Egyptians Take To The Streets To Mark First Anniversary Of Revolution
It was a year ago today that Egyptians started a revolt that led to the fall of President Hosni Mubarak. Marking the day, tens of thousands of people took to the streets both in celebration and in protest of the military rulers that took Mubarak's place.
Reporting from Cairo, NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson sent this report to our Newscast unit:
"Fly-overs by military jets and a rally at a large stadium are among the official government celebrations that are scheduled. The top military ruler, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, also pledged to partially lift a much hated state of emergency law and to free political prisoners.
"But many Egyptians reject the government offerings as an insult to the principles of the revolution. Protestors across Cairo are marching on the city's main square of Tahrir.
"They are demanding the ruling military council hand over power to the newly elected parliament now. They are also demanding that lawmakers quickly address problems like a weakening economy, unemployment and crime."
The New York Times reports that youth groups and activists gathered at strategic locations across Cairo and marched to Tahrir Square. The plan resembled the convergence of marches that set off the Tahrir Square protests last January," the Times adds.
The AP spoke to Iman Fahmy, a 27-year-old pharmacist who said he was shot in the eye during recent protests.
"We are not here to celebrate," he told the AP. "We are here to bring down military rule. They have failed the revolution and met none of its goals."
Since October, the Times reports, more than 80 protesters have been killed in clashes with the military.
The BBC reports that others hit the streets to honor the 850 people killed during the revolt.
"We should not forget that there was bloodshed here," Walid Saad told the BBC. "This is not a celebration, but it is a big event to send our condolences to our brothers who passed away between the 25th of last January and now."