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Timeline of the Egyptian Recolution

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The Egyptian Revolution did not come out of thin air. Despite arrests, disappearances and torture, brave activists were a frequent thorn in the side of dictator Hosni Mubarak in the decade before his overthrow.
Issue 2287
  • March—September 2001

    Hunger strikes and occupations in support of Palestinians spread across Egypt.

    Protesters take to Tahrir Square to condemn Israel.

  • April 2002

    Student demonstrations sweep Egypt after Israel invades the West Bank. Police kill a 20 year old at Alexandria University.

  • 20 March 2003

    Tens of thousands occupy Tahrir Square against the invasion of Iraq.

  • March 2005

    Anti-government protests take place at universities across Egypt for two weeks.

  • May 2005

    State forces attack a peaceful protest against a corrupt referendum on constitutional changes.

  • May 2006

    Pro-reform judges protest in Cairo as part of the Kefaya democracy movement.

  • June 2007

    The Rafah crossing to Gaza is closed by the regime.

    This places Palestinians under siege, provoking widespread protests in Egypt.

  • March – April 2008

    Mass strikes break out among textile workers in Mahalla.

    A month later an illegal general strike rocks Egypt.

    Police kill two demonstrators—one is a 15 year old boy.

  • 22 January 2008

    The Rafah crossing is breached by Egyptians and Palestinians.

    Hundreds of thousands cross the border.

  • 27 December 2008

    Israel invades Gaza. Massive protests take place across Egypt.

  • 17 December 2010—14 January 2011

    The Tunisian revolution ousts the dictator Zine el Abidine Ben Ali.

    In Egypt in just 18 days, a mass protest turns into a revolution.

    Police vanish from the streets as 28 Cairo police stations are burnt out.

    Around 1,000 people are killed by state forces.

  • 25 January 2011

    Tens of thousands protest around the country. The government shuts down internet access.

  • 1 February 2011

    Mubarak offers concessions but refuses to go.

    Protests escalate into a strike wave in Alexandria and Suez.

    Ten million people across Egypt demonstrate, and thousands set up permanent camp in Tahrir Square.

  • 2 February 2011

    The “Battle of the Camel” in Tahrir Square sees Mubarak’s thugs attack protesters.

  • 11 February 2011

    Mubarak is finally forced out. Huge celebrations break out across Egypt.

    The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (Scaf) seizes control. Popular committees grow up in neighbourhoods to defend the revolution.

  • 13 February 2011

    Scaf dissolves parliament and suspends the constitution.

  • 21 February 2011

    David Cameron visits Tahrir Square with British arms dealers. He is accused of selling weapons to repressive regimes as he claims to support the revolution against his old ally Mubarak.

  • 5 March 2011

    State Security Intelligence buildings are raided by protesters. Files are “liberated” in an echo of Berlin in 1989.

  • 19 March 2011

    Referendum passes a new constitution by 77 percent.

  • 1 April 2011

    A second wave of resistance begins with a mass protest in Tahrir Square demanding faster change and a trial for Mubarak.

  • 27 May 2011

    Huge demonstrations take place across the country against the slow pace of reform.

    These continue into July.

    The revolutionary forces continue to scare the elite, who unleash a wave of repression.

    No longer do they believe “The army and the people are one hand”—Scaf is shown to be just as repressive as the ousted regime and resistance to it grows.

  • 23 July 2011

    Counter-revolutionary thugs attack protesters with sticks and stones as they try to march on the defence ministry.

  • 29 July 2011

    Clashes occur in Tahrir Square as Salafi Islamists hold a mass rally denouncing the left.

  • 1 August 2011

    Soldiers tear down protesters’ tents in the square. The state launches an offensive against revolutionaries.

  • 3 August 2011

    The trial of Mubarak begins.

  • 9 September 2011

    Protesters attack the Israeli embassy in Cairo.

  • 1 October 2011

    Bus drivers in Cairo join the strike wave raging across the country.

  • 9 October 2011

    Military police attack Coptic Christians as they protest against Scaf and for the resignation of its leader, Mohamed Hussein Tantawi. More than 20 are killed.

    A united mass protest in solidarity with Copts occurs in response.

  • 31 October 2011

    Blogger and political activist Alaa abd el-Fatah, nephew of Ahdaf Soueif, is arrested, sparking mass protests.

  • 19 November 2011

    Tahrir Square is reoccupied amid violent clashes with security forces.

  • 28 November 2011

    Elections begin amid deepening mass protests against Scaf and violent reprisals by the military.

  • 16 December 2011

    The military attack a peaceful sit-in outside the Cabinet Offices.

    In a crackdown on activists police and the military raid the offices of 17 NGOs across Cairo.

    They also begin a witch-hunt against the Revolutionary Socialists.

  • 18 December 2011

    Footage emerges of soldiers beating a woman protester, tearing off her clothes. She becomes known as the “Blue Bra Girl”.

    Some 3,000 women march in protest against this and forced “virginity tests” by Scaf.

  • January 2012

    The Muslim Brotherhood backed Freedom and Justice Party is the biggest winner in the first post-Mubarak elections.


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