Protests in the Egyptian capital turned violent last night after groups of students learned that the government is planning to make them pay for their own university degrees.
Protests entered their eighth night, before violent scenes overtook what had previously been boisterous, yet controlled opposition to the incumbent regime led by Hosni Mubarak.
A student spokesperson said, “We were happy to engage in non-violent protests whilst we were fighting against oppression, vote-rigging and wide-spread corruption in our elected officials – but making me pay towards my education? That’s one step too far.”
“They came for my freedom and I did nothing, but then they came for my four years of six hours a week of sociology lectures, and I thought, ‘No More!’.”
“If there is one thing worth donning a mask and hurling missiles at police for, it’s the right I have to make you pay for me to avoid getting a proper job for another few years.”
Egyptian protests turn violent
Students were joined on the front-line by public transport workers unhappy at the latest pay deal on offered to their union representatives.
Train driver Salim Elbradi told us, “I didn’t care when all we suffered was national repression and rampant abuse by police, but refusing to pay me three times my normal rate to work on bank holidays? That is a step too far!”
“They also had the cheek to suggest that seven weeks of paid holiday a year was more than enough – it’s barbaric.”
“We wanted to strike, but we were worried that no-one would notice – so we’ve decided to let our genuine grievances be known in the only way we know how – street violence.”
Protesters are hoping their action is more successful than that taken by their British brothers in arms.