Saturday, July 30, 2005

The prescient yellow sign by Youth for Change (left) shows a thug grabbing a man saying "Kifaya" and threatening, "You're still saying Kifaya?" Other signs say "24 years of corruption: No to Mubarak!" Rumours of an imminent crackdown on pro-democracy activists have been ambient for weeks. Today's events could be the beginning of the regime's account-settling with the myriad protest groups, or a prelude to the violence common to every Egyptian election season, or a tactic to keep opposition reformers off balance, or of course all three. Whatever the interpretation, the security forces' behaviour certainly bore the marks of a regime (or factions therein) fed up with upstarts and ingrates who no longer speak the language of political deference. When the commoners are restive, the regent calls out his praetorians. AP Photo.