Revolution & Counter Revolution in Egypt: Military Power vs. Protest

By Carl Finamore

January 27, 2012 Tahrir Square encampment overlooking the hated Ministry of Interior flag-draped building, scene of numerous bloody protests.

Egyptians immediately recognized vivid symbolism few others understood in the soccer riot that broke out recently in the coastal city of Port Said.

First, the killing of 74 Ultras, fans of the Cairo team al-Ahly, occurred on the February 1 one-year anniversary of the memorably notorious “Camel Riders” attack against the Tahrir Square encampment.

Second, the Ultras played an enormously important and especially valiant role in repelling this vicious assault last year by Mubarak’s thugs. Their bravery on that day is acknowledged throughout Egypt.

Deep suspicions of police and military collusion in the soccer stadium assault against these honored heroes of the revolution are bolstered by numerous press accounts of police standing aside for several hours before intervening.

Thus, distrustful Egyptians have not fallen prey to far-fetched, concocted conspiracy theories when assuming the attacks, whether consciously planned or whether consciously permitted, were acts of revenge by authorities.

This extreme example of police misconduct only compounds broader concerns of brutality and injustice.

In the last year, for example, more demonstrators have been killed than during the 18 days of struggle that overthrew Mubarak. The abuses do not end there.

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