Patrick deHahn, Special to Journalists Unplugged
Over the summer, masses took to the streets to call for Mohammed Morsi to step down in a series of protests that began June 30th. Along with a petition from 1-million Egyptians calling for the ouster, the military officially removed Morsi from power on July 3rd.
Egyptians flipped their anti-military rhetoric by proclaiming support for the military leader Sisi as military planes flew over masses in Tahrir Square and down Cairo streets after Morsi’s ouster. July’s events came after a record number of protests under a year of Morsi’s rule and instability following the 2011 uprising.
Since then, things have unraveled a bit as Egypt’s security has deteriorated. Sinai has become far more dangerous than before, with extremist groups becoming more active.
There are reports al Qaida has emerged amid the turmoil across the country. Car bombings in Cairo are becoming more commonplace. Journalists are being arrested by the government. The Muslim Brotherhood, a religious organization with strong political ties, suffered a massacre in pro-Morsi protests after his fall. The organization faces much scrutiny today, after its brief time in power.
The military’s proposed political road-map has followed its guidelines for the most part. The draft constitution was just approved, though it includes some controversial clauses. There is, for example, a law that makes provision for military trials of civilians that has produced much public anger.
The draft constitution is now in interim president Mansour’s hands and will be voted through by a referendum in January.
The nation with endless protest experience is now slapped with a new national decree – a protest law. People have already been charged under the new legislation. A well known Egyptian activist Alaa was arrested in a house raid. The only Egyptian way to respond to the undemocratic decree would be to challenge it with protests.
The next thing to watch for is heightened protest activity on Egyptian college campuses. Because of this, universities are considering extending the interim government’s demonstration law to include campuses.
With chaos growing after two mass uprisings, the future is not optimistic for Egyptians involved in both the 2011 revolution and Morsi’s ouster. The atmosphere is somber as many from the January 25th revolution in 2011 still haven’t seen positive change.
Their goals of “bread, freedom and social justice” have yet to be met. There is talk that Egypt’s deep state never fell with Morsi and Mubarak but is now stronger than ever. What’s next for the revolution? Some believe that it is not over, yet.
As news of Nelson Mandela’s death came this week, one said “Right now all I can think, is how much Egypt could’ve been so different if we had had our own Mandela.” But the hope is still simmering somewhere as the future of Egypt remains unclear.