Dubbed Egypt’s “Second Day of Rage,” this Friday protest in Tahrir could never live up to the standard set by the first one. . . . The rally drew tens of thousands to Tahrir, despite the boycott by the Muslim Brotherhood, saying that little has changed since the toppling of the former president Hosni Mubarak. “I came to Tahrir today to say that the revolution is ongoing, to say that I want the old regime prosecuted quickly, fairly, and publically. We also reject military tribunals for any civilians. I want things to get moving. It’s unacceptable that now it’s May 27 and since January 25th we’ve been demanding these things. . .” (Ehab Gamal). Among the demands1 of the day were replacing the interim ruling supreme council of the armed forces with a civilian government, the end of military tribunals for civilians, and the prosecution of Mubarak. “. . . Every Friday we’ll be here until we get our rights. I will not stop until I get my rights — my rights and the rights of those who died. It’s my right to prosecute the oppressor” (Mohamed Sayed Ahmed). The marches are also taking place elsewhere in the country, such as Alexandria and Suez, two cities that witnessed intense fighting on the original Day of Rage. Friday’s demonstration may not achieve the instant result of January 28th, but, by mobilizing tends of thousands of protesters demanding change, Egypt has shown once again that this revolution is far from over.
1 Editor’s Note: The demands of the “Second Day of Rage,” as articulated by the Revolutionary Socialists and the Popular Committees for the Defense of the Revolution:
- Immediate return of the Army to the barracks and establishment of a civilian presidential council to manage the transitional phase.
- Election of a constituent assembly to draw up the country’s new constitution before any other elections.
- Release of all political prisoners and abolition of military tribunals for civilians.
- Prosecution of the symbols of the former regime on charges of corruption and the looting of Egypt.
- Suspension and prosecution of all police officers accused of killing and injuring protesters.
- Renationalization of the companies and factories that were sold to the private sector at less than their real value.
- Establishment of the minimum wage of no less than 1,500 Egyptian pounds and the maximum wage no higher than 15 times the minimum wage.
Video by Ahram Online, 27 May 2011. The text above is an edited partial transcript of the video. Cf. Dina Ezzat, “Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Battles against Its Youth” (Ahram Online, 28 May 2011).