CAIRO — Hundreds of thousands of people marched Wednesday into Tahrir Square to mark the first anniversary of Egypt’s revolution, as many shouted their outrage at the military council that took over after Hosni Mubarak stepped down as president in February.
The crowds divided roughly into opposing factions in the square, which was the focal point of protests during the 18-day revolution that began on Jan. 25 last year.
Supporters of the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood, which dominates the new parliament that convened Monday, say the revolution has succeeded and the time for protests has passed.
In another part of the square, liberal and secular groups, which largely propelled the Egyptian revolution, accused the military council of perpetuating Mr. Mubarak’s authoritarian rule.
The square was so packed by 3 p.m. that people who tried to enter it had to detour to adjacent open spaces. The scene was reminiscent of the crowds that turned out to celebrate when Mr. Mubarak resigned.
Countless people wore yellow stickers that read: “No to a constitution with a military junta in charge.” They held photographs of demonstrators killed in protests against Mr. Mubarak or against the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.
On the backs of their heads, many protesters wore masks of Ahmad Harara, a blinded demonstrator who has become a symbol of Egypt’s unrest.
A 31-year-old dentist, Mr. Harara lost one eye when security forces shot him with a rubber bullet in a January protest against Mr. Mubarak. He lost his other eye to a rubber bullet in a November protest against the military council.
Hundreds of shouting Egyptians flanked two 50-foot-long Egyptian flags as they crossed the Kasr Al Nile Bridge toward Tahrir Square.
“This is a revolution, not a celebration,” a massive group chanted as it entered the square.
Once hailed as the protectors of the revolution, the military council, led by Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, is accused of cracking down violently against protesters and arresting thousands without due process under the infamous emergency law.
The emergency law, in force since President Anwar Sadat was assassinated in 1981, gives authorities the power to detain suspects without charges and try them before special security courts without appeal.
“We basically replaced one Hosni Mubarak with 19 Hosni Mubaraks,” said U.S.-Egyptian journalist Mona Eltahawy, referring to the 19 members of the military council. “So the revolution continues until we are completely free.”
During a protest in November, security forces arrested Ms. Eltahawy and held her for 12 hours. Her left arm and right hand were broken, and she was sexually assaulted.