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Protests return to Cairo's Tahrir Square

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Protests return to Cairo's Tahrir Square

Post by Kitkat on Fri 18 Nov 2011, 21:01

Tens of thousands of Egyptians have gathered in Tahrir Square in Cairo to put new pressure on the military authorities to speed up their promised handover of power.

The rally comes ahead of parliamentary elections later this month - the first since the fall of President Mubarak.

The BBC's Middle East correspondent John Leyne reports from Cairo.

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Egypt today (30th June 2013)

Post by Kitkat on Sun 30 Jun 2013, 16:43

Headline:  Egypt Morsi: Mass political protests grip cities

Mass protests calling for the resignation of Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi and early presidential elections are gripping the capital, Cairo, and other cities.

His opponents say he has failed to tackle economic and security problems.

Thousands spent the night in Cairo's Tahrir Square, focus of protests which brought down ex-leader Hosni Mubarak.

Supporters of Mr Morsi, who became the country's first Islamist president a year ago, are also rallying.

Morsi critics also say he has put the Islamist agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood party ahead of the country's wider interests.

In Cairo, the anti-Morsi supporters are chanting: "Irhal! Irhal!" ("Leave! Leave!"), reports the BBC's Aleem Maqbool.

Demonstrations are being reported across the country

    In Alexandria, the second-biggest city, thousands of protesters gathered for a march to the central Sidi Gaber area, BBC Arabic's Rami Gabr reports

    A big stage is being erected in the main square of the Suez Canal city of Port Said, and protesters are checking the identities of those going in and out of the square, BBC Arabic's Attia Nabil reports

    Rallies are also expected in Suez, Monofia and Sharqiya - the birthplace of President Morsi.

Windows in the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in Cairo were reinforced with sandbags ahead of the protests, the BBC's Mohamed Assad reports.

A huge rally of presidential supporters is also under way in the Cairo suburb of Nasr City.

People there are carrying banners denouncing the opposition, and warning that "legitimacy is a red line".

Some are wearing banners saying that they are willing to be martyrs for the cause of keeping the president in power.

Society split

When four Egyptian army Apache helicopters flew over the crowds in Tahrir, anti-Morsi demonstrators cheered.

The chants in the square alternate between humorous songs and angry protestations, all calling for the president to step down.

Egyptians have been talking about this day for many weeks - with the opposition vowing not to leave until Mr Morsi steps down and calls early presidential elections, our correspondent says.

But supporters of Mr Morsi point out that he was elected and say he should see out his full term in office, so there is a real split in Egyptian society at the moment, he adds.

Opposition activists say more than 22 million people have signed a petition seeking a snap election. They have urged the signatories to turn up in Tahrir Square.

The grassroots movement Tamarod (Rebellion) is behind the petition, which has united liberal and secular opposition groups, including the National Salvation Front.

However, many ordinary Egyptians - angered by Mr Morsi's political and economic policies - are also taking part in the rally in Tahrir, where there are plans to march on the presidential palace.

Hanan Bakr, who travelled specially from Dubai where she lives, to join the "second Egyptian revolution", told the BBC: "I'm hoping to stay on the streets until the whole regime of the Brotherhood is brought down."

"If Egypt falls under Islamist extremism, this will affect the whole region," the demonstrator said.

President Morsi earlier this week offered a dialogue - a move rejected by his opponents.

Mr Morsi, who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood, became Egypt's first Islamist president on 30 June 2012, after winning an election considered free and fair.

His first year as president has been marred by constant political unrest and a sinking economy.

Many of those on the streets feel betrayed by a president who has been uninterested in uniting Egyptians despite once promising to be inclusive. They feel that he has instead governed purely in the interests of his own party.

For his part, the president insists he has invited opposition groups to enter into dialogue but that they have not co-operated. His supporters say that whatever the considerable problems Egypt is facing, Mohammed Morsi must see out his full term in office for the sake of stability.

Some pro-Morsi demonstrators have decided to stage their own sit-ins, an there are fears of clashes between opposing groups.

The coming hours, and the way the situation is handled by the authorities, are likely to give us clear indications about whether or not Egypt's president can survive in office as he insists he will.

Mohammed Morsi's first year

  • June 2012 - Narrowly wins presidential election. Orders parliament to meet in defiance of a military decree dissolving it
  • July 2012 - Submits to a Supreme Court ruling that the parliamentary elections were invalid
  • August 2012 - Dismisses Defence Minister Hussein Tantawi and Chief of Staff Sami Annan, and strips military of say in legislation and drafting the new constitution
  • November 2012 - Rescinds a decree stripping the judiciary of the right to challenge his decisions, after popular protests
  • December 2012 - Public vote approves draft constitution boosting the role of Islam and restricting freedom of speech and assembly
  • March 2013 - Court halts his plans to bring parliamentary elections forward to April, citing failure to refer the electoral law to the Constitutional Court
  • June 2013 - Puts Islamists in charge of 13 of Egypt's 27 governorships - controversially he appoints a member of the former armed group Gamaa Islamiya to be governor of Luxor
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Egypt's 'day of rage'

Post by Kitkat on Fri 16 Aug 2013, 19:06

I'm so glad my friend John is no longer around - to see what is happening in his beloved Egypt.

Egypt crisis: Dozens dead in Egypt 'day of anger'  - 16th August 2013

At least 38 people have been killed in Egypt, officials say, as protesters loyal to ousted President Mohammed Morsi clashed with security forces.

At least 25 deaths were reported outside Cairo, including 12 in Nile Delta cities.

Mr Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood said on Friday that there would be a week of daily rallies across Egypt.

Two days ago the protesters' camps were cleared, leaving at least 638 dead and sparking international condemnation.

In the wake of Wednesday's violence, the interior ministry says police have been authorised to use live ammunition "within a legal framework".

A state of emergency is also in force, including a dusk-to-dawn curfew.
'March of Anger'

Thirteen people died in Cairo on Friday, health and security sources said, with many dead and wounded near Ramses Square.

Hundreds of people had gathered at a mosque in the square on Friday, after the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Mr Morsi is a member, appealed to its supporters to join a "march of anger".

The demonstrations took place under the slogan "the people want to topple the coup" - referring to the military's removal of Mr Morsi on 3 July.

The protests quickly became violent - the BBC's Jeremy Bowen says the trigger was when a police station came under fire.

He saw at least 12 bodies brought into a mosque near Ramses Square.

Gunfire has also been heard on the banks of the Nile.

The Muslim Brotherhood said that Friday's protests would end at sunset prayers, approximately 20:00 local time (18:00 GMT).

However, disturbances were reported into the evening in the capital.

Security in the capital was tight, with many armoured personnel carriers on the streets.

The army blocked off entrances to Tahrir Square, the focus of demonstrations that led to the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

Members of groups opposed to Mr Morsi - the National Salvation Front and Tamarod - called for counter-demonstrations in response to the Muslim Brotherhood protests.

There were also calls for people to protect their neighbourhoods and churches throughout the country.

A human right group, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, said at least 25 churches were attacked on Wednesday and Thursday.

Some Islamists have accused the Coptic Church of backing Mr Morsi's overthrow.
'Maximum restraint'

Wednesday's bloodshed has drawn widespread international condemnation.

   French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have called for urgent European consultations
   EU diplomats will meet in Brussels on Monday - some have called for EU aid to Egypt to be frozen
   EU foreign policy envoy Catherine Ashton said responsibility for the crisis "weighs heavily on the interim government, as well as on the wider political leadership in the country"
   UN under-secretary general Jeffrey Feltman will visit Cairo next week to discuss the situation with Egypt's authorities
   Turkey has described Wednesday's events as a "massacre" and recalled its ambassador to Cairo - in retaliation, Cairo has cancelled naval exercises with Turkey

But some other nations support the interim government's actions.

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah issued a statement saying: "The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, its people and government stood and stands by today with its brothers in Egypt against terrorism."

Mr Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected president, was ousted by the military on 3 July.

He is now in custody, accused of murder over a 2011 jailbreak. His period of detention was extended by 30 days on Thursday, state media said.

Crisis timeline

   3 Jul: President Mohammed Morsi deposed by military after mass protests
   4 Jul: Pro-Morsi protesters gather at the Rabaa al-Adawiya and Nahda sites in Cairo
   27 Jul: More than 70 people killed in clashes with security forces at Rabaa al-Adawiya
   14 Aug: Security forces break up both camps, leaving at least 638 people dead
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Winter of Discontent (film)

Post by Kitkat on Fri 23 Aug 2013, 12:33

One to watch out for: (presently being shown at the ICA)

Winter of Discontent by Ibrahim El Batout.
Opens today (23 August), with Amr Waked, Salah Al Hanafy, Farah Youssef.

Set against the background of the February 2011 protests in Tahrir Square that resulted in the fall of Mubarak, the film explores the lives of 3 people: activist Amr, journalist Farah and state security officer Adel.

Unfortunately, I will have to wait until it becomes available on the smaller screens.

    Current date/time is Wed 19 Dec 2018, 15:18