The Wear And Tear Of Protest

by Patrick Appel

Wendell Steavenson reports on it:

There have been seven days of protests in Tahrir Square. Many people come for a few hours and go home and return; some stay, sleeping in flowerbeds and gutters. In the tiny mosque in the alleys behind the square, there was a line fifty people long to use the bathroom. The mosque has been operating as a makeshift field station, staffed by volunteer doctors, since last Tuesday. The doctors said they had had no shooting casualties since Saturday night, but there were plenty of people who were fainting, and suffering from high blood pressure or aching muscles from the cold nights. Soldiers, too, were coming in, with symptoms of exhaustion, tender muscles, and minor accidental injuries needing “a few sutures.” (The soldiers deployed next to tanks at the entrances to the Square are sleeping in situ, “in ten minute snatches,” one told me later.)

(Photo by Issandr El Amrani)