Egypt Protesters Continue New Occupation of Tahrir

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Common Dreams

Egypt Protesters Continue New Occupation of Tahrir

Demands, strategy still in process

by
Common Dreams staff

People sleep during a renewed people's occupation of Cairo's Tahrir Square, Sunday, June 3, 2012. (REUTERS/Suhaib Salem)

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Egypt's AhramOnline reports:

For the second day demonstrators are still occupying Tahrir Square in Cairo to protest against what they consider a disappointing verdict announced on Saturday against Mubarak, his sons, his minister of interior and six of his senior aides.

After a long night where hundreds of thousands expressed their fury and anger in peaceful demonstrations all over Egypt, a decision was made to convert the protests in Tahrir Square, Alexandria and Suez to a sit-in to push for change. In Cairo, they have yet to specify the demands, although Suez has eagerly listed theirs. [...]

The early hours of the day after in Tahrir Square were calm and sleepy. As the workers of Egypt's largest governmental administrative building, known as Mogamaa, in Tahrir, began arriving at 7am, chants were heard again around the square.

Safwat Hegazi, the prominent Islamist preacher close to the Muslim Brotherhood, reached the square bright and early around 8am leading tens of demonstrators chanting "We are not tired, we want a complete revolution." In the hours that followed more small demonstrations arrived. Later, as the few hundreds who had spent their night in the square woke up, more protests were organized around the square.

The politically-active Suez Youth Bloc demands a presidential council rule the country made up of revolution-friendly presidential hopefuls: leftist Hamdeen Sabbahi, social democratic Islamist Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh and Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as Mohamed ElBaradie, who decided to boycott the elections.More marches are planned throughout the day due to filter in from other parts of Cairo. The influential April 6 Youth movement, Youth for Justice and Freedom, Revolution Youth Coalition and the Revolutionary Socialists, among others, will hold a joint press conference at around 1pm to announce their demands.

In Suez, however, the demands of their sit-in last night in Arbaeen Square seems to have crystallized. The politically-active Suez Youth Bloc that was formed by different groups in the canal city after the ouster of Mubarak in February 2011 co-signed a statement.

The bloc demands a presidential council rule the country made up of revolution-friendly presidential hopefuls: leftist Hamdeen Sabbahi, social democratic Islamist Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh and Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as Mohamed ElBaradie, who decided to boycott the elections.

The Suez Youth Bloc demands that the ruling military council handover power immediately and allow the proposed presidential council to run a new interim period. Under the new civilian ruling council a new constitution would be drafted and new presidential elections would be organized.

"It is too early to say whether these demands - or any others - are realistic," says political analyst Ayman El-Sayad to Ahram Online. "The only thing we can all be sure of is that those who hit the streets are angry and have a sense of injustice – and they have every right to feel so," he adds.

"But what will come out of this is still to be seen, depending on the capacity of the protests and the will of different political groups to find a way out."

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Demonstrators remained on the streets of Egypt on Sunday in response to Saturday's Mubarak trial verdicts.

In the Nile Delta city of Mansoura, a demonstration has been planned in front of the Nour Mosque to protest the rulings – which exonerated ousted president Mubarak's two sons and six senior ex-interior ministry officials – and stress that Egypt's revolution remains ongoing.

Tahrir Square remained the main venue for demonstrations on Sunday.Not far from Mansoura, protesters plan to converge in front the Fath Mosque in the coastal city of Zagazig. Both protests are expected to kick off at 4pm, along with a third scheduled rally in Port Said in front of the Abbasi Mosque.

At 6pm, Alexandrian demonstrators will gather for a protest in front the Yehya Mosque in the Zizenya district to demand accountability for those involved in killing protesters during last year's Tahrir Square uprising.  

In Suez, meanwhile, protests in the city's centrally-located Arbeen Square remain ongoing.

And in Cairo, Tahrir Square remained the main venue for demonstrations on Sunday.  

Marches from the Shubra district, the Fath Mosque in downtown Cairo and the Rabaa Mosque in the Heliopolis district will all be heading to the flashpoint square at around 5pm.

Egyptian student groups, meanwhile, plan to lead their own protest marches at noon. Cairo University students plan to meet in front of Qasr Al-Eini Medical School at 12pm before heading to Tahrir Square.

Another protest will set out at noon from Ain Shams University for Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court to demand the dismissal of Egypt's public prosecutor.

Spontaneous mass protests broke out in several Egyptian cities and Cairo on Saturday following the announcement of the controversial verdicts.

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