Egypt sees small Islamist protests after calls for civil disobedience

Ahram Online, Sunday 22 Sep 2013

Limited protests by Islamists take place in response to calls for 'civil disobedience' marking beginning of academic year

Muslim Brotherhood supporters
A girl follows a march of Muslim Brotherhood supporters in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Sept. 6, 2013. (Photo: AP)

To mark the beginning of the new academic year, loyalists of ousted president Morsi held several small protests in the capital and elsewhere on Sunday.

The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy, an umbrella group led by Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, had called for civil disobedience and protests.

Dozens of pro-Morsi protesters gathered in Giza's Lubnaan Square and Cairo's Roxy and Alf Maskan squares early on Sunday morning, causing traffic deadlock in several areas.

Cairo University, also in Giza, saw a protest of around a thousand students organised by the pro-Morsi "Students Against the Coup" group.

The education ministry published a report on Sunday on its official website, revealing there have been limited protests in several schools as well as clashes between students opposing and others supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.

Security forces have intervened, according to the statement, and in one case two students were arrested for holding anti-military banners outside the school.

The report, however, stated that the first day of the academic year has seen schools generally functioning normally, with the exception of those located in North Sinai and Giza's Kerdasa city.

North Sinai has been witnessing heightened clashes between militants and security forces since the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi leaving tens killed and injured on both sides. 

Meanwhile, on 19 September, police backed by military forces stormed Giza's Kerdasa town, an Islamist stronghold, to capture suspects of the 14 August deadly attack on the town's police station which had resulted in the brutal killing of 11 policemen.

Amal Hamdy, a school teacher Orman school, a girls’ secondary school in Giza, told Ahram Online that turnout where she works has been as high as normal with no signs of civil disobedience.

The same was confirmed by a staff member of the educational directorate in Sheikh Zayed district, Aisha El-Fishawy, after a meeting with school monitors who reported no strikes or protests.

An Ahram Online reporter visited several schools in Cairo's Boulaq district Sunday morning, observing crowds of students accompanied by their parents with no demonstrations insight.

The Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party has reported a student strike in a school in Upper Egypt's Fayoum and protests at Fayoum University.

Since the ouster of Morsi in July, the Islamist alliance has been holding nationwide demonstrations demanding his reinstatement. The protests, which in July and August numbered in the hundreds of thousands, have been dwindling over the past month after a campaign of crackdown on protesters by security forces and a wave of arrests targetting Brotherhood leaders and allies of the group.

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