Egypt's 'Third Square' protesters denounce army, Morsi

Zeinab El Gundy and Bassem Ali , Friday 26 Jul 2013

A group of people stand against both Muslim Brotherhood and military rule in Giza on Friday amid massive pro-army, pro-Morsi rallies

A small group of protesters referring to themselves as "The Third Square" gathered on Friday afternoon in Sphinx Square in Giza to protest against the Muslim Brotherhood and military intervention in politics.

Protesters, mostly youth, chanted and held banners saying "Down with those who betrayed us, down with the military and the Muslim Brotherhood."

One of the protesters, Rami, told Ahram Online that he refuses authoritarianism "under any condition."

"We came to protest against the felolul (remnants of Mubarak’s regime), Muslim Brotherhood and the army; none of these groups have the right to claim political legitimacy in order to take control of the state," Rami said.

Another protester, Mohamed, had other motives for joining the protest.

"The country needs what is currently described as transitional justice, rule of law and a national reconciliation. Remember that justice came before the other two elements as it paves the way for them," Mohamed said.

"Put in mind that the loyalty of the judiciary remains divided between the Brotherhood and Mubarak’s regime, along with the crimes committed by the police against the people in the past; these are vital matters that need immediate solutions," he added.

A third protester, who requested to remain anonymous, claimed that Egypt suffers from severe problems concerning freedom of expression.

He said that despite the occurrence of two revolutionary waves, Egypt does not have "respectable newspapers or TV channels," referring to their lack of neutrality.

"We are a group of Egyptians that participated in the January revolution against the corruption of the Mubarak state for 30 years. We went to the streets against [former head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces Field Marshal Hussein] Tantawi and his men that insulted the Egyptian army during the SCAF rule in the transitional period, and we went down against Morsi's state corruption and his religious fascism to demand early presidential elections," said the group of protesters in a statement distributed during the protest.

"We went to the streets today to reject the intervention of the Egyptian army in politics and to denounce the minister of defence calling for Egyptians to be mandated to kill other Egyptians, claiming it is to fight terrorism," said the group in its statement. They also said that fighting terrorism does not need authorisation because that is the duty of the armed forces.

The group announced via Facebook that they are not against the army but against the military rule because the army has a greater role in protecting the nation and its borders and fighting terrorism.

They aim to create what they believe to be a third square to stand against religious fascism and military rule, calling for a civil state. They are also planning to return to Sphinx Square at 9pm as a part of a series of planned demonstrations.

"The Third Square" group includes members of Salafist preacher Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail's Hazemoon, Revolutionary Socialists, the April 6th Youth Movement and Salafyo Costa group as well as independent activists.

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