Ahmed El Lozy: “Celebrations or second wind of protest?”
It’s hard not to be impressed by the crowd in Tahrir Square yesterday. It filled up pretty quickly for the festivities organized by the Muslim Brotherhood. Which is ironic when you consider that the Islamists refused to participate on an official level in the uprising of 25 January 2011. Even though individuals members of those movements did elect to join in and lend their presence to the rebellion against Mubarak.
So here we are, one year later, faced with the Islamists who, as victors in the legislative elections, are all enthusiastic about the idea of celebrating the revolution and organizing festivities in Tahrir Square. Meanwhile the other political movements turn up to register their displeasure with regard to the Supreme Council of the armed forces (SCAF).
The revolutionaries can boast about the large attendance yesterday inTahrir Square and the surrounding area which, according to some estimates, exceeded the turnouts during demonstrations against Mubarak. But bear in mind that that this crowd was not united, and a large part of it was there just to celebrate, or simply enjoy the carnival atmosphere.
In the evening, hundreds of revolutionaries headed for Maspero, home of state television and radio, the unofficial spokesman for the SCAF, now busy sullying the image of the revolutionaries. Thousands of us went to the building, heavily guarded by the army. I made a suggestion to a colleague:
- “We should just charge in and occupy the building!”
- “But they’ll fire at us and we’ll be massacred…”
I acknowledge the symbolic importance of our presence outside the edifice but it is frustrating when millions of people take to the streets without gaining any sort of victory.
In Suez, the city in the north of the country where the first martyr fell last year, the situation is clearer. At the beginning of the demonstration, a young person at the microphone spelled it out to the mass media: “We are not here to celebrate, Suez has nothing to celebrate while those who killed our brothers and sisters are free and the SCAF reigns supreme.”
Caption: Demonstration into D’Arbaeen district (Suez) / Ahmed El Lozy
Ahmed El Lozy graduated in sociology from the American University in Cairo. In 2007, he worked as the assistant to the film director Yousry Nasrallah on The Aquarium and embarked on a career in the audiovisual industry. In 2010, Ahmed parted for the Czech Republic to study film at FAMU, where he made his first short film Nocni Smena. On return to Cairo in 2011, he was hired by the website Al-Masry Al-Youm as a video journalist.
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