Egyptian activists expressed their outrage at the campaign launched by security forces to remove revolutionary graffiti in the iconic Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the Jan. 25 revolution, and its environs in downtown Cairo.
Security forces accompanied by laborers from the Cleaning Authority headed to Tahrir Square in the early hours of Wednesday and covered the graffiti in the area with fresh paint.
The campaign focused in specific on Mohammed Mahmoud Street, which witnessed fierce confrontations between protesters and police and military forces, during which a large number of Egyptians were killed and injured.
According to activists, the graffiti chronicles the events of the Egyptian revolution and features drawings of the young protesters who died by the fire of security forces. Activists argued on the social networks that it was not acceptable to erase the graffiti under any circumstances.
Some of the words written on the walls, activists said, were even written by young protesters who died shortly after.
Activists added that removing the graffiti does not only demonstrate disrespect for the revolution and Egyptians who died for it, but is also indicative of the authorities’ attempts at curbing freedom of expression and obliterating the memory of the people who led the revolution.
According to the disgruntled activists, the government is fully aware of the gravity of the action and the fury it was bound to stir and that is why the area was surrounded by a large number of security troops and several armored vehicles.
A few hours after removing the graffiti, young protesters, especially artists, gathered in Tahrir Square and started repainting the walls with revolutionary statements and drawings of the revolution’s martyrs.