Monday, July 1, 2013

July 1, 2013.

Egypt Rioters Storm Muslim Brotherhood Offices


IT WAS A BRIGHT COLD DAY IN APRIL, AND THE CLOCKS were striking thirteen. Winston Smith, his chin nuzzled into his breast in an effort to escape the vile wind, slipped quickly through the glass doors of Victory Mansions, though not quickly enough to prevent a swirl of gritty dust from entering along with him.

CAIRO ---- Rioters opposed to Muslim Brotherhood-backed President Mohammed Morsi ransacked the powerful group's headquarters Monday morning as Egyptians girded for a second day of mass demonstrations after millions thronged Egypt's streets demanding Mr. Morsi's resignation Sunday.

The hallway smelt of boiled cabbage and old rag mats. At one end of it a colored poster, too large for indoor display, had been tacked to the wall. It depicted simply an enormous face, more than a meter wide: the face of a man of about forty-five, with a heavy black mustache and ruggedly handsome features. Winston made for the stairs. It was no use trying the lift. Even at the best of times it was seldom working, and at present the electric current was cut off during daylight hours. It was part of the economy drive in preparation for Hate Week. The flat was seven flights up, and Winston, who was thirty-nine, and had a varicose ulcer above his right ankle, went slowly, resting several times on the way. On each landing, opposite the lift shaft, the poster with enormous face gazed from the way. It was one of those pictures which are so contrived that the eyes follow you about when you move. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption beneath it ran.

Four people were killed and 45 were injured in the siege on the headquarters according to Egypt's Ministry of Health as quoted in the state news agency. In total, the death toll since Sunday rose to 16, with 139 people injured.

Inside the flat a fruity voice was reading out a list of figures which had something to do with the production of pig iron. The voice came from an oblong metal plaque like a dulled mirror which formed part of the surface of the right-hand wall. Winston turned a switch and the voice sank somewhat, though the words were still distinguishable. The instrument (the telescreen, it was called) could be dimmed, but there was no way of shutting it off completely. He moved over to the window: a smallish, frail figure, the meagerness of his body merely emphasized by the blue overalls which were the uniform of the Party. His hair was very fair, his face naturally sanguine, his skin roughened by coarse soap and blunt razor blades and the cold of the winter that had just ended.

The scale of Sunday's marches, which appeared to be some of the largest in Egypt's history, continue a political gridlock that has brought Egypt's government to a standstill.

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