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Egypt protesters finally get it together
Egypt protesters finally get it together
Leading opposition leader Ayman Nour and Ihab ElKhouly, Chairman of al-Ghad party, pulled an unconscious protester from beneath the feet of state security during Tuesday’s protest, eyewitnesses said.
Thursday, April 15,2010 08:21
by Sallie Pisch BM&Ikhwanweb

CAIRO: Leading opposition leader Ayman Nour and Ihab ElKhouly, Chairman of al-Ghad party, pulled an unconscious protester from beneath the feet of state security during Tuesday’s protest, eyewitnesses said. Plainclothes security had “kidnapped” the protester and moved him outside the security cordon and into the street, where he fell unconscious after being beaten by police.

This was the day’s tactic, according to Mohamed Abdelfattah. “[They would] penetrate us with some informants, who would kidnap a member and then go and beat him inside the street, outside the cordoned area. And then we would chant, ‘Leave him! Leave him! Leave him!’ and then people would go out and try to release the arrested protester, and if they could they would beat the security officers.”

Abdelfattah had taken a bus from Alexandria with more than a dozen other activists from al-Ghad and Karama parties to attend Tuesday’s protest in Cairo.

Tuesday’s demonstration was also attended by George Ishaq, Hamdeen Sabahy, and other major political figures in addition to Nour, who was the only major political figure who went to the streets during the April 6 protests.

Abdulfattah said the fact that Nour attended the April 6 protests and none of the others did was “enough embarrassment for the rest to participate” in Tuesday’s protest.

Nour was once again the center of attention throughout the day and ElBaradei was nowhere to be seen.

Twice the demonstrators managed to overpower the security lines, pushing them back as far as five meters, according to Cairo-based journalist Sarah Carr. Protesters were again subjected to violence by police, but on Tuesday protesters fought back. “Young men and women were waiting for this day to avenge what happened on April 6. I may not agree with it because we are advocating non-violence, but it was good in some sense,” said Abdulfattah.

Cameras were everywhere. Beatings were caught on film, both moving and still. Unlike on April 6, the police made no move to stop the documentation of the day’s demonstration. Uniformed police looked on, silently. Carr summed up the situation on her blog: “Wretched and stoic and, as usual, they – the silent poor – were on the frontline of Egypt’s relentless march to a better future: quite literally standing between the old guard and the forces of change, absorbing the blows of a battle not really being fought in their name.”

At around 3 pm, Nour entered the judiciary building with a contingent of a dozen other men and women, including Sabahy. The group presented a complaint on behalf of the man he and ElKhouly had pulled out of the street and into the security cordon. As the group made its way inside, the protester collapsed on the landing of the stairs and had to be half-carried the rest of the way up.

An estimate by Hossam al-Hamalawy, who runs the 3arabawy blog, put the number of demonstrators at Tuesday’s protest around 1,000. Other estimates were more conservative.

The protest area was packed when by around 2:30 in the afternoon and a security line three people deep wasn’t letting anyone in or out. An hour later, however, the demonstration had wound to an end and police slowly allowed the protesters to leave. Women were allowed through the cordon first, followed eventually by the others.

“We successfully challenged the fear that the state security wants to spread in the souls and the minds of the young generation of Egypt,” said Abdulfattah. There may be some truth in his words. Unlike other protests of the past ten days, Tuesday’s demonstration was well-organized and well-attended, by political activists and a smattering of the opposition’s political elite. And for the first time, there were calls of “the street is ours!”

Republished with permission from bikya masr

tags: State Security / Human Rights in Egypt / Opposition Leader / Ayman Nour / Al-Ghad Party / State Security / Security Officers / Karama Parties / April 6
Posted in Torture , Activites  
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