Activists vow to continue as revolution enters new phase
JIHAN HAFIZ, CAIRO CORRESPONDENT, TRNN: Even as the military council’s new government was sworn in,–
CHANTING (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): Field Marshal wants to be president.
HAFIZ: –resistance to the regime continued outside the cabinet ministry into its fourteenth day.
CHANTING (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): We don’t want you!
HAFIZ: Everyone here rejects Kamal Ganzouri as their new prime minister and dismissed his cabinet as a facade to mask a military rule.
JIHAN KEMAL, PROF. LANGUAGE AND LINGUISTICS: Another failure. Nothing new. This is exactly what you have: the product of a failed educational system that gave you those 19 idiots who cannot think, who cannot take the proper decision, and who cannot actually even feel the people, they cannot feel the pulse of the people, what the people want.
HAFIZ: Ganzouri’s cabinet ministers were sworn in by Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi on Wednesday. Most of them were former regime members or have faced accusations of corruption.
MOHAMMED SAYEED, STUDENT (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): There’s a prime minister, but right now who’s giving orders? The military council. Secondly, Kamal Ganzouri has appointed Mohamed Ibrahim as interior minister, who has a case against him for killing Sudanese demonstrators and many people in Giza on January 25. Third, he appointed Saad Nasar as agricultural minister, who was the top adviser of Youssef Wali. Youssef Wali is a corrupt realtor, selling stolen land to Zionists and Israelis.
HAFIZ: The new interior minister, Mohamed Ibrahim, was not announced until hours before the swearing-in ceremony. Ibrahim’s first commitment as the new interior minister: a new national plan for the police force, and ensured that teargas would never be used again against protesters. Despite the elections, the military council has made known it will maintain control over decisions made by the incoming parliament, citing fears of an Islamist takeover that could threaten both the United States and Israel. According to a referendum passed last March, the incoming parliament would form the committee to draft Egypt’s new constitution. But since elections, the military council has made clear it will have the final say in selecting the committee members–yet another reason why Egyptians here continue to voice their outrage outside the cabinet ministry.
SAYEED: I have something to tell Field Marshal Tantawi. With my respect to you and the military council, we are no better than the martyrs of January 25th, 28th, and Mohammed Mahmoud, and many others. We are no better than them. Field Marshal, if you want [to] repeat the story of Syria and Libya, we’ll make it happen. We are ready to be martyred. Lots of people, our friends, were martyred. We want to see them.
HAFIZ: The sit-ins in the downtown had been demonized in the state media as disrupting the daily life of the country.
JIHAD KAKHRA EDIN, BUSINESSMAN (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): These people represent at least 300 million Arabs and the rest of the whole region, because they changed history. This–you know, it’s been a wonderful year. We haven’t seen a year like this in–God knows. No matter what Band-Aid the military and the previous regime want to make ain’t going to make a difference. The revolution is moving. The revolution will be televised and will not be televised. It’s moving.
HAFIZ: The road has now become a montage of revolutionary expressions.
SAYYED MOHAMMED (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): Egypt is the mother of the world and culture. Oh, Tantawi, enjoy your throne until the revolution kicks you out. Oh, Field Marshal, tell your dad the pharaohs will imprison you.
HAFIZ: These men are part of the group [incompr.] All One Eye, in honor of the 80 people fully or partially blinded in the latest uprising.
SHADY, IT STUDENT (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): Eighty people have been blinded so far, and more coming. More are coming. We are ready to give a million eyes in the name of freedom and democracy.
HAFIZ: These men fought during the January 25 Revolution and were at the front lines again battling government security forces two weeks ago.
SHADY, IT STUDENT (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): There’s a million people lined up ready to replace one of us. If one of us dies, there are a million coming. It’s not going to end. We will never relent.
HAFIZ: Twenty-six-year-old Ahmed Orabi, an electrician’s engineer, lost his eye when he was shot at close range by buckshot bullets.
AHMED ORABI, ELECTRICAL ENGINEER (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): We’ll be the best people, God willing. As long as Egypt is moving and her heart is beating, Arabs will prosper. If Egypt fails, then the Arab world will fall behind her. God willing, Egypt will stand on her two feet, prosper, and solve all our problems. Egypt is at the heart of all Arabs.
HAFIZ: The struggle toward human rights and dignity has strengthened Ahmed’s determination to finish what he helped start on January 25. Blocks away, a reduced number of protesters maintained the occupation of Tahrir Square.
UNIDENTIFIED (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): We are all optimistic. We know our numbers have declined. Even if our numbers are limited, from our perspective this could be the start of a brand-new revolution.
HAFIZ: Although the numbers have decreased here, the people involved in the sit-in at Tahrir continue to maintain their positions, saying that Ganzouri’s new cabinet has no effect on how they feel about bringing down the military council. Jihan Hafiz for The Real News in Cairo, Egypt.
End of Transcript
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