News / Africa

Braving Scorching Heat, Egyptians Rally to Press for Reforms

Protesters gather in front of a stage in Tahrir Square, July 15, 2011
Protesters gather in front of a stage in Tahrir Square, July 15, 2011

Several thousand people gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square for another protest after mid-day prayers Friday, but the numbers were nowhere near the ‘million-man march’ some activists had called for, or the tens of thousands who came out last Friday.

A small group marching around the Tahrir Square chanted, “We are not tired of protesting. Freedom is not free.” And referring to the former regime of ex-President Hosni Mubarak they said, “We have removed the head but the tail remains.”

Al Pessin's Cairo report:

The chants reflect the feelings of the relatively small but dedicated group that continues to come to the square to push for faster reforms, especially open trials for former regime officials and police officers accused of killing demonstrators.
dd

In the center of the square, tents house several hundred people who have been involved in a week-long sit-in. They say they will stay until their demands are met. A few say they have been on a hunger strike for the past week.

One of the hunger strikers argues with a senior opposition politician who has come to try to convince them to end the strike.

Osama al-Ghazali Harb speaks to protesters on Tahrir Square, July 15, 2011
Osama al-Ghazali Harb speaks to protesters on Tahrir Square, July 15, 2011

Ossama al-Ghazali Harb, head of the Democratic Front, tells the man the hunger strikers have captured the attention of the nation and helped rekindle the protests, and he promises to carry their message to the ruling military council.

Later, Harb tells VOA why the protesters returned to this square, and others around the country, five months after they forced the end of the nearly 30-year tenure of Mubarak.

“After five months, nothing happened. This is what is the main cause of this anger and this re-gathering in the square," said Harb. "They want some concrete results of the revolution. All that happened is they got rid of Mubarak, but the regime continues. The people understand what revolution means.  Revolution means radical change in the system. Where is this radical change?”

In a tent not far away, Sherif al-Rouby, a leader of another opposition group, the April 6 Movement, acknowledges that the interim government has done some things to respond to the protesters demands, including firing more than 600 senior police officers and promising a cabinet shakeup by next week.

He said the 25 main opposition groups recognize that the government has made some new promises, but he says they have agreed that the sit-in and the protests will continue until they see action.

He called for an open trial for Mubarak, a ban on military trials for civilians, a timetable for the end of military rule and a decision on minimum and maximum wage limits.

Protesters gathered around as a young boy, sitting on a man’s shoulders, led them in song.

The boy sings, “Tahrir was a square, now it is the address of martyrs. At Tahrir, the nation made a revolution.”

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More