Morsi supporters end brief sit-in outside High Court in Cairo
Pro-Morsi marchers chant outside high court in downtown Cairo for removal of prosecutor-general before dispersing
Ahram Online, Monday 12 Aug 2013
Pro-Morsi protesters gathering in front of High Constitutional Court (Photo: Mohamed Nada)
Pro-Morsi protesters ended a 2-hour sit-in outside the Egyptian High Court on Ramsis Street on Monday afternoon.
The brief sit-in followed a march to the court from Fatah mosque in downtown Cairo.
Protesters initially did not know where the march – organised by the pro-Morsi National Alliance to Support Legitimacy – was headed, and the sit-in outside the court was only announced once the marchers reached the court's parameters.
The protesters had said they would remain outside the High Court until the recently appointed Prosecutor-General Hisham Barakat leaves his post, Al-Ahram's Arabic website reported.
The march was one of a series scheduled for Monday amid expectations that the police would soon disperse two ongoing sit-ins being held by Morsi supporters in Greater Cairo.
Morsi supporters — namely the Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist allies — have been staging sit-ins at Nasr City's Rabaa Al-Adawiya Mosque and in Giza's Nahda Square, as well as daily rallies demanding Morsi's reinstatement, following his ouster on 3 July.
Speculations have been mounting in recent weeks that the sit-ins would soon be dispersed, following statements by the cabinet and the interior ministry to that effect last week. Security officials quoted by AP said that a plan had been in place to disperse the two demonstrations on Monday morning, but that the decision had been postponed after the plan had been leaked.
"In your place, protect your square," the demonstrators at the court chanted, introducing new slogans to their usual repertoire to encourage the protesters to stand their ground in the face of repeated threats to disperse the sit-ins.
Verbal scuffles also broke out between the protesters and bystanders.
Meanwhile, tens of Morsi supporters gathered on platforms at several stations of Cairo's underground Metro throughout the day, reiterating their chants to "support legitimacy" and denouncing what they describe as a "coup."
The protesters did not prevent passengers from accessing trains; however they marked their presence with pro-Morsi graffiti on station walls.
In a statement released before the march, the alliance reiterated their demands for "the legitimate president's return to his full powers, the unfreezing of the constitution that the people approved, the Shura Council's reinstatement, and an end to the coup d'état."
The statement stressed that the alliance would not welcome dialogue with "elements that took part in the coup d'état or caused dreadful massacres."
"Those elements are not welcome because they are not objective and are partners in the crime," added the statement.
Addressing media reports that claimed the pro-Morsi sit-ins would be dispersed in the early hours of Monday, the alliance affirmed that their protests will remain peaceful and that they would not allow an attack on peaceful protesters.
The alliance went on to demand that the pro-Morsi sit-ins not be dispersed by force.
"We remind our sons and brothers from the great Egyptian army and the men of the interior ministry to not attack their peaceful brothers or besiege them or shed their blood.”