March 25, 2007

Demonstrations 1

I live in a house overlooking Liberation Square. Tahrir Square, Cairo.
Which by a strange disposition of time has become the preferred playground of the few politicized anti governmental Egyptian.
I suspect the powerful international Green movement for moving the demonstrations out of the university and into downtown Cairo. It definitely gives Cairo a few hour of rest from pollution and the such. I remember once I was just amazed how much the level of noise pollution came down during a previous demonstration. The guys and girls who were motivated were shouting many slogans not all polite and respectuous. Still they were much less noisy than a normal traffic in the throbbing heart of Cairo, or a normal call to prayer, this often has to fight the noise pollution of Cairo but in these instances it is really impressive, even if the muezzins are not well tuned, timing wise..
I sometimes wonder what is the reason why the government decided to let it happen. I mean after all , a march coming out from Liberation Square would have a strong marketable appeal, it is true on the other hand that any demonstration is kind of overshadowed by the Mogama'a. The Mogama'a is the government, or at least its inescapable symbol.
For details about the demonstrators demands one can read about what the parliament itself is saying.
What started me on this was that I am more and more impressed by the anger management techniques used by the government. Even if the car were not allowed to be parked at both Tallaat Harb and El Tahrir street from early morning. The first anti riots cars only arrived and parked at 14.00 . By 15.00, the barriers are slipped over to their places. So that everything is ready for the media circus being shown. By 20.00 or so, people are expected to have vented down and peacefully go home, after a light stampede initiated by the guarding police forces and with help from the cold bite of the Cairene wind, while later in the year they expect people to be thirsty and want out to drink.. Everything seems to be under control. A few contradicting orders were diligently followed then backed up but nothing more dramatic than a handful of traffic department men, closing Talaat Harb street off befor it was time to. Nonetheless the call for the demonstration is only 18.00, so if anything different happens. I might be back.

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