Millions of Egyptians filled the streets of cities across the nation on Sunday calling for the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi.
In Cairo's Tahrir Square, thousands held red cards demanding Morsi's resignation. Agence France Presse reports:
"The people want the ouster of the regime!" protesters chanted -- the signature slogan of the uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak and brought Morsi to power.
Jubilant men, women and children brandished red cards, blowing whistles and vuvuzelas and chanting "Leave, Morsi!"
"This is the second revolution and Tahrir is the symbol of the revolution. The revolution will be launched from here," said Ibrahim Hammouda, a carpenter who had came from the northern city of Damietta to join the protests.
"It's the same politics as Mubarak but we are in a worse situation," Al Jazeera reports Sameh al-Masri, one of the organizers, as saying. "Poverty is increasing, inflation is increasing. It's much worse than Mubarak."
In addition to the protests in Cairo, "Protests also erupted in Suez, Sharqia, El Monofia and Gharbiya on Sunday, the state-run Ahram news agency said. And in the port city of Alexandria, so many people turned out that traffic virtually came to a standstill," CNN reports.
Protesters directed their anger not just at Morsi but the ruling Muslim Brotherhood, which in two years has gone from a banned movement to the rulers. "Mosques should be for religion, not for politics," said Ahmed Sultan, a student.
The US government was also the target of anger, with one banner reading: “America supports killers of the Egyptian people.”
A defiant Morsi told the Guardian in an interview on Sunday that there would be no second revolution and said, "There is no room for any talk against this constitutional legitimacy." The Guardian continues:
Morsi emphasised his democratic legitimacy. But while acknowledging that he was elected freely and fairly, many of his opponents argue that he does not uphold the wider democratic values on which a successful democracy relies.
Among many other complaints, critics condemn his appointment of Talaat Abdallah as attorney general, claiming that Abdallah pursues political cases against activists and media personalities critical of the president – such as Alaa Abdel Fattah, who rose to prominence during the 2011 uprising, and Bassem Youssef, Egypt's leading satirist.
But Morsi refused to accept this argument, arguing that Abdallah operated independently. "The cases you're talking about, they were filed by citizens or by lawyers, and the prosecution dealt with [them]. And the prosecution and the judicial system are fully independent," he argued. "If someone wants to say that I interfered in the work of the public prosecutor, he has to provide evidence of that, and an example of that."
As his opponents bank on this year being his last, Morsi confidently predicted that he would serve a full term. "It has been a difficult, very difficult year. And I think the coming years will also be difficult. But I hope that I will all the time be doing my best to fulfil the needs of the Egyptian people and society."
* * *
* * *
The Real News Network has video: