Protest has become a way of life for many Egyptians all over the country. Everyone seems to have a gripe; everyone is aware that something is rotten in the state of Egypt but there’s little consensus on how to put things right.
Scenes of angry demonstrators firing buildings and choking under clouds of teargas has become routine television watching, so much so that most café patrons simply glance at the screen and sigh before resuming their conversations or a game of dominoes.
On Friday, a court ruling confirming sentencing for those involved in a riot last year during a football match between Cairo’s Al Ahly and Port Said’s Masry club that robbed 74 fans (most Al Ahly supporters) of their lives pleased no one. (...) A large banner erected over the port’s [of Port-Said] entrance called for the city’s secession from Egypt, echoing an action taken by the city of Mahalla which declared its independence last year. Last week, the Interior Ministry withdrew its police forces from Port Said in the hope of calming tensions eliciting celebrations. Ostensibly, the army now has control of the city except the military is eschewing policing duties announcing it is only responsible for protecting state buildings and the canal. (...)
The general mood is one of helplessness and anxiety. It’s evident that a government overwhelmed by violent opposition and a security apparatus that’s breaking apart - over 30 police stations around the country are on strike - has lost direction and control, so much so that an increasing number of people are nostalgic for “the good old days” when Mubarak was at the helm. Placards asking Mubarak, who’s ailing and behind bars, for forgiveness are commonly seen.
Many more are calling upon the military to step-in and to prove their seriousness, are signing personal powers of attorney in the name of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces; ironic when just months ago, the thought of a military coup was anathema for almost everyone. President Mohammad Mursi is in a quandary. An authoritarian approach only incites increased rage in a nation that suffered for over 30 years under a virtual dictatorship. On the other hand, a laissez-faire policy is bringing the country to its economic knees.