Egypt’s Unfinished Business

June 6, 2012 8:24 am0 commentsViews:

Tahrir Square is brimming with protesters again, angry at the verdict to exonerate Mubarak’s sons and officers accused of killing protesters. Baraa Shiban gives his analysis.

Tahrir Square has been born again. It was fueled the first time by the blood of martyrs, and this time because the police officers who were once accused of killing those same martyrs had been set free, yet the man who ordered the killings was sentenced to life.

In the moments after the verdict against the former president Hosni Mubarak and his interior minister Habib Al-Adly, and the innocent verdict delivered regarding Mubarak’s two sons and six senior interior officers, people started arriving at the square. Tens of thousands of Egyptians at the square announced that the only legitimacy for the coming president will come from them, the people of the square. The crowd steadily increasing after a group of political and revolutionary forces called their supporters to take to the streets, where a number of marches started moving to the square, in a similar scenario to 25th of January 2011.

It seems that the verdict against Mubarak formed a turning point that forced Egyptians to unite and return to Tahrir. Activists said “we were expecting the verdict on Mubarak would be delayed, but, as usual, stupid regimes fall quickly”. They also said that they could smell the potent aroma of the 25th of January revolution and the Egyptian spring.

The remarkable thing about the protesters coming to the square was their rejection of violent clashes both between themselves and the security forces. Protesters of all ages headed to the square asking for what they called justice and the martyrs rights.

In this unifying scene, the political analyst Mostafa Zahran – who was among the protesters in Tahrir – said that the trial of Mubarak was a decisive factor in the fusion of all political and religious forces at the square and the absence of all labels and platforms that could contribute to dividing people.

Zahran considered the Tahrir demonstrations as a delayed aftershock to the earthquake, which was the January revolution. It’s a message to whomever is in power that the people are still the reference and in the square lies the power. He noted that the demonstrations would be in the interest of the Muslim Brotherhood candidate – Mohammed Morsi – in the coming election, which is supposed to take place on the 16th and 17th of this month – June 2012.

He also assured that the Muslim Brotherhood will accept a Presidential Council, after they realized that they weren’t very successful over the last few months, and especially after they felt the danger of Ahmed Shafik winning the elections.

What’s happening in the streets of Egypt might keep on going if the revolutionary forces feel that their revolution might be stolen by SCAF. It too is a clear message that the Egyptian people won’t go back to anything pre 25th of January 2011.

Finally it is worth mentioning that the huge divisions between the different revolutionary forces divided the votes between the three candidates, which led to the old regime being one step away from regaining power. The revolutionaries have to make the tough decision to stand with the Muslim Brotherhood candidate to fight the old regime. As for the Muslim Brotherhood, they should reassure the different parts that they can work together in some sort of a coalition in the coming period.

Baraa Shiban