The revolution turns nasty
Following two weeks of continued protests in Tahrir Square, thousands of demonstrators decided to march upon the home of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), the Ministry of Defence, on Saturday.
The day is significant because it is 59 years ago, on 23rd July 1952 that the armed forces instigated a coup against King Farouk I, which led to the rise of Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein who went on to rule as president, with military support, from 1956 to 1970.
Before too long the demonstrators were corralled into a small area in the district of Abbasiya where they were faced by a cordon of tanks and military personnel. Then they were pelted with stones by ‘thugs’ leading to a retreat back to Tahrir Square.
Although at no point did the army harm the protesters, they did fire shots into the air and they did nothing to stop the attacks by the stone throwers. Most of the press reports say that protesters felt the armed forces were complicit in the attack and had either paid the thugs or incited them into the action taken. A large number of protesters were wounded.
Whichever is the case, there has been an increasing level of disillusionment and disrespect between protesters and the SCAF (but not the ordinary soldier who is still held in high respect) to which this latest incident may have created a watershed.