Egypt: SCAF face defeat; the Brotherhood face a crisis
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has to be overthrown and the Muslim Brotherhoods are no longer welcome in Tahrir.
The streets of Cairo are full of protesters two days after the first anniversary of the beginning of the revolution of the 25th of January. Demonstrators organized marches from different areas of Cairo all converging on Tahrir square.
The demonstrations from Mustapha Mahmud gathered hundreds of thousands.
The day was called “Friday of Pride and Dignity”. SCAF was again defeated by the massive participation of Egyptians in the demonstrations.
The slogans and chants raised by the protesters demanded the overthrow of SCAF and direct transition of powers to the parliament. The attempts by SCAF to transform the 27th and the 25th into celebrations were a complete failure as we can be witnessed by the mobilizations of the people and their refusal to step down against SCAF.
Some protesters clashed with supporters of SCAF in front of the ministry of defense building. The protesters pushed through the human chain created by the SCAF supporters and chanted “down with SCAF”
In Tahrir square, at the arrival of the various marches the main slogans were still directed against SCAF. Demonstrators held up a doll of SCAF leader Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi in the square. The protesters manipulated the doll to have the fake Tantawi say, “We [the SCAF] have protected the revolution. Whoever is in Tahrir is a thug.”
Earlier in the square, a group of judges held a mock trial for former President Hosni Mubarak, former First Lady Suzanne Mubarak, and other symbols of the deposed Mubarak regime, charging them with corrupting Egyptian politics, abusing power and squandering public funds.
The judges mock sentenced all of the defendants to death. They were then expected to march to the Supreme Constitutional Court to demand their rulings be implemented.
The atmosphere started to change at one point when the officials of the Muslim Brotherhood began their speeches and became the target of a large section of the protesters. The dispute began when some protesters marched into the square, raised their shoes at the Brotherhood’s stage, chanted and threw rocks at them. After turning up the Quranic verses failed, Brotherhood members instead began chanting against the SCAF.
That did not work, either, so the Brotherhood invited some youths of the 6th of April movement onto their stage to convince the crowd to not attack them. After that failed, the Brotherhood announced that it would remove an anniversary banner from its stage as an affront to the revolutionaries, and draped a cloth over the banner.
The ambiguous position of the Muslim Brotherhood towards the SCAF these past few months and its acceptance of the transfer of power to parliament in June following SCAF are the main causes of the protesters anger towards them. In addition to this, the Muslim Brotherhood presented the day, as well as the 25th January as a day to celebrate and party; while the protesters considered it as an opportunity to say that the revolution must continue.
The protesters threw bottles and raised their shoes in the air against the MBs representatives on stage, while singing chants asking them to leave and accusing them of being liars.
The opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood became the center of attention in Tahrir square, the stage close to it joining the demands of the protesters for the Muslim Brotherhood to leave.
The MBs then brought back a lot of their members to protect their stage and impose their presence in the square.
Large masses of demonstrators are still in Tahrir, chanting for the overthrow of SCAF and demanding a civil state. The Muslim Brotherhood continued to be the target of protesters telling them to leave.
One year after the “Friday of Rage”, when Mubarak’s security forces fired on protesters who had marched into Tahrir, killing and wounding hundreds, the Egyptians are back in the streets of Cairo not to celebrate the revolution but to demand the continuation of the revolution. The blood of the martyrs must not have been shed in vain repeat the protesters.
The message of the Egyptians is clear today: there is nothing to celebrate, the revolution must continue, SCAF must be overthrow, power must be transferred to the parliament and the people now.
Its clear that the protesters of Tahrir will accept nothing less and the ambiguous position of the Muslim Brotherhood towards the demands of the revolutionaries of Tahrir has been clearly condemned by them. The Muslim Brotherhood might not be welcome anymore in Tahrir if they continue to ignore the demands of the streets and of Tahrir.