By Sharat G. Lin
Reporting from Cairo, 30 January 2012
A year ago, a million Egyptian people swarmed into Tahrir Square to demand that then President Hosni Mubarak leave immediately. But a majority also placed their trust in the Army, which vowed not to fire on protesters.
On the first anniversary of the beginning of that popular uprising, 25th January 2012 witnessed massive gatherings across the country that were a mixture of celebration of national pride and protest against the deaths of revolutionary martyrs. The crowds in Tahrir Sqaure were entirely peaceful. No police or soldiers were in sight. They dared not show their faces in Tahrir Square, and they were not needed.
Within days, the celebration has evolved into one protest after another against continued military rule. An increasing number of Egyptians have come to the realization that there is a distinction between the Army as an institution and the military leadership that wants to hold on to power long enough to “guide” the rewriting of the Constitution and the transition to a new civilian government.
Now the most frequent slogans of the Revolution are: “يسقط يسقط حكم العسكر” (“down, down with military rule”) and “الشعب يريد إسقاط المشير” (“the people want to overthrow the Marshall”, a reference to the head of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Field Marshall Mohamad Husein Tantawi).
Then on 29 January 2012, during a protest at Mespiro against military rule and blatant falsification of news by State Television, counter-revolutionary thugs (balegei) attacked the peaceful protesters from the direction of the 6th October Bridge. Rocks and bottles were thrown, but the attack was quickly repelled. It was reminiscent of the camel attack on Tahrir Square of 2 February 2011.
With the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (حزب الحرية والعدالة) having won 47 per cent of the seats in the newly-elected People’s Assembly, it is becoming increasingly evident that it is making political deals with the SCAF. This has angered many Egyptians. For the first time, we can see and hear slogans in Tahrir Square denouncing the Muslim Brotherhood.
Day by day, the Revolution is evolving. People are becoming radicalized. When the Brotherhood inevitably will fail to deliver on social justice promises, its popularity will fall. This is truly a living revolution in progress. We are witnessing history being made.