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Organized Resistance--Egypt, Brazil, Edward Snowden--Brings Sweeping Change, Lessons for US

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Politics and Democracy page, and our Organic Transitions page.

It has been an incredible week of protest leading to change.  There are lots of lessons we can learn from how the people have wielded their power.

Before getting to the week’s news, we want to thank you for participating in  In our first month, 80,000 people visited the site. You may have noticed a few times where the site crashed. As a result we moved from a shared server to one of our own. This will cost us an additional $2,000 per year, but we see it as a worthy investment because we expect to grow. Please share this newsletter with your friends, relatives and community.  Let them know people are taking action to create a better country and world, and they can join the effort. We also want to thank AlterNet with whom we partner in turning this newsletter into a weekly article.

The big story of the week was Egypt. Protests organized by Tamarod (Rebel) that have been building for months, resulted in the biggest protest in Egypt’s history, four days of mass protest beginning on June 30 that ended the rule of President Mohamed Morsi.  More than a week ago, Tamarod recommended that the head of the Egyptian Constitutional Court become the interim president and that is what the Egyptian military announced. The military made the announcement after lengthy meetings with religious groups, including minority religions; opposing political parties, including a Muslim party; and civil society including Tamarod. All of these groups spoke at the press conference announcing the transition. The theme that threaded itself through the comments was that all factions in Egypt, including the Muslim Brotherhood, should be included, and that the revolution which began in January 2011 was beginning anew.

While people cheered the military for facilitating the transition, they are well aware of the risk of military rule and already are opposing it. People remember the harsh military rule that occurred after the fall of Mubarak, but also remember – and remind the military – that the people went into the streets and forced the military to hold elections. Already, there is a site with a countdown and checklist from the transition government to an elected government. The whole world is watching – especially the tens of millions of Egyptians who helped to end the rule of Morsi. Many commentators are making the point that if the military is going to have any legitimacy it needs the support of the people.

An interesting note from Egypt is that in the January 2011 revolt, Egypt followed Tunisia into the Arab Spring.  This time, we may see Tunisia follow Egypt in challenging religious rule as Tamarod has now been organized in Tunisia and is following a similar tactical path as was followed in Egypt.
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