Sit-in allows traffic to flow through Tahrir Square

Yasser Seddiq, Saturday 10 Dec 2011

Protesters are still camping in Tahrir, but they finally allowed traffic to flow through the square for the first time since 19 November

Tahrir Square
Archive photo of Tahrir Square (Photo: Reuters)

Protesters staging a sit-in at Tahrir Square have finally allowed vehicles to pass through, after a fortnight of turning cars away from the area due to recurring demonstrations and clashes.
This Saturday morning, demonstrations removed the road blocks from the square’s entrances, allowing traffic to get back to normal in the epicentre of Egypt’s January 25 Revolution.

Some of the protesters voluntarily acted as traffic control at the same time that a woman, along with a few other demonstrators, was screaming in protest against the decision to let cars pass. No policemen were seen in the area whatsoever.

Tahrir Square, Egypt’s largest square, remained closed up until Friday.

Although Tahrir was eventually re-opened, the sit-in is ongoing. All tents set up on the once-grassy central island are untouched, as well as the others located in front of Mogamma, the country’s largest administrative building.

The Tahrir sit-in has started 19 November, the day after a major Friday protest against continued military rule in Egypt. The next day, some, who call themselves the “revolution’s injured alliance,” decided to spend the night in the square to sit-in long-term until the government honours their obligation to pay for treatment of the injured or compensate for killing their family members during the revolution.

Central Security Forces (CSF) tried to forcibly disperse the small sit-in, brutally beating the revolution’s injured alliance. This only served to infuriate activists and soon, protesters began to arrive in the thousands to stand up against the troops.

A bloody, long battle, mainly in Mohamed Mahmoud Street, which branches from Tahrir and lead towards the Ministry of Interior’s premises, saw over 40 killed and several thousand injured.

The army has completely blocked Mohamed Mahmoud Street with huge cement bricks placed across the road to separate protesters and the police.

Apart from the bloody confrontations, demonstrators have been primarily demanding that the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) hand over power immediately to a civilian administration.

Another sit-in was staged by revolutionaries before the cabinet headquarters on Majlis Al-Shaab Street near Tahrir to protest last month’s military appointment of Kamal El-Ganzouri as prime minister to replace the government of Essam Sharaf.

Short link: