In the run-up to the first anniversary of the Egyptian revolution on 25 January, Hannah Elsisi gives her impressions of the last two turbulent months in Egypt.
The recent events around the Cabinet Occupation started when one of the occupiers was taken by a military officer at 3am. He was tortured half to death and thrown back to fellow protesters in a manner reminiscent of the days when state security could torture Khaled Said in broad daylight without flinching or worrying. They knew back in the days of Mubarak that they could get away with it.
Six days of relentless and persistent demonstrations followed. The army persisting with its agenda to squash all those who speak against it, revolutionaries holding their ground in the face of any rocks, fire, gas, bullets, or media lies that might be thrown at them.
I once again met youth and women that were more determined than ever to cleanse this country of every symbol of dictatorship, brutality, poverty and inequality. Children were chanting for generals to be tried, women with helmets were throwing stones at armed soldiers, youths were taking bullets as they cried “down, down with military rule”. As they are killed or injured others take their place in the battle line.
The Egyptian media has so far managed to obscure these events from public view. But I think we’ve got it straight now, the truth has come out. The media claim we have been paid, but we have not been paid. The media claim we are part of a foreign plot, but we are not externally motivated.
But in one respect we are set to do exactly what we are being accused of: bringing down the state. We’ve buried our dead, 12 most recently and hundreds so far. Our next rendezvous with the army will be on the first anniversary of this revolution. This journey is a long one and we are prepared, we have masses to protect us and revolutionary principles to keep us going and, though they might carry shields and armour, they do not hold revolutionary will.
Till the 25th of January, till they run out of bullets.
Hannah Elsisi is an Egyptian activist studying at Sussex University. She participated in the 18-day revolution that led to the fall of Mubarak last February, and has been in the thick of the fighting around the occupation of the Cabinet Office in Cairo.