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We know the way to Tahrir Square

[Al Jazeera live feed. Not all Cairo, all the time, but that is covered. --lambert]

Really good reporting from the ground by Carl Finamore:

“Today, Liberation Square belongs to us—those who are against the Muslim Brotherhood and the control it has on their puppet president, Mohammed Morsi,” 26-year-old jewelry designer Nadia explains. At least 500,000 demonstrated in cities across Egypt, with seven reported dead as clashes ensued and police fired teargas on protesters in Cairo. ...

The split in the political and social landscape that Nadia describes is deep and wide.

In a televised address on Thursday night, Morsi described a “counter-revolution” at work and denounced protesters as “remnants of the ousted-Mubarak regime.”

While Egyptians united spectacularly to push for the departure of Mubarak, the rifts in the post-revolutionary landscape began forming immediately afterwards. As jubilant throngs remained amassed in Tahrir Square to push for broader changes, Muslim Brotherhood clerics who had themselves been jailed and exiled by previous regimes began telling the crowds to support the military and return to work.

On the revolution's first anniversary, the Brotherhood's planned celebration was interrupted by tens of thousands chanting, “The revolution is not finished! You are in parliament celebrating and we are in jail and without jobs.”

These divisions substantially increased as the Brotherhood strengthened its hold on the state news media and in the constituent assembly writing the contentious new constitution. The constitution, ultimately, was approved with only 33 per cent of eligible voters showing up at the polls.

Significantly, Morsi has also moved by presidential decree and through the power of appointment to take control of Mubarak’s corrupt but still-functioning government union federation, which claims five million members.

Though the Brotherhood has claimed since Mubarak’s departure that it has no interest in seeking a majority in Parliament, writing the new constitution or altering the secular nature of politics, it has pursued the opposite path. The constituent assembly that wrote the constitution, signed into effect in December 2012, was stacked with a majority of Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist appointees.

“Many are shocked by the low level of honesty,” says 52-year-old Nader. “The government speaks in religious language but many Muslims say, ‘this is not our religion.’ They may have voted for Morsi but have changed their mind.” Nader works with newly emerging independent unions and also criticizes the constitution for not clearly declaring freedom of assembly or the right to strike.

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