A year after the inauguration of President Mohamed Morsi, Egyptians deeply frustrated with his leadership have flooded the streets of Cairo, massing outside of the presidential palace and marching on Tahrir Square.
Thousands of protesters have pledged to keep their demonstrations going until Morsi is removed from office. Right now, security forces have yet to confront the protesters, and the demonstrations have continued peacefully through the afternoon.
“It has been a difficult, very difficult year, and I think the coming years will also be difficult,” Presdient Morsi said in an interview Sunday with The Guardian. The difficult year included spotty public services, long lines for gas, and an alienating ruling party, the Muslim Brotherhood.
The situation, while peaceful now, seems ripe for upheaval. As the Times points out, "The police are in more or less in open revolt against President Morsi." Several Muslim Brotherhood offices have been attacked, with the police sometimes aiding in the act. Yesterday, an American student was killed in Alexandria during an anti-Morsi protest.
The military, which ruled Egypt after the overthrow of the dictator Hosni Mubarak, has remained neutral ahead of the protests. The defense minister announced last week that the military would, however, “intervene to keep Egypt from sliding into a dark tunnel of conflict, internal fighting, criminality, accusations of treason, sectarian discord and the collapse of state institutions.” The administration has spent the past few weeks actually fortifying the walls of the presidential palace.
As two military helicopters flew over the heads of protesters this afternoon, the crowd cheered. Already, reports of violence have begun to emerge as night begins.
[Photo courtesy of Cairo Scene]