Joseph Mayton
The Media Line
August 4, 2011 - 12:00am

Cheers went up at the local café as the crowd applauded and watched on television former President Hosni Mubarak being wheeled into his courtroom cage, locked up like a dog.

This trial of the man who ruled Egypt for nearly three decades was going to be as popular as a World Cup football final, with people tuning into to their radios or crowding around televisions as the streets wind down to a standstill.

Ironically, it also rallied many Egyptians around the Supreme Council of Armed Forces for conducting the monumental trial, as liberal activists, so instrumental in brining Mubarak down, have been shunted aside.

“We are all one and we support the military in preserving the revolution and really showing that they are partners in this struggle to make Egypt a good country,” said Reda Yussif, a uniformed police officer, who added that he has no love for his former bosses.

“We were used and now we can be one with the people,” Yussif told The Media Line.

Ahmed, a 26-year-old waiter at the cafe, told The Media Line that he was excited to see the man “responsible for our bad state” put on trial. He argued that all his friends and family were “behind the military’s continued push to have justice and honor upheld in the country.”

“Mubarak was our president and we are going to give him justice for killing us and making Egypt a poor country,” added Ahmed.

For the pro-democracy, social media-savvy liberals, who have been denouncing the military’s actions in recent weeks, the Mubarak’s trial could not have come at a worse time.

Egyptians are craving the restoration of law and order are united once again, but instead of rallying behind the call for an end to military rule and justice for those who tried to violently suppress the revolution, they have united behind the military.

Earlier this week, large crowds supported the military’s no nonsense attitude toward demonstrators with it roughly dispersed protesters who had been holding a month-long sit in Tahrir Square, arresting at least 80 people.

Remnants of the liberal protestors continued to demonstrate despite the popularly supported crack down on Monday at Tharir Square. As the trail began, they protested in front of the Abdeen courthouse against the continued detention of those arrested in the raids and chanted anti-military slogans.

But the continued belligerent behavior of pro-democracy protesters struck a nerve that raised the ire of the average Egyptian in the street. They dismissed the talk of the protesters who claimed it was through their demonstrations in July that led the country to the trail of Mubark and his sons for corruption and murder. More than 800 people were killed in the uprising.

Recent university graduate Mona Abdel-Rahman, 22, said the protesters were missing the reality on the ground.

“People want to support them, but the military is too popular, so when they go out and demonstrate against the Supreme Council of Armed Forces it causes people to hate them and it is hurting the cause of creating an Egypt that truly is for all,” Abdel-Rahman told The Media Line.

Hers was a minority voice among Egyptians who largely believe the liberal left is being more destructive than positive as the country heads toward national elections in November. She called on the activists to take their message directly to the people.

“They need to talk with the people, not at them. The continued protests are hurting their cause and making people angry. I don’t understand why they continue,” she said.

The trial brought this waning support for the liberal movement to a head, particularly in light of a strengthening Islamist movement. For the liberals, it was yet another sign that they were being pushed aside by the military that has won overwhelming support of the majority.

Ultimately, the vast bulk of Egyptians want the country to return to some form of normalcy, not to mention improved economic conditions. The military has caught on to this popular sentiment and navigated perfectly, achieving near unanimous support for their role in the coming future of Egypt.

“The military is the only one supporting the revolution right now so we know that Egypt will be strong and democratic,” said Tarik, a 29-year-old self-proclaimed liberal activist who hopes for a secular country.

Asked about the violence reported at the hands of the military, he summed up the sentiments of many here: “The military is not Mubarak and we know that the activists are just trying to steal the country for their own cause.”


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