Both army and security forces smashed into El-Borsa, an activist hotspot in downtown Cairo, in an attempt to shut the cafe area down last night. The coffee shop was packed with clients watching a soccer match as security forces started throwing chairs, tables and even shisha pipes, according to eyewitnesses.
Security forces said they acted because neighbours were complaining that the coffee shop extended throughout the street, causing inconvenience.
At the same time, some activists were protesting in Tahrir Square, which is close to El-Borsa, against the reactivation of emergency law. Activists who were sitting in El-Borsa joined them and a protest of hundreds took place in Tahrir Square last night.
Protesters chanted “Down with military rule.” Meanwhile, security forces backed off, leaving people to sit at the cafe.
El-Borsa is popular coffee shop area downtown where many activists gather and stay until late. During the Mubarak era, some activists were arrested in El-Borsa cafe, which raises alarm bells about the actions of security forces last night.