Egyptians hold giant rallies denouncing Islamist President Mohammed Morsi
Friday 25 January 2013
Thousands of Egyptians have held giant rallies denouncing Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, two years after Egypt's revolution began.
The mainly liberal and secular opposition supporters say the goals of the pro-democracy uprising have not been met.
Thousands of protesters filled Cairo's central Tahrir Square, where the January 2011 uprising was born, and the area outside the presidential palace in the city's Heliopolis district. The Arab Spring chants of "Erha! Erhal!" or "leave, leave" and "the people want to topple the regime" rang out.
The protesters are using the anniversary to stage a show of strength in a bid to force Mr Morsi to amend a disputed constitution drafted by his Islamist allies. They are also demanding freedom of expression and the independence of the judiciary.
Smaller crowds also gathered in central squares in the Mediterranean cities of Alexandria and Port Said as well as the Nile Delta city of Mehalla and Suez at the southern entrance of the Suez Canal.
Clashes broke out for a second day on some side streets near Tahrir and police fired tear gas to disperse the young men throwing stones. There were also clashes in Alexandria.
Mr Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood supporters opted not to mark the anniversary on the streets, arguing that they will honour the occasion with acts of public service, like treating the sick and planting trees, a tactic dismissed by the opposition as a public relations stunt ahead of parliamentary elections expected in April.
The Brotherhood's ultra-conservative allies known as Salafis also said they would stay off the streets to avoid clashes.
The anniversary of the revolution comes as Egypt faces a new phase in its upheaval: Ruling Islamists trying to push through their agenda, an opposition trying to break their lock on power, and an economy in free-fall that threatens to fuel public discontent.
At the heart of the country's political divide is a disputed constitution drafted by Mr Morsi's allies without the participation of liberals or minority Christians, what the opposition sees as a bid by him and his Muslim Brotherhood to take control of all state institutions and the president's meddling in the judiciary.
"I am asking everyone to go out and demonstrate to show that the revolution must be completed and that the revolution must continue," opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei said in a televised message posted on his party's website. "There must be a constitution for all Egyptians. A constitution that every one of us sees himself in it," said the Nobel peace Laureate and former head of the UN nuclear watchdog, IAEA.
New militia-like groups opposed to the Islamists have declared in video messages posted on social networks this week their intention to defend the opposition protesters if attacked.
At least 10 people were killed and hundreds injured when Mr Morsi's supporters descended upon protesters camped outside his palace in December, starting clashes that lasted for hours with firebombs, swords, knifes and firearms.
- 3 Reading Festival 2014: Tesco branch replaces salad and potatoes for Jagermesiter and vodka
Michael Brown shooting: Amnesty International sends team within US for first time as National Guard deployed
Michael Brown shooting: Ferguson police shoot and kill second young black man
James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
Iraq crisis: Islamic State's message to America - 'We will drown you all in blood'
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
£65000 - £70000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based i...
£25000 - £30000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Energy En...
£475 - £550 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Technical Accountant-Insuran...
£25-£30k Plus Car: Charter Selection: Major well established nationwide market...