Rioting Breaks Out In Egypt

Tyler Durden's picture

When we reported three days ago that 59 outbound shipments of gold were intercepted at the Egypt airport, we predicted that the country's oligarchs were proactively preparing precisely for what they knew is coming imminently. It has arrived. From Al-Jazeera: "Hundreds of protesters have begun to take to the streets in Cairo,
the Egyptian capital, chanting slogans against the police, the interior
minister and the government, in scenes that the capital has not seen
since the 1970s, Al Jazeera's correspondent reported. Downtown Cairo has come to a standstill, and protesters are now
marching towards the headquarters of the ruling National Democracy
Party
. "It is unprecedented for security forces to let people march like
this without trying to stop them," Al Jazeera's Rawya Rageh reported
from the site of the protest."

And the government is panicking:

The Egyptian government had earlier warned activists hoping to emulate Tunisian pro-democracy protesters that they face arrest if they go ahead with Tuesday's mass demonstrations, which some have labelled as the "Day of wrath".

The protesters are gathering outside Cairo's largest courthouse, and are marching across downtown Cairo.

The rallies have been promoted online by groups saying they speak for young Egyptians frustrated by the kind of poverty and oppression which triggered the overthrow of Tunisia's president.

Black-clad riot police, backed by armoured vehicles and fire engines, have been deployed in a massive security operation in Cairo, with the biggest concentrations at likely flashpoints, including: the Cairo University campus, the central Tahrir Square and the courthouse where protesters are said to be gathering.

Coinciding with a national holiday in honour of the police, a key force in keeping president Hosni Mubarak in power for 30 years, the outcome in Egypt on Tuesday is seen as a test of whether vibrant Web activism can translate into street action.

Organisers have called for a "day of revolution against torture, poverty, corruption and unemployment".

"Activists said they wanted to use this particular day to highlight the irony of celebrating Egypt's police at a time when police brutality is making headlines," reported Rawya Rageh, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Cairo.

"In fact, the call originated from a Facebook page initially set up to honour a 28-year-old man from Alexandria who activists say was tortured to death by police.

"Witnesses are telling us that there are hundreds on the streets. This is an indication that the protests seem so far to be larger than the usual protests that have taken place here in Egypt over the past few years."

Turns out that not banning the internet (on time) was not such a good idea.

"Our protest on the 25th is the beginning of the end," wrote organisers of a Facebook group with 87,000 followers.

"It is the end of silence, acquiescence and submission to what is happening in our country. It will be the start of a new page in Egypt's history, one of activism and demanding our rights."

Rights watchdog Amnesty International has urged Egypt's authorities "to allow peaceful protests".

Protests in Egypt, the biggest Arab state and a keystone Western ally in the Middle East, tend to be poorly attended and are often quashed swiftly by the police, who prevent marching.

The banned Muslim Brotherhood, seen as having Egypt's biggest grassroots opposition network, has not called on members to take part but said some would join in a personal capacity.

Organisers have called for protesters to not display political or religious affiliations at demonstrations. The Facebook page says: "Today is for all Egyptians."

Commenting on the wave of public unrest in Tunisia, Adli, the interior minister, said talk that the "Tunisian model" could work in other Arab countries was "propaganda" and had been dismissed by politicians as "intellectual immaturity".

"Young people are very excited, and this time there will be much more than any other time," Ahmed Maher, one of the founders of the opposition youth movement said.

"This is going to be a real test of whether online activism in Egypt can translate into real action," Al Jazeera's Rageh reported.

"Anger has been on the rise in Egypt for the past couple of years, but we have seen similar calls fizzle out. The main difference now is that these calls are coming after what happened in Tunisia, which seems to have not only inspired activists, but actually ordinary Egyptians, a dozen of whom we have seen set themselves on fire in copycat self-immolations similar to the one that had sparked the uprising in Tunisia."

Elsewhere, it is not at all surprising that the UNWFR just released a program promoting food subisidies to eliminate the risk of rioting:

Risks of global instability are rising as governments cut subsidies that help the poor cope with surging food and fuel costs to ease budget crunches, the head of the United Nations’ World Food Program said.

“We’re in an era where the world and nations ignore the food issue at their peril,” Josette Sheeran said in an interview yesterday at the agency’s Rome headquarters.

The global recession has eroded government aid that helped people in poorer countries afford bread, cooking oils and other staples. The trend raises the odds of unrest even though prices have improved in many nations from 2007-2009, Sheeran said. During that period, more than 60 food riots occurred worldwide, according to the U.S. State Department.

And so the central planning that brought to us the inflation-driven rioting, which Zero Hedge first predicted in 2011, is about to lead to even more central planning, as governments everywhere jump to provide food subsidies and price caps, as was just announced in Russia overnight.

Below are two videos of events transpiring right now in Egypt which is what will soon move out of Africa and into Asia (remember: rice bubble) unless central planning2 promptly becomes the next major paradigm.

 

h/t Scrataliano and Nour Hammoury