Thousands march on Tahrir to protest 'Brotherhood' charter

Salma Shukrallah, Friday 19 Oct 2012

Secularists head to flashpoint square to show their rejection of a recently-unveiled draft constitution they say fails to represent all Egyptians

March
Hundreds march from Mostafa Mahmoud mosque in Mohandiseen, Giza (Photo: Salma Shukralla)

Dozens of Egyptians gathered on Cairo's Tahrir Square by midday Friday to protest what they claim are Muslim Brotherhood attempts to dominate the writing of the country's new constitution.

Those attending the protest -- convened under the name "Egypt is no-one's private estate - Egypt for all Egyptians" -- are holding banners decrying Brotherhood rule and the body charged with writing the new charter. Other banners accuse Mohamed Badie, the Brotherhood's Supreme Guide, of "selling" the revolution.
 
Nearly 30 political parties and movements are participating, as is former presidential contender Hamdeen Sabbahi. Hundreds more protesters are expected to arrive on the flashpoint square in the hours after Friday prayers. At the moment traffic is flowing as normal.
 
Revolutionary groups, liberal and leftist forces called for the protest earlier this week, voicing their disapproval of a draft constitution presented by Egypt's Constituent Assembly, a 100-person body they claim fails to represent the country's cultural and political diversity.
 
Three marches are already on their way to Tahrir from across the capital, each led by a prominent revolutionary activist.
 
One has set out from Saida Zeynab, Old Cairo, and another from the northern suburb of Shubra. 
 
A third, on its way from Mohandiseen's Mostafa Mahmoud Square, already has several hundred participants, according to an Ahram Online reporter at the scene.
 
Activist Kamal Khalil is leading a procession waving red flags of the Revolutionary Socialists group, flags for Sabbahi's Egyptian Current party, the April 6 Movement, the Constitution Party among others.
 
Chants are calling for "a free, revolutionary constitution written by all Egyptians" and vowing "for the blood of the martyrs, we will start all over again".
 
Among the 29 parties and movements taking part in Friday's protest are: the Popular Current, the Constitution Party, the Free Egyptians party, the Nile Party, the Egyptian
Social Democratic Party, the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, the 6 April Youth Movement's Democratic Front, the Revolutionary Socialists, the National Association for Change, the Peaceful Change Front and the 'No to Military Trials' campaign.  
 
Simultaneous protests by Brotherhood supporters and secularists in central Cairo last Friday descended into prolonged street-fights between the two sides in which over 100 were injured.
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