April 6 proposes January 25 initiative to end ongoing polarisation

Ahram Online, Wednesday 22 Jan 2014

The April 6 Movement calls on Egyptians participating in the January 25 Revolution anniversary to abandon political banners, whether pro-Morsi or supportive of El-Sisi, and only to hold Egyptian flags

April 6 General coordinator Amr Ali (m) at a press conference ahead of January 25 third anniversary (Photo:Ahram)

The April 6 Youth Movement proposed a reconciliatory initiative Wednesday as the basis to participate in the third anniversary of the January 25 Revolution.

The movement's general coordinator, Amr Ali, said at a press conference that April 6's participation in the revolution's anniversary on Saturday will be with "the Egyptian nation and not with one party against the other in the ongoing political struggle," referring to the Muslim Brotherhood and the military.

"[The movement] will stand against all those representing the forces of the past and aim at restraining the January 25 Revolution," Ali added in his statement, warning that the current situation is dangerous as social polarisation is increasing.

The movement requested, as a step to going beyond present polarisation, that those participating in the 25 January anniversary refrain from holding any banners while holding only the Egyptian flag. It also called on people to refrain from violence.

Ali said it should not be a day either to call for the reinstatement of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood, or to call for the nomination of army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi for the presidency.

"We, as the April 6 Movement, do not have either the money or the numbers owned by the two sides of this battle [to take part in the current struggle] and see that the initiative proposed [to end polarisation] is eventually inevitable because the victory of either party over the other will mean the defeat of the state," Ali said.

The movement's deputy head of the media office, Mohamed Kamal, read out the youth group's statement demanding that "everyone puts aside their political differences after the revolution has been reduced to narrow struggles over power."

Saturday will mark the January 25 Revolution's third anniversary. Supporters of Morsi as well as supporters of El-Sisi have called for demonstrations on that day.

The two camps have frequently clashed. On 6 October, more than 50 were killed as both Muslim Brotherhood and army supporters took the streets on the 40th anniversary of the Egyptian victory in the 1973 war.  

Morsi was ousted on 3 July. Amid mass nationwide protests, army chief El-Sisi announced the Islamist president's removal from his position and announced a new political roadmap backed by political party heads and religious figures.

The new roadmap included amending the 2012 constitution drafted by a Muslim Brotherhood dominated committee. The amended charter was passed by a 98.1% approval rate in a referendum that took place 14 and 15 January.

Islamists have been facing a security crackdown since the forced dispersal of the main pro-Morsi sit-in camps, which had been demanding the ousted president's reinstatement, on 14 August. Hundreds were killed during the dispersal of the sit-ins and the protests that followed. Thousands were arrested.

Recently, non-Islamist activists have been arrested and several put on trial for defying a law passed by the current government in November requiring a prior permit from authorities to hold demonstrations.

The two main founding members of the April 6 Movement, Ahmed Maher and Mohamed Adel, have been sentenced to three years in prison on conviction of calling for a demonstration without a permit and assaulting security forces.

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