Mass rallies set to converge on Egypt Parliament on 'Determination Tuesday'

Nada Hussein Rashwan, Samir El-Sayed, Tuesday 31 Jan 2012

Revolutionaries, women and political groups are organising mass marches around the country on Tuesday to press for an end to military rule

Tahrir Square on the evening of 25 January 2012, the Egyptian revolution's first anniversary. (Photo: Reuters)

Political groups and activists are organising several rallies in different governorates around Egypt to demand immediate handover of power from the military council to civilian authorities.

In Cairo, marches from several districts, are planned to end at the headquarters of the Parliament (People's Assembly) to demand its support of the initiative.

Fifty-six political groups, including both parties and movements, called for two mass marches to head to the Parliament's headquarters on Tuesday afternoon, to demand that Parliament supports the One Demand initiative raised by those forces.

The One Demand initiative was announced earlier this week, listing certain measures that Parliament should adopt to achieve the stated demands: “No to safe exits for military council leaders, no to a constitution drafted under military rule and no to presidential elections under the military’s supervision.”

The two marches are planned to start simultaneously at 4pm. The first will start in front of Gate 4 of the Maspero building, the state television headquarters, in Downtown Cairo. The second, a women's march, will gather in front of the Saad Zaghloul mausoleum off the People's Assembly Street. The women's march will begin with a vigil for the revolution’s victims, before heading to Parliament.

Activists are also planning marches that will gather in front of the residences of some of the revolution's slain protesters, in the districts of Maadi, Ain Shams, Matariya and Sayyida Zeinab. Protesters, along with a number of lawyers, will head towards the Parliament to condemn the acquittal of police officers who were accused of killing protesters in January 2011, and demand that the Parliament drafts laws that overcome the legal loopholes which allowed the officers involved to be set free.

Activists in the district of Helwan have arranged a march from their neighbourhood to the Parliament, starting at 10:30am.

In Alexandria, activists from 6 April Youth Movement, Kefaya, the Revolutionary Socialists and other activist and political groups are planning a march starting in the district of Manshiya at 3:30pm, which will move towards the northern military base. The march will support the demand of an early handover of power by the military.

University activists, for their part, plan a number of marches to head to the Parliament as well, in the name of students who have been killed during protests over the past years. 6 April Students, an offshoot of the 6 April Youth Movement, are arranging for marches to starting at the universities of Cairo, Ain Shams and Helwan, gathering in front of each university at 12pm to march to the Parliament calling for retribution for slain protesters as well as an end to military rule.

Student activists from 6 April plan a protest in front of Zagazig University in the Delta governorate of Sharqiya, in solidarity with the protesters who will march to the Parliament in Cairo.

Solidarity protests are also planned in the cities of Minya, Menoufiya and Damietta to press for an end to military rule.

On Wednesday, hundreds of thousands of Egyptians marched to celebrate the first anniversary of the 25 January Revolution, with many calling for the continuation of the revolution’s path and demanding that the ruling military council step down from power. Hundreds of protesters started a sit-in in front of state television headquarters, the Maspero building, to put pressure on the military council to leave power, as well as to call for the political independence of state media.

Current Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzouri is expected to make his first appearance before the newly-elected Parliament on Tuesday. El-Ganzouri, along with a group of ministers, will address MPs on issues related to state-sponsored facilities dedicated to the injured protesters and the families of protesters who were killed.

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