'Way of the Revolution' front to demonstrate Saturday against draft protest law

Ahram Online, Saturday 26 Oct 2013

The Way of the Revolution Front is set to protest on Saturday against a draft law that would illegalise public demonstrations, which the group sees as a direct attack on the achievements of the 25 January revolution

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Protesters demonstrate in Tahrir Square, Cairo in 2011. (Photo: Reuters)
The Way of the Revolution Front will stage a demonstration in downtown Cairo on Saturday at 5pm in Talaat Harb Square under the slogan "The Street Is Ours" to protest a controversial draft law restricting public demonstrations.
The Front said in a statement that the draft law aims in practice to "ban public demonstrations," which the group sees as "part of an anti-revolution policy [by the current government] and an attempt to reproduce the [pre-January 25] repressive state." 
"People came out in the 25 January 2011 revolution to bring down the repressive state and its laws, claiming the right to protest with sacrifices and the blood of its martyrs," the statement said.
"We will not allow any assault on this right." 
The draft law, which was proposed by the cabinet in mid-February, has ignited public debate, with critics arguing that it infringes on Egyptian citizens' basic rights and freedoms. 
Among the law's most controversial measures is the proposed right given to the interior minister or senior police officials to cancel, postpone or change the location of a protest. The law also entitles governors to designate "protest-free" areas near state buildings.
Responding to growing criticism, Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi said last week that the draft law could be amended after dialogue with political forces and parties. 
The Way of the Revolution Front was launched on 24 September, aiming to provide an alternative to the current "polarisation" between the military and Muslim Brotherhood.
The Front coalition includes leading members of the April 6 Youth Movement, the Strong Egypt Party, the Revolutionary Socialists and the Justice and Freedom Youth.
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