'Against You' campaign marches against El-Sisi's candidacy

Amr Kotb, Monday 19 May 2014

Revolutionary groups come together in opposition to the presidential campaign of Egypt's former army chief

El-Sisi supporter trades barbs with member of Deddak (Photo: Amr Kotb)

Deddak (Arabic for 'Against You'), a campaign urging Egyptians not to vote for former army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, held a march on Monday between Cairo's Agouza and Zamalek districts.

Although the march was only attended by tens, it began with fierce verbal altercations at its meeting point in Kit Kat Square. Passersby made their way into the group to trade barbs with the marchers. One particularly heated discussion featured a member of Dedak struggling to respond to a woman who repeatedly yelled, "We want Sisi." As the conversation escalated, a circle of onlookers and journalists formed around the two women, who debated whether or not the former general had provided citizens with an electoral programme.

Another onlooker who casually shared his disdain for "military rule" and his concern that the country's upcoming elections may not be free or fair was met with visible consternation from another El-Sisi supporter, who told him that "he must support the military, regardless of what it does."

As the conversation quickly morphed into a quarrel, the man supporting El-Sisi accused the other of being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and added that if he were a member, "they" would find him. Others who passed by and learned that the group opposed El-Sisi also accused marchers of being members of the Brotherhood.

As the group began to march, supporters of the former field marshal began to sing songs associated with his campaign.

April 6 Democratic Front activist Sherif El-Rouby stressed that the group's purpose was not to encourage citizens to vote for El-Sisi's lone competitor, Hamdeen Sabahi.

"We know that the official position of some groups participating in Deddak is to support Sabahi, but our purpose is simply to expose the actions of El-Sisi and discourage citizens from voting for him."

Throughout the walk to the Cairo Opera House in Zamalek, members held signs reading: "Against you because you are a liar and a failure" and "Against you because you are a product of [Hosni] Mubarak", among others. 

When the group neared the Opera House, many turned to show their signs to oncoming traffic. One microbus driver showed his support by yelling "No military rule!" from his window. Other marchers tore down an El-Sisi campaign poster on 6 October Bridge.

Deddak's efforts come on the heels of a pro-Sisi rally held outside of Giza governorate's headquarters on Sunday. The rally's mood was festive and attended by a few hundred participants. Supporters waved Egyptian flags, sang and danced to patriotic songs and chanted the name of the former defence minister.

The Deddak campaign was officially formed on 17 May and includes revolutionary groups such as the Revolutionary Socialists, April 6's Youth Movement and Democratic Front and the Revolutionary Path Front.

The group will continue its activities as the presidential elections draw closer – scheduled for 26-27 May – with two planned events this week – graffiti painting on Tuesday and the formation of a human chain in solidarity with political detainees on Thursday.

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