Workers’ leaders headed a march of thousands from Shubra in northern Cairo towards Tahrir Square as part of protests marking the second anniversary of the Egyptian revolution on 25 January. The demonstration, which was one of several marches which converged on Tahrir, focussed on the revolution’s unmet demands for social justice.
Revolutionary Socialist activist and labour lawyer Haitham Mohamedain said: “the demonstration is concentrating on the three-way alliance between the bosses, the military and the Brotherhood. We’re attacking the policies of Hisham Qandil’s government and demanding a rise in the national minimum wage. There have been slogans calling for an end to rising prices, and other social demands. Very large numbers of workers’ leaders took part in the demonstration today. Workers were leading the protest, with the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions (EFITU) at their head.”
Kamal Abu Aita, president of EFITU led hundreds in chants against Mohamed Mursi of the Brotherhood, denouncing his attempts to force Egyptians to accept US policies. “Listen Mursi, don’t talk Yankee with us,” he shouted to roars from the crowd.
Along side the famous slogan from the 2011 revolution – “the people demand the downfall of the regime” – newer chants could be heard: “Freedom is in the hands of the people – not in the hand of the rulers and their guards,” and “Social justice needs a workers’ revolution”
Women were everywhere on the march: leading the chanting and holding up placards. One woman held up an empty saucepan: “Mursi, our pots are empty. We’ll eat you up. Get out, Mursi.” Christian women and Muslim women marched together. Women wearing the full face veil or niqab carried placards saying “Down with the Brotherhood’s consitution”, chanting “women’s voices are rising from the church and the mosque” as they walked side-by-side with their unveiled sisters.
As the demonstration passed the Tawfiqiyya Street market area, protesters said they were hit by glass bottles thrown from the Ikhwan Online offices, headquarters of one of the Brotherhood’s main websites.