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Friday, 13 September 2013

There are no trains to Cairo today.

 Egypt Extends State Of Emergency Laws As Security Forces Expand Military Crackdown

In early 2011. hundreds of thousands of Egyptians were fighting running battles with police and Hosni Mubarak supporters on the streets of Cairo, Alexandria, Port Said and a hundred other towns across Egypt. Their objectives were to overthrow Mubarak and the military junta in the guise of SCAF with Field Marshall Tantawi in control, and open Egypt to a democratic future. On February  11th 2011, Mubarak stepped down from the Presidency, thus ending more than 50 years of military dictatorship, from Nasser though Sadat.
Cairo's Tahrir Square was filled with more than a million jubilant demonstrators celebrating their victory over the forces of oppression and looking forward to free elections for a new President and a new order in Egyptian society. What the vast majority of those millions and millions more around the country did not realise was that even then there were those conspiring to bring about the return of Mubarak or if not him the military junta under a new leader following the removal of Tantawi.
Move on 12 months to June of 2012, and Tahrir Square is once again filled with people, celebrating this time, the result of the first free and fair election in Egypt which returned Mohammed Morsi as the first democratically elected President.
Morsi, formally a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and now standing as the Freedom and Justice Party Candidate for the position, polled 51.7% beating Ahmed Shafik the former Prime Minister in the last Mubarak "government".
I wrote at the time in "The conclusion of the Egyptian revolution? Not quite."  ( that, " The next few weeks or even months will be crucial in determining what path Egypt will follow. Mohammed Moussa, 30, a translator, said ”Morsi is president in name only, there are more battles to come.”
We have not yet concluded the Egyptian revolution. History records that only some 12 month later, the streets of Cairo filled again, this time with anti Morsi demonstrators demanding the removal of their democratically elected President.
Within days the military under the command this time of Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, had seized power in what can only be described as a coup, arrested Morsi and appointed Adly Mansour as "Interim President". From then on, the military and their puppet government have been tightening their hold on society and the Egyptian people, with arrests, curfews intimidation of foreign media personnel and broadcast, control of television and internet communications. This culminating in the  massacre of scores of anti coup protestors in August 2013 following a "Call for support" from Junta chief Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.
Again, writing in New Agenda, shortly after the events, I reflected,  "State of emergency with martial law and curfew return to Egypt. The people who filled Tahrir Square two years ago calling for democracy and the removal of Mubarak, and in July filled the square calling for the removal of Morsi, must now realise that the military never really went away and that the "generals" had no intention of supporting or allowing a democratic Egypt. The shadow of Mubarak as the puppet front man has been replaced by the shadow of Mansour and in place of SCAF, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and the junta are again in charge of the country" (
Today, it is announced that the "State of Emergency" has been extended for another two months due to the "security situation", Mohammed Morsi remain in custody, incommunicado, hundreds if not thousands of pro Morsi activists even more of the "Pro democracy" or "Anti coup" movements are under arrest or worse. Many will remember that the last State of Emergency in Egypt lasted, with extensions, for around thirty years. A mark of a very repressive military dictatorship. Restrictions on travel around the country have been imposed to prevent people gathering to protest. No trains, limited buses and no gatherings in public places. This cannot be the Egypt that those hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated for in 2011. The "revolution" has been stolen by the army, financed by others and engineered by Mubarak supporters both inside and outside the borders of Egypt.
There are no trains to Cairo today.