In turnaround, Abbasiya hosts anti-SCAF rally

Ahram Online, Monday 26 Dec 2011

Residents of Cairo district widely seen as pro-SCAF stronghold stage demonstration on Monday against military rule

Abbassiya pro-revolution protest 26 December (Courtesy of www.facebook/No4EverythingWrong)

Cairo’s Abbasiya district, where thousands of local residents recently demonstrated in support of Egypt’s ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), hosted a rally on Monday against military rule.

Ever since Abbasiya residents attacked anti-SCAF demonstrators attempting to march on the defence ministry in July, the district has served largely as a pro-SCAF foil to Tahrir Square, hosting several rallies in support of Egypt’s ruling junta.

In response, a Facebook group was recently set up by Abbasiya residents to show their support for demands voiced by Tahrir Square protesters. Along with attacking prominent pro-SCAF figures, the Facebook group also called for a rally in support of Tahrir Square activists.

On Monday, hundreds answered the call by marching through the district bearing banners declaring that Abbasiya should not be viewed as a bastion of support for the ruling military council. Other banners expressed solidarity with activists killed in recent attacks on Tahrir Square by security forces.

A statement released on Sunday by “the people of Abbasiya,” however, warned against Monday’s planned demonstration, emphasizing the district’s support for the SCAF. The statement was seen by some observers as a threat, prompting fears of an attack on the planned rally similar to that waged on Tahrir Square protesters in July.

On Monday, numerous calls were posted on social-media platforms calling on activists to join Abbasiya’s anti-SCAF demonstration.

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