As the June 30 protests swelled in Tahrir Square, the media ran headlines calling it a second revolution. These protests may result in the ouster of President Morsi but it is not the second version of the revolution that we saw two years ago that ousted Hosni Mubarak. The people that took to Tahrir on June 30 are merely continuing the journey that began on January 25, 2011. There is a different head of state and a few different demands, but ultimately, it is the same call for an accountable government that represents the will of the people.
To call this recent wave of protests, “The Second Revolution,” makes the assumption that there was a first revolution and that this first revolution ended. After the Mubarak ouster and the election of Morsi, Egyptians didn’t calmly walk away from Tahrir and live blissfully until June 30. Protests and clashes have occurred frequently since Morsi took office and they particularly flared up in November 2012 after Morsi issued his constitutional decree that gave him sweeping powers. Discontent with the Morsi presidency has been growing since he took office.
The significant number of Egyptians in the streets, along with increasing clashes with police, led to an announcement by head of Egypt’s armed forces. General Abdel Fattah al-Sissi issued a statement to all Egyptian political parties that gave them 48 hours to reach a resolution or the army would intervene and create a roadmap for the future of Egypt. The general called for the demands of the people to be met and was obviously met with opposition from President Morsi. President Morsi defiantly responded by speaking of electoral legitimacy and refused to step down.
Both the Egyptian Army and President Morsi have pledged their lives to their positions. Although rhetorically powerful, these pledges mean little when the real blood will be shed by those marching in the streets. Revolutions aren’t tidy, nor are they quick. The Egyptian people have clearly demonstrated their willingness to fight for the future of their country for as long as it takes. The Egyptian Revolution – to be continued.