[Marxism] Egyptians Fill Tahrir Square For Largest Protest Since Fall of President Mubarak

Dennis Brasky dmozart1756 at gmail.com
Fri Jul 8 17:54:10 MDT 2011

Egyptians Fill Tahrir Square For Largest Protest Since Fall of President


*JUAN** **GONZALEZ**:* We turn now to Egypt where a massive demonstration is
underway in Tahrir Square. It has been five months since the uprising that
led to the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak, and many Egyptians say
few of its goals have been met. In Suez on Monday, riots were sparked by a
court order to release seven policemen charged with killing demonstrators.
On Tuesday, the courts acquitted three former government ministers over
corruption allegations.

*AMY** **GOODMAN**:* Activists and political groups including the Muslim
Brotherhood have called for more than a million people to protest today in
Tahrir square. It could be the biggest Friday protest yet since the
uprising. For more, we go to Tahrir, where Democracy Now! correspondent
Sharif Abdel Kouddous is joining us live. Hi Sharif, what is happening right

*SHARIF** **ABDEL** **KOUDDOUS**:* Hi Amy, it’s good to be with you. Amy,
today is possibly the biggest protest since the 18-day uprising. Tahrir
Square is absolutely filled to the gills. Tens of thousands, hundreds of
thousands of people here, who have gathered today to call to protect the
revolution and continue its goal. Many feel the direction of the country
five months after Hosni Mubarak was toppled is going the wrong direction.
The head of the Mubarak regime, Hosni Mubarak, his son, the senior
leadership, are all gone, but many feel that the body and soul of the former
regime still remains.

One of the reasons this is so big today is that there’s been issues that
have been really building and have boiled over in the last few weeks, which
began, really, with the postponement of the trial of Habib el-Adly, for the
killing of protesters in the 18-day uprising. His [UNINTELLIGIBLE] and that
sparked clashes outside the courtroom where the families of the martyrs,
killed in the revolution, had gathered. They clashed with police outside.
And this issue of justice and accountability continued to go on two days
after that postponement. Families of martyrs were reportedly beaten and
arrested by police at a theater here in Cairo, that sparked clashes with
thousands of protesters again in Tahrir Square and faced off with Central
Security forces. More than a 1,000 people were injured. The police resorted
to the same brutal tactics that they have used in the past, Hosni Mubarak
used, rubber bullets and tear gas. Some human rights groups documented the
use of live ammunition. Over 1,000 people were injured.

So, people are out calling for justice, they’re calling for accountability
of former regime members. People are calling for reform of the police
forces, of the purging of the security forces of known human rights abusers,
many whom are still operating with impunity. It is unbelievable not one
person, not one police officer is in prison for the killing of nearly 850
people during the uprising five months ago. Not one — only one police
officer has been convicted in absentia, but no one else.

This really began escalating again, as you mentioned, in the run-up, in Suez
just a few days ago. Suez is really the scene of some of the most violent
clashes with police during, when the revolution first began. It is where the
first person killed was, on January 25. The trial of seven police officers,
in Suez, accused of killing protesters was postponed until September. The
seven police officers were free to go on bail. This sparked outrage by the
families, by protesters outside that clashed with police. They have been
occupying the square, in Suez, a square called Arbaeen Square, for the past
four days. And then on Tuesday of this week, a criminal court acquitted the
former Information Minister, and that’s al-Fikki, and the former Finance
Minister, Yusuf Boutros-Ghali, on corruption charges.

So, it’s all of these things that have culminated and people are worried
that ex-officials are going to receive light sentences. And as it happens,
as we’ve spoken on Democracy Now!, that more than 6,000 civilians have been
tried and convicted in military court. There’s a growing sentiment that the
revolution is being stolen from beneath people’s feet here.

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