Egypt liberal, leftist forces to protest Brotherhood 'partisan' rule in Tahrir

Zeinab El Gundy , Thursday 18 Oct 2012

Revolutionary groups, liberals and leftists head to Tahrir Square rally on Friday to protest Muslim Brotherhood's 'control' over the process of writing a constitution, demand retrials for those accused of murdering protesters

Egypt for all Egyptians" Friday : Revolutionary political powers go back again to Tahrir against Mus
Egyptians have protested regulary at Tahrir Square since the outbreak of the Jan 25 revolution (Photo: Mai Shaheen)

Liberal and leftist political parties and groups are organising a new Tahrir Square protest this Friday against what they consider the domination of one group – the Muslim Brotherhood – over Egyptian political life. Protesters will also voice their rejection of a draft constitution proposed by Egypt's Constituent Assembly.  

The planned rally, dubbed "Egypt is not anyone's private estate - Egypt is for all Egyptians," is intended to "send a message to the president and his party and their political allies, namely the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamist parties, that the days of single-party rule are over and that the constitution must represent all Egyptians," the Constitution Party, one of the protest's main sponsors, declared in a statement.

"Last Friday, supporters of the president's party attacked peaceful protesters demanding social justice and a constitution representing all Egyptians," the party added. "Instead of reconciliation, we find some Freedom and Justice Party figures clashing with other political powers."

The newly-established Constitution Party also demanded an apology from the Brotherhood and investigation into the incident that took place during last Friday's protest, when 150 demonstrators were injured in clashes between Morsi supporters and their political rivals.

Among the 29 parties and movements that have declared their intention to take part in the planned Friday protest are: The Popular Current, the Constitution Party, the Free Egyptians party, the Nile Party, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, the 6 April Youth Movement's Democratic Front, the Revolutionary Socialists, the National Association for Change, the Peaceful Change Front and the 'No to Military Trials' campaign.  

6 of April revolutionary youth group and the Democratic Front party have also announced that they will take part in the protests. Former presidential candidates Hamdeen Sabbahi and Amr Moussa also said they will join the event.

According to the Constitution Party, the protest will raise three main demands on the Morsi administration. These include retrials for those accused of killing protesters since the start of the January 25 revolution, reforming the Constituent Assembly so as to make it more representative of Egyptian society, and taking real steps towards promoting social justice in Egypt.

There will be three protest marches after Friday prayers. The first will set out from Mohandeseen's Mostafa Mahmoud Square to Tahrir Square, and another from Old Cairo's Sayada Zeineb district to Tahrir Square. Last Friday, the Constitution Party's march from Sayada Zeineb was allegedly attacked by Muslim Brotherhood supporters on the nearby Talaat Harb Street.

A third march, meanwhile, will head from Cairo's Shubra district to Tahrir Square. Each of the planned marches will be headed by a prominent revolutionary activist.  

After converging in Tahrir, there will be two additional marches: one will head to the nearby Abdeen Palace to demand social justice, and the other to Shura Council headquarters to object to the draft constitution.  

Former regime supporters and groups have also declared their intention to take part in the planned Friday protest.

Contentious television presenter Tawfik Okasha, recently acquitted of charges of insulting President Morsi, said this week that he would join forces with those with whom he has had differences with the aim of ousting the Muslim Brotherhood from power. During Egypt's post-revolution transitional phase, Okasha had been one of the most outspoken critics of Egypt's revolutionary forces and powers.

On Thursday, revolutionary parties and movements participating in the protest issued a statement totally rejecting the notion of participation by former regime remnants.  

"We aim to establish social justice, a balanced constitution and retrials for the killers of protesters," the statement read. "These goals directly contradict those who supported the former regime and the military council."

The statement added: "We cannot imagine that supporters of the former regime would support a balanced constitution representing all Egyptians when they had supported a constitution tailored for Mubarak and his son."

Islamist parties and groups, for the most part, have announced their refusal to take part in Friday's planned protest.

On Thursday, Yasser Hamed, spokesman for the Salafist Nour Party, slammed the planned rally on his official Facebook page.

"The Nour Party prefers to participate in Egypt's revival, unlike the organisers of this protest who refuse to help rebuild the nation," Hamed declared. He went on to slam Egypt's "political elite, who show up on television talk shows every night to attack President Morsi and his policies." 

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