“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 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.
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.
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.