Thousands of anti-Morsi protesters march on Egypt's Shura Council

Sarah El-Rashidi, Monday 28 Jan 2013

Thousands of demonstrators march to Shura Council's headquarters to oppose policies of President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood

"Peaceful" written on trash bins held by members of the 6 April Youth movement as shield (Photo: Mai

Around three thousand protesters set out from Cairo's Sayida Zeinab Mosque on Monday afternoon towards the Shura Council, the upper house of Egypt's parliament, which is currently endowed with full legislative powers.

The march, which marks the second anniversary of Egypt's 28 January 2011 'Friday of rage,' is meant to protest the recent death of dozens of protesters in clashes with security forces across the country and to demand the suspension of Egypt's newly-approved constitution and the dismissal of the cabinet.

The country has seen nationwide protests and clashes since Friday, the January 25 Revolution's second anniversary, which have left at least 50 dead and hundreds injured.

Leading the march is renowned leftist activist Kamal Khalil, who chanted anti-Muslim Brotherhood slogans and demanded "vengeance for the martyrs."

"We are not going to leave it to Badie," protesters chanted in reference to Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie.

Activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah told Ahram Online that the march was meant to protest the Brotherhood's perceived monopolisation of state institutions.

"We want to stop the Brotherhood's attempts to take over state institutions… and pass illegitimate laws through them," said Abdel-Fattah.

"And now Morsi has reinstated the emergency law, which reflects his failure as a legitimate democratic leader," he added.

On Sunday, President Morsi declared a state of emergency in three canal cities – Port Said, Ismailia and Suez – where violence erupted over the weekend. He also declared a night-time curfew in the three cities.

Also present at Monday's protest were members of the Revolutionary Socialists, the Socialist Popular Alliance and the National Association for Change.

Meanwhile, members of the 6 April youth movement held up trash bins as shields bearing the word 'Peaceful.'

"We want freedom. We want to get rid of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood," Amr, a masked 14-year-old member of Egypt's 'Black Bloc,' told Ahram Online.

Hisham Sabra, a protester and consulting engineer, told Ahram Online that Monday's protests were "a chance for freedom to be gained and a democratic stable Egypt."

"We were naïve...we used to have a semi-military dictatorship. Now we have a theocratic dictatorship, which is more dangerous," added Sabra.

Sabra went on to criticise Morsi's Sunday night speech, describing it as "a miserable one." He praised the National Salvation Front (NSF) opposition group's decision to boycott the president's calls for dialogue.

On Monday afternoon, the NSF announced its rejection of Morsi's invitation to dialogue, describing it as a "façade" that would not benefit Egyptians.

Meanwhile, according to the ministry of interior at least four policemen and seven conscripts have been injured in the ongoing clashes near Tahrir square.

Also, two police officers were killed in the city of Port Said while one conscript was killed in Suez.

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