Socialist Worker

Eyewitness to the Cairo violence

Aida Seif El Dawla was on the protest. She sent this report:

Issue No. 1954

Egyptian police and ruling party thugs turned 25 May, the day of the “historic referendum”, into a public show of power and violence.

The police brought trucks of riot police and buses stuffed with thugs. The thugs attacked protestors, first verbally, then physically. Then the police joined in with beatings and soon after with arrests.

Although many young men were attacked, the main target of the police and the ruling party was clear — the women.

Almost no woman was spared. Thugs pulled their hair, tore their clothes and molested them, forcibly stripping them naked in the middle of the street.

Officers pushed women into circles where the thugs were gathering, giving them the green light to do their dirty job.

They stole necklaces from around the necks of women, watches from around their wrists, money and mobile phones from their bags. They tried to humiliate the opposition.

However the sentiment the attack created was far from the humiliation they had planned. For hours those women who were stripped, beaten and molested — among them myself — felt alone and desperate.

But when we came together in the Hisham Mubarak Law Centre our spirits dramatically changed. We realised that this would not have happened had the regime not lost all sense, were it not acting like a wounded monster desperately struggling against its inevitable death.

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Sat 4 Jun 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1954
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