Brotherhood supporters clash with anti-SCAF protesters outside Parliament

Ekram Ibrahim , Tuesday 31 Jan 2012

Clashes occurred outside the parliamentary headquarters as some Muslim Brotherhood supporters tried to prevent anti-SCAF protest marches from reaching the building on 'Determination Tuesday'

Women March
Women march on its way from Saad Zaghloul to the People Assembly HQ. (Photo: Bel Trew)

Four protest marches, each composed of several hundred people, have started their journeys to the parliamentary headquarters, demanding that the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) hand over power to the newly-elected legislature immediately.

One march started from Cairo University, crossing the Nile and continuing along Qasr El-Aini Street in Downtown Cairo towards the Parliament. Another started at the Maspero building, the headquarters of state radio and television. The third gathered at Tahrir Square and proceeded from there. The fourth march is a women's march which started from Saad Zaghloul metro station, in Downtown Cairo.

As some protesters coming from Cairo University approached the parliamentary building, they were faced by members of the Muslim Brotherhood who wanted to prevent them from protesting in the area. Clashes took place between the two groups.

Brotherhood members chanted "the army and the people are one hand," and created a human shield around the parliamentary headquarters. Similar scenes were witnessed at the opening session of Parliament last week.

Meanwhile, protesters are chanting against the Muslim Brotherhood and accusing them of abandoning the blood of the revolution's martyrs by trying to please the SCAF and refusing the early handover of power to Parliament.

The Muslim Brotherhood has refused to officially join any sit-ins since Mubarak stepped down.

These are not the first clashes between pro-revolution protesters and Muslim Brotherhood members. The most recent such event was on Friday, 27 January in Tahrir Square. Clashes took place as protesters complained of the Brotherhood's support for the SCAF staying in power, against the demands of many people.  

On the anniversary of the January 25 Revolution, hundreds of thousands of Egyptians took to the streets demanding the SCAF hand over power to civilians. Since then, daily marches and protests have taken place, highlighting the same demand.

The political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood won the biggest majority in the newly-elected Egyptian Parliament (People's Assembly). Moreover, the former secretary-general of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) was elected as the speaker of the parliament in the opening session. 

As the clashes started, Social Democratic Party MP Ziad El-Elemy said that about thirty MPs from different parties decided to withdraw from the session in protest at Parliament Speaker and leading FJP member Mohamed Saad El-Katatni's decision not to call on them to speak, and joined the protesters outside the Parliament building.

Fifty-six political parties and movements called for Tuesday's marches on the parliament to demand that representatives support 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.”

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