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Egypt's political forces call for protest against ruling military council's 'crimes'

Egypt’s political forces are calling for citizens to hit the streets in force this Friday to protest against the military council's handling of Egypt and bias in favour of counter-revolutionary forces

Ahram Online, Thursday 27 Oct 2011

A statement released today by ten political parties and movements urges Egyptians to return to the epicentre of the Egyptian revolution, Tahrir Square, on Friday, 28 October, to protest against the ruling military council’s handling of the country.

The joint statement identifies what they call "the crimes committed by the military council against the Egyptian people, from transferring civilians for military trials, to forcibly ending workers’ protests, repressing student movements calling for the purging of universities, slaughtering Copts in cold blood during the Maspero clashes and permitting remnants of the National Democratic Party to run in the upcoming elections without punishing them for what they did to destroy Egyptian public life."

All these incidents, the statement says, demonstrate the military council’s “bias in favour of the members of the old regime and its blatant hostility towards the revolution.”

The group call on protesters to head to Tahrir Square after Friday prayers as has been the custom since the 18-day uprising that ousted Hosni Mubark from power.

They also plan a march later in the day at 4pm from the Omar Makram Mosque in the square to the state TV building in Maspero to demand that all those who participated in the killing of Coptic Christians during the clashes of 9 October are brought to justice.

“It is time we go back to the street to fight for the revolution with all power we have,” the group add. “Justice and freedom are not impossible demands and we will only achieve them by uniting and persisting to struggle for the continuation of the revolution. Victory for the revolution, glory to the martyrs," the statement ends.

The statement was signed by the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, the Democratic Workers’ Party, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, the Revolutionary Socialists, the Youth for Justice and Freedom movement, the Popular Committee to Defend the Revolution, the Free Egyptian movement, the Revolutionary Lotus Coalition, the Democratic Front for Justice and Democracy, and the Campaign to Support ElBaradei.

Yesterday, the Youth Revolution Coalition issued their own call for people to join the protests, for what has come to be known as the “Friday of Defending the Revolution,” to demand that the ruling military council hand over power to a civil authority by April. Meanwhile, on Thursday the April 6 Youth Movement issued a statement to confirm its participation in the organised protest.

Both groups are demanding that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) implements a law preventing former members of Mubarak's National Democratic Party (NDP) from participating in Egypt’s political life. This, they insist, should be done in time for the parliamentary elections due to start on 28 November.

As many as 300 former members have registered to run as candidates under the Horreya Party and Egyptian Citizen Party. Another 120 at least are running in Talaat El-Sadat’s National Egypt Party or as independents. 

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