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Telling details from Egypt

Because I can't post on it (RL2) that doesn't mean that there's nothing going on in Egypt:

The Egyptian army has used force to disperse activists gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square to demand the removal of Hosni Mubarak loyalists from the interim cabinet.

Egyptian soldiers fired in the air and used batons in the early hours of Saturday to disperse the crowd, the Reuters news agency reported.

Demonstrators had also gathered in front of the parliament building in Cairo, where police beat protesters and used tasers to suppress the crowds, an Al Jazeera producer in the capital reported.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the ruling military council, later apologised for the military's response and said the situation "wasn't intentional".

In a statement, the council promised such confrontations would not happen again.

The people had gathered to celebrate two weeks since the removal of Mubarak from power and remind the country's new rulers of their promise to guard against a "counter-revolution" of the people's power.

The army officers who moved in on the protesters in Tahrir Square on Friday donned black masks to cover their faces to avoid being identified by protesters, Omar said.

Generally, on this side of the globe, it's the other way round, no?

Interesting, however, that it was officers that moved in, at least according to the story.

Here's the AJ long-form report:

The junta has seized on labour's continued role to paint continued protests as a threat. It issued a statement last week warning that protests organised by the labour movement are "illegitimate," and threatened to take "legal steps" against the demonstrations. ...

But labour activists view this as a rare opportunity to win real economic reforms. Corruption and nepotism were hallmarks of the Mubarak-era Egyptian economy, which allowed a handful of well-connected cronies to enrich themselves through monopolies and back-room deals.

Average Egyptians receive few protections: The government guarantees them a minimum wage of just six dollars - per month - and even the average salary, LE300 (US$51), is hardly enough to provide for a family.

Strike actions are likely to continue, in other words, with a few activists even now calling for a nationwide general strike to oust the Shafiq government and the military junta.

The military has promised changes, but it is also keen to get Egypt "back to work" and restore much of the status quo. Opposing it is an energetic, organised protest movement, which does not entirely trust the military and will continue to agitate for far-reaching reforms.

This tension will probably come to define Egyptian politics over the next few weeks and months, and decide the (still uncertain) outcome of the Egyptian revolution.

Yep. Go Badgers!

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