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‘Black Bloc’ stops tramway in Alexandria, protests in Cairo

A group of masked men stage protests in Cairo and Alexandria, call for 'the fall of the regime'

Ahram Online, Friday 25 Jan 2013
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A screen shot from the Black Bloc's video statement showing a protester wearing "Vendetta's" mask.

A group of young protesters, who identified themselves as the "Black Bloc", have marked the second anniversary of the Egyptian revolution by blocking the tramway tracks in Alexandria on Friday.

About ten people wearing black masks stopped the tramway track using traffic barriers, and have also blocked the road at Al-Qaed Ibrahim Square where protests are expected to take place.  

This is not the first appearance of the group as they also protested in Cairo on Thursday. They marched from Talaat Harb Square to Tahrir in central Cairo, banging drums and saying that they will "continue the revolution" and will “defend protesters in Tahrir”.   

The Black Bloc described themselves as a group that is “striving to liberate humans, end corruption and bring down tyrants.”

"We had to appear officially to fight against the regime of the fascist tyrants, the Muslim Brotherhood and its military wing," they said in a video posted on YouTube on Wednesday.

The short video, filmed at night in Alexandria, shows men wearing black clothes and covering their faces with black masks. Some were holding the Egyptian flag while others carried black flags with an "A" sign.

"We strongly warn the [ministry of interior] of intervening in this matter, and if it confronts us, we will not relent. Glory to the martyrs, victory to the revolution," they added.

The group insisted it does not have any pages on social network websites but several pages bearing names like “Black Block Egypt” and “Revolution Black Bloc” were created on Facebook on Twitter. They attracted thousands of subscribers.

Internationally, the tactic of the "Black Bloc" was used by many protesters in Europe, particularly in Germany in the 1970s and in anti-globalisation protests in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Black Bloc groups usually wear face-concealing items during their protests. They traditionally resort to violence to achieve their goals.

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