The day January 25 marks multiple important incidents that Egypt has witnessed over the past 70 years.
Firstly, the day marks a historic clash between Egyptian police forces and the British Occupation forces in 1952, which was called then “Ismailia Battle.” It took place when the Egyptian police officers refused to hand over their weapons, and evacuate the Ismailia governorate’s building. The incident left 50 martyrs and 80 injured among Egyptian police officers.
The massacre was the spark of the revolution that ended the monarchy in Egypt on July 23 of the same year.
Few months before the incident, the armed struggle against the British camps and soldiers culminated, resulting in huge losses. Suppliers abstained from providing food necessary to 80,000 British soldiers.
Egyptian workers at the British camps - whose number was 91,572 - quit their jobs, registering their resignations between October 16 and November 30 in 1951, after the government had announced earlier that workers wishing to leave their jobs in British camps are invited to register their names in the records, according to Al Masry Al Youm.
As the status of British forces in the Suez Canal governorates has become critical, Brigadier Kenneth Exham, the British commander warned Egypt’s police to leave Ismailia and surrender their weapons while 7,000 British soldiers equipped with machine guns, tanks and armors surrounded the governorate building and its barracks.
The nearly 800 Egyptian officers and soldiers inside resented the threat and resisted despite possessing only shotguns, according to Al Masry Al Youm. After the clashes were over, those who survived from the Egyptian officers were captured by the British forces; then the British forces destroyed the villages around Ismailia and killed civilians as the British suspected that the citizens engaged in the armed struggle against the colonization hid in those villages.
As a result, protests broke out across Cairo calling up for intensifying the armed struggle against the British colonization whose troops withdrew completely from Egypt in June 1956.
Since then the day became a national day in Ismailia governorate. Former President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak issued a decision to consider the day an official holiday ‘Police Day’ in February 2009, in appreciation to police efforts, and recognizing their sacrifices.
It comes also to coincide with the January 25 Revolution that took to the streets in 2011, demanding the overthrow of Mubarak’s regime in a series of mass protests that broke out in several Arab countries in what was called then “Arab Spring Revolutions.”
After 18 consecutive days of demonstrations that witnessed the killing of dozens of protesters in clash with security forces, Mubarak was forced to step down, and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces assumed power.
January 25 has since been deemed an official holiday marking the revolution as well as Police Day.