The Day that Sparked the Violence

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Unfortunately I am doing this in reverse order but these images are from a “million-man protest” in Tahrir Square on Friday the 18th.  Despite many Egyptians saying that there were two million in attendance, it was more likely 50+ thousand.  Basically the same thing.

Clashes between the military and demonstrators began late in the night on Friday.

Demonstrators gathered to protest a legislation proposal by Egyptian deputy-prime minister Ali El-Selmy which sought to give the SCAF “supra-constitutional” powers and would allow military spending to be concealed.  Oversight, oversight, oversight.  Political groups from across the political spectrum issued an ultimatum to the military council that they either withdraw their proposal by Wednesday the 16th or face a “million-man march”.  Needless to say, they didn’t withdraw.

Throughout the day the protest remained very orderly and there was zero police/military presence.  It was attended primarily by several Islamic groups, most notably the Muslim Brotherhood.  I spend most of the day handing out and talking with members of the the MB.  Pretty cool.  They were very welcoming, friendly, and excited to share their views with a foreign journalist.

As the day became night, many party leaders instructed their followers to head home.  A small group decided they wanted to stay Tahrir throughout the night.  It was this group that faced the initial outbreak of violence at the hands of the police/military.

It hasn’t stopped since…

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