Egyptian Women Rally against Police Brutality

Thousands of women rallied near Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo on Tuesday, protesting the mistreatment meted out to women protesters by security forces. In some instances, the police had pulled up the woman’s dress and stomped on her.

Indeed, women rallied all over Egypt, according to the Arabic press. A march was held in Alexandria in solidarity with with the young women who were attacked by police in Tahrir Square and insisting that women have the right to demonstrate.

Aljazeera English has video:

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton roundly condemned the violence against female protesters. She said, “This systematic degradation of Egyptian women dishonors the revolution, disgraces the state and its uniform and is not worthy of a great people…”

Likewise, students held a rally at Asyut to protest the bad treatment of demonstrators in front of the cabinet on Saturday.

Tuesday began with an early morning raid on Tahrir Square by aggressive security police trying to push the demonstrators out permanently.

Euronews has video

The Egyptian protesters consist of two main groups, 1) leftist students and their worker allies, and 2) the Muslim religious parties. The latter are doing well in parliamentary elections. The military council is cracking down hard on the left, and the more electorally successful Brotherhood is not standing up for them.

15 Responses

  1. The Egyptian protesters consist of two main groups, 1) leftist students and their worker allies, and 2) the Muslim religious parties. The latter are doing well in parliamentary elections. The military council is cracking down hard on the left, and the more electorally successful Brotherhood is not standing up for them.

    Let’s be honest. Barack Obama does not want Egypt’s voters to determine how quickly the Suez pipeline is repaired when it is sabotaged, whether or not the prices for gas from that pipeline are released publicly or under what conditions passage of goods and people to Gaza is conducted.

    If these issues ever do come under civilian control, Obama would rather it be later than sooner. 2013 is better than June 2012 which is better than earlier. Obama also is happy the commitment the SCAF made to transfer all political power to civilian governance by September this year was not kept.

    Egypt’s two groups of protesters at least have the same goal. They do want civilian control over Egyptian policy and they do not prefer delay over an earlier or even immediate transfer of power.

    This crazy three-phase electoral system was never advocated by either the students or the religious parties. Given that it has already been started, there may be tactical differences between students and religious parties about whether to protest now or later but so far the primary dispute is not between the Muslims and the Left but, as has been the case for over 30 years, between the US-backed military and all of the people of Egypt who believe Egyptians should control their government’s policies.

    If power is transferred to the religious parties today, those parties would either order the crackdown on l eftist protesters stopped, the protests would stop on their own because power would be in the hands of civilians with some representative legitimacy or, if not, then the religious parties would deserve criticism for not standing up for the leftists.

    But unlike the Barack Obama administration, Egypt’s religious parties do not today have a lot of leverage over the SCAF. So despite Hillary Clinton’s empty condemnations, the party in the real world today that is not standing up for the Leftist demonstrators when it effectively could is not the religious parties, but the United States.

    • Why do you keep connecting the pipeline to Gaza? Neither issue has anything to do with the other.

      And religious parties are benefiting from elections run by the SCAF. The religious parties seem to be collaborating with the SCAF rather than working to expedite their removal.

      • Why do you keep connecting the pipeline to Gaza? Neither issue has anything to do with the other.

        Here are the connections between the Suez pipeline and the siege on Gaza:

        1) They are both policies favorable to Israel
        2) They are both policies Barack Obama wants Egypt to pursue for Israel’s sake
        3) They are both policies Hosni Mubarak pursued to accommodate the US
        4) They are both policies the pro-US dictatorship post-Mubarak has continued to pursue to accommodate the US
        5) They are both policies that have strong opposition in Egypt’s voting population
        6) They are both policies that give Barack Obama and the United States a strong incentive to oppose democracy in Egypt
        7) They are both examples of the kinds of policies that give Barack Obama and the United States strong incentives to oppose democracy throughout the Middle East, especially in dictatorships that today are like Egypt was last year, such as Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE and others.

        I honestly think there is a mix-up in communication. I didn’t say they are connected to each other. They are two separate examples that advance the same argument.

    • By beating, kidnapping, electrocuting, and killing protestors, the military is stating clearly, ” we control everything. We’ll let you play with elections. But freedom to assemble or speak? No way. We are in charge. Period.” If the Muslim Brotherhood’s tactic is to silently watch the dream of freedom be crushed, they are making it clear that all they want is to share power with the military. The US gives a billion a year to the Egyptian military. But if the Islamist parties put all their resources into stopping the police state once and for all, they could do it.

      • I think the Muslim Brotherhood’s tactic is to wait for representatives to be seated and then to pick from the large array of new options that become available when there is a sitting parliament to pressure the electorally illegitimate SCAS.

        Now, the Muslim Brotherhood would rather have had the elections in September like the SCAS promised. The SCAS broke that promise but did not postpone elections indefinitely. They only contrived a system that would delay election results for about four months after they should have been.

        By the end of January, a sitting parliament can pass any number of electorally legitimate resolutions. If the SCAS does not cooperate, then street protests can take place with a tangible alternative government already in place and electoral legitimacy behind it.

        It is a tactical difference. The dream of democracy will not die by February 2012.

        The SCAS is stalling and trying to hold onto power. That is what the US would want strategically. The US has extensive ties with the SCAS and unlike both the leftist protesters and the religious political organizations, it is openly reported the US is not outside of the SCAS’s decision-making process but instead in constant extensive contact with the Egyptian military and police apparatus at the top and many other levels.

        But the SCAS, because of pressure from both the protesters and the religious organizations is not stalling forever. There is plenty of reason to hope the SCAS and US will be overcome by the protesters and religious organizations.

        But so far, there is no indication that the religious organizations have betrayed the left protesters or that they have accepted anything less than full control of Egyptian policy by Egypt’s voters. There is also no strategic reason that I’ve seen that they would accept that.

  2. I support, pray for and admire the Egyptian women and men that are protesting and marching against the military rule of their country including those that have died.

    How often do any of you readers say a prayer for them and their families? Only takes a minute or less while you’re lying in bed.

    Do American women and men have the guts to march against the Military-Industrial Complex that is a major part of the broken US government, the financial crisis, the foreclosure crisis?

    The Military-Industrial Complex is a major financial burden on American tax payers. Annual budget for the 865 US military bases abroad is $102 billion. 227 US military bases in Germany. link to

    Total Cost, Middle East Wars Since 2001: $1,297,662,771,877
    See: link to

    The illegal, unsanctioned bombing and invasion of Iraq has made trillions of dollars for the billionaires and millionaires that supply the weapons and materials for the illegal wars.

    Do Americans have the guts to protest, Occupy The White House, home of the Military-Industrial Complex?

    Maybe, but the local police and the mass media would not give support.

    A friend of mine has two brothers with advanced degrees, married with families that are working part-time and have been looking for full time jobs for 4 and 12 months. They are in Obama’s 2010 and 2011 Depression.

    I’m sick of hearing about the bailouts of banks and business and the bonuses to the executives. How about bailing out Americans?

    The American Government is broken.

    Obama has his fund raising dinners with some of those bastards that are receiving bonuses or profiting from the wars. Pure crap.

  3. Good ol’ Hillary. She is so concerned about the degradation of women, with the excepetion of Palestinian women in Gaza who are being starved and deprived of medicine. Hillary also takes a hard line when it comes to placing devastating santions on Iranian women and men because the Iranian government is developing capabilities to build nuclear power plants.

    In conclusion, the least said about the Clinton’s turning their heads while 700,000 Africans were slaughtered, along with the Iraqi sanctions that supposedly killed over 500,000 Iraqi men, WOMEN and children, which all occured during the Clinton administration, the better.

    • C’mon Smitty, that’s awfully harsh & unfair. I’d be quite more generous – or at least far less scabrous – in assessing Hillary’s stewardship of foreign policy at the State Dept. to date. BTW, now is not the time to argue with your assumption that the mullahs and Ahmadenijad are trying simply to develop “capabilities to build nuclear power plants” but my response is yeah, sure.

      Back to Juan’s post on the Egyptian women, my response (in plural) is “You go, girl!) Maybe they can shame the cowards with batons. Probably not but one can hope. At least Egypt hasn’t reached the same stage as Syria. FYI, that butcher in Damascus just wiped out a village, according to new reports on the ground link to

    • A play in one act. The part of the Son will be played by Hillary Clinton. The part of the Mother by DSmith.

      Mother: Hello?

      Son: Hi, Mom, how are you doing? Just thought I’d give you a ring.


  4. It appears to have become a common technique in conflict or in domination to degrade women, often with other women aligned in or behind the carrying out – it Is not a purely male act. In military conflicts, as seen often in Africa, Middle-East, and elsewhere women have been the target of degrading acts to break the spirit of the people.
    In the middle-east rape often has been used as a weapon of war, using the beliefs of the people to further traumatize a people. Example: The belief in some nations fathers or brothers must take the life of a female in the family who has been sexually assaulted. Intentional rape is done to cause further trauma and further fracture the family unit and cultural society. Rape becomes an intentional military strategy, using peoples religious beliefs against them.

    To a less obvious degree, the same has been done in the U.S.
    Sexual humiliation was strongly introduced by Mitchell and Jessen as part of their tortures programs

    • “appears to have become”? Read your ancient history, the part which hasn’t been destroyed by monsters like the ones who burned the Scientific Institute in Cairo.

      It’s *always* been a common technique in conflict or domination, as far back as writing goes. We have been struggling to get away from this sort of evil barbarism, but much of the world, including the US seems to be backsliding.

      • I’d argue the notion that “we have been struggling to get away from this sort of evil barbarism.” Maybe a few of our fellow humans have developed the spiritual strength to resist the oh-so-easy step into the role of torturer. But the numbers are few. Sure seems to me that the evidence, as it were, is pretty strongly on the side that violence, destruction, tribalism, that mad berserker thing that drives so many humans to answer the “Call of Duty” and buy so stupidly into the notion that a “foreign policy” that’s based on “We kill some of them, so they kill some of us, so we kill some of them, so they kill some of us…” is Wise and Serious, are the real nature of humans in the mass. Along with dumping a quarter and more of the whole world’s wealth into more weapons, more conflicts, more militarized populations. Follow the money, folks — it’s the best indicator of the reality that hides behind the flapping of flags. Any of you (except for the creatures who profit from the whole Forever War schtick) think you are getting your money’s worth?

        Until people learn to face what they really are, what they and their “neighbors” are so easily capable of, and hopefully experience that spiritual change that so very few of us have attained, the crapheads who manipulate the tools of public discourse to turn everything into “agitprop” will keep on ensuring that a sick, depraved, vicious, careless few of us will continue to get rich, to “live large,” off the impoverishment and debasement of the most of us.

        And on the way, the most of us will still argue endless little angels-on-pinheads points about who is “right” or “wrong” on some tiny and deadly local conflict, or buy into the grand and fraudulent visions of stupidities like the “global war on terror,” and Shia-vs-Sunni, and all the rest.

        Good luck with that happening. That is not what humans are.

        • Good post JTMcPhee. Today humans, especially in America, are conditioned. Many are more concerned about being right, hence ‘flag waving’.

      • I read “How the Irish Saved Civilization” by Cahill long ago, and our home has an extensive library of books. I do understand. Except, today’s use is also well sprinkled heavily with psychological warfare.

  5. Juan Cole says: “The military council is cracking down hard on the left, and the more electorally successful Brotherhood is not standing up for them.”

    Inkan1969 says: “The religious parties seem to be collaborating with the SCAF rather than working to expedite their removal.”

    And Charles says: Hillary Clinton just congratulated Prime Minister on his installation and, at least according to today’s State Department Briefing, didn’t add anything to the previous complaint against violence against women (which, in turn, didn’t address the broader problem of military violence against all protesters). The disconnect is so evident that it provoked a press question, “Is this an ostrich head in the sand material here?”

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