Opposition groups plan revolution anniversary protests

Opposition groups plan revolution anniversary protests

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Thu, 17/01/2013 - 12:45

With the Islamist-dominated government now the object of their protests, opposition parties and political groups are preparing to mark the second anniversary of the 25 January revolution with mass demonstrations, marches and sit-ins next week.

Nearly two years after protests brought down President Hosni Mubarak, the demonstrators and activists who started the revolution have made little headway in mainstream politics. Dozens of opposition groups have often failed to come together, only recently uniting in their objections to former Muslim Brotherhood leader President Mohamed Morsy and his government.

Various groups say they have been meeting to agree on basic demands and the route of their planned marches, which are expected to end in Tahrir Square and in front of the presidential palace in Heliopolis a week from Friday.

April 6 Youth Movement leader Tareq al-Kholy said the group would join the Revolutionary Socialists, the Free Egyptian movement and the National Salvation Front in the protests.

Kefaya movement youth coordinator Mohamed Abdel Aziz said five marches would coalesce in Tahrir from Shubra, Sayeda Zeinab, Imbaba, Ramsis Square and Mostafa Mahmoud Mosque in Mohandiseen.

The Popular Current Party led by opposition figure Hamdeen Sabbahi, as well as other parties, have proposed the protest slogan "No to the Brotherhood state, the revolution continues." Other revolutionary forces reportedly favor "The regime has not yet fallen."

Yasser al-Hawary, a member of Mohamed ElBaradei's Dostour Party, said revolution youth would stage sit-ins across Egypt against the weak performance of the government and what they see as the president's bias toward the Muslim Brotherhood.

Some opposition activists have said a Tahrir sit-in would continue until "the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood."

The National Salvation Front is expected to meet on Sunday to set demonstration plans for six governorates: Suez, Port Said, Assiut, Minya, Alexandria and Gharbiya. The opposition coalition plans to escalate its actions until 11 February, the date that former President Hosni Mubarak was forced from power in 2011, Hossam Foda, a Free Egyptians Party secretary said.  

The Muslim Brotherhood Guidance Bureau on Wednesday instructed members to stay away from opposition protests planned for 25 January and avoid clashes. Instead the group has planned neighborhood clean-ups and beautification activities in specific areas.

The Salafi Jihadi Movement announced it would boycott the protests and celebrations, saying the revolution objectives have not been achieved. The group noted that it was not forbidding its members from participating. It also called on Morsy to "correct the path" and apply Islamic Sharia and group leader Morgan Salem said Mubarak-era officials should be removed from state institutions.

After announcing last week that it was discussing plans to take to the streets to celebrate the new Constitution and support Morsy, Jama'a al-Islamiya has not revealed any additional details.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm