elected government," says the Nation editorial, which continues:

Subsequent developments have been ominous: they include arrest warrants for hundreds of Brotherhood members; the July 8 massacre of protesters; shutdown of media outlets; rushed plans for a constitutional overhaul by unidentified, unelected jurists, to be followed up by a vaguely spelled-out review, referendum and elections; and the feverish branding of Brotherhood members as terrorists, along with xenophobic accusations against Syrian and Palestinian refugees.

The July 8 killing of 51 Muslim Brotherhood supporters is the subject of a recent exposé by Guardian reporter Patrick Kingsley, who, through the examination of video evidence and interviews with eyewitnesses, medics and demonstrators, has uncovered the story of a "coordinated assault on largely peaceful civilians."

You can follow protest updates live on twitter:


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