The production of an urban revolution: tactics, police and public space in Cairo’s uprising
Gaber, Sherief A.
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The following thesis presents a narrative of the uprisings that took place in Cairo, Egypt between 25 January, 2011 and 11 February, 2011 as they relate to notions of cities, the state and citizenship in spatial terms. I do so by looking at different series of events that took place during those 18 days of revolution: spatial tactics that protestors used against police, popular committees set up by neighborhoods to defend the streets after the withdrawal of the Egyptian police, the sudden participation of nonpolitical actors and groups, and ultimately the occupation of Cairo's Tahrir Square and the production of public space and new notions of citizenship that occurred within the square during this period. These various narratives are used to argue that sovereignty is ultimately very spatially limited (ontologically, not necessarily territorially), how the "informal" city and modes of urban existence produced not just resistance to the state but were transformed into tools of provocation and insurrection, and how public space—devalorized and heavily policed by the Egyptian state—was produced through the actions of protestors occupying Tahrir Square.