Tuesday, 20 November 2012

HRW: Egypt - Impunity After Deadly Protests

Families of the 45 protesters killed and the hundreds injured when police responded to protests over military rule with excessive force and brutality from November 19 through 24, 2011, are still waiting for justice a year later

Monday, 19 November 2012

Remembering Egypt's Mohamed Mahmoud Massacre

November 19-24th 2011: Egypt's police and armed forces clash with tens of thousands of demonstrators on Mohamed Mahmoud street, after a peaceful protest is violently dispersed.

The police and the army attacked protesters with batons, rocks, tear gas, birdshot pellets and live ammunition.

45 demonstrators were killed, thousands were injured.

One policeman has been put on trial.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Egypt's Farmers suffer from water theft

Farmers in Fayoum - 130 km south west of Cairo - are no longer able to grow crops on the land they've been farming for generations.

Years ago businessmen built illegal encroachments on their source of water, leaving their land barren. With 10,000 feddans of previously fertile land affected by this situation, the farmers have become desperate. Despite having met a series of irrigation ministers and despite promises from President Mohamed Morsi, no one has removed the illegal encroachments and returned the water to the farmers. The land continues to lie barren.

Full story here: http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/56401.aspx

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Activists take environmental campaign to Egypt's streets

Environmental activists take to the streets of Egypt in a campaign called 'Bezoor Balady', or 'local seeds'. 

Greenpeace, Nawaya, Nabta, 350.org and Fakhri Aid were among the organisations taking part in the action. The campaign hit the streets in three areas in Cairo - Maadi, Heliopolis and Downtown - as well as in Alexandria, to raise awareness about Egypt's plethora of agricultural issues.

The activists were armed with specially created 'seed balls' - small balls that contain soil, silt and local seeds, everything a seed needs to grow; just add water. The idea is to begin a discussion about the possibility of using public spaces to grow healthy and much needed fruits and vegetables, as well as to start a dialogue about agriculture in Egypt - the world's number one importer of wheat.

For more information visit Bozoor Balady's facebook page:http://www.facebook.com/bozoorbalady

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Egypt commemorates Maspero Massacre

On the one year anniversary of the Maspero Massacre, in which at least 26 Coptic Protesters were killed by the army, thousands of demonstrators march for justice.

Following the same path taken one year ago from the Cairo neighbourhood of Shobra to the Nile-side State Television building, protesters aimed to commemorate the dead and raise the pressure to put those responsible on trial.

Pictures of Mina Daniel, who has become an icon of the revolutionary since his death, were raised on flags and banners throughout the march.

Testimonies from survivors of the massacre and video recorded during the clashes tell a terrifying story of unprecedented brutality from the military police towards the peaceful protesters. Most of the dead were killed either by live rounds or by being squashed to death after being run over by army vehicles. Until now no senior military personnel have been punished for the killings.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Egypt's Doctors Begin Open Strike

An open ended partial strike at hospitals across Egypt begins today. At the Shobra General Hospital in Cairo - just one of the 540 hospitals on strike - outpatient services are closed and only emergency cases are being seen to.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Egypt's revolutionary graffiti returns

Revolutionary artists cover the walls of Mohamed Mahmoud St, Tahrir, in graffiti, just days after the famous street art was wiped off by authorities.

Mohamed Mahmoud St, the scene of 5 days of deadly clashes in November 2011, is now seen as one of the focal points of the revolution. Graffiti on it's walls has been wiped off before but each time it returns with new ideas - and the targets of the art are as fluid as Egypt's political situation.

The new artworks still focus on the martyrs of Egypt's uprising, but recently elected president Mohamed Morsi is now targeted on a number of pieces. Previously much of the graffiti was against remnants of the old regime and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, who officially stepped away from power on July 1st.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

August 24th - The anti-ikhwan 'revolution'

I want to support and partake in opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood and Mohamed Morsi. They don't share my vision for Egypt, and they have colluded with the military (and possibly the US) to derail the revolution.

When I went to the anti ikhwan protest (or 'revolution as some had dubbed it) in Medinet Nasr yesterday, I went with an open mind. Yes, the protest had been called for by the likes of Tawfik Okasha, but this seemed to be different. It wasn't a protest in support SCAF or the old regime, as other protests in Medinet Nasr had been, this was specifically to voice anger towards the ikhwan.

In a democratic country, vocal opposition and constant pressure is vital. To hell with just sitting idly by and waiting and 'lazem nedelhom forsa' and all that nonsense. I disagree with those that say that now is not the time for demonstrating, that we should give them time.

When I got to the protest there were familiar sights - Egyptians from all ages, from both sexes and religions, just normal people, with home made signs. It looked, at first, a lot like many of the protests I've attended over the last year and a half.

But there were differences, and the longer I stayed there the more pronounced they became.

More than half of the assembled protesters spent their time quietly sitting in the shade away from the action rather than coming out and chanting or actively taking part. All the chants were recycled from revolutionary chants with certain words replaced. I heard not a single new chant. I saw none of the humour that defined our revolution. I saw none of the passion (although some individuals were getting hysterical, calling for Okasha to get back on TV, or ranting about 9/11 conspiracy theories).

I began to wonder why.

In my opinion, the primary difference is that this was a protest borne out of fear. These are the people who have been whipped up into a terrified frenzy over the ikhwan, and their entire raison d'etre seemed to be anti-ikhwan. Devoid of vision, this is just anti-something, it's not pro- a better alternative. This is not the basis for a political movement.

When we took to the streets from Jan25 (and before and after) we were dreaming. We had lofty ideals of freedom, social justice, genuine democracy, human dignity. We were willing to die for these ideals, and many did. During the battle of the camel on Feb 2nd that was what got us through, that was what made us survive and win this 24 hour battle.

If our only reason for starting the revolution was cos we hated mubarak, we probably would have lost hope and fled.

People were holding up posters of Tantawi and Omar Sulleiman. Badges on sale there were of Tantawi, Shafiq, Suleiman, Okasha and even Mubarak himself. These are not people that were full of hope for a new Egypt, these were not people that were trying to bring about a better country for everyone, these are people who are scared, and in their fear they want their strong dictator figures to protect them from the ikhwan, irrespective of the crimes of those figures. These are not people who have realised their own power, and instead feel weak and afraid and want someone else to take care of them.

I'm all for opposing the ikhwan, and opposing Morsi. But I want to strive for something better. This protest yesterday had fear as it's primary driving force. It lacked ideals, it lacked vision, and it lacked hope.

And this is why half the group were just sitting in the shade.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Egypt slum crippled by water crisis

The 'informal settlement' (read: slum) of Safat el Laban is home to around 400,000 residents. Normally, they get around 2 hours of water a day. Recently, during the oppressive Egyptian summer, this has been reduced to zero.

This is a report of the sit-in held at the Giza governate HQ in protest at the water cuts.

And this is footage from within Safat el Laban, where families are seriously affected by the lack of water:

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Mursi victorious, Tahrir jubilant

Tahrir Square, packed full of supporters of Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi, erupts into wild celebrations as the official results of the presidential runoff are announced.

Morsi beat his rival Ahmed Shafiq and will be declared the next president of Egypt.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

'Mobtiloon' campaigners call on Egyptians to spoil their ballots

As Egyptians head to the polls in the presidential runoff to choose Ahmed Shafiq or Mohamed Morsi, a group of activists are calling on the electorate to spoil their ballots.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Egypt elects its new President

Egyptians vote for their next president in the first presidential elections since the popular uprising which overthrew Mubarak in 2011.

Monday, 30 April 2012

Tension at MOD sit-in after deadly attacks

The situation remains tense at the Ministry of Defence sit-in, where hundreds have been protesting in recent days against the ruling Military Council (SCAF). 

Presidential hopeful Khaled Ali visited the sit-in to show his solidarity, after dozens of protesters were injured and up to 4 killed when unknown assailants attacked the demonstrators at night on Saturday and Sunday.

Friday, 30 March 2012

AJE Listening Post on Kazeboon Campaign

Listening Post features how Egypt's revolutionaries collected and archived citizen videos filmed on the streets that tell a story different to that by the state media, becoming an alternative news source for Egyptians, by Egyptians.

Hazem Abu-Ismail supporters flood the streets to celebrate presidency bid

Supporters of Salafist presidential hopeful Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail join a march and motorcade to celebrate his official candidacy application

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Mourners flock to Pope Shenouda's funeral

Tens of thousands of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Christians attend the funeral of Pope Shenouda III.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Strikes and solidarity - Egypt's revolutionary students unite

As students of the German University in Cairo (GUC) enter the third week of their strike, students from other universities unite to fight against corruption and oppression on and off campus.

The events at the GUC are just the latest in a wave of university strikes and political activism that has rocketed since the revolution, and is increasingly opposing Egypt's military rule.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Egyptian women march for justice & equality

Hundreds of women march to the Egyptian parliament demanding justice and equality. Protesters were calling for a fair representation in the constitutional assembly that will write Egypt's new constitution, and for the trials of police and army officers responsible for abusing women's rights.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Anti SCAF marches converge at defence ministry

A day before the one year anniversary of the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak, around 10 marches from around Cairo gathered by the Ministry of Defence to protest Egypt's military rule.

The Ministry is lead by Field Marshall Mohamed Hussain Tantawi - the country's de facto leader since Mubarak's ouster. Thousands of demonstrators chanted slogans against the ruling Military Council and demanded an immediate transfer of power to civilian rule.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Brotherhood block parliament protest

Thousands of demonstrators demanding an end to military rule were blocked on Tuesday by members of the Muslim Brotherhood from reaching parliament.

The protesters set off from the sit-in outside the state television building and marched through Tahrir and the streets of downtown Cairo, all the while growing in number.

By the time the demonstrators reached parliament the march consisted of several thousand chanting against military rule.

The parliament building is blocked on one side by a concrete wall and a strong police presence. On the other side, it was members of the Muslim Brotherhood who were blocking the way. Demonstrators chanted "down with the Brotherhood" and accused the Islamic group of selling out the revolution.

The Brotherhood's political wing, the Freedom and Justice party, recently secured the biggest share of seats in parliament.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Masses demonstrate on Egypt's uprising anniversary

Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians march from around Cairo to Tahrir Square on the anniversary of the uprising that began on January 25th.

The mass demonstration chanted against Egypt's military rulers and called for a swift transfer of power to civilian rule.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Muslim Brotherhood celebrate Parliament opening

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood gathered at Egypt's parliament building as newly elected body opened for its first session. The political wing of the brotherhood, the Freedom and Justice Party, secured around 45% of the seats in the first post-Mubarak parliament.

Other groups gathered around the parliament today, including groups calling for the elected assembly to realise the demands of the revolution which began a year ago this week.

Security was tight around the area, various different marches including by workers, artists, families of the martyrs and the 'no to military trials' campaign all headed towards parliament.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Egypt's revolutionaries take propaganda war into their own hands

A new multimedia campaign is taking place across Egypt.

Frustrated with the biased coverage in state run media, activists are taking matters into their own hands by screening the videos that the Military Council do not want to be seen.

The decentralised 'Kazeboon' (Liars) movement involves ordinary people going downloading videos of military abuses and showing them in the streets of their own neighbourhoods.

The screenings often turn into protest marches, and are regularly attacked by those who oppose the movement.

A timetable for screenings can be found on facebook:

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Kazeboon Campaign in Imbaba

Footage from two "Kazeboon" (liars) campaigns in Imbaba.

The decentralised movement is taking place across the country, with local communities marching through their neighbourhoods chanting anti-military slogans, before showing videos of army violations. 

The campaigns aim to raise awareness in Egypt about the abuses and violations which have taken place over the last year since the military came to power following the toppling of Hosni Mubarak.

Friday 13th January:

Sunday 8th January: