Security Forces Open Fire on Pro Morsi Protests
After noon prayers on Friday, thousands of pro Morsi protesters took to the streets of Cairo with the intention of convening on Tahrir square. Egyptian army personnel blocked off Tahrir square with barbed wire and tanks, and security forces met protesters with tear gas and live ammunition in different locations around the city, including near Maydan al Galaa in the middle-class neighborhood of Dokki. At least one protester was killed and it’s unclear how many were injured. Clashes between protesters and police and army personnel were reported in Alexandria as well.
Walls Come Down in Cairo
Government security forces dismantled and removed two temporary walls that were blocking streets in downtown Cairo yesterday. The Egyptian goverment erected makeshift blockades, or large concrete block walls on streets in the downtown area to prevent protesters from accessing government buildings like the Interior Ministry and Egyptian Cabinet offices in Fall of 2011. Local businessmen and commuters rejoiced when the barricades were removed, though at least six other walls remain. Groups have tried to dismantle the walls in the past, and Egyptians even created a Facebook page dedicated to bringing down the barriers.
Random Violent Attacks Against State Institutions Continue
Only a few months after the Egyptian armed forces removed President Morsi from office and a few weeks after the interim government banned the Muslim Brotherhood, random violent attacks against state institutions have increased. Yesterday, a group of armed gunmen planted explosives in the Egyptian National Gas Factory, which damaged the building but didn’t lead to any injuries. A bomb was found near a police vehicle in the Cairo neighborhood of Mohandiseen but authorities detonated it before it exploded. Today, armed gunmen opened fire on an army vehicle on the road from Cairo to Ismailia, killing two and injuring two.
Egypt’s Government Sets Fruit and Vegetable Prices
Egypt’s interim government has introduced a new economic pilot project which determines floor and ceiling prices for fruit and vegetable sellers in Egypt. According to a government spokesperson, “It is a pilot project to maintain a fair profit margin on fruits and vegetables for all involved parties, in addition to protecting the consumer from price manipulation.” The price guide will change weekly, and vendors who violate the ceiling price will be forced to pay a fine or could be sentenced to up to five years in jail.
“The job of political cartoonists is to push the envelope. But what happens when the size and shape of the envelope changes?” Jonathan Guyer ruminates on the power of cartoons and satirical commentary in Egypt’s current political climate for the online magazine Jadaliyya.