A protest at the Ministry of Antiquities was violently dispersed after members of a sit-in attempted to enter the ministry building.
The sit-in by recent graduates, which has gone on for more than a week, demanded that the ministry appoint them as state employees, a promise they claim the ministry broke.
“The Ministry of Disgrace removed the names of graduates from the list of employment with bribes and personal connections,” read a banner hung on the gates of the ministry.
“This was premeditated,” said Karim, a participant in the sit-in consisting of roughly 50 people. “They have seen us protesting for days now and planned to do this.”
Demonstrators originally scaled the locked gates of the ministry to conduct their sit-in on the front steps of the main headquarters in Zamalek, hanging banners and posters on the gates and walls outside.
Some protesters knocked on the glass front doors of the ministry, which were locked, asking to schedule appointments with the Minister of Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim, of whom they called for resignation.
A group of antiquities graduates approached the back entrance to the building where they met with resistance from the ministry security. A scuffle between the protesters and security escalated as some of the demonstrators at the front of the ministry rushed to the back with their colleagues. Eventually a man inside the ministry set off a fire extinguisher in the direction of the protesters.
As the demonstrators fled, roughly 15 plain-clothed men ran out of the ministry, beating both male and female protesters with wooden sticks.
The men then climbed the front gates of the ministry and proceeded to throw the belongings of the demonstrators back into the street, and tore down all the banners and posters that had been raised earlier.
Police officers intervened and separated the protesters from the men who came out of the ministry, many of whom had positioned themselves on the stairs where the protesters had been sitting minutes before.
The demonstrators claim Minister Ibrahim has been avoiding coming to the ministry for over a week in an effort to deliberately ignore their demands.
“All our names were on a list for appointments, but they were removed and replaced with other names,” said Yvette Khaled, who had been participating in the sit-in for the past week.
“There are people here who graduated four years ago and are still waiting for the ministry to grant them employment,” said Mostafa Ali, a recent graduate.
Some representatives from the sit-in filed a report with at the Qasr Al-Nil police station against the police and security at the ministry for beating demonstrators.