Tahrir Square in central Cairo was again humming with crowds late on Tuesday night.
The crucible of Egypt’s Arab Spring was for several hours alive with people, angry at the Supreme Court seemingly siding with the army and decreeing the parliament elected by the people invalid.
To do so, the court overturned President Mohamed Morsi’s recall of the legislature. He had reconvened parliament against the wishes of the army.
It dissolved the chamber last month after the Constitutional Court found the electoral laws were unconstitutional. Parliament briefly met on Tuesday anyway, in defiance of the army ban.
“We are now in a struggle between a newborn regime and an old regime struggling to remain intact. And the old regime is using different methods in order to overpower the people’s will, destroying their legitimate institutions and destroying a parliament elected by 30 million Egyptians,” said independent member Mohamed Elomda.
The court ruled that the presidential recall was itself unconstitutional. Police were deployed around parliament but members left before any action could be taken.
Non-religious and liberal parties have condemned Morsi’s recall as a “violation of the separation of powers” and an attack on the judiciary.