Friday of Anger: Will the uprising turn into a revolution?

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For the sixth consecutive day demonstrators demanded the departure of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and his regime in Egypt, and many villages and some cities witnessed widespread protests under the slogan of the Friday of Anger, 25 September. After Friday prayers, the protests began and continued until night in Cairo and Giza in several villages and towns from Damietta in the north to Minya, Sohag, Luxor, and Aswan in the south. The expansion of the scope of the demonstrations and the diversity in location pushed a question about the continuing state of anger and mobility, and its move to the capital Cairo and its closed squares and the transformation of the uprising into a new revolution.

Many observers and social media users expected the widespread anger to continue and turn into a revolution, especially in light of the violent way the security forces handle the protesters. Demonstrators continued chanting from after Friday prayers until the night after at least two people were killed and they shot and wounded others in the village of al-Blida in Giza Governorate.

The security forces confronted the demonstrators in several areas, firing birdshot and tear gas canisters, and arresting dozens of demonstrators in the governorates of Giza and Damietta. People in new areas joined in the protests on Friday. Anger escalated in Upper Egypt after the circulation of a video clip of the arrest of Nubian children in Aswan. These are all factors which suggest this could turn into a revolution.

Friday of Anger

The hashtag entitled #Friday_of_Wrath, September 25, topped the most popular hashtags in Egypt. After Friday prayers for the sixth day in a row, the protesters despite the closure of the capital’s streets and squares. Police forces surrounded squares in Cairo, Alexandria, and Suez, and metro stations were closed, under the pretext of maintenance, in conjunction with the Friday dawn raids of many citizens’ homes and their arrest. Security mobilisation and suppression continued. Despite its success in preventing the demonstrations from reaching the heart of the capital, it did not prevent the continuation of the uprising launched since September 20 in the villages and cities.

Video clips circulating on social media were an alternative to media coverage of the demonstrations in light of the blackout from local satellite channels and the media’s denial and downplaying of protests. The circulating videos showed many protesters blocking the highway in Cairo near the Tora Prison area, chanting slogans against Sisi. Protesters demonstrated in front of the Bani Mazar City Council in Minya Governorate, demanding al-Sisi’s departure, and activists circulated a video clip showing the projection of a picture of al-Sisi in the city itself.

Contractor and artist Mohamed Ali demanded, in a video clip he posted on his Facebook page, that Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, open public squares to the demonstrators. Ali demanded the detainees’ release, a halt to house demolitions, and an immediate halt to the reconciliation law relating to illegal properties.

Nuba children

In conjunction with the Friday demonstrations, a state of intense anger swept the people of Aswan and social media sites due to the arrest of children from the West Suhail Nubian village during the past days.

The Nubian people expressed their anger at the arrest of their children and went out in demonstrations surrounding the Security Directorate in Aswan, demanding the release of two children under 12-years-old. Parents received a promise from the security services to release their children. Still, they were surprised when the children were deported from Aswan to Cairo and presented at the Supreme State Security Prosecution for investigation on charges related to the protests.

Through the communication platforms, thousands tweeted calling for Nubian children’s freedom, considering that the authority is particularly harsh to Nubians. They arrested a number of them, three years ago, for a long time, after a demonstration with Dofof (drums) demanding their return to their lands from which they were forcibly displaced. Social media users explained that of the detained children, one of them suffers from asthma and launched an attack on the security services, threatening an escalation in the coming days.