Google+ Followers

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Egypt’s Friday Islamist rallies gathered lower numbers; police arrested hundreds of the protesters

Islamist supporters marching in Cairo
Egypt’s Islamist Alliance in Support of Legitimacy united several Islamist political parties and groups has called for its supporters to hold the million-man rallies in Cairo and nationwide on 30 August, Friday, to protest against the “military coup” and the current government.

The Marches to be held on Friday had to mark the beginning of the big campaign of civil disobedience in the country to press the current government of Egypt, according to the official statements of the group.

The Alliance claims they will not change their intentions and the main demands remain the same: reinstatement of Mohamed Morsy as Egypt’s President and cancelling of the military backed political roadmap proposed after 3 July when Egypt’s Islamist President was ousted by the military decree.

Though the numbers of the protesters taken to the streets on Friday have been lower than during the previous marches organized by Muslim Brotherhood and reached only a few thousands, according to the reporters in the ground. The Muslim Brotherhood’s representatives though claim the numbers of the supporters have been much higher with millions of people taken to the streets in several Egyptian governorates.

The protests have been held in Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, Ismailia, Port Said, Assiut, Minya, Zagazig and some other cities but they haven’t been numerous. Several thousand demonstrators have been marching from different directions after Friday noon prayers. They have been chanting against Egypt’s Head of Armed Forces and against military which backed the “coup” and demanded reinstatement of Mohamed Morsy. Some of the protesters claimed they were here to support not even Morsy or Muslim Brotherhood but democracy.

Clashes erupted during the protests
Protesters have been carrying the posters with the pictures of those slain during the violent clashes erupted during and after dispersing of the Islamist sit-ins in Cairo on 14 August. Some of them have been also holding the pictures of Mohamed Morsy and also the symbol of the recent Muslim Brotherhood’s protests: the black hand of the yellow background symbolizing Rabaa Al-Adaweya Square and those killed during the dispersal of the sit-ins there.

On the eve of the planned marches and protests of Muslim Brotherhood’s supporters against the interim government Egypt’s security forces and army have deployed additional forces to the roads and districts of the cities where the main governmental buildings are located, and also to the traditional protests’ points.

The marches of the Muslim Brotherhood’s supporters have turned into the clashes in Cairo and other governorates with the protesters attempting to attack the security forces and the police firing tear gas to disperse the crowds. Egypt’s Health Ministry reported 8 people dead and 221 injured as a result of the Friday clashes.

Security forces also report they have arrested at least 230 people accused of participating in the attacks and clashes taken place on Friday, including the clashes erupted in Cairo’s district Mohamdesin between the protesters and police.

Muslim Brotherhood and Alliance in Support of Legitimacy announce they will continue their rallies and their campaign, despite the lower supports and numbers of those participating. Muslim Brotherhood was always known for its strong organization’s and mobilizing abilities, and their decreasing support is explained by some analysts as the result of the group’s weakness after hundreds of its members including high ranking leading figures have been arrested. In addition to that the curfew imposed in Egyptian cities prevents the protests to gather the bigger numbers.