Thousand of protesters fill Tahrir Square against interference in Egypt's transition to democracy

Ahram Online , Friday 22 Jun 2012

Tahrir is filling up in the thousands with banners objecting to various actions taken by Egypt's ruling military and high courts that revolutionary and Islamist forces say are interfering in the transition to civilian rule

Tahrir Square
Thousands of protesters in Tahrir Square on Friday 22 June, 2012. (Photo: Mai Shaheen)

Thousands of protesters are filling Tahrir Square on Friday morning in response to a call by Islamist groups and various revolutionary movements.

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, Salafists, along with various revolutionary groups called for protests against the addendum to the Constitutional Declaration issued by Egypt’s ruling Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF). They also object to what they see as the interference of the SCAF in the transition to democracy.

Protesters prepared for the one million man protest by closing all entries to Tahrir Square, hanging banners listing the demands and setting up a stage. Protesters are hanging pictures of the Muslim Brotherhood's presidential candidate, Mohamed Morsi who made it to the runoff and who they assert is the winner. 

Banners also object to the High Constitutional Court’s decision that dissolved the parliament which was elected last fall, the addendum to the Constitutional Declaration and charge that there was fraud during the presidential runoffs.

Egypt’s first post-Mubarak president was supposed to be officially announced Thursday after the runoff between the long-time aviation minister, Shafiq and Morsi, however the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission postponed giving the official results to Saturday or Sunday stating they needed more time to investigage reports of inconsistencies during the polling. Some Brotherhood members had already started demonstrations in Tahrir Square on Wednesday. Moreover, have some occupied Tahrir since Tuesday, after the SCAF issued the addendum to the Constitutional Declaration.

Al-Nour Party, the Salafist Islamist party, supported Friday’s planned protests in an official statement released on Thursday, stating their objection to the "coup" against the democratic transition. 

A group of revolutionary political parties and movements announced that they will organise a rally march from El-Fatah Mosque in Ramses Square to the High Court to Talaat Harb Square in downtown Cairo after the Friday prayers in protest to the addendum, the new constituent assembly to be formed by the SCAF and the military police’s judicial right to arrest civilians. 

Among the groups and parties participating in the rally are the April 6th Youth Movement, the Revolutionary Socialists and Socialist Popular Alliance Party.

The Socialist Popular Alliance Party issued a statement on Thursday declaring that it will not participate in the sit-in in Tahrir Square, nor the protest organised by the Muslim Brotherhood on Friday because “it rejects the way in which the revolution is being used in electoral wars,” as their statement put it.

However, some activists also declared that they will not participate in either the protest nor the rally organised by revolutionary powers. Nawara Negm, for example, said, “I will not go to the protest because it is organised only for the Muslim Brotherhood’s interests and I do not trust the Muslim Brotherhood.”

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