[To my Iranian brothers and sisters who think that America supports the pro-democracy movement in Iran because of its principles: Here we have Egyptian authorities beating down pro-democracy activists and the journalists covering their demonstration in Cairo. You will not hear a peep from Congress, the White House, or DC for that matter. The reasoning is simple: if you’re a dictatorship, even a ruthless dictatorship, but in tune with US foreign policy and good for American business interests, then we won’t interfere in your dictatorship, i.e. the Egyptian regime. But if you’re a government that opposes our meddling in your region and closes off your markets to our business interests, then we’ll oppose you using any and all methods at our disposal - all under the cover of democracy.]
BBC: Baton-wielding Egyptian police have broken up a pro-democracy demonstration in Cairo. Riot police beat and dragged protestors away from outside the upper house of Parliament, put them in trucks and took dozens away. Demonstrations are illegal under Egypt’s stern “emergency laws”, which have been in place for 30 years. The protesters were calling for a change to the constitution that they say would make elections more fair. The demonstration was called by the 6 April youth movement, which backs the presidential candidacy of Mohamed ElBaradei, the former head of the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog. “It’s an insulting image for Egypt,” opposition politician Ayman Nour told reporters. “Hundreds of soldiers are denying the right of a few dozen civilians trying to express their desire to amend the constitution.” Mr ElBaradei was not at the demonstration but he has said he would run in elections planned for next year if there were changes made to the constitution allowing fairer polls. Opposition parties are in effect banned by the government’s use of the tight restrictions on the political process in the Egyptian constitution. Journalists covering the protest were also beaten with police batons, and photographers’ cameras confiscated.