Jan. 22 - As Egypt braces for the one-year anniversary of the revolution that ousted former President Hosni Mubarak, activists prepare to renew push against military rulers. Lindsey Parietti reports.
At first thousands and then millions of Egyptians took to Tahrir Square early last year to push for reforms, and eventually, President Hosni Mubarak's resignation. As they prepare to celebrate and commemorate their martyrs on the revolution anniversary Wednesday, activists are also bracing for a renewed fight. They are angry that military rulers are still running the country and enforcing many of the same repressive tactics used by Mubarak's regime. The military has promised to relinquish power following presidential elections scheduled for June. Ahmed Harrara, a dentist who lost sight in both eyes after being shot during protests, has little faith in such promises. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ACTIVIST, AHMED HARRARA, SAYING: "They (ruling military council) have to leave no matter what, there is no other way. They've postponed it to June? I do not have faith in them until then. I want them to leave right now, not in June, because they initially said it would only be six months, and now these 6 months have turned into a year. Harrara, who lost one eye in January and had the other destroyed in November, has become a symbol of resilience and a hero for revolutionaries. But there is also widespread frustration that the unrest drags on even after democratic parliamentary elections. The vote left revolutionary groups with little representation. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) EGYPTIAN SPECTATOR OF 'KAZEBOUN' MARCH, IMAN, SAYING: "Take a look at their numbers. The Egyptian people are 90 million, what do these make up out of the 90 million. When each and every one of the Egyptian people take to the streets, then we can consider that they in fact represent us. But these people, they do not represent any one." Recent protests have not drawn the numbers seen early last year, but activists are hoping Wednesday's demonstrations will reinvigorate their cause. Perhaps hoping to stem anger, the military on Saturday pardoned nearly 2000 people convicted in military courts over the past year. Lindsey Parietti, Reuters