Protesters hold signs reading "Leave", against president Morsi on Friday's anti-Muslim Brotherhood protests (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
A large number of protesters left from in front of the presidential palace in Cairo late Friday evening, despite the announcement of a sit-in after around 3000 protesters marched in anti-Muslim Brotherhood demonstrations, reported Egypt's official news agency MENA.
Ex-MP Mohamed Abu Hamed, one of the main campaigners for the 24 August protests, called on thousands of protesters Friday evening to start a sit-in in Merghany Street around the presidential palace. However, protesters started to leave the demonstration as the evening progressed.
Cairo's Heliopolis-based presidential palace was the eventual destination for the protesters, whose presence outside the Egyptian capital was very limited in what was planned to be nationwide mass protests.
Friday's protests, which marked the first anti-Muslim Brotherhood rally since Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was sworn in, attracted only a few thousand Egyptians angry at what they perceive as the Brotherhood's attempt to monopolise power.
Widespread calls for the protests had been spreading across social networking sites for weeks. Two controversial Egyptian figures, anti-revolution television presenter Tawfiq Okasha and former MP Mohamed Abu-Hamed, were the first to call for mass protests aimed at "toppling Muslim Brotherhood rule."
The demands of the 24 August protest include stopping the Brotherhood from "dominating state institutions" and launching a probe into the funding of the 80-year-old Islamist group, which became the most powerful force in Egyptian politics after being oppressed for decades under the rule of army strongmen Gamal Abdel-Nasser, Anwar El-Sadat and Hosni Mubarak.