Tahrir Square flooded by people who want to continue the Jasmine Revolution
Nagui Diamian, a young Catholic Coptic leader, talks about the youth protest a year since the demonstrations that led to the fall of President Mubarak. Thousands have arrived from all over Egypt to demand real change for the country, which is still in the hands of the military. Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists try to monopolise the situation following their electoral victory.
Cairo (AsiaNews) – “Young Egyptians have taken to the streets to continue the revolution, not to celebrate its memory. The fall of Mubarak is not enough. Nothing has changed since last year,” said Nagui Diamian. Speaking to AsiaNews, the 30-year-old Coptic Catholic from Alexandria and a member of one of the many pro-democracy groups born out of last year’s protests joined the tens of thousands of young people who travelled overnight to Cairo to take part in this morning’s demonstration in Tahrir Square to mark one year since the Jasmine Revolution of 25 January 2011.
“The atmosphere is the same as last year,” he said. “Thousands of young Egyptians, Muslims and Christians, are filling up the square again because they want real change in the country.”
A year after Mubarak’s downfall, the military and members of the old regime are still in power. No soldier has gone to prison for the thousand and more people killed during months of demonstrations. The families of the victims of the massacre of Copts on 9 October are still waiting for justice. None of them has received any compensation.
“The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and the Islamist parties that won the elections want to hijack the revolution,” Nagui said. They want “the people and the rest of the world to believe that young people’s demands have been met. But that is not the case.”
“The Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists have called on their members from around Egypt to come to take over Tahrir Square to show that they are the answer to the demands of the revolution,” he explained.
“This morning, an argument broke out with members of the (Brotherhood-controlled) Freedom and Justice Party who were trying to set up stands in the middle of the square. Some of us took over the site instead, forcing them to put up their tents outside Tahrir Square. Pro-democracy youth do not want to demonstrate with them.”
“Islamists only want power,” he noted. “For this reason, they are now pro-army and prevent Christians and moderate Muslims from criticising the military.”
According to Nagui Diamian, the protest currently taking place in Cairo is a sign of the country’s future. “Despite threats from the military and the pressure of Islamic parties, Egyptians who want a secular state and a real democracy have not given up and they are still willing to give their lives for these ideals.”
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