Eine neue Generation von Jugendlichen, die ihre Angst gegenüber dem Regime überwinden. Über die Freitagsproteste am 20.09.2019 schreibt Al Jazeera am 21.09.2019:

‚Leave, Sisi!‘: All you need to know about the protests in Egypt

From Cairo to Alexandria to Suez, Egyptians took to streets in rare protests against President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets across several cities in Egypt, in a rare show of dissent against President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

Gathering in Cairo’s Tahrir Square late on Friday, the demonstrators chanted slogans such as „the people demand the fall of the regime“ and „leave Sisi“, echoing the chants that rang out in the same place more than eight years ago and which brought down longtime leader Hosni Mubarak.

In Alexandria, hundreds marched to the waterfront, chanting „rise up, fear not, Sisi must go“, while in the port city of Damietta, protesters tore down a large poster of the president, a former general who has presided over a broad crackdown, jailing thousands of dissidents and banning protests. […]

Protests were reported in at least eight cities, with the largest crowds gathering in Cairo, Alexandria and Suez.

Videos and photos of the protests were shared on social media with the hashtag #Tahrir_Square, which was trending worldwide on Friday. […]

Who is protesting?

The crowds were mostly made up of young people.

Dalia Fahmy, senior fellow at the Center for Global Policy in New York, said those on the streets on Friday were different from the crowds who took part in the 2011 protests that brought down Mubarak. She described them as younger people who „did not see the benefits of the revolution“ and frustrated by poverty and austerity that „is crippling every day life“.

„Much of the population does not live with the post-revolution trauma or the memories of the revolution in the way that the older generation did. You have a group of young people coming in with a different set of demands and different kind of future possibilities,“ she said.

„We could be at a crescendo moment that leads to people to break through the fear barrier,“ she said.

In Suez setzten sich die Proteste auch am Sonnabend fort.

Am Abend gingen laut der Nachrichtenagentur AFP den zweiten Tag in Folge Menschen auf die Straße, um gegen die Regierung zu protestieren. Die Rede ist von rund 200 Teilnehmern. Die Sicherheitskräfte hätten Tränengas, Gummigeschosse und scharfe Munition eingesetzt, heißt es. Es soll Verletzte geben.

In Kairo waren gestern rund um den zentralen Tahrir-Platz verstärkt Polizeikräfte im Einsatz. Dort, in Suez und anderen Städten hatte es am Freitag erstmals seit Jahren wieder regierungskritische Proteste gegeben. Die Teilnehmer forderten den Rücktritt von Staatschef al-Sisi. Laut AFP gab es mehr als 70 Festnahmen. Der Initiator der Proteste, der in Spanien lebende Unternehmer Mohamed Ali, rief für Freitag zu Massenkundgebungen auf.

DLF | 22.09.2019

Die Berichte von Al Jazeera und NYT vom 21.09.2019 haben wir bereits in dem Beitrag „Seehofer-Erdogan: Geheimverhandlungen über 2. schmutzigen Deal“ dokumentiert.


Nachtrag 23.09.2019: In der TAZ spekuliert Karim El-Gawhary über einen Machtkampf im ägyptischen Militärapparat. Es mag sein, dass der twitternde Bauunternehmer Unterstützung aus dem Militärapparat hat. „Wer die Proteste koordiniert hat“, ist in Zeiten der „Leaderless Revolutions“ aber nicht mit solchen Theorien zu beantworten.

Völlig unklar ist, wer die fast zeitgleichen Proteste am Freitag koordiniert hat. Die kleine verbliebene Opposition war von ihnen ebenso überrascht wie die einstigen Tahrir-Aktivisten. Unter den Verhafteten befinden sich keine bekannten Namen. Viele spekulieren, dass innerhalb des Regimes ein Machtkampf ausgebrochen sein könnte: Muhammad Ali sei hier nur eine Marionette.

Dass der ehemalige Stabschef Sami Anan sich zu Wort meldete, goss noch mehr Öl ins Feuer der Spekulationen. Anan sitzt eine zehnjährige Haft in einem Militärkrankenhaus ab. Auf Facebook rief er nun Verteidigungsminister Muhammad Zaki dazu auf, Sisi zu verhaften, wenngleich Anans Tochter abgestritten hat, dass dieser Aufruf von ihrem Vater stammt.

Aber selbst wenn das Ganze aus dem Regime heraus inszeniert oder gar von einstigen Mubarak-Leuten gelenkt sein sollte, könnte es eine Dynamik entwickeln, die am Ende niemand mehr kontrolliert. In der Region ist dieses Jahr einiges in Bewegung. Besonders der Umsturz im Sudan wird in Ägypten mit großem Interesse verfolgt.


Am 22.09.2019 resümiert Mohamad Elmasry auf Al Jazeera:

Chants in major squares and streets across the nation mirrored the now-famous chants of the Arab Spring protests which led to the removal of longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.
Friday’s protests prominently featured what became one of the central slogans of the 2011 uprising: „The people want the fall of the regime.“ Protests continued in the city of Suez on Saturday, with smaller demonstrations reported in Cairo and Mahalla. […]

Predictably, el-Sisi’s sycophantic media outlets downplayed Friday’s protests as small and unimportant. This was the same strategy employed by the Mubarak regime in 2011.

But images and footage of protests, which took place near the symbolic Tahrir Square area and elsewhere in Cairo, as well as in a number of other cities, including Alexandria, Mansoura and Suez, were widely circulated on social media and attracted the attention of foreign media.

Given the larger context of Egyptian politics, the demonstrations are quite meaningful, even if they are still smaller than the anti-Mubarak protests of 2011.

Protests were effectively banned in Egypt in 2013 after security forces cracked down on anti-coup sit-ins on August 14, 2013, killing more than 900 protesters at two large sit-in sites in Cairo. In a subsequent report, Human Rights Watch said the massacres constituted „likely crimes against humanity“.

Since the summer of 2013, more than 60,000 people have been arrested, many for protesting illegally; and hundreds of others have been forcibly disappeared. In detention centres and jails, there has been routine use of torture, including rape.

Given the demonstrable authoritarianism and brutality of the el-Sisi regime, and the overall risk associated with all forms of public dissent, it is difficult to dismiss the current protests as small or insignificant. If nothing else, Egyptians have broken a formidable barrier of fear. […]

From the standpoint of the revolutionaries who hit the streets to protest against Mubarak in January 2011, el-Sisi has failed on all fronts. In particular, freedoms are far fewer today than they were under Mubarak, and the economic situation has worsened.

El-Sisi’s key economic projects – a new capital city with a water park and massive tower, and the Suez Canal expansion – are seen by experts as acts of wasteful spending that will not meaningfully benefit Egypt or Egyptians.
At the same time, he is perceived to have mismanaged the nation’s water crisis, mishandled the country’s crumbling infrastructure, and acted against national interest by giving away two islands in the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia.
Today, about one-third of Egyptians live in poverty, on less than $1.50 per day. More realistic poverty markers suggest Egypt’s poverty rate is much higher than that.

Inflation rates and austerity measures, including subsidy cuts, have made it difficult for the average Egyptian to commute to work, put food on the table or seek medical treatment.

In the face of poverty, political mismanagement and economic disarray, and el-Sisi’s persistent references in his public speeches to how „very poor“ Egypt is, Ali’s insider tales of lavish spending of taxpayer money by the president, his family and close confidants have fuelled public anger.

Regardless of how things play out in the immediate future, the current protests might signal the beginning of the end for el-Sisi’s rule. In the coming days and weeks, pressure is likely to continue to mount.

If protests are large enough, and especially if they are prolonged, the military may be forced to intervene to eliminate the president from the political scene. Given fractures within the power structure, there may be some in the military apparatus who are itching for such an opportunity.

Ägypten: Proteste in Suez auch am 2. Tag