Protests Monday on 'Friday of Rage' anniversary to press opposition demands

Osman El Sharnoubi, Sunday 27 Jan 2013

Opposition demands the dissolution of the Muslim Brotherhood, suspension of the constitution, and dismissal of the Cabinet in rallies that mark the bloodiest day in the anti-Mubarak uprising

Friday of Rage
Thousands of Egyptian protesters gather in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Jan. 25, 2013 (Photo: AP)

More protests are planned in Egypt Monday to protest the deaths of tens of protesters in clashes between protesters and police across the country.

The protests also mark the anniversary of the decisive "Friday of Rage" on 28 January, 2011 when hundreds of thousands of protesters clashed with security forces who later that day withdrew from the streets leaving Tahrir Square to protesters for two weeks before the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak.

A number of opposition parties and movements have called in a statement issued on Sunday for the dismissal of the Cabinet and cancellation of the recently ratified constitution.

The signatory groups include the Constitution Party, the Egyptian Popular Current, the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, the Free Egyptians Party, the Revolutionary Socialists, the 6 April Youth Movement-Democratic Front, among others.

The statement also called for a national salvation government to be formed and held the incumbent Cabinet and President Mohamed Morsi, as well as the Muslim Brotherhood (the group from which Morsi hails) responsible for the violence that erupted on the second anniversary.

Violence across parts of the country erupted Saturday after court sentenced 21 defendants to death in the Port Said stadium massacre.

Over 70 fans of Al-Ahly football club were killed in Port Said stadium in February 2012 after being attacked at the end of a match between Al-Ahly and Al-Masry club.

The families and supporters of those sentenced clashed with security forces at Port Said prison on Saturday afternoon, a confrontation that left over 30 protesters and two police officers dead.

Port Said became a ghost town Saturday night and clashes continued Sunday after police reportedly attacked a mass funeral of those killed Saturday.

The overall death toll in the Suez Canal city since Friday has exceeded 40.

The opposition statement voiced its signatories' "complete rejection of the violent events unfolding in the country, [holding] responsible President Mohamed Morsi, his [Muslim Brotherhood] Guidance Bureau, and the failed Hisham Kandil government." It also voiced its full support for "peaceful protests" across Egypt.

"[We demand] the suspension of the invalid and defective constitution that was formulated by an invalid Constituent Assembly and forced on the Egyptian people through a suspicious referendum," the statement said, calling for an alternative constitution to be written by a publicly elected assembly.

The statement also demanded retribution for all "martyrs" since the outbreak of the revolution in 2011 and demanded the cleansing and restructuring of the Interior Ministry which it accused of killing protesters and revolutionaries.

The statement's final demand was the dissolution of the Muslim Brotherhood, citing its lack of an official license and condemning what opposition groups see as its illegal interference in Egypt's state administration.

The planned march is set to proceed from El-Sayeda Zeinab Mosque in Old Cairo at 4pm to converge on the building housing the upper house of the Egyptian parliament, the Shura Council, near Tahrir Square.

According to the new constitution, the Shura Council is the primary legislative body until a lower house — formerly the People's Assembly, now the House of Representatives — is elected.

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