Last Update 10:17
Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Egypt Revolution Relaunched: Live updates of 'Martyrs' Friday'

A blow-by-blow account of Friday protests across Egypt, calling for a swift transfer of power from military rule to a civilian government after a week of bloody clashes

Ahram Online, Friday 25 Nov 2011
Tahrir Square
Protesters gather in Cairo's Tahrir Square (Photo: Reuters)


19:10 Gathered before the Cabinet offices on Kasr El-Aini Street, representatives of revolutionary movements announced to several thousand protesters, who had earlier marched there from nearby Tahrir, the names of 5 people they would like to form the core of the national salvation government that a million-strong protest in Tahrir and tens of thousands of protesters around the country insist should replace the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) in overseeing the transition to a democratic Egypt.

Flatly rejecting SCAF's confirmation earlier in the day of its charging Kamel El-Ganzouri, former prime minister under Mubarak (1996-99) of forming the new government, the representatives of the youth and revolutionary movements named Mohamed El-Baradei as the head of the government of national salvation. Nobel Peace Prize winner and former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Baradei was slated as a candidate for the presidency. Recently, however, he expressed his willingness to serve as the head of a transition government, so long as that government was properly empowered, and not a mere lackey of SCAF.

The movements would also like to see two other erstwhile presidential hopefuls to take up the job of deputy prime ministers in a Baradei-headed cabinet. They are Hamdeen Sabahi, leader of the Nasserist Karama Party and former member of parliament, and Abdel-Moneim Aboul-Futtouh.

Two other members of the proposed Baradei cabinet were put forward by the movements as consensus candidates. They are Ahram economic journalist, Ahmed El-Naggar, and Judge Ashraf Baroudy.

18:00 The square is full and turning its ire on the military rulers and their appointment of Kamal El-Ganzouri as prime minister.

17:00 A political activist is attacked and injured by armed thugs during an anti-SCAF march in the city of Mansoura. Thousands of locals staging a protest in solidarity with Tahrir’s Friday demonstration were attacked by a group of thugs, wielding sticks and knives in front of the Daqahliya Governorate offices in Mansoura. 

16:40 Hundreds of protesters are demonstrating in the Upper Egyptian city of Assiut in solidarity with “Martyrs’ Friday.” The demonstrators gathered at Khashaba Mosque and marched through El-Medina Street, one of the city’s main arteries.

16:30 Around 2000 protesters are demonstrating in front of the Cabinet’s offices, chanting “Bread, freedom and social justice” and rebuking the SCAF-appointment of Kamal El-Ganzouri to the premiership.

16:25 Protesters have formed a human barrier on Maglis Al-Shaab Street where Egypt's Parliament building is located in an effort to prevent other protesters from marching onto the Ministry of Interior. The April 6 Youth Movement are among those forming the barrier, hoping to prevent further confrontation and maintain the protest's peaceful nature. 

16:10 Army captain Ahmed Shoman has joined Tahrir Square for a second time this week. Shoman appeared this time on top of an onlooking building and waved at protesters.

Shoman became popular during the 18-day uprising when he handed over his weapons and joined the protests.

16:00 Hundreds of protesters have surrounded a police station in Mahalla Al-Kubra, pelting it with stones. The tens of demonstrators are believed to be relatives of detainees. They are allegedly attempting to break into the police station which has deployed policemen on top of the building to secure it.

Protesters at Shone Square, near the under attack police station, are calling for the departure of the military junta.

15:45 In an effort to conduct an informal referendum, activists have begun distributing questionnaires to protesters in the square, asking whether the listed political figures would be suitable to lead the proposed national salvation government. The suggested figures include potential presidential candidates Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh and Mohamed El Baradei and law professor Hossam Eissa. Protesters who consent to these names are asked to record their name and ID number.

15:30 Demonstrators begin gathering in front of the Cabinet’s offices, near Tahrir Square, to protest the appointment of Kamal El-Ganzouri to the premiership. They plan to remain in front of the building in order to prevent El-Ganzouri from entering.

15:25 Hundreds of protesters gather in Sohag's El-Sakafa Square in Upper Egypt to rally against the ruling SCAF. “Down with the military council” and “The people are a red line” were among the slogans repeated by demonstrators.

15:15 Several of Tahrir's political forces participating in the ongoing sit-in, including the Revolution Youth Coalition, the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, the Revolutionary Socialists, and the National Front for Justice and Freedom call for a protest and sit-in outside the Cabinet's offices to prevent the new SCAF-appointed prime minister, Kamal El-Ganzouri, tasked with forming a new government, from entering the offices.  The march will kick off at 3:30 from the centre of the square.

A press conference as also been announced for 5pm in which the aforementioned political forces plan to announce a national salvation government.

15:05 OnTV's crew was attacked during the channel's coverage of the pro-SCAF rally in Abassiya, according to the channel's official Twitter page. OnTV is a liberal channel owned by businessman Naguib Saweiras.

15:10 Hundreds of youth in the South Sinai governorate are demonstrating in front of the Roman Theatre and City Council in Sharm El-Sheikh in solidarity with the Tahrir protests. The protesters include members of the Revolutionary Youth Coalition, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party as well shop owners in tourist bazaars. The protesters are chanting: “No to violence, no to the use of force, no to using weapons against innocent people.”

14:55 Tahrir Square is really really packed.

14:50 Two military helicopters were reported to have flown over the now brimming square.

14:45 Hundreds of protesters have begun a march in the city of Damanhour, the capital of the Beheira Governorate, in solidarity with Tahrir protests. The march began from the El-Tauba Mosque and is set to converge on El-Saa Square. The protesters waved Egyptian flags and chanted “Down down with military rule” and “Why are we silent, what has the revolution achieved?”

Protests have also been reported in Miniya, Assiut and Luxor in Upper Egypt.

14:40 A “workers’ march” which set off from the offices of the Egyptian Independent Trade Union Federation with tends of protesters arrived in the square with hundreds en tow, as many bystanders joined the march in Qasr El-Nil street. The marchers are now in the middle of the square holding a banner which reads: "Strikes are a legitimate right against poverty and hunger"

14:38 Protesters are marching around the square holding a huge Egyptian flag with the slogan "Revolutionary government" written across it. The protesters chant against the military junta, demanding the overthrow of Tantawi.

14:35 Amid loud cheers, the now thousand strong march coming from Mostafa Mahmoud Mosque in Mohandiseen and led by now blind protester Ahmed Harara has just arrived in Tahrir Square.

14:32 Many protesters today are wearing eye patches in a show of solidarity with and to highlight those who were shot in the eye by security forces last week. Among those doing so is Wael Ghoneim, one of the figures behind the "We Are All Khaled Said" Facebook page that played a big part in triggering the January 25 uprising against Hosni Mubarak's regime. On the eye patch is written: "military rule = driver over protesters, security vacuum, stifling of freedom, remnants of the old regime."

14:30 Tens of media figures, artists and actors march from Tahrir to Egypt’s state TV offices (Maspero) to denounce the state media’s coverage of the events in revolutionary square and across Egypt.

14:25 Hundreds of protesters in Suez’s revolutionary Arbaeen Square have been chanting slogans against the ruling military council

Demonstrators have been calling on the SCAF to hand over power to a civilian administration immediately, saying they will no longer accept military rule. Chants of “Down with the field marshal” resound in Suez’s central square as protesters snub the appointment of  Kamal El-Ganzouri as prime minister. Ganzouri has been tasked with forming a new government.

Those who lost their relatives during the January 25 Revolution and others who sustained injuries joined the rally too, reiterating the same demands.

It’s worth noting that many of Suez’s revolutionaries had headed to Cairo ahead of Friday's million-man demonstration, as the square has been the focal point of the country’s ongoing protests. 

According to MENA, thousands of protesters from various political forces in Damietta are also taking part in Martyrs’ Friday, showing their unequivocal support for Tahrir’s protesters.

14:15 Pro-SCAF supporters in Abbassiya are estimated to have reached the thousands. Notoriously pro-regime TV presenter Tawfik Okasha, according to Al Jazeera, is addressing the military junta’s supporters from a platform.

The Egypt Is Above All Coalition is taking part in the rally.

14:10 Thousands of protesters have begun a demonstration in support of Tahrir’s Martyr’s Friday before the Daqahliya Governorate offices in Mansoura.

Earlier this morning, clashes broke out at Mansoura‘s security directorate after armed thugs attacked the building. The assailants also targeted civilians with blades, firearms and Molotov cocktails. Many sustained injuries but no deaths have been reported. A current investigation indicates that two men working for an unnamed NDP figure were behind the turmoil. Notably, most of the thugs – four of whom have been arrested – are under 20.

14:06 The march from Mostafa Mahmoud appears to be gathering steam as passes through the Giza neighbourhood of Dokki with Tahrir Square in sight across the Nile.

13:50 Potential presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh has just arrived in the square. The former member of the Muslim Brotherhood was expelled from the Islamist group after he announced his intention to run for Egypt’s top post despite the Brotherhood’s decision not to field any presidential candidates in the coming elections.

Aboul Fotouh has been a staunch critic of the ruling military council. Activists have fielded Aboul Fotouh as a possible candidate for the national salvation government which many in Tahrir have called for as an alternative to the interim leadership of the SCAF.

13:35 The thousands of marchers who set off from Mostafa Mahmoud Mosque have been tearing down the banners and posters of parliamentary candidates on their way to Tahrir, protesting against the SCAF’s decision to hold parliamentary elections on schedule – round one begins on Monday 28 November – without postponement despite massive country-wide protests and the tens of protester deaths at the hands of security forces in the past week.

13:25 Potential presidential candidate Mohamed ElBaradei has left the square after joining in the Friday prayers. ElBaradei had planned to visit the field hospital in Omar Makram Mosque, adjacent to the square, but was unable to reach the site of the mosque due to the press of protesters trying to speak to him.

13:20 A group of protesters are circumambulating the square, holding a large banner with the images of the officers who were arrested and referred to a military court following their participation in the 8 April sit-in. They were among the first to warn people that the ruling SCAF is leading the counter-revolution. “Where are the honourable officers of the army who are part of the Egyptian people", reads the banner.

13:17 An Ahram Online reporter on the scene says that the area near Mohamed Mahmoud Street is now packed with protesters.

Chants of "The people are a red line" and "Down with military rule" and "Tantawi has gone crazy and now wants to be president" can now be heard all over the square.

Many families are participating in the Friday’s protest with their young children. Activists have been handing out flyers asking protesters to neither raise any party or election banners nor attempt to erect stages. They are also urging fellow protesters to maintain the peaceful nature of the protest.

13:15 Alexandria’s protesters begin marching on the Northern Military Zone near Sidi Gaber. The Military Zone has seen many protests targeted against the ruling military council.

13:10 In Alexandria, thousands have gathered peacefully before Al-Qaed Ibrahim Mosque near the city’s central Saad Zaghloul Square calling for an end of the military rule.

Hundreds are simultaneously gathering in the delta city of Tanta.

13: 00 Ahmed Harara, who lost his first eye on 28 January and his second on 19 November, leads a march from Mostafa Mohamoud Mosque in Mohandseen to Tahrir Square.

12:50 The square chants as one: "The people demand the removal of the field marshal [Hussein Tantawi]" after Friday prayers end. Another chant also rings around the square: "We will not go, he [Tantawi] should go"

12:45 Activists have changed the name of Mohamed Mahmoud Street to the “Day of Freedom.” The now exhumed and war-torn street, one of the square’s main tributaries which also leads to the reviled Ministry of Interior, witnessed the bulk of the last week’s deadly clashes between protesters and security forces.

12:30 Prominent Islamic cleric Mohamed Gabriel is currently leading the Friday prayer.

12:15 Hundreds have gathered in Abbassiya Square for a pro-SCAF demonstration. Eyewitnesses say that there about 400 protesters in the demonstration. 

On Thursday, the ruling SCAF issued communiqué number 87 on their Facebook page - their third of the day - discouraging protesters from taking to the streets on Friday in support of Egypt's military junta. The statement stressed the need for Egyptians to unite and work together at such “critical times.”

12:10 Marches are planned to converge on Tahrir from several locations across Cairo today after Friday prayers. Six will arrive from Imbaba, Omraneya, Haram, Zamalek, Mostafa Mahmoud in Mohandiseen, Qasr El-Aini.

12:00 The Friday sermon has begun in Tahrir Square. It is once again being delivered by Sheikh Mazhar Shaheen, dubbed the “Imam of the Revolution,” as he has been the go to Tahrir preacher since the 18-day uprising.

Shaheen states: “The people demand the realisation of the revolution.” He congratulates the protesters for not giving up on their goals and persevering for the past ten months following the ouster of president Hosni Mubarak in February. The preacher also stresses that protesters should not take an anti-army stance. Rather they should direct their anger at the ruling SCAF. He also echoes calls for a national salvation government to administer the transitional period. Shaheen calls on Tahrir Square to announce a revolutionary government today. 

Sheikh Shaheen admonishes the ruling SCAF for ignoring protesters and their demands, stating that the military council has only been talking to political parties. He demands that Egyptian state-TV give the revolutionaries their own channel in which only revolutionaries appear. He also demands a swift end to the military trials of civilians and calls on the gathered protesters to take an oath to protect their revolution. Shaheen declares that the revolutionaries have the full backing of Al-Azhar.

11:30 People are preparing for prayers. 

11:15 Potential presidential candidate Mohamed ElBaradei is on his way to Tahrir Square to join the million-man march. ElBaradei wrote on his twitter account that he will take part in Friday prayer and the funeral prayers for the 41 who were killed during last week's clashes.

Mohamed ElBaradei tweets: On my way to Tahrir to pay my respects to the martyrs. Their sacrifice will not be in vain. Together we shall prevail

11:00 Demonstrators are holding the images of those martyred during last week’s clashes and chanting against Tantawi and Mubarak. What's more, there is an Islamist presence despite official boycotts by the Muslim Brotherhood, according to Ahram Online’s reporter in the square.

Tahrir's protesters have refused to allow any podiums to be erected in the square, insisting that podiums have often been used by various political forces to hijack the political will of the revolution.

10:30 Tens of thousands of protesters have been arriving in Tahrir Square since the early morning as “Martyrs’ Friday” kicks off. The already high turnout indicates that today's protester turnout will exceed that of Tuesday's successful million-man march.

This is despite a call by the Muslim Brotherhood for an alternative million-man march in defence of Arab Jerusalem's Aqsa Mosque, one of Islam's most holy shrines. The Brotherhood’s march is to rally before the Azhar Mosque, but it is not yet known whether they have any intention of marching towards Tahrir.

Today the protesters are demanding that the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forced (SCAF) – along with its head, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi – hand over executive power to a civilian authority. They are also calling for the formation of a civilian presidential council or a “national salvation” government with full executive powers to administer the transitional period.

Other demands include the immediate release of arrested activists, an end to military trials for civilians, a speedy investigation into the bloody events at Maspero and Tahrir, the prosecution of anyone involved in killing protesters and a radical restructuring of the interior ministry.

Today's demonstration follows a week of deadly clashes between protesters and security forces in which the latter bombarded Tahrir and its surrounding streets with its arsenal of teargas, rubber bullets and buckshot, leaving at least 41 dead and several thousand injured.

Short link:



© 2010 Ahram Online.