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Egypt’s Brumaire

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July has seen Egypt’s revolution take a new, radical, direction – the ArabSpring has only just begun. (Essay written in Summer 2011)Oliver Lewis
When historians get around to analysing the Egyptian revolution of 2011, I have no doubt thatthey will mark July as the turning point. In the same way that the June of 1791 marked the birthof radical French republicanism following King Louis’ ill-advised escape attempt, or the waythe October of 1917 ushered in Russian communism following Lenin’s coup; the recent shiftsin revolutionary conduct in Egypt that have occurred over the last month seem to mark a paradigm shift. The passion for change has flared up once again as new forces have come to thefore. The Egyptian Revolution is about to move onto its next stage and, if we’re lucky, it couldherald the beginning of an Arab Summer.The casual observer could be forgiven for thinking that the revolution had ended months ago. Aseemingly unsolvable situation in Libya, a truly unsolvable euro-crisis and the fall of RupertMurdoch have ensured that the gaze of the media has been firmly set away from Cairo (TheBBC’s “Egypt’s Revolution” webpage hasn’t been updated since February). However, just be-cause our media has lost interest, the people of Egypt certainly haven’t given up on their struggle for liberty. Make no mistake, this revolution has not run out of steam – it has onlygrown since it was last the subject of worldwide attention.In the months since Mubarak’s resignation Egypt has continued to smoulder. In April the courtsdissolved the former ruling party and the people took to the streets to demand faster reforms.May saw a proclamation of a “second revolution of anger”, with thousands of protestors oc-cupying Tahrir square again. July has seen a rapid escalation of this second wave of revolution-ary sentiment, the month began with the ‘Friday of retribution’, which saw thousands on thestreets of Cairo, Alexandria and Suez; a week later they were back in the tens of thousands,calling on the regime to reform faster and to punish Egypt’s former leaders. Throughout the las…...

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