Tens of thousands of protesters flooded into Cairo’s Tahrir Square yesterday, demanding the immediate removal of the Egyptian military regime.
As the square filled up the protesters declared that they had retaken Tahrir, defying police attacks with tear gas, rubber bullets and live rounds.
Morgue officials said yesterday that the death toll was now at least 33 since Saturday, with some 1,750 people injured.
The large crowds streaming into Tahrir Square defied the military’s attempts to keep them away from the place that was the symbolic heart of demonstrations against Mubarak.
Egypt TV footage showed tear gas being fired into the protesters, while fire bombs and chunks of concrete were reportedly being lobbed back at the police.
As darkness fell yesterday the huge crowd in the square continued to grow, defying police attacks and beating back a new police raid.
For weeks young people have been trying to come back to the square, but have been prevented from doing so by police and the army, but yesterday they declared ‘We have reclaimed Tahrir Square!’
Angry protesters brandished spent shotgun cartridges and bullet casings.
They are scornful of the planned elections for a new parliament which are due to begin in a staggered vote starting next Monday.
Under the election programme, presidential powers remain with the army until a presidential poll, which may not happen until late 2012 or early 2013.
Culture Minister Emad Abu Ghazi resigned in protest at the government’s handling of the demonstrators.
Yesterday’s clashes followed fierce fighting on Sunday and violence also took place in other cities over the weekend, including Alexandria and Suez.
• Protesters at the Occupy London camp outside St Paul’s Cathedral were inspired by the continuation of the revolution in Egypt and camper after camper pledged their support for the Egyptians’ struggle to overthrow their military junta.
Occupy London protester ‘Zoro’ said: ‘Our occupy London movement stands in full solidarity with the Egyptian protesters at Tahrir Square.
‘Their previous revolution has not been completed and their desired outcome has been circumvented by other forces.
‘Trade unionism is always a good thing and all trade unions have the right to stand their own political candidates in elections.
‘I wish all Egyptians good luck in the continuation of their revolution.’
Abdul Aman, a student at King’s College studying economics told News Line: ‘I have come down here to join the occupation and this is too good a thing to let it be destroyed by the very people we are fighting against.
‘They attacked the occupation in the US, the police attack the young people in Greece and the army and police are attacking the Egyptians now as we speak.
‘We are all fighting for our rights and against capitalism and we must stand up against their brutality and intimidation.’