News / Middle East

Egyptian Protesters Battle Police for Tahrir Square

Protesters hide behind a portion of a fence as police fire tear gas and throw stones back at protesters, who have been throwing stones at the police, near Tahrir Square in Cairo Egypt, November 20, 2011.
Protesters hide behind a portion of a fence as police fire tear gas and throw stones back at protesters, who have been throwing stones at the police, near Tahrir Square in Cairo Egypt, November 20, 2011.
Elizabeth Arrott

Egyptian police have been battling for control of Cairo’s Tahrir Square with protesters angry at the continuing role of the military in Egyptian politics.  Egyptian medics said Sunday a police and army assault on protesters killed at least nine people, raising the death toll in two days of unrest to at least 11. Hundreds more have been injured.

Protesters took to the streets of Cairo, Alexandria, Suez and beyond Sunday, battling security forces in some of the worst violence since the uprising in January and just over a week before parliamentary elections are set to begin.

“We will start our revolution again. It’s not finished yet. Understand? Not finished yet. Not the second [revolution].  The same revolution," said one protester.

Throughout the day, police fired tear gas and buckshot and, reportedly, rubber bullets, at stone-throwing protesters in the capital, as control of the square went back and forth.

While police initially led the charge, it is the military authorities - the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces - that has incurred the protesters’ wrath. They are furious at what they see as efforts by the SCAF to keep a hand in politics even under a civilian government as well as to place itself outside civilian oversight. “I just wanted to know why they do this. We came today and yesterday to ask for democracy and we don’t want the army to be over the people. I mean we make revolution to say no, we just need democracy," said another protester.

Elizabeth Arrott discuss the situation in Cairo and her close call with an angry crowd during a Skype chat with VOA's Carla Babb

In recent days the SCAF revised its position on the army’s future role. It now says what is known as the Selmi proposal is not binding.

The government held an emergency meeting Sunday evening to discuss the violence.  Authorities say elections, the first since the uprising, will go ahead as planned.  But some demonstrators fear the military rulers deliberately provoked the violence so that they could postpone the vote and prolong their tenure.

In any case, the drawn out process, more than three months for the parliamentary vote, up to a year to draft a new constitution, and only then a presidential election - had many in the crowd insisting the military step down now.  

The chants of the crowds - "the people demand the downfall of the regime" - echoed those of the uprising that brought the military to the fore, only this time, it is ex-President Hosni Mubarak's replacement they want out.

The violence began Saturday, as police moved in to clear Tahrir Square of a few hundred people camped out after an anti-government protest Friday. The crackdown has drawn thousands of people from across the capital to help counter the offensive.

Join the conversation on our social journalism site - Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs