Egypt Independent

Update: April 6 protests hit Delta



8:00 pm:

 In the Nile Delta, Gharbiya, Beheira and Sharqiya Governorates witnessed several marches Saturday against President Mohamed Morsy and the Muslim Brotherhood’s alleged interference in policy-making.

Protesters also demanded the dismissal of Prime Minister Hesham Qandil and Prosecutor General Talaat Abdallah.

In Gharbiya, youth movements and revolutionary forces marched in Mahalla to mark the fifth anniversary of a labor protest there.

Demonstrators chanted “from Mahalla to Mansoura, down with the banned group” in reference to the Brotherhood, as well as “revolutionaries made it, the Brotherhood stole it,” in reference to the 25 January revolution.

Protesters also chanted “blood for blood, bullets for bullets, we will not chant ‘peaceful’ anymore” and “killers, assassins, they killed our brothers in the name of religion.”

Hundreds of April 6 members also marched in Tanta, chanting similar slogans.

7:00 pm:  Protesters have reached Prosecutor General Talaat Abdallah’s office and are lighting off fireworks while chanting that Abdallah is a “sheep.” The term is often used by the opposition to deride the Muslim Brotherhood’s members, as mindless followers of the group’s Guidance Bureau.

A large banner reading "the prosecutor general is property of the Brotherhood" has been hoisted in front of his office, and the names of those killed during protests while the current government has held power have been spray-painted onto surrounding walls.

6:00 pm:  April 6 Youth Movement coordinator Ahmed Maher said during the Shubra march that the protests mark a revolution against Mohamed Morsy.

He added that while hte movement doesn't regret its support for Morsy during the president election runoffs, the new government is guilty of the same oppression that made a revolution againt former President Hosni Mubarak necessary.

"Morsy made promises to us and broke them, and now we are joining the opposition again," Maher said.

Maher also suggested that the movement will reach out to more people in the street during the coming period, in order to establish the movement's support.

5:30 pm:  Around 200 protesters are marching from Shubra, chanting "the people want to bring down the regime."

Protesters are also holding a large banner saying “the prosecutor general is property of the Brotherhood, while heading towards the prosecutor general’s office to protest his alleged bias toward the Muslim Brotherhood.

April 6 member Heba Mahfouz says that Saturday’s protests are the start of a movement to bring down Morsy.

“The revolution is taking a new turn, but it continues. The revolution was against injustice and corruption, and they still persist," she said.

Another member of the group, Sayed Gouda, said that the movement will also explore other means of creative and peaceful resistance after realizing that the public is growing tired of protests.

“The revolution happened three years after April 6 started in 2008; this time it will take even less time,” he said.

3:00 pm:  Several April 6 members are protesting in front of the Ettehadiya Presidential Palace with pictures of those killed since the Muslim Brotherhood took power.

Underneath the pictures are nooses and the phrase “terrorism of the Brotherhood.”

The protesters also “slaughtered” a sheep effigy in front of the palace’s gates, dumping red ink on the ground before hoisting it onto the gate, alongside brooms and nooses.

Amr Morsy, a member of the group’s political bureau, said the sheep symbolizes Morsy and his obedience to the Muslim Brotherhood Guidance Bureau, while the brooms represent the demand to “cleanse” the regime and the nooses demands for justice for those killed during protests.

“Today is a start; we are here to show them we can do serious work like before,” he said, alluding to the movement’s 2008 beginnings. “We will adopt new and creative ways of peaceful resistance, and we’ll drive the regime crazy.”

Protesters also sprayed graffiti on the walls of the palace saying “down with any president as long as Egyptian blood stays cheap" and "Morsy is a failure, April 6 are your masters"

The protest lasted for less than 20 minutes before the April 6 members headed to Mahalla. Only a few police were stationed in front of the palace, and none of them interfered with the protest. 

Dozens of 6 April movement members had gathered on Saturday in front of the Egyptian stock exchange building in downtown Cairo ahead of scheduled “day of anger” protests to commemorate the group’s founding.

Protesters chanted “down with the supreme guide’s rule” and called for the dismissal of Prime Minister Hesham Qandil, as well as a new Cabinet of technocrats, the firing of Prosecutor General Talaat Abdallah, the release of political prisoners and the overhaul of the Interior Ministry.

Alongside the April 6 Youth Movement, other participating groups included the Dostour, Strong Egypt, Conference and Karama parties, as well as the Popular Current, the Union of Revolutionary Youth and the Egyptian Current.

Marches will start from the Fateh Mosque in Ramses Square, the Sayeda Zeinab Mosque near downtown and from Mostafa Mahmoud Mosque in Mohandiseen. Marches will also head to Tahrir  Square and the High Court from Shubra, Imbaba and Talaat Harb Square.

The movement was founded in 2008 when a labor strike in Mahalla took place the same day. The group played a crucial role in the 25 January revolution that overthrew former President Hosni Mubarak.

Labor activist Kamal Abu Eita took part in the march, telling Al-Masry Al-Youm that the Muslim Brotherhood members are indistinguishable from Mubarak’s regime and that they don’t care about labor rights.

A heavy security presence was visible Saturday morning outside both houses of Parliament and the Interior Ministry. Fifteen Central Security Forces trucks and two armored vehicles were deployed near the Parliament buildings on Qasr al-Aini Street, and several more vehicles were seen outside the Interior Ministry.

CSF personnel also set up a security cordon in front of Abdallah’s office at the High Court.