Egypt’s newly formed anarchist group seeks to protest those opposing President Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood.
This incalculable new force has invited into into Egypt’s current wave of political unrest. Calling itself ‘Black Bloc,’ this mysterious group of masked young men present themselves as a friend to protesters who are against the Islamist president’s rule.
Wearing black masks and waving black banners, it has begun to warn the Muslim Brotherhood of using its ‘military wing’ to put down any protests. Although largely new in Cairo, the term “black bloc” is a term that has been used for years in the United States and Europe to describe a tactic commonly used by anarchists and anti-capitalists during large-scale political demonstrations that occasionally devolve into street fights with the authorities.
Those boasts and claims of their willingness to use force to fight back against Islamist is alarming those around the globe. Thought to be youths with their faces hidden under black masks, ‘Black Bloc’ have appeared among stone-throwing protesters and have engaged in clashes with police around Egypt the past five days in the wave of political violence that continues to shake the country.
Their emergence has raised concerns even among fellow members of the opposition, who fear that the group could spark a spiral of violence between rival militias which could wreck the nation.
President Morsi has faced increasing opposition to his reign as president, as other Islamists say that the Muslim Brotherhood have imposed a monopoly on power. It is unclear whether there are any connections between American and Egyptian ‘Black Bloc’ participants, but this week, a video was uploaded to an Egyptian YouTube channel titled “Black Bloc Egypt.” Accompanied by driving music, the video shows masked people marching while holding aloft black banners, a black flag with an anarchy symbol and an Egyptian flag.