Miss Mabrouk of Egypt

Check the archives too - a lot of good stuff to enjoy. Me myself? Off to new adventures in the blogosphere, if time permits.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Saturday’s Demonstration

The demonstration in down-town last Saturday was a surprise in several ways: I did not expect the opposition to stage a protest so soon after the election and certainly not together. But they did. And more people turned up than in demonstrations before the elections. The police apparently did a marvelous job getting the demonstrators through the traffic in a three hour long march. There are no reported incidents except than the old couple who threw a bucket of water on the demonstrators from their fifth floor balcony in Bab El-Loque; and a half-hearted attempt by so-called Mubarak supporters to start a row at Farok Str. People joined the demonstration as it moved down the streets; some two thousand according to media, I’m told there may have been even more at certain points.

Was this a defining moment? I think so. If more people turn out next time, it definitely was. Not because demonstrations haven’t been held before, but because the opposition is gaining supporters who dare take to the streets after the elections; because the government has twice in three days kept security forces/riot police away; because at least for now it appears safe to shout out opinions in a public street. Some months ago, I blogged about large demonstrations taking place throughout the country; thousands of people asking for change in the same days in different cities. If they come back and if they one day decide to join their co-campaigners in Cairo, we will see a protest of a scale we did not believe was possible six months ago.

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