'Black Bloc' calls for Wednesday rallies in defiance of Egypt's prosecutor-general
Members of masked group call for demonstrations outside Supreme Court in Cairo despite prosecutor-general's recent order for their arrest
Zeinab El Gundy, Wednesday 30 Jan 2013
Members of masked group arrested by police officers front of Supreme Court in Cairo (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Egypt's so-called 'Black Bloc' group on Wednesday declared its intention to organise rallies and protests in Cairo and Alexandria in defiance of a recent order by Egypt's prosecutor-general for the arrest of group members.
On its 'Black Bloc Egypt' Facebook page, the group stated that its members in Alexandria would gather at the city's Al-Qaed Ibrahim Mosque on Wednesday afternoon.
"All of us are going to wear black clothes. We are all Black Bloc," the group declared. "We defy the prosecutor-general, as there will be thousands of protesters wearing black with us."
The page, which cannot be verified as an official Black Bloc page, also called on group members to gather at Cairo's Tahrir Square at 3pm and to hold a rally at the prosecutor-general's office in downtown Cairo outside the Supreme Court.
"Today, a curfew will be imposed at the prosecutor-general's office in Tahrir Square at 3pm. Everyone should wear black clothes. We are all Black Bloc. I want to see Tahrir black today," the group stated.
The group has been accused of using violent methods and engaging in acts of sabotage during recent anti-government demonstrations and clashes between protesters and security personnel.
Prosecutor-General Talaat Abdullah on Tuesday ordered the arrest of all members of the 'Black Bloc,' which he described as a "terrorist group."
Hassan Yassin, spokesman for the prosecutor-general's office, told the media on Wednesday that Abdullah welcomed the group's threats to besiege his office.
"We welcome them. We're waiting for them to come so it will be easy to arrest them all," he said. Security forces have already been deployed outside the Supreme Court as a security precaution.
On Wednesday, four citizens were arrested in Cairo and Giza and charged with being members of the proscribed group.
Three students were arrested in Giza by police after allegedly being found in possession of the black masks worn by Black Bloc members. And in Cairo, journalist Ahmed Abul-Kassem, secretary-general of the E-journalists Syndicate, was arrested in Nasr City by a group of citizens while carrying anti-Muslim Brotherhood and pro-Black Bloc banners.
The group made its first appearance last Thursday on the eve of the Egyptian Revolution's second anniversary, declaring its mission to be "liberating the people, ending corruption and bringing down tyrants."