Two years ago Tahrir Square was overrun by Egyptian protesters vowing to topple Mubarak’s authoritarian regime in the name of “democracy.” Spurred by the Muslim Brotherhood (who, not coincidentally, seized power in swift order), and championed by misguided Westerners, the dissident movement was successful in its goals. Not before long, the late Anwar Sadat’s successor who, despite being guilty of his own set of transgressions, managed to maintain stability in the region, a cool yet productive peace with Israel, and a safe distance between Islamists and the halls of actual governmental power, was ultimately, deposed.
Presently, those who changed the tide those fateful days in Cairo are marking the second anniversary of the Mubarak ouster, not by celebrating their hard-won victory, but by rallying in Tahrir Square again to demand yet another revolution — this one to oust the man they, themselves, put in power: Mohammed Morsi.
Egyptian protesters amassed in Tahrir Square Friday, furious over what they see as a betrayal by their newly elected president and his Muslim Brotherhood ilk.
Fueled by the belief that the Islamist regime has trampled their country’s constitution and any sense of democracy that may have once been in sight, protesters clashed with police after launching petrol bombs and firecrackers as they rushed the dividing wall of nearby government buildings.
“Our revolution is continuing,” Hamdeen Sabahy, a prominent liberal leader told Reuters TV. “We reject the domination of any party over this state. We say no to the Brotherhood state.”
The protesters, led primarily by liberals and secularists, are using the anniversary of the original Tahrir Square uprising to pressure Morsi to amend the highly-disputed constitution drafted by his Islamist affiliates. The opposition movement is also demanding greater freedoms and an independent judiciary, according to reports from the AP.
The Jan. 25 anniversary showcased the divide between the Islamists and their secular foes that is hindering President Mohamed Mursi’s efforts to revive an economy in crisis and reverse a plunge in Egypt’s currency by enticing back investors and tourists.
Hundreds of thousands are expected to participate in the planned rallies in Cairo and several other major cities. Needless to say, Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood compatriots are keeping under the radar and indeed, off the streets until the dust clears.