By Abdel-Rahman Hussein
CAIRO: Protests continued in downtown Cairo Wednesday night as security forces escalated the scope of their crackdown on those who took to the streets demanding an end to the regime.
Following on from Tuesday’s Tahrir Square protest that was broken up with excessive force after midnight, Wednesday afternoon saw protests continue in Ramsis Street. However by Wednesday evening protesters were marching through the streets of downtown vowing not to back down.
On Talaat Harb Street, a march of almost 1,000 people was broken up as security forces fired tear gas and then chased after the protesters scurrying through the alleys. Protesters regrouped on Champignon Street where the same measures were taken.
Security forces were supplemented with plain-clothes thugs carrying batons who were chasing after the protesters and as forces cleared the downtown areas — ordering the closure of any cafes that were open — they lined up in Talaat Harb square.
Through a downtown street, a security truck was transporting protesters who had been arrested. The protesters were chanting and banging on the side of the vehicle as it drove past.
A march was also taking place in Boulaq Abou El-Ela nearby in which security forces cracked down on protesters with force and in one incident a female protester was dragged from her hair and slapped by a police officer. She was let go after another police officer intervened.
In front of the Lawyers’ Syndicate, about 50 protesters remained kettled in by a swathe of security forces, whose numbers kept increasing.