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Vancouver blogger covers 'blue bra' beating in Tahrir Square

Dr. Azza Sedky, a communications professor at Capilano University, is in Cairo for the winter. Today she posted a report on her blog about the growing conflict between Egyptians and the Supreme Command Armed Forces (SCAF), the generals who have been the real rulers of Egypt since the early 1950s.

In her post, Dr. Sedky wrote:

Ten months ago, Egyptians were unable to decide SCAF's true identity: is it with the revolution? Is it with Mubarak? Or is it true to itself only? They also wondered if SCAF has the intention of leaving power and returning to its barracks. But now due to the current uncalled for atrocities, the results are in: SCAF is hated as much as Mubarak was. And the majority of Egyptians have a foreboding feeling that SCAF is here to stay.

In clashes reminiscent to Mubarak's later days, several died and many were injured. In particular the footage of beaten up females dragged from their hair, stomped and harassed, left its mark on Egyptians. These deplorable images are all what Egyptians are talking about today—they are horrified as they should be.

One ever so poignant clip went viral. It depicts a seemingly unconscious and non threatening abaya-clad woman dragged and hurled to the ground, beaten by batons, and stomped on the chest, her top ripped apart exposing her blue bra.

Egyptians don’t accept humiliation and degradation easily, more so if that ill treated victim is a woman. And the video of the "blue bra" as it was dubbed led to an acute sense of disgust at the powers in charge.

If the aim behind these attacks was to control the street, then they have backfired. Even more demonstrations occurred. And thousands of Egyptian women from all walks of life went to the streets asking for the downfall of SCAF.

Every now and then an innocent Egyptian receives the "royal treatment" under the hands of one force or another—be it the army or the police, and the footage goes global. We've seen what Khalid Said's photos did. These photos of the battered-until-death man were definitely instrumental in speeding Mubarak's ousting. And the "blue bra" footage may cause similar permanent damage ultimately changing Egypt's course yet again.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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