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

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community 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.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid