A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Back to Muhammad Mahmoud

In the wake of the Port Said disaster, demonstrators once again returned to march on the Egyptian Ministry of the Interior today. At least initially the march was supposedly led by the Ahlawy Ultras, the supporters of the Ahly team that was attacked yesterday. The veteran revolutionaries were there as well. For some time now,however, various groups have been trying to get the demonstrators to disperse; as Zeinobia notes, the revolutionary April 6 movement is trying to disperse the crowds, and the Ahlawy Ultras say they are no longer there as they are dealing with the funerals of their dead. Hundreds have already reportedly been injured, but I haven't seen any confirmed deaths. Let's hope things remain under control.

The fighting has again centered on Muhammad Mahmoud street, site of some of the heaviest fighting late last year, and one of today's events was the crowd tearing down the wall of stone blocks which the authorities had erected to block the street (it's not the only street so blocked): Something there is that doesn't love a wall.

In the Talaat Harb area crowds surrounded a riot police bus; after its driver fled, the demonstrators did help the police disembark from their vehicle and be taken safely away, as shown in this video:

I understand the police bus is now covered with revolutionary graffiti and posters, but let's be grateful the policemen were escorted to safety.

There are more accounts emerging about yesterday's events but the various accounts are contradictory; what matters most is perhaps not who is right but that emotions are running high.

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