The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Rebels without a pause

I just wrote something for the NYTimes' Latitude blog about the Tamarrud ("Rebel") campaign -- a petition calling for early presidential elections, which according to the youth groups behind it has gained 3 million signatures.

In my piece I noted that the petition has no legal power to end Morsi's term. I consider it part of the ongoing tug of war between revolutionary and conventional politics, and evidence of how dissatisfying and alienating the political process of the last 2 years as been for so many. I did note how extraordinary it is that "Egyptians today can organize a street campaign to dismiss the president — a president they freely elected last year."

I may have spoken too soon, however. This morning there are reports that Rebel campaigners were shot at in Beni Suef (several others have already been detained and attacked) and that Morsi's prosecutor general has opened an investigation into whether the organizers are  "inciting and mobilising people to overthrow an elected government, inciting hatred against the regime, and promoting a group suspected of violating the law."