Cairo’s Dividing Walls Resemble Militarized Zone

Egypt's military rulers continue to repress popular protests and demands, as security measures strangle Cairo life

by John Glaser, January 05, 2012

Egyptian security forces have erected four massive concrete walls in the streets connecting Tahrir Square to government buildings since renewed crackdowns on protesters in November and December.

The barriers in the middle of Cairo are an indication of the continuing crackdown and repression by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and their newly elected Islamist counterparts, still lavishly supported with money and weapons by the United States. They are not only an attempt to subdue protests expected for the revolt’s anniversary this month, but they are strangling life and the economy in the city.

“All of this happens at our expense,” Ahmed Shawky, a 35-year-old driver, said as he rerouted his taxi through Cairo’s winding side streets. “Streets are closed, and then traffic comes from those streets and clogs the open streets. Everything gets squished,” he said.

“We don’t want these walls, and we don’t want any trouble. Enough is enough. We’re the ones whose work is suffering.”

Some parts of Cairo look like militarized zones now. Egypt’s current military rulers have  solidified their undemocratic rule and continued brutal repression of reform-minded protesters all while U.S. money and weapons have continued to flow.

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