“The sky was filled with rocks. The fighting around me was so terrible we could smell the blood.” With these words Robert Fisk describes the dramatic events in Tahrir Square, where the forces of the Revolution met the counter-revolution head-on. All day and all through the night, a ferocious battle raged in the Square and the surrounding streets.
One of the salient features of a revolution is that the masses conquer the fear of the state and repression. This has been graphically demonstrated on the streets of Egypt. At the same time the surge of a mass upheaval breaks the taboos in the psychology of the soldiers and the army begins to cleave on a class basis. A rare fraternity between the security forces and the masses, whom they are supposed to crush, develops as the revolution blossoms.
The revolution in Egypt is reaching a critical point. The old state power is collapsing under the hammer blows of the masses. But revolution is a struggle of living forces. The old regime does not intend to surrender without a fight. The counter-revolutionary forces are going onto the offensive. There is ferocious fighting on the streets of Cairo between pro- and anti-Mubarak elements.
The Great Pyramid of Giza has lasted for 3,800 years. Hosni Mubarak has lasted somewhat less, but he would like to survive for a little longer. The difference between his regime and the Pyramid of Khufu is that it is an inverted pyramid. All its strength is at the top, but there is only a tiny point at the bottom. The laws of gravity and architecture tell us that such a structure is inherently unstable. The slightest push can bring the whole structure crashing down.
After a much criticised silence, Hosni Mubarak has finally made a statement regarding the protests. The initial reaction to the speech was one of anger. Mubarak’s speech was quite predictable, basically praising the poor, promising reform and what not. Even though these blatant lies that reek of condescension are enough reason to ignite the streets of Egypt with fury, it was Mubarak’s last statement that angered the people the most.
The popular uprising against the Hosni Mubarak government continues. On Sunday morning the sun rose over another tense day following a night of mass defiance and anti-government protests that turned the curfew into a dead letter. This fact strikingly exposes the real situation.
Day five of the revolution and the movement continues to grow in size and intensity. Last night’s curfew was ignored, and today there are more people on the streets than yesterday. A new curfew was called for four o’clock Egyptian time, but this is no more effective than the previous one. Even before the curfew came into effect, larger numbers of protestors were gathering on the streets.
Finally, after a long wait, prime minister Gannouchi announced changes in the government of national unity which was formed in Tunisia after the overthrow of Ben Ali. The masses of workers and youth, for two weeks, have been demanding the overthrow of this government, which they consider as a continuation of the old regime. They have staged massive regional strikes and demonstrations and a sit-in outside the government’s office. This new government of Gannouchi must also be rejected and the people take power into their own hands.
The mass demonstrations demanding the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak have continued to rage since Tuesday across several cities, including Cairo and Suez. Debkafile's sources report that the situation in Cairo Wednesday was extremely tense after thousands of demonstrators poured into the streets and made for the Tel Talat Harb Square on the way to Liberation Square city centre, where 30,000 protesters demonstrated on Tuesday.
A tense calm settled over Cairo after yesterday’s street demonstrations. But if there is a truce it will not last long. Last night after some 15,000 protesters decided to stage a vigil in Liberation Square in protest against police violence. News reports speak of three people killed yesterday, of which one was a policeman. The real figure may be higher.