Hundreds of thousands to hit the streets for Egypt's "Cleansing Friday"
Egypt is due to witness large scale demonstrations today as the forces of the 25 January revolution join in calling for a "Friday of Cleansing", demanding the dismantling of the old regime and retribution
Ahram Online, Friday 8 Apr 2011
million man march
Art students Art students from the University of Helwan decorate the walls of the arts academy with murals commemorating the revolution (Photo: AP Photo/Manoocher Deghati)
Last week’s “Save the Revolution” day saw tens of thousands gather in Tahrir Square calling for all unmet revolutionary demands to be addressed, including the trial of Hosni Mubarak and all corrupt members of his inner circle and family, the formation of a presidential committee and the retrieval of the former ruling National Democratic Party’s funds. The atmosphere in Tahrir, according to many activists, was almost reminiscent of the first 18 days of the popular uprising which resulted in the ousting of former president Mubarak.
The absence of the MB was quite palpable. An Ahram Online correspondent reported from Tahrir last Friday that the Islamist group was conspicuously absent from the square. However, MB youth member Mohamed Heikal Abbas says the Brotherhood had received word of the Coalition of the Revolutionary Youth’s call for protest too late. Nevertheless, youth members of the group, such as Abbas went down to the square, he says.
This week, however, the Brotherhood has announced plans to participate.
The committee which called for this weeks protest intends to focus on one primary demand: the arrest and prosecution of Mubarak and his family members, who are all under house arrest in Sharm El-Sheikh, pending an investigation.
Bringing to justice all former oligarchs such as Fathi Sorour, Safwat El-Sherif and Zakaria Azmi was also highlighted as a major demand. The former heads of Parliament, the Upper House and Mubarak’s office respectively were the inner circle of the old guard supporting the ousted president during his 30 year dictatorship.
They are also held accountable for the counter-revolution, which resulted in over 600 protesters being killed and several thousand injured.
The last protest which called for similar demands was followed by the decision to freeze their assets as welll as a court ruling allowing for their bank accounts to be inspected.
Students staging the now weeks-long sit-in at Cairo University released a statement on Tuesday also calling for a a Tahrir protest..
The students are demanding the removal of the university’s president as well as the heads of faculties.
The statement released also included demands to investigate all allegations of corruption at the university, revoke all charges against students for demonstrating and a formal apology from the university president for allowing military police to enter the campus and disperse a student sit-in.
Joining the student groups, youth coalitions and the Brotherhood will be textile workers from Shebin El-Kom and El-Mahalla, according to Kamal El-Fayoumi, a trade unionist from El-Mahalla Textiles. Trade unionists and workers have decided to meet in Tahrir Square on Friday to demand the removal of the Egyptian Federation of Trade Unions (EFTU), the return of privatised companies to the public sector, a minimum monthly wage of LE1,200 and the trial of the corrupt “gang”, including Mubarak, former minister of investment Mahmoud Mohieldin, former minister of manpower and emigration Aisha Abdel Hady and Said El-Gohary, general-secretary of the textile and yarn union – viewed as a branch of the corrupt, state-controlled EFTU.