A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Friday, July 8, 2011

"Persistence Friday"

Tens of thousands showed up in Tahrir Square today; what originally started as a demonstration for a new constitution was transformed by the recent acquittal of three ministers and the release on bail of some Suez police  officers into a broad-based demand for faster trials for those charged with corruption or killing protesters, and faster change. A broad coalition of the old parties and the new rallied; the Muslim Brotherhood, which stayed aloof in January, was there today.

The young revolutionaries are clearly hoping to give their movement a renewed impetus; many are frustrated that so little has changed. Certainly there are tensions being felt: when a jet broke the sound barrier over Cairo Wednesday the city was awash in rumors of a major explosion somewhere; it was only a sonic boom. The acquittals have produced anger and Suez, the city that was one of the fiercest in its uprising in January, is seething again. It could still be a long, hot summer.

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