‘No to the Brotherhood’ protest expected in Egypt’s Tahrir Square


Egyptian activists are planning to take to Cairo’s central Tahrir Square on Friday to protest against the Muslim Brotherhood, in a planned million-man demonstration titled “No to the Brotherhood.”

The protests have been reportedly planned by the Maspero Youth Union, a revolutionary Coptic group, and a number of military supporters.

The armed forces, which had transitionally ruled the country since Egypt’s former president Hosni Mubarak was overthrown last year, handed over power to President Mohammed Mursi, who came from the ranks of the Muslim Brotherhood last week.

The groups taking part in Friday’s protest are asking for Mursi to leave power, according to reports from Al Arabiya TV.

Last Friday, Mursi joined tens of thousands of protesters in Tahrir Square to celebrate his victory and keep pressure on the nation’s ruling generals to restore the parliament and hand power over to a civilian government.

“There is no power above people power,” Mursi declared to wild cheers from the crowd.

Mursi, who won a run-off election earlier this month against Mubarak’s last premier, was received with applause by the tens of thousands of people gathered in the square.

He paid tribute to “the square of the revolution, the square of freedom,” addressing “the free world, Arabs, Muslims... the people of Egypt, brothers and sisters... Muslims of Egypt, Christians of Egypt.”

Mursi symbolically swore himself in before the crowd on the eve of his official swearing in as Egypt’s first democratically elected civilian president.

The Brotherhood, from which Mursi resigned after winning the presidency, had called for a huge demonstration in Tahrir, under the slogan: “Day of the transfer of power.”

More protests

This Friday, Tahrir will also be accommodating the protests of another group: Egyptian women protesting against the rising sexual violence in the country.

A page on Facebook, titled “Safe Tahrir for Women,” has called on both men and women to join forces to demonstrate against violence directed toward women in the iconic square under the theme.

“We want strong people to act as guards to protect women from thugs who have been abusing them in the square. We want to catch these criminals who are destroying the reputation of the revolution, expose and shame them, and bring them to justice,” the statement on the Facebook page read.

The campaign has been launched after dozens of violent attacks against women in Tahrir last month.

Female protesters and journalists say the assaults are becoming commonplace in the Square, with groups of men attacking a women’s march against sexual harassment in an incident in June.

“We want to say, ‘Enough, No!’ to the terrible assaults against women which have been happening in Tahrir. We believe them to have been carried out by state-sponsored paid thugs: let’s catch them, and prove that the people of Tahrir are amongst the noblest in the world,” their statement added.