Tanks are rolling in the streets of Cairo. The deadline for the Egyptian Army's pre-announced coup (or righteous seizure of power, depending on whom you ask) has passed, but President Mohamed Morsi, still at work in the Republic Guard barracks, shows no sign of backing down.
Amid reports—denied by Morsi's people—that the president had been placed under house arrest (regardless of his official status, he is effectively trapped in the barracks), the Muslim Brotherhood's office of foreign relations released a statement on Facebook:
As I write these lines I am fully aware that these may be the last lines I get to post on this page.
For the sake of Egypt and for historical accuracy, let’s call what is happening by its real name: Military coup.
It has been two and a half years after a popular revolution against a dictatorship that had strangled and drained Egypt for 30 years.
That revolution restored a sense of hope and fired up Egyptians’ dreams of a future in which they could claim for themselves the same dignity that is every human being’s birthright.
On Januray 25 I stood in Tahrir square. My children stood in protest in Cairo and Alexandria. We stood ready to sacrifice for this revolution. When we did that, we did not support a revolution of elites. And we did not support a conditional democracy. We stood, and we still stand, for a very simple idea: given freedom, we Egyptians can build institutions that allow us to promote and choose among all the different visions for the country. We quickly discovered that almost none of the other actors were willing to extend that idea to include us.
You have heard much during the past 30 months about ikhwan excluding all others. I will not try to convince you otherwise today. Perhaps there will come a day when honest academics have the courage to examine the record.
Today only one thing matters. In this day and age no military coup can succeed in the face of sizeable popular force without considerable bloodshed. Who among you is ready to shoulder that blame?
Anti-Brotherhood protestors, who took to the streets earlier this week in outrage over a stagnant economy and the religiosity of the Islamist party, scoffed at claims that the government's offers of dialogue or outreach were genuine.
The Army is said to have placed a travel ban on Morsi and other members of the Muslim Brotherhood. In Tahrir Square, the huge anti-Morsi protest that spurred the Army to act continues; elsewhere, Muslim Brotherhood party members and Morsi supporters are holding counter-protests.
We'll be updating throughout the day.
The spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood says he was hacked:
All my accounts on the internet (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Gmail) r being hacked at the same time !!