The Police as Part of the January 25 Revolution

From Ahram Online, reporting President Morsi’s visit to the central security force headquarters, in what must surely be a typo:

“You are the protectors of the country’s inside and outside safety [said Morsi]. The police were part of the successful crossing of the Suez Canal in the 1973 war and also part of the January 25 Revolution,” he added.

The initial demands of Egypt’s 25 January uprising, intentionally organised on the same day as the annual police day, included an end to police brutality and the State Security apparatus run by the Mubarak regime.

Much of the speech was commendable, encouraging them during difficult times:

“Any obstacles you’re facing, we will get through them – together,” he stressed.

He continued: “You are the watchful eye of the homeland. The country’s best interest needs your efforts and sacrifices.”

“You all know that our Egypt is going through a critical period, but with the aid of God and cooperation of the police and military, we will be able to pass through this phase.”

But he included also a reference to foreign interference – an old tactic of Mubarak, unless, of course, it is actually true:

“Beware, our outside enemy is seeking to create division among us, and we must not allow it,” President Morsi said in his opening speech.

One recent tweet criticized Morsi, saying he promised to visit Port Said, then only addressed them on TV, and the next day honored the institution which shot them.

Morsi’s job with the police is incredibly complex, but the January 25 comment is over the top. The revolution’s initial central focus was the end of the police state. Perhaps Morsi will get to this eventually, but here, he calls them heroes.

I can only imagine the rest of the speech gave more context, but the revision of history is not a firm foundation for social and institutional change. Yes, summon forth their better natures, but clean the skeletons in the closet, too.

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