Over 16 Die In Protests Marking 4th Anniversary Of Egypt’s Revolution

In protests marking the fourth anniversary of the Egypt’s revolution, security forces killed at least 16 people and detained many more. Two of the people killed were attempting to plant a bomb in Behira Province, according to an Egyptian Ministry spokesman. CNN reports that the police insist they used nothing but tear gas, but a viral image says otherwise.

A day before the mass bloodshed, Cairo demonstrator Shaimaa El-Sabbagh was reportedly shot by police. A photo showing her dying as police holding rifles stand in the background has gone viral. The violence is forcing many in the original revolution to reconsider their tactics and reflect on how much, or little, progress the movement has made since 2011.

El-Sabbagh’s group is known as the Socialist Popular Alliance Party. They’re a group fighting for labor rights and advocating for children. According to KOCO, they marched on Tahrir Square in Cairo, mimicking the 2011 Egyptian revolution in many ways, right down to the chants and the violent reaction from police.

In 2011, the demonstrations prompted thousands to take to the streets. Clashes with security forces left hundreds dead, but eventually led to the ouster of dictator Hosni Mubarak. Unfortunately, the revolution was far from over.

“The situation is the same as it was four years ago and it is getting worse. The regime did not fall yet,” Alaa Lasheen, a 34-year-old engineer, said to Al Jazeera.

Critics regularly accuse Egypt’s current president, Abdel Fattah Saeed Hussein Khalil el-Sisi, of setting up a new authoritarian government. He’s outlawed protests like the ones that toppled Morsi. Likewise, a number of journalists, and Islamist and liberal activists, have been imprisoned during his rule.

Sisi pre-recorded a speech celebrated the revolution saying, “I salute all our martyrs, from the beginning of January 25 [2011] until now.”

Reda Hamed, 47-year-old member of the Bread and Liberty Party, is considering changing the revolution’s tactics to prevent future deaths. Until now, the revolutionary has felt that participation in the political system legitimizes the current regime, but that might change after so much bloodshed in the streets.

“I’m not ready to see another kid shot. I had to think about changing the mechanism of the revolution. Demonstrations and protests had to be changed to protect the youth of the revolution, so that no one else is shot dead. Enough with blood.”

Still, he insists that despite the difficulties the Egypt’s revolution did not fail.

“The revolution didn’t fail. The revolution is on the path typically taken by all revolutions in the world. Revolutions don’t happen and succeed in three to four years. The revolution is accumulative and we won’t see results before 10 or 15 years at least.”

[Image Credit: Mariam Soliman/Wikimedia Commons]