Last Update 22:0
Monday, 21 October 2019

Hundreds of thousands revitalise Egypt's revolution on Determination Friday

Hundreds of thousands descended on Tahrir Square and elsewhere around the country in the biggest show of people power in months

Salma Shukrallah in Tahrir Square, Friday 8 Jul 2011
Tahrir July 8 (Reuters)
Hundreds of thousands gather in Tahrir square for Determination Friday (Photo: Reuters)
Views: 11594
Views: 11594

Angered that no change is yet visible since the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak, hundreds of thousands have gathered again at Tahrir square and in cities around the country, insisting that the basic demands of the revolution be met. Demonstrators came from across Egypt’s provinces to assemble at Cairo’s downtown square, now a symbol of Egypt’s revolution.

Several stages had been set hours before the break of day, one by the Revolution Youth Coalition, one by a coalition of liberal parties and movements, one by the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), one belonging to the Wafd party and another to leftist parties. The Muslim Brotherhood’s stage was the highest and biggest, provoking many of the protestors who complained that the MB is trying to steal all the attention of the public. The MB has already angered many with their stand against the sit-in many political groups are calling for to pressure the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) into meeting the revolution’s demands.

 The MB, which decided to join the protests only two days ago, has stated that they will not be supporting the sit-in, planned to go on until demands are met, and announced instead they would be leaving at 5pm. They began to pack up and leave the square shortly after 5.

In Tahrir many demonstrators carried banners reading “I will be joining the sit-in”. Tens of tents have been set up since Thursday night.

Despite tensions, demonstrators have tried to maintain a level of unity diffusing quarrels as they erupt. One dispute was triggered by a banner reading “The constitution first” and another by the slogan “the people and the army are one hand”. Many political groups and movements had previously agreed, after long disputes, that the demand for drafting a new constitution before holding parliamentary elections will not be included among Determination Friday’s demands so as not to create divisions. However, no consensus was reached prior to Friday regarding the SCAF, and many chanted against the council. 

The demonstrators’ main demands include the speedy trial of police officers responsible for killing the martyrs, the speedy trial of Mubarak and corrupt ex-regime figures, setting a minimum wage, restructuring the ministry of interior and cleansing the police force.

Shoeib El-Aasar, an employee at Suez Canal University, says he came from Ismailiya to demand retribution for the martyrs of the revolution. El-Aasar says he came on Thursday night and spent the night in Tahrir with more than 7000 other protestors, many of whom had come from outside Cairo. In Ismailiya, Aasar explains, he has also protested for higher wages and stable employment contracts with his fellow colleagues only a week before he came to Cairo. He complains that he gets paid no more than LE500 ($83.9) a month, which makes it necessary for him to take on another job working at a restaurant during the evening.

A huge overarching tent now covers the central island of Tahrir square providing protection for at least some of the demonstrators from the scorching summer sun. Underneath, several small tens were set up, each with the name of the group, movement or party to which it belongs. The tents were mainly set up by those planning to take part in the open-ended sit-in, which aims to continue until the revolution’s demands are met. Most of the tents were set up the day before.

Street vendors sold water bottles and head caps by the dozen as protestors struggled with the heat. The MB handed out head caps with the organization’s logo to members of their group. Other newly formed groups did the same.

Despite disagreements and a few of disputes, Determination Friday has proven successful, with one of the largest turnouts since the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak. 


Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

09-07-2011 08:17am
Protest 8 July
Well written except for the concluding that it was successful. Yes, it got lots of people but only if it accomplishes the stated goals is it to be considered successful. Or, will it be co-opted by the MB? Only time will disclose what success is and by/for whom.
Comment's Title

© 2010 Ahram Online.