Egypt's main Islamist alliance, the Pro-Legitimacy and Anti-Coup Coalition, has called Thursday for new protests over the week-end, in commemoration of slain demonstrators and in solidarity with workers on strike.
Since Islamist president Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the military in July, following nationwide mass protests calling for the end of his rule, his supporters have staged near-daily protests calling for his reinstatement.
The coalition called on its supporters to take to the streets Friday in commemoration of slain protesters, Saturday to support the 21 female Alexandria protesters sentenced to 11 years of jail, and Sunday in solidarity with striking workers.
In November, 14 female protesters were condemned to 11 years and one month in jail for attacking security forces, destroying private property and stirring violence, while seven female minors -- 15 to 17 years old -- were sent to a youth detention centre until they reach the age of majority.
The 21 female protesters were arrested in late October during clashes with residents following a demonstration calling for the reinstatement of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. Authorities accused the demonstrators of inciting violence, blocking roads and damaging shop façades.
"The struggle of the student movement, the workers' courageous escalation … shows to all that the revolution is the will of a people that seeks to eliminate the assassins and the remnants of (Hosni) Mubarak's regime despite the sacrifices," the anti-coup coalition said in its statement.
Since the school year began, Egypt's universities have been at the heart of the country's political turmoil. Lately, students have been protesting against the death of their Cairo University colleague Mohamed Reda. The engineering student was killed last week during clashes between protesters and security forces near the university campus.
Meanwhile, thousands of workers at HADISOLB in Helwan, south of Cairo, have been on strike since Monday. The company’s syndicate has also been staging a sit-in at the headquarters of the Egyptian Trade Union Federation. Workers, who have been holding sit-ins since 26 November, decided to escalate their action after the Metallurgical Industries Company -- HADISOLB's holding company -- failed to respond to their demands to make good on delayed profit shares.