Egyptian protestors are back in Tahrir Square. After having celebrated the fall of the regime with the toppling of former president Hosni Mubarak last February, the Egyptian people have now finally realized that dictatorship is still there. The removal of Mubarak was just a farce. The Army took the total control of the country and now is supporting former members of Mubarak's political party (NDP) in November 28 legislative elections. These members, called by the protesters fullul (garbage), are still part of the regime and still want to serve it, and with the Army's help might win an important number of seats.
While the Egyptian Army might have thought that killing Copts and arresting of thousands of people would be a deterrent to protestors, instead, the Egyptian people are back again in Tahrir Square, for what has been called by some Egyptian activists "phase two of the Revolution." The Egyptian papers wrote that it is January in Cairo again: the clashes that took place in the January revolution to oust Mubarak are continuing; people state that they wants to put an end to military oligarchy in the nation. Clashes have erupted in Cairo between the protestors and the police. This time the Army will not restrain its brutality. The Associated Press reports that as riot police storm into Tahir Square,
in just three days 500 people have been hurt and tens of people killed. El Masry Al Youm mentions that the violence that broke out Saturday November 18 in Tahrir Square and then spread to Suez and Alexandria has resulted in three days in 1,114 injured.
Last February, the media outlet Ukrainian Weekly mentioned that what was happening in Egypt was similar to what happened in Ukraine with the Orange revolution, which was a popular uprising started in 2004 to end the regime of Leonid Danylovych Kuchma, second President of Ukraine from 1994 to 2005. The Ukrainian Weekly states that what the Orange revolution teaches the Egyptian one is that "revolutions may begin suddenly, but they last for a long time."
"By definition, revolutions are cataclysmic events that shake governments and peoples to their foundations. The ripple effects of such change last for decades if not longer. […] Consider the American Revolution. For the first decade following the defeat of the British at Yorktown in 1781, the American states were at loggerheads, and the gains of the revolution were problematic at best. Only with the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and the election of George Washington as President in 1789 did the curtains begin to lift and the underlying meaning of the American Revolution become apparent," the Ukrainian Weekly notes.
The paper then draws the parallel with what happened in Ukraine, mentioning that a Revolution is a long process with several phases and several setbacks: "And what about the Orange Revolution? The conventional wisdom is that with the election of Victor Yanukovych as President of Ukraine in 2010 – in other words, the election of the man who opposed the events of 2004 – the Orange Revolution has ended. But if history is any guide, that may be a premature conclusion. Ukraine still has a formidable oppositionist political force that includes Yulia Tymoshenko, and a robust civil society, two of the spearheads of the 2004 uprising. Last December, thousands of middle class business people, along with many young people, protested the new tax laws of the government which led to the laws being withdrawn. In short, traditions of protest and drama continue in Ukraine, traditions that could, given sufficient cause, trigger another mass movement."
The Army's increased strength should not be considered a failure of the revolution, so long as the protestors are willing to keep up their fight. One of the main problems of the Egyptian opposition, however, is that it has no leader. The Facebook phenomenon managed to create a platform to organize demonstrations and gather people, but failed to establish a structured movement with a strong person to guide it. The only structured opposition in Egypt is the Muslim Brotherhood; there is, at the moment, no organized political third way. Protestors should engage not only to fight the regime, but also to create a liberal political alternative, that can counter the two despotic powers: the Islamists and the Army. Once the Army is defeated -- possibly in even another take another decade -- protestors should be ready to offer a political platform that at the moment they are unable to deliver -- with the risk of handing the newly liberated Egypt to the Muslim Brotherhood. In the end – underlines the Ukraine Weekly – it is what happened "the day after revolution" that determines its ultimate success or failure.