Tahrir Today: Salafis and Army Officers
The best thing about protesting in Tahrir is that people from all walks of life, from all different backgrounds, with all different ideologies, protest together for one common cause; the best for Egypt. Today was different; people were still different, and were about 1.5 million, but it was different in many ways today.
First, the number of street vendors has increased dramatically and they sold all sorts of things, including popcorn and cotton candy. Streets were very dirty, dirtier than they ever were. Not all entrances had search points, even though Ikhwan were back. There was a lot of verbal harassment, from vendors and protesters. Things weren't very organized. Chants weren't vibrating the square like they have always done.
Salafis decided to join the protest today.... to demand the release of a detained sheikh. The Salafis I saw today were all together protesting for this demand and not merging with everyone else. I don't know if some others were protesting for revolution's demand, but the ones I saw were only protesting for the release of the sheikh. There were also the army officers, who came in uniform and showed their IDs, they were demanding the resignation of Tantawti. They said that they will be detained if people left and asked people to stay for a sit-in.
The fact that these two groups of people were in Tahrir doesn't make any difference to me, if anything it's something positive. My only problem with them is that they had their own demands and weren't merging with everyone else and protesting for our common demands. The best thing about Tahrir is that we were always there fighting for one thing and putting our differences aside. I wish we could all unite again, accept each other, and fight for our common demands like we always did. The rest can come later. Friday protests are for the common, urgent demands, and should always stay that way until these demands are met.