Egypt: Protesters Want to 'Destroy State'
Civilian groups unify, call for military to relinquish power
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2011 8:41 AM CST
Egyptian protesters detain a suspected regime collaborator, third right,after he was beaten, at Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt earlier today.   (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)
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(Newser) Violent unrest continued in Egypt for a fifth day, as the military launched a pre-dawn raid on protesters in Tahrir Square, eliciting renewed criticism from domestic political leaders, the United States, and United Nations, reports the New York Times. The harshness of the military crackdown appears to be re-uniting many of the liberal and Islamic groups that had splintered in recent months, with the Muslim Brotherhood and liberal groups gathering together on the steps of the Egypt's supreme court to demand the military turn over power to the new parliament by Jan. 25. “We are definitely now living in a military coup,” said a young liberal organizer. “And the whole world should know."

The military put the blame squarely on the shoulders of protesters, accusing them of provoking soldiers and plotting to "destroy the state." “The armed forces and the police pledged not to use violence against protesters actively or even verbally,” said a general on the ruling military council, adding: “Why don’t you talk about the excessive use of violence by the other side?”