Thousands descend on Tahrir to hear Morsi

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Thousands descend on Tahrir to hear Morsi

Post by DJKeefy »

Thousands descend on Tahrir to hear Morsi, demand SCAF relinquish authorites to new president.


Political forces have filled Tahrir on Friday to protest constitutional addendum, dissolution of parliament's lower house; growing crowds wait for president-elect Morsi to address nation from Square at 5pm.

Thousands of Egyptians have arrived in Tahrir since the early morning hours to both take part in a million person protest against recent SCAF-issued orders to dissolve parliament as well as a constitutional addendum that gives the ruling military council new powers at the expense of an elected president.

The crowd which has been growing by the hour is waiting to listen to Egypt's president-elect, Mohamed Morsi, who has attended Friday prayers at Cairo's Al-Azhar Mosque before heading to Tahrir Square to deliver a major speech to the nation.

Organisers in the Square told Ahram Online that President-elect Morsi is expected to arrive in Tahrir between 5-6pm CMT.

After demonstrators completed the noon prayers, speakers from the main podium welcomed the election of the president Morsi and called for purging state institutions from remnants of the old regime of ousted president Mubarak.

Protesters also sang the Egyptian national anthem in a show of patriotism.

Chants calling for the downfall of the military junta and the public prosecutor resound around the square. Protesters also condemn the junta's changes to the interim constiution with the chant: "Revolt, we don't want the constitutional declaration!"

Protesters also goad the military ruler, Field Marshall Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, with the chant: "Marshall Tantawi, here comes another revolution!"

There are many Palestinian, Syrian and Libyan flags being waved in a show of support for other Arab countries undergoing revolutions and struggling for freedom.

Protesters condemn Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad and declare their prayers are with the Syrian people fighting for democracy.

Political forces mobilise

The protest has been called for by the Revolution’s Board of Trustees, formed by an umbrella group of activists in the wake of last year's Tahrir Square uprising.

The Board of Trustees Secretary-General Safwat Hegazy called on political forces to attend the rally and maintain their sit-in in the flashpoint square until the amendment is repealed; parliament's dissolved lower house is reinstated; all political detainees are released; and the SCAF promises not to interfere in the constitution-drafting process.

On Thursday, Essam El-Erian, vice-president of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), announced that the group would participate million-man protest which has been organised under the slogan "Handover Power!"

El-Erian said that the Brotherhood and FJP were maintaining their ten-day-old sit-in in Tahrir Square until executive power is handed from Egypt's ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) to Egypt's democratically-chosen president-elect Mohamed Morsi.

The Salafist Nour Party also announced it is taking part in Friday's protest, according to party spokesman Nader Bakar.

The moderate-Islamist Wasat Party, too, is also participating in the demonstration.

"The Wasat Party will participate in the 'Handover Power' protest to register its rejection of the SCAF-issued constitutional addendum – which limits the powers of the president – and the dissolution of the People's Assembly," the party said in a statement.

The Egyptian Current Party, a liberal-Islamist offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, has called on supporters and the general public to join protesters in Tahrir Square.

Some non-Islamist parties and movements are also planning to take part in the protest, including the April 6 Youth Movement.

The Revolutionary Socialists, meanwhile, will be leading a march from Al-Fath Mosque in Cairo's Ramses district, one of several marches planned from around the capital, to Tahrir.

Protest marches are also being organised in Alexandria on Friday afternoon towards the Northern Zone of the military's command headquarters.

Some liberal and leftist forces boycott

Other leftist and liberal parties such as Tagammu, Karama, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party and the Socialist Popular Alliance Party have announced that they would boycot the protests accusing the Brotherhood of using Tahrir to advance narrow, and not national, political interests.

Moreover, after president-elect Morsi announced on Thursday night that he would swesr into office before the High Constitutional Court, several political forces declared that they will not take part in Friday's one million protest.

April 6 Youth Movement (Democratic Front) and the Second Revolution of Rage movement (a facebook-based revolutionary group) are among the movements that have withdrawn from Friday's protests as they considered Morsi's decision to take the oath before the High Court an acknowledgment of the amended constitution declaration recently issued by the military council which is rejected by many in Egypt.

"By doing this Morsi approves of the constitutional addendum, thus we don’t recognise him as a president of Egypt," posted the Second Revolution of Rage on their Facebook page.



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