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Second military-erected wall removed from downtown Cairo

MPs call for removal of walls surrounding interior ministry and parliament, complain they cause traffic congestion and disrupt local residents as well as parliamentarians

Ahram Online, Tuesday 8 May 2012
Wall with rainbow
Street Art: The finished product: Mansour Street wall painted by "Zeft" and team (Photo: Ewan Cameron)
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A second military-erected wall was removed from downtown Cairo Sunday, leaving six still standing. The walls have become a symbol of escalating tension in the city and a nuisance to thousands of local residents and businesses.

People's Assembly Speaker Saad El-Katatni on Monday asked the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) to remove walls surrounding the interior ministry and parliament, complaining they harm MPs as well as local residents.  He added that several MP had called for the removal of the walls due to the traffic congestion they cause.

Activists took the initiative last month to destroy the wall blocking Qasr El-Aini Street, one of the main roads leading to Tahrir Square, but the military continued to block the road using leftover bricks and barbed wire.  On Sunday, an anti-SCAF march to parliament removed the remaining concrete blocks and barbed wire, opening the road to traffic for the first time in months.

The walls that have been built over the past year, one after another following each violent clash, have become a symbol of rising tensions between revolutionaries and security forces. The walls are now covered with revolutionary art showing open roads and rainbows side by side with tanks and portraits of martyrs.  

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