Egyptians rally in Tahrir Square for 'second revolution'
Egyptian protesters see a need to keep pressure on the country's interim military rulers, but some warn that their impatience could thwart their ultimate goals.
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“The protesters fear we are losing the revolution,” says student Heba Marrey, standing at the main gate of Cairo University’s sprawling campus with piles of books in her arms – too busy to attend the protest. “But the people who aren’t going are simply saying: be patient.”Skip to next paragraph
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Ms. Marrey says she supports the military because unlike the uprisings in countries like Libya and Syria, the Egyptian military helped their revolution. Many are, for the most part, pleased with the way the military is ruling and want to move forward in the post-revolution period.
“I think there is tension between the ongoing revolution and the political transition and [many Egyptians] are caught in the middle,” says Dr. Dunne of the Carnegie Endowment.
Some warn that impatience could undermine protesters' efforts
Analysts say the lack of patience among protesters may ultimately damage the demonstrators’ efforts to evoke effective and sustained change. “I think most Egyptians want to move on and move into the post-protest phase and they want to return to normalcy, politically and economically,” says Shadi Hamid of the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar. “I don’t think there is a lot of sympathy for endless protesting and I’m worried these activists are going to wear the patience of the people they are trying to reach out to.”
Dr. Hamid argues that the protesters are not playing the “long game” in politics and should be focusing on party building instead of ongoing demonstrations. “Where is the long term vision? At some point the military is not going to lead and you have to plan for the post-military phase,” he says.
The Muslim Brotherhood, which is expected to field candidates for about 50 percent of seats in the upcoming parliamentary elections, announced on May 25 that the group would not participate in Friday’s protests because it may cause unnecessary strife. Instead, the Brotherhood called for political unity.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces released a statement Thursday warning protesters of possible clashes. They were not present in the square to protect the demonstrators, whom they say have the right to peacefully protest.
Nada Abdel Mageed, sitting on a dark green fence in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday and holding up a hand-written sign, could have spoken for many when she said, “I’m here for the concept of freedom.”