CAIRO: A number of protesters who gathered in Sayeda Zeinab early Wednesday failed to convince the neighborhood’s residents to join the march that was en route to Tahrir Square to mark the first anniversary of the Jan. 25 uprising.
Protesters were met with negative sentiment from residents reluctant to join the march.
“I took part in the protests in January during the 18 days but not this time because I believe that the military council is handing over power. I need to work, enough with the protests,” said 40-year-old Abdel Hai Abdel Qader.
Om Atef, 80-year-old vendor in Sayeda Zeinab, also expressed dismay at the protest.
“We don’t have security, money or even jobs. Girls are getting kidnapped in front of our eyes and the police are too scared to do anything,” she said.
Some protesters were harassed by residents when they chanted anti-military slogans.
“The problem here in Sayeda is that most of the people are loyal to [former parliament speaker] Fathi Sorour, so many of them are not happy that the revolution toppled him. But the rest are poor people who only care about making a living,” said Abdel Rahman Moety, a resident of the area.
Last month, four police officers and one non-commissioned police officer accused of killing protesters in Sayeda Zeinab in the January uprising were acquitted by the Cairo Criminal Court.
“Even the [families of the victims] do not participate in demonstrations here, they just go to Tahrir and protest there. The day when the police officers were acquitted the victims’ marched to Tahrir and that was it,” said street vendor Reda Abdel Hakim.
Protesters were also called “liars” and “anarchists” and accused of attempting to destroy the nation.
“What did the military do to us? All these youth are also forced to protest; if they could find a good job and dignity they would never do this. We want this war to end,” said Om Ahmed, who was watching the protest.
The march was later joined by marches from Manial and Maadi with thousands eventually pouring into Tahrir.