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Thursday, 29 July 2021

Sit-in for the third day at Tahrir Square, others call for stability

Following the violent clashes that erupted between police and protesters on 28 June, a sit-in in solidarity with the injured and the 25 January martyrs' families continues into its third day

Mai Ezzat, Thursday 30 Jun 2011
Tahrir square.
A young man sleeps in the shade of a tent used by protesters in Tahrir square in Cairo June 30, 2011 (Photo: Reuters)
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For the third day, hundreds of protesters continued their sit-in in solidarity with the 25 January martyrs' families and those injured in the clashes that broke out between the police and protestors on June 28.

”I left Maspero for my mother's sake,” says Mohamed Metwally, who participated in the martyrs families' sit-in outside the state TV headquarters, “After my brother’s death she can't stay alone due to her health condition. But the way the regime is dealing with us, even after we have lost our beloved relatives and friends in the revolution, is what made me join the Tahrir sit-in.''

On 28 June Tahrir square witnessed its fiercest street battles since the 18-day uprising that toppled ousted president Hosni Mubarak, with stones thrown by both police and protesters.

Amira,  21 years, was injured in the early morning of 29 June. "I was in front of the ministry of interior when an officer threw a stone at my head. I returned home for a couple of hours and I came back to Tahrir square and I won't leave until we see the change we call for 6 months ago,” she told Ahram Online.

Other activists travelled to Alexandria to attend the trial of Khaled Said, and have said they will return to the square after the court decided to postpone the verdict that was due on Thursday.

6th April youth movement is the only organized group at the square even though other political forces have been calling for demonstrations on Friday. One tent in the square has turned it into a field hospital.

" We only came here because they left us no choice when they chose to beat the martyrs' families, just as they did with their sons until they died,” Mohamed El-Gamal, a member of 6th April, told Ahram Online, ”We are expecting more tents tonight and more people to join."

 El-Gamal told Ahram Online that the movement decided to remain in the square until the ministry of interior issues a formal apology for what happen on 28 June and the following morning.

Other people at Tahrir square also believe that last Tuesday's violence was unjustified but blame the protestors for it. Many could be found angrily confronting the protestors in an attempt to convince them to call off the sit-in.

"Enough with protests and sit-ins. We are in dire need of everyday being wasted protesting to earn our livings," says Ayat Osman, who also commented on the delayed trials of those accused of killing 25 January uprising protestors. 

"We are not supposed to interfere with the trials and processes of the cases,” she told Ahram Online. "I believe in court justice and if these people [the families of the martyrs] have rights nobody will stand against them."

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