This month's first anniversary of the uprising that toppled Mubarak contains a stark message for Egypt’s revolutionaries. They are being marginalised as vested interests and traditional political forces experienced in political horse trading fill the vacuum of leadership. This message may well also be meant for other revolutionaries in the Arab world.
EGYPT’S MILITARY council, backed by Islamist and secular political parties, has upstaged the 25 January celebrations of the anniversary of the protests that ousted President Hosni Mubarak even before the party gets underway. The military pre-empted plans by the revolutionary youth and militant soccer fan groups whose mass protests early last year forced Mubarak from office by announcing that they would organise their own celebration together with the Muslim Brotherhood on Cairo’s Tahrir Square.
The military’s co-opting of the celebrations is certain to dash hopes of the protesters to exploit the anniversary to launch what they call a second revolution that would force the armed forces to immediately relinquish power.
Instead, it is likely to seal their defeat in a country that has grown tired of demonstrations, still largely reveres the military despite its brutal response to anti-government protests late last year and wants to see tangible results of its revolt.