In Tahrir Square around 1,000 protesters are voicing their anger over the anti-protests law approved by the cabinet on Wednesday, which slams up to a one-year sentence and a hefty fine on protesters.
The protesters are also voicing their dissatisfaction with the trials of the former ministers and businessmen during the Mubarak regime. They have dubbed the court cases “imaginary,” and have called for swift and efficient trials to all, including Mubarak and his family, arguing that the former president used to accuse people and put them in jail quickly, and the same should be done to him.
Over in Maspero, about 2,000 protesters are calling for the removal of all media personalities associated with the old regime, and the replacement of all editors of national papers. They are also voicing their anger about the anti-protest law.
The protesters chanted, “The people want to free the media.”
Wael Abbas, activist and blogger said that more people would have come out but were frightened of the anti-protest law.
“It has scared people and made them worried that they would be slammed with a jail sentence if they come out today,” Abbas fumed. “Even Mubarak wasn’t able to pass such a law, so how could they do it?”
Fellow activist Amr Ezzat, said that the low turnout could also be due to the fact that many students are preoccupied with demonstrations within their university campuses.
Ezzat added that the army approved the anti-protest law to try and avoid accusations that they arrested and abused protesters in Tahrir Square on 9 March.
“They want to give legitimacy to their actions and this law gives them that legitimacy,” says Ezzat.
On the other side of Maspero 500 Copts are protesting because the criminals behind the burning of the Two Martyrs Church in Atfeeh, Helwan on 4 March, were not arrested or put on trial.
“We are out today for a symbolic protest to show that we have strength in the street and that we still insist on our earlier demands,’ says Rola Sobhi, one of the Coptic protesters.