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The Arab Winter of Rage in Cairo

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Cairo Continues in Upheaval Over Morsi Power Grab

November 24th 2012

Tahrir Square 22 nov 2011

Egyptian security forces have dispersed protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square with rounds of tear gas. Security personnel fired the tear gas Saturday morning on the protesters, many of whom spent the night on the iconic protest hub. On Friday, protesters in several Egyptian cities attacked the offices of the ruling Muslim Brotherhood, as rival pro- and anti-government groups demonstrated in Cairo about a new presidential decree. The protests came a day after Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi put himself above oversight and declared that his decisions cannot be appealed by the courts or any other authority. In a speech to supporters Friday at the presidential palace, Morsi said he wants to move Egypt forward as a stable and safe nation and does not want sole control of the country.

Thousands of opposition supporters gathered in Tahrir Square Friday to protest the president's decision, while police fired tear gas at the crowds. In the cities of Port Said, Ismailia and Alexandria, crowds of protesters lobbed stones and explosives and set fire to Muslim Brotherhood offices.

Morsi's decree also bars Egypt's judiciary from dissolving the upper house of parliament and an assembly drafting a new constitution – two bodies dominated by Morsi's Islamist allies. In addition, Morsi has ordered retrials of former officials who used violence in efforts to suppress last year's popular revolution against longtime president Hosni Mubarak. President Morsi's action comes after he received international praise for mediating a Gaze cease-fire. The U.S. government has expressed concern about his decrees.

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