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Fears of More Bloodshed as Pro-Morsi Protesters Ordered Out


Egypt’s interim government has ordered police to squelch the pro-Morsi sit-ins that have formed in Cairo’s Raba’a Al Adiwiya and Nahda squares over the past few weeks. Cabinet ministers termed the gatherings “a threat to Egyptian national security” and called for security forces to “put an end to them.” The WSJ reports:

 “This is the same line from the people of the coup who are always pushing in one direction toward violence.…It seems that the cabinet or the coup leaders are insisting on bloodshed in Egypt,” said a Brotherhood leader who spoke by phone from Raba’a Al Adiwiya Square. He denied there were weapons in the square.

“We will continue our peaceful protests and peaceful demonstrations,” said the Brotherhood leader. “We won’t give up our values and our beliefs, and we won’t be dragged into violence.”…

New York-based Amnesty International called the order “a recipe for further bloodshed.”

It would be reasonable to share Amnesty International’s wariness. July saw two assaults on pro-Morsi protesters, one ending with 62 casualties and the other with 12 dead and 86 wounded. Then Army Chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called for Egyptians to take to the streets in support of the army to counterbalance the protesters demanding that Morsi be reinstated. Now it looks like many of those protesters will be told to disperse at gunpoint.

The Egyptians in the streets are unlikely to slouch away quietly with their heads down. These are people who want to build a better society and life for themselves and believe that dramatic change is achievable. Many are willing to put their lives on the line for it. Here’s to hoping that few will be forced to.

[Muslim Brotherhood protesters in Alexandria, July 22. Photo courtesy Getty Images.]

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