AUC protesters tear down American flag on campus

Student and worker protesters at the American University in Cairo (AUC) further escalated their demonstration on Thursday by taking down the American flag on campus, as they continue protesting the policies of the university administration and university President Lisa Anderson.

The protesters issued a statement on Friday that harshly criticized the way the university has negotiated, and denied rumors that a protesting student had assaulted the university president.

The protesters have decided to continue their open-ended sit-in before they discuss further steps for escalation.

The students and workers tore down the American flag, which had been raised beside the Egyptian one, in protest against a campus security officer who allegedly assaulted Ahmed Ezzat, vice president of the university student union, following a protester meeting with Anderson.

The demonstrators demanded Anderson apologize for ignoring their demands or else leave the university, claiming that Anderson did not respect them. They said she described their meeting as "ridiculous," and told them she did not have time to listen to "such absurdities."

Student Khaled Zekry said protesters did not burn or rip the flag after taking it down, adding that Ahmed Alaa, president of student union, handed over the flag intact to the director of the services and facilities department.

The Guardian newspaper described the protest as an extension of the education protest movements which started in Egypt this week. 

The newspaper also mentioned that the AUC students pay tuition fees eight times the average Egyptian annual income, adding that they belong to the country's elite and are raised to be its future economic and political leaders.

This reputation has begun to collapse since last Sunday, though, after the students began protesting the increased cost of university parking and directing criticism at the university administration, the newspaper added.

The Guardian quoted teacher Moataz Shawky as saying, "We cannot let [the administration] treat the Egyptians like dogs." 

Shawky demanded that the university administration respond to the students, also accusing it of allowing snipers to shoot at Tahrir demonstrators from university buildings during the revolution.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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