Five Years After Tahrir Square, Egypt's Activists Say Revolution Still Lives
January 25, 2016 10:56 AM
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The streets of Egypt’s cities were somber Monday, the five-year anniversary of the January 25th “Day of Rage” against poverty, joblessness, political corruption and most notably, the three-decade regime of President Hosni Mubarak. Within weeks, the millions who occupied Tahrir Square and streets across the nation toppled Mubarak and began what they hoped was a path to change.
Egyptian state media reported Monday there were minor anti-government protests in several governorates. There were no official reports of casualties.
An Egyptian woman holds a poster for the Egyptian president which reads in Arabic: "Happy anniversary, Sisi" in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt. Monday Jan 25, 2016. (VOA Photo/Hamada Elrasam)
Egypt’s Middle East News Agency also reports that dozens of pro-government demonstrators marched in Tahrir Square, handing out flowers and candy to police to mark National Police Day, also celebrated on this date. The government took stringent measures to ensure that the only demonstrators in Tahrir were government supporters.
Egyptian police killed two “members of a terrorist group” on the outskirts of Cairo during a gunfire exchange. Egypt is countering an insurgency from Islamists tied to the Islamic State group. The government also brands the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood a terror group.
Five years after the uprising began, say activists, many Egyptians are facing an even more daunting challenge than they did in 2011.
“Today's Egypt is different, far more oppressive, far more frightened of the alternative,” Cairo journalist Wael Eskandar told VOA in a Facebook chat.
That said, he believes the revolution continues.
“The revolution is a long process, and judging by today's remembrance of it, it seems that it's not over,” he said. “The fact that the regime still views it as a threat means that it's not over. Whether it will be in the future is another matter.”
A cartoon circulating on Twitter comments on the government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi's fears of another popular revolt. The Egyptian leader is seen pressing his back against a door, from behind which a voice calls, “Open up, Mr. President. It’s me – Tomorrow.”
During the past two weeks, Egyptian security forces raided more than 5,000 homes, looking for signs of another revolution in the making, a dramatic escalation, say activists, of a crackdown that has been taking place since Sissi was elected.
For Eskander, #Jan25 is more than just a hashtag or a date in history.
“It's important that it is remembered not just as a romanticized event that simply ended, but something ongoing,” he said. “It's an idea that withstood the regime's attempts at crushing it, defaming it and co-opting it.”
And he added, “I’m not saying that to motivate anyone, but because that’s the truth.”
Egypt's top court on Thursday will again bring former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to trial over the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising that ended his 30-year rule.
This will be the second and final retrial for Mubarak over the killings in which he is alleged to have conspired. It was originally scheduled to take place in November but was postponed by the Cassation Court and ordered to be moved from the High Court building in the center of Cairo to a…
With the approaching fifth anniversary of the January 25 uprising against Egypt’s then-president, Hosni Mubarak, security is being tightened here as authorities warn the public against staging protests.
While large-scale rallies are unlikely for Monday, even small opposition gatherings could lead to arrests and civil unrest, says Ziad Akl, a senior researcher at the Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies here.
"The revolutionary forces or…
Monday marks the fifth anniversary of Egyptians launching protests against longtime leader Hosni Mubarak in a revolt that helped spark a wave of uprisings across the Middle East.Over the course of nearly three weeks, Mubarak fought back with security forces cracking down on protesters, particularly in the capital, Cairo, but ultimately he stepped down after 30 years in power.Current President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi praised the 2011 revolution Sunday, saying it brought a …