Off to Wales tomorrow, of all places, for my friend Katie’s wedding. Mabrouk, Katie!
So I will miss whatever happens with the announced “Friday of Terrifying Silence” demonstrations called by activists to protest SCAF’s re-imposition of Emergency Law. The organizers have proposed that demonstrators wear black and march with their mouths taped shut.
There’s also been an edict criminalizing certain election-related behavior including “spreading false information” with intent to defame a candidate or party — sounds good, but one imagines it will be selectively applied. Could we really be back to the status quo so soon?
The papers have a certain amount of coverage of the different parties and groups: who’s going to the protest, who isn’t (the Salafis), who hadn’t decided yet until tonight (the Brotherhood) but is now skipping it. I have to think everyone knows that the protests are losing efficacy, that the real action is elsewhere. It was happening even before the Israeli embassy thing. As Steve Negus points out (and his analysis of the events makes a lot of sense to me), the would-be revolutionaries would probably do well to think more about the ballot box and less about the street.
(Although: SCAF has this weird tendency to reverse itself. The much-decried election law may now be amended (though the “50% farmers” provision is staying, for now). The alarming plan to make tourists apply for visas before their arrival was hastily abandoned because — who knew? — it would hurt tourism. They seem to be just improvising policy here. So maybe some pressure from time to time is a good thing.)
The trials of former interior minister Habib el-Adly and of Mubarak, too, are starting to feel like a distraction. From what?
Anyway. It will be interesting to come back early next week after being away someplace cool and green for a few days.