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Egyptian Youth Vow to Sit-In Until Military Rulers Relinquish Power

A Year and One Day Later, Efforts Continue to Fulfill Promises of Revolution

- Common Dreams staff

A day after hundreds of thousands of Egyptians took to Tahrir Square to commemorate the one year anniversary of the uprising that led to Hosni Mubarak's ouster, many of those same youth say they will reinvigorate their revolutionary efforts by once again staging rallies and sit-ins until the military council that now rules Egypt cedes power.

Reuters reports:

An Egyptian youth shouts slogans during a protest in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians have marked the first anniversary of the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak with rallies in major squares across Egypt that turned into a show of strength by secular groups in their competition with the country's powerful Islamists over demands for an end to military rule. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) Scores of youths [on Thursday] occupied the square surrounded by dozens of tents pitched on traffic islands. Vendors sold hot drinks and some activists huddled round open fires to keep warm in the morning air.

"The military council commits the same abuses Mubarak committed. I don't feel any change. The military council is leading a counter-revolution. We will protest until the military council goes," said 23-year-old student Samer Qabil.

The army council took over when Mubarak was ousted and is led by his defense minister for two decades, Field Marshall Mohamed Hussein Tantawi. It has insisted it will hand power to civilians after a presidential election in June.

But many activists say they fear it wants to hold onto power behind the scenes.

And the Egypt Independent adds:

The 25 January Revolution Youth Coalition has called upon the Egyptian people to take part in a million-man protest next Friday, dubbed the "Friday of Dignity," to confirm the continuation of the revolution and demand that the military council hand over power to civilians. It has also called for a sit-in in Tahrir Square until power is handed over to civilians and the military regime falls.

The coalition said in a Wednesday statement that the military mismanaged the transition period and has failed to preserve the dignity of the Egyptian people. It chided it for killing protesters at Maspero in October, on Mohamed Mahmoud Street in November and during cabinet clashes in December.

Other revolutionary movements and parties on Wednesday announced the beginning of a sit-in in Tahrir Square and other squares throughout Egypt. They demand the prompt handover of power to civilian rule. 

The April 6 Youth Movement tweeted that it will stage a sit-in in Tahrir Square calling for a speedy transfer of power.

Independent news website Youm7 cited April 6 spokesperson Mahmoud Afifi as saying that the movement will hold sit-ins until the army transfers power to Parliament or holds presidential elections.

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