Display of Defiance

More photos of yesterday’s protests in Egypt. These images are blowing my mind. Typically, the Egyptian authorities are extremely capable of nipping protests in the bud before they can take off. I remember a few scheduled protests when I was in Cairo, and they never got off the ground because plainclothes policemen were quick to arrest the first few people who show up. You really have to have a critical mass in order to get any demonstration off the ground, and it wasn’t until yesterday that Egyptians were able to achieve this. This by no means guarantees a “safety in numbers” as journalists and bloggers are reporting frequent acts of police brutality against the protesters. Check out this chilling account by a British journalist who was beaten and then carted off in a police van with Egyptian activists.

For more information on the significance of these protests, check out Juan Cole’s latest post. As he puts it, while this is an incredible display of defiance, we have to wait and see if the day of rage has lasting consequences. As in Tunisia, the military may prove to be the kingmaker (or kingbreaker) in this situation. Stay tuned.

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