Egypt Revolution: Take 2

Remember how happy the Egyptain population was to depose one dictator only to have him replaced with a ruling military junta, and how prosaic, not to mention cynical, our assumption was that the newly "democratic" country has three months before the country experiences another post-Thermiodrian revolution? Well, our estimate was three weeks off. As the video shows, Tahrir Square (remember it? the second black swan of 2011 after that whole Tunisia thing...) is once again the latest and greatest place to go, be seen, and occasionally, shot at.

And from Reuters, here's why Suez Canal concerns, so promptly put to bed, will likely reemerge within a month:

Egypt's ruling military council said on Saturday it would clear protesters from a central Cairo square with "firmness and force" to allow life to return to normal.

Speaking at a news conference, a senior military officer blamed trouble in Tahrir Square on "elements that backed the counter-revolution", a reference to people loyal to the administration of deposed President Hosni Mubarak.

At least they did not blame the snow. In the meantime inquiring minds want to know: just how many of the CIA boots on the ground currently in Libya were positioned there after "completing" their job in neighboring Egypt...

Some more from Al Jazeera:

Hundreds of protesters demanding that Hosni Mubarak, the former Egyptian president, be put on trial for alleged corruption, have retaken Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square, hours after security forces attempted to disperse them, in a clash that killed at least one person.

By 7am (local time) on Saturday morning, army and central security troops appeared to have withdrawn, leaving the square to protesters who set vehicles on fire and began setting up barricades made of furniture and left-behind barbed wire.

"The number of protesters remaining in the square is swelling, as news [of the clashes] spreads through the city," reported Mike Hanna, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Cairo.

Hundreds of army and security forces troops had stormed the square earlier, in an attempt to disperse the thousands of protesters.

In scenes reminiscent of the violent 18-day uprising that ousted longtime President Mubarak in February, protesters and riot police threw rocks at each other, and security forces responded by firing tear gas, witnesses said.

Egypt's health ministry said that one person was killed and 71 injured after those clashes. The military had earlier denied that anyone was hurt or killed in the raid of the square.

Groups of protesters rallying around the southeast corner of the square threw bottles and possibly petrol firebombs at riot police, Michelle May, a freelance journalist, told Al Jazeera.

One of the main roads running east from Tahrir Square towards Talaat Harb Square was virtually empty, and gunfire seemed to have subsided, a witness said.

The military in a statement released through the state MENA news agency, said that security forces were attempting to enforce a 2am to 5am (local time) curfew.

"Elements from the interior ministry along with some noble citizens confronted the riotous actions and enforced the curfew without any losses," the statement read. "The armed forces stress that they will not tolerate any acts of rioting or any act that harms the interest of the country and the people."

A separate statement carried on the military's Facebook page blamed "remnants" of Mubarak's National Democratic Party for the clashes, and ordered the arrest of four party members it accused of "thuggery" during the sit-in.

Guns fired, rocks thrown

Most of the protesters retreated after the army entered the square, witnesses said. Bassiouny ran to the west side of the square, which leads to Kasr el-Nil Bridge, and found more troops entering from that direction.

On the road leading east into the central business district around Talaat Harb Square, protesters tore down the roof of a bus stop and dragged it down the road to protect themselves from gunfire and rocks, said Drew Storey, a neighbourhood resident.

Protesters and army soldiers threw rocks at each other, and at least four injured protesters had to be carried away, he said. Soldiers fired their guns into metal shopfronts, sending sparks flying and bullets ricocheting, apparently to scare away the protesters, Storey said.

At one point, he said, security forces clad in riot gear chanted, cheered and shook each others' hands after driving the protesters away.

Other central security and army forces had been stationed to the north of Tahrir Square next to the Egyptian Museum, which military police have turned into a makeshift detention centre.

For those interested in what will likely be headline news again very soon, here is a live feed from Al Jazeera:


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