Tahrir Square is packed by opponents of Muslim Brotherhood as more demonstrations converge on presidential palace and Alexandria’s Sidi Gaber district
Opponents of Egypt’s ousted President Mohammed Morsi rally in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, July 7, 2013. (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
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Mass demonstrations have filled Tahrir Square as more begin to converge on the presidential palace. The demonstrators are protesting the Muslim Brotherhood and the group’s demand to reinstate ousted president Mohamed Morsi.
Rallies have converged on Tahrir Square from Cairo’s Shubra, Sayeda Zeinab and Darb Al-Ahmar districts, and a fourth from Mostafa Mahmoud Square in Giza.
The march setting out from Abbassiya Square has reportedly changed its route to Tahrir Square instead of the presidential palace to avoid possible clashes with a pro-Morsi demonstration in front of the ministry of defence.
From Shubra, Ahram Online’s Lina El-Wardani reports that chants included: “Bread, freedom and social justice” and “Legitimacy is from the people, not Rabaa,” in reference to Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square in Nasr City, where pro-Morsi supporters are demonstrating.
Political groups who participated in the march include the Revolutionary Socialists, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, the Socialists Popular Alliance Party, and Ultras groups.
According to Ahram Online’s Zeinab Mohamed, thousands marched on Galaa Bridge en route to Tahrir Square.
Standing over the bridge are a number of activists who launched a campaign to denounce violence after dozens were killed in clashes between opponents and supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi.
In Tahrir, many protesters are holding placards against the US media and US President Barack Obama, accusing them of siding against the Egyptian people.
Chants against the Salafist Nour Party were also frequently heard after the Islamist party rejected popular political figure Mohamed ElBaradei for post of prime minister. The new PM has not yet been announced, but ElBaradei remains a possible candidate.
A small protest is also being held by police officers at the entrance of the bridge, chanting “The people and police are one hand.”
Meanwhile, security forces have deployed around the Egyptian Museum, located on the outskirts of Tahrir Square, to protect it from any potential attack.
According to Al-Ahram’s Arabic-language news website, a popular committee was also formed by volunteers to guard the museum.
In Egypt’s coastal second city, masses converged on the vicinity of the Sidi Gaber Train Station to protest against the Muslim Brotherhood.
Tens of thousands in Alexandria began marching in seven different demonstrations at around 6pm, to eventually converge on Sidi Gaber Square, where thousands are already demonstrating.
Protesters chanted against the notion that Morsi’s removal constituted a military coup. They also chanted against the US and Washington’s response to Morsi’s removal, which was perceived as supportive of the deposed president against a military-backed popular uprising.
Meanwhile, pro-Morsi protesters are still gathered at Nasr City’s Rabaa Al-Adawiya Mosque and at the Presidential Guard in Nasr City, where protesters have erected a wall blocking Salah Salem Road.
Anti-Morsi protesters heading to the Ittihadiya presidential palace now have only one road by which they can reach their destination, via Khalifa El-Mamoun Street, as other routes are blocked by Morsi supporters.
On 3 June, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi was removed from his post by a statement read out by Defence Minister and Armed Forces Commander Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi after millions took the streets to demand snap presidential polls.
The Suez Canal city of Ismailia also witnessed a demonstration by thousands against the Muslim Brotherhood, chanting “The people and the army are one hand.”
Some protesters held banners against the US administration, saying “Obama supports terrorism.”
Other governorates that witnessed protests to protect “the gains of the revolution” were Gharbiya, Kafr El-Sheikh, Assiut , Luxor and Aswan.