"We're Not Leaving": Opposing Factions Face Off in Cairo

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Common Dreams

"We're Not Leaving": Opposing Factions Face Off in Cairo

Pro- and anti- Morsi protesters both fighting to 'preserve ideals' of 2011 revolution

by
Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Tensions in Egypt continued to escalate Sunday as factions on both sides of the ideological divide gathered in Cairo, both groups digging in their heels to preserve—what they believe to be—the goals of the 2011 revolution.

Reporting from Cairo University, Al Jazeera's Hoda Abdel Hamid said she had seen crowds moving towards Tahrir Square, carrying Egyptian flags and chanting slogans in favor of the armed forces and against the Muslim Brotherhood. 

The youth-led Rebellion Movement which was behind the protests that sparked the ouster of former President Mohammed Morsi have dubbed Sunday's rally in Tahrir the "Dawaran Shubra" march to protect the gains of the revolution.

Meanwhile, a crowd of thousands of Morsi supporters have begun to assemble in Nasr City while approximately 1,000 regime supporters have completely blocked Salah Salem, the main artery that connects the city to the airport, reports Al Jazeera's Matthew Cassel.

On Saturday, the interim president Adly Mansour attempted to appoint former UN nuclear watchdog chief and Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed Elbaradei as his prime minister. However, the process was suspended when the ultra-fundamentalist Salafi Nur Party objected on the basis that he is 'too secular.'

The Guardian's Patrick Kingsley contributed this analysis of the position of the pro-Morsi group:

The pro-Morsi protesters have an obvious message, but it may be less clear what their victorious opponents are still in the streets for.

In essence, it's to ensure their goals are met. In the short term, that means the appointment as prime minister of Mohamed ElBaradei, the former UN diplomat turned liberal figurehead, whose elevation to higher office was stalled by the Salafi Nour party.

Mohamed Khamis, a leading Tamarod organiser, known to activists as 'the General', explains:

"Mohamed ElBaradei is our choice for prime minister – why should we change our plans just because one group, the Nour party, says they don't want him? This is unbelievable, especially after so many people went on the streets this week. The citizens are asking for Baradei. Why should we change plans just for a small group."

Khamis says that activists have learnt their lesson from 2011, when they left Tahrir too soon to achieve meaningful systemic change following the decapitation of Mubarak.

"There's no way that we can do what we did on 11 February 2013, and think that everything would be paradise. We're not going to leave Tahrir or any other place until we achieve the goals of the revolution."

Updates on twitter detail the unfolding situation in Cairo:

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