Burning the Egyptian Institute – Cairo Picture

Burning the Egyptian Institute

Just after 8am on the morning of 17th December 2011. It’s not clear whether these young men were acting of their own accord or had been paid to infiltrate the ongoing protests against military rule. However they came armed with crates of bottles filled with petrol and repeatedly set light to the Egyptian Institute, the home of thousands of priceless artifacts from Egypt’s history.

I don’t know whether this had been planned in advance as an attempt to discredit the protesters or whether this was a reckless response by violent elements sympathetic with the protests angered by militia on the roof who had repeatedly been throwing rocks and concrete slabs on to the protesters in the street below.

Either way this act of arson threatened many lives and damaged the reputation of the protest movement. However it should be noted that some of the same media which headlined this act of arson had the previous day described the Egyptian Institute as a ministry building.

A large number of soldiers stood by watching the stone throwing and the repeated acts of arson. It wasn’t until two hours later that the security forces responded and then only to arrest and beat many innocent protesters in nearby Tahrir Square.

Image published by alisdare1 on 2013-05-06 11:31:36 and used under Creative Commons license.

Tagged: , Cairo protests , Cairo , Egypt , Tahrir , Kasr Al Aini , Qasr Al Aini , Egyptian Insitute , December 2011 , 17 December 2011 , protesters , protest , clashes , militia , rocks , rock throwing , Tahrir Square , uprising , military rule , demonstration , demonstrators , baltigaya , fire , arson , petrol , burn

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