Youth movements call for march to bolster Defence Ministry sit-in

Ahram Online, Sunday 29 Apr 2012

Justice and Freedom Youth Movement spearheads calls for solidarity march to protest Saturday's assault against sit-in staged outside Egypt's defence ministry

Egypt's Justice and Freedom Youth Movement has issued calls for a solidarity march to join an ongoing sit-in outside the Egyptian Ministry of Defence in Cairo's Abbasiya district, which was attacked by unknown assailants late Saturday night.

Two other revolutionary movements – the National Front for Justice and Democracy and the Second Revolution of Rage – also declared their intention to take part in the planned march, stressing their condemnation of any violence used against peaceful protesters.

The march is expected to set out from Talaat Harb Square in downtown Cairo to the defence ministry building in nearby Abbasiya.

Shortly before midnight on Saturday, unknown assailants attacked dozens of protesters, who had been staging the sit-in near the ministry building since Friday.

Protesters, including a number of supporters of disqualified presidential contender Hazem Abu-Ismail, had voiced their opposition to a recent decision by Egypt's Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission to bar their candidate from next month's presidential contest.

Supporters of the popular Salafist preacher are calling for the repeal of Article 28 of the constitutional declaration – issued by Egypt's ruling military council last year and approved via popular referendum – which they blame for their candidate's disqualification from the race. Sit-in participants chanted slogans against the military council, demanding that it immediately hand over power to a civilian administration.

The unknown attackers threw Molotov cocktails and cement bricks at the protesters, while a number of eyewitnesses reported hearing gunfire. 

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