Week In Review: Upheaval in Egypt
By Ariel Zirulnick, Staff writer
Unrest spread to provinces along the Suez Canal, Egypt’s economically and strategically critical waterway, prompted by locals’ anger over a court verdict passed down on Jan. 25. Residents poured into the streets in protest and clashed with police after 21 localmen were sentenced to death for their role in last year’s deadly soccer riots.
Police were completely overwhelmed by the angry crowds, and President Mohamed Morsi had to call the Egyptian Army out on the streets and declare a state of emergency.
As Kristen Chick reported
, the protests themselves were prompted by the court verdict, but long-simmering anger about their alienation from Cairo was just waiting to be touched off.
But in the city, where initial wire reports indicated that as many as 47 people were killed and more than 1,000 injured since Jan. 26, the anger and sense of alienation from the rest of Egypt is ferocious. As anger at Mr. Morsi burns hotter with each death, Port Said exemplifies the lack of trust in state institutions that is present not just here but in much of Egypt, and the challenge Morsi faces in reasserting authority and establishing security in that environment.
More reading on Egypt:
Egyptians work to reclaim a Tahrir tainted by sexual assault
Egypt shudders, with leadership nowhere in sight
As Egyptians flout curfew, Army warns of ‘collapse’
Photo: Egyptians flee tear gas fired by security forces during an anti-President Mohammed Morsi protest in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, Friday. Photo by: Amr Nabil/AP