Egyptian security forces and protesters clashed for a second day in the capital Cairo on Wednesday, June 29 recalling the type of violence seen in the run up to former President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster. According to our Observers in Cairo, the unrest was triggered by an earlier crackdown on a memorial honouring victims of the country’s popular uprising.
Security at the El Balloon Theatre in Egypt's capital Cairo use tasers to crackdown on the families and supporters of vitims of the country's January popular uprising as they try to attend a memorial celebration on June 28. Video published on You Tube by gsquare86 on June 28.
“It felt a lot like the first days of the revolution, because the police came back as powerful and the violence was just as bad”.
Wael Abbas is a journalist and blogger based in Cairo. He was at the demonstrations in Tahrir Square last night.
The demonstrations began last night because the families of martyrs [who died in the popular uprising against Mubarak] were supposed to have a celebration in their honour at the El Balloon Theatre, but they were blocked from entering the theatre by central security.
At Tahrir Square, they were attacked by security forces. These families were then joined by a lot of activists who came out to support them.
It felt a lot like the first days of the revolution, because the police came back as powerful and the violence was just as bad”.
Security forces uses teargas against protesters as demonstrations at Cairo's Tahrir Square continue for a second day on June 29.
Security forces move in on protesters at Tahrir Square on June 29.
Protesters and security forces face off at Tahrir Square on June 29. Photos published on Twitter by @Monasosh on June 29.
“It’s like watching a movie for the second time – we’ve already seen it”.
Hannah Kamal is a screen writer and TV producer living in Cairo. She was present at Tuesday night’s protests at Tahrir Square and said she spoke directly to the families and supporters who were attacked just before the protests erupted.
The whole thing began two days ago, when the former minister of the interior Habib el-Adly’s trial was postponed for yet another month. This minister was in charge of security in Egypt, and was responsible for all the destruction, the killing and the harming of protesters from when our revolution began on January 25 until [former President] Hosni Mubarak’s downfall.
All people in Egypt, even the justice system know that he is guilty of this and despite knowing the facts they postponed his trial. They didn’t produce the verdict that we were all waiting for, that he should be executed - not sentenced to prison for life - for killing all those protesters. The fact that he was not sentenced made all people in Egypt so angry.
So yesterday, activists and the families of those who were murdered [during the country’s popular uprising in January and February], were already peacefully demonstrating at Tahrir Square and near the Interior Ministry to ask for the punishment of [people like el-Adly] who killed our sons and daughters.
Some of the victims’ families and their supporters went to El Balloon for a memorial celebration, where they found three buses and some very strange people pretending to be relatives of victims too. In fact, these people were thugs who started a fight with the victims’ families.
The police then came to break up the violence after it moved to Tahrir square. There were lots of police and security forces, and they used the exact same methods as they did during the revolution. They used gas bombs and rubber bullets against the protesters. The ministry of health has just officially announced that more than 1,000 people were injured [although other media report 590 wounded] in the clashes.
However, since the revolution we’re no longer afraid of the Moltov cocktails, the guns or the gas bombs. It’s like watching a movie for the second time – we’ve already seen it”.
Post written with FRANCE 24 journalist Rachel Holman.