Protesters and activists in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Wednesday (Photo: Reuters)
Hundreds of protesters continue to hold a sit-in in Tahrir Square against President Mohamed Morsi's controversial constitutional declaration.
Protesters have being holding their sit-in for six days to demand the president cancels the declaration, which they claim is an unprecedented power grab. They also want him to dissolve the Constituent Assembly, initiate a national dialogue to come up with standards agreed upon by all political currents, in addition to other demands, including the purging of the interior ministry.
There was relative calm in and around the square early Thursday. A standoff between protesters and police continued in Simon Bolivar Square adjacent to Tahrir Square. Protesters have continued to block off Tahrir Square, and many have been clearing the square of garbage.
A new cement wall has been built by the authorities between Simon Bolivar Square and the Omar Makram Mosque in Omar Makram Street. A visit was made to the area early Thursday by Interior Minister Ahmed Gamaleddin and Prime Minister Hisham Qandil. Gamaleddin said the wall was built in an "attempt to subdue the violence directed against the police."
Violent clashes have taken place nationwide between pro- and anti-Muslim Brotherhood protesters since the president made his constitutional declaration on 22 November. Islam Fathi, a 15-year-old Muslim Brotherhood member, died during violence in Damanhour in the Nile Delta and Fathi Ghareeb of the Socialist Popular Alliance suffocated from excessive tear gas inhalation in Tahrir Square. Over 400 people have also been injured.
Mass protests are expected to be held by opposition forces in Tahrir Square on Friday. The Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafist Nour Party have announced they are to take part in protests in Tahrir Square on Saturday.