Saturday, May 28, 2011

Second Day of Rage on Tahrir Square, May 27

Day of Rage II, a compilation by Jadaliyya

Egyptian have held a second Day of Rage (or a day to save the revolution) o Friday 27 May. One of these demonstrations, but not really comparable to the hectic and passionate days at the end of January/ early February, when it was really against the old Mubarak-regime. This time it was against - ehh, against what exactly?
There were three main themes that were more or less shared between the people who called for ths manifestation: The formation of a presidential council, consisting of civilians, instead of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces .(SCAF) that is now the de facto power in the country. The second one was for a new constitution to be written before elections take place in September (and not after e new parliament is in function). And the third a more effective fight against corruption (by which is meant among other things a speedy trial of the Mubaraks and their allies, but also a clean up of police, security, judiciary, press and other organisms that played a decsive role in aintaining the old regime), and last - but certainly not least - an end to the way the military maintain order and to military processes.
Text: No to the military government. We want a presidnetial council consisting of national, revolutionary civilians

These demand were grosso mode supported by the April 6 Movement, the Popular Committees to Defend the Revolution, El Baradei's Association for Change and the (Coptic) Maspero Revolutionaries. But certainly not unanimously by all movements. For example the Muslim Brotherhood decided to stay away because they are quite happy with the prerformance of the military (the Muslim Brotherhood's youth, however,  did participate)  and among the members of the diffierent movement there was no unanimity either about all demands.

First a Constitution.
Nevertheless tens of thousands turned up at Tahrir. Al-Ahram at one point estimated that there were some 100.000 people on the square. And we have to realize that also big demonstration took place in Mansoura, Suez and Alexandria, to name a few places.
The site Jadaliyya did a great job in compiling a video (see on top) and publish some interviews and pictures. Take for instance this fragment - an interview with a woman journalist:   
Bassam: What are you here for? Ghada: I am here because there are a lot of things I am not ok with. I am afraid for the revolution. I feel like it is being hijacked. The corruption continues in all the institutions of the state, in the municipalities, in the governorates . . . in the media--and specifically in the national newspapers. Nothing has changed, [it is] as if January 25th had not happened. The slowness [of the prosecutorial process] and the leaking of information about the possibility of a pardon for the deposed president is what we do not accept after the blood that spilled in Tahrir Square and all the governorates of Egypt. There is a need to prevent all forms of external interference, whether it is from Saudi Arabia in order to prevent the prosecution of the deposed president or from the United States or from Israel. There is a need to activate all the demands of the Youth of the Revolution Coalition. There needs to be a cleansing of the judiciary, as it remains to be viewed as a fortress whose decisions and rulings are not subject to critique. This is scary because have fears in regards to some of the judges that are presiding over financial corruption cases as well as those of the spilling of Egyptian blood by the members of Husni Mubarak's government. There is a need to stop sectarian strife, that we notice is becoming more active in a hysterical way to undermine the revolution. We have confirmed information--I am a journalist--that indicate that the Mossad and--here in Egypt--the remnant of the National Democratic Party (NDP) are active in undermining the revolution through national strife . . . There is also a need to save the revolution from being hijacked by any movement with an eye for a non-civilian state. We will not accept this. The masses of tolerant Egyptians will not accept this and will offer their blood for the sake of a civilian state; a completely civilian states for all, and not for one group or movement.
Bassam: What does a civilian state mean?
Ghada: The civilian state is one that I can be a part of with my religion, with my beliefs, with the freedom of what I wear and [the freedom of] manners, movement, thought, writing, and achievement without interference in the name of religion, irrespective of which religion; whether it is the religion of the majority or the religion of the minority. We do not what a religious state, irrespective of the religion, and certainly not a military state. The state that Egyptians martyred themselves for in this square on January 25th, that they have been fighting for for years, and that blood has been spilt for for many many years can only be a civilian state.
Also the pictures are telling. I here 'quote' a few which are telling about the aims of this second day of rage:
 Tree with revolutionary wishes.

Left 'The Attorney General: the private lawyer of State Security." Right: 'The Public Prosecutor: the private prosecutor of the corrupt.' (The columns furthermore provide information about these allegations).

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