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“March of Millions” in Tahrir Protests Slow Pace of Reform (VIDEO)

“March of Millions” in Tahrir Protests Slow Pace of Reform (VIDEO)

Egyptians numbering in the tens of thousands returned to Tahrir Square in Cairo this Friday for a “March of Millions” to protest a revolution that seems to ahve stalled in its tracks and also the slow pace at which ministers from deposed President Hosni Mubarak’s regime have been brought to trial. Al Jazeera reports that protests were held throughout Egypt, in Alexandria and in Suez, where the release of seven police officers on bail earlier this week led to families of victims rioting for two days. Protests also occurred in the southern city of Assiut, with many preparing for a sit-in for “the first time in the conservative south,” notes NPR.

Young men on top of the traffic light. Reminds me of #jan25 s... on Twitpic

(Photo by Egyptocracy)

Banners proclaiming “Punishment for the killers of the martyrs” and “Down with the field marshal” were aloft in Tahrir Square, where many had brought tents with plans to remain in the square, despite blistering summer heat. Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi heads the military council that has been ruling Egypt since Mubarak’s ouster on February 18. Tantawi was Mubarak’s defense minister for two decades and is still seen as an “integral part of the old regime”; indeed, “some Egyptians believe he represents the continuation of Mubarak’s lingering power structure that includes the judiciary, police and civil service,” notes Al Jazeera .

In an ironic shift, NPR notes that the military council has a “tendency to communicate mostly through messages on their Facebook page” that has “led many to see them as aloof and out of touch.” The social networking site that has been widely trumpeting for helping to foment the uprising has now become a tool for officials — officials with ties to Mubarak — to keep their distance from the protesters.

Here is a video taken of the March of Millions earlier today.

The huge rally’s organizers also seek to restore a sense of unity to the protest movement, which has become fragmented after the common cause of ousting Mubarak was achieved. Groups who had not been present at earlier protests including the Muslim Brotherhood and ultraconservative Salafis were in Tahrir Square.

Another demand of the protesters was to push back elections which the military council says wil be held at a yet-to-be-determined date in September. As NPR says, “many liberal and secular activists demand that the ruling military push back the parliament elections, saying political parties can’t be ready in time for September.” The well-organized Muslim Brotherhood has opposed any delay, as has the military council.

Protesters have said they will not leave Tahrir Square until their demands are met:

“The military council is being wishy-washy,” said protester Mohammed al-Tayyib in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the uprising that toppled Mubarak. “No one is being brought to trial and nothing is moving.”…

“Things are going in the wrong direction,” said protester Lilian Wagdy. She complained of the many civilians convicted by military courts while trials of security officials are often postponed or release the accused.

“Revolution First” was the huge rally’s slogan, says the Guardian. As they had during the uprising earlier this year, civiliians took it upon themselves to police Tahrir, setting up checkpoints to keep “thugs” from entering. As this photo by Lilian Wagdy shows, thousands remain in Tahrir right now, ready to continue the revolution.

Bird's Eye view of #Tahrir @ night Thousands are still t... on Twitpic

Related Care2 Coverage

Victims’ Families Block Cairo-Suez Highway After Police Out On Bail

Tahrir Square 2.0: a Bit of Play-by-Play

Clashes in Tahrir Square as Martyrs Call for Justice

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13 comments

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2:06AM PDT on Jul 11, 2011

Hi HowRU2day?

The Muslim Brotherhood are just a big right wing conservative party who are supposed to be in favour of democracy. Lots of political parties have religion as their base in the middle east. Including the Israelis. We have seen Hamas take over in Gaza after wining the elections, who then proceeded to kill off the oposition. Hamas are the classic fascist party, with traditional values, why the far left want to support them we are unsure? It may not be, quite like that with the Muslim Brotherhood yet, but it certainly is a possibility. The most worrying part about this concerning civil and human rights, seems to be what will happen to around the large Coptic minority christians, and others, who are of European origin albeit from years ago. With the Muslim brotherhood what will happen, to gay and lesbian people? However, it seems that none of this has actualy reached and crossed the borders into Israel and Gaza, despite how bad it all is with the the old regime, they kept not to bad relations, with the Isrealis and Palestinians. Would the Muslim brotherhood start another war?

Yours Allena T

1:15PM PDT on Jul 10, 2011

There is a euphoria associated with the masses coming out and seeking and getting someone like Mubarak to resign.

However, it has been predicted early on that the Muslim Brotherhood, arguably the best organized religio-political group extant in Egypt would take over and win the elections and install ANYTHING but democracy in Egypt.

I'd hate to see the genuine yearnings for freedom and democracy quashed by Islamic fundamentalism. Our president, O, instead of asking Mubarak to step down immediately, should have insisted that more reforms were in place.

Whatever powers come to rule Egypt, it will be a long time coming till they ever trust us again, after O helped to depose our ally in such a laissez-faire fashion. It was irresponsible and hurtful to the future of Egyptian democracy.

4:22PM PDT on Jul 9, 2011

ABOLISH THE REPUBLICAN PARTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

3:30PM PDT on Jul 9, 2011

I wish this many Egyptians had come out to stop/protest Al-Sayed al-Essawy's pathetic caged "lion fight" a few weeks ago. Now THAT would be PROGRESS. >^..^

1:54PM PDT on Jul 9, 2011

Thanks

7:57AM PDT on Jul 9, 2011

If only we could do something as great as the Egyptian people in our own country. I am really tired of our Congress and think they should be ousted without pay.

7:52AM PDT on Jul 9, 2011

In Eygpt and Syria, ordinary people are taking to the streets and demanding change. In Libya, by contrast, NATO is bombing the country so that a few killers can take over towns and villages. There is no popular uprising or support for the rebels. There are even videos showing ordinary Libyans support Gaddafi, which conveniently are omitted by the Western press.

7:07AM PDT on Jul 9, 2011

noted thanks.

4:36PM PDT on Jul 8, 2011

..very very brave angry people...good luck to them all...and may sanity prevail and dictatorships fall...onward with no fear into the next glorious century...thanks..x

4:25PM PDT on Jul 8, 2011

Worrisome, but not surprising. Something really needs to be done about the human rights abuses there and do something quick before the Muslim Brotherhood swoops in and takes the country in a whole new (but questionable) direction.

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