Newscast Media CAIRO, Egypt—As protesters descended upon the presidential palace, Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi had no choice but to flee, and according to Ahram News, the ministry of interior issued an official statement declaring that President Morsi left the presidential palace. It also added that the security forces practiced self-restraint after the protesters breached the barbed wire cordons around the palace.
Eventually police withdrew as portesters surrounded the palace and tore down the barbed wire fence. The protests have spread across the country according to Egypt’s news Al-Masry Al-Youm.
Protesters in Assiut, carried a coffin covered in Egypt’s flag as a symbolic death announcement for the 15 December referendum. They chanted slogans demanding Morsi should step down.
State-run Al-Ahram newspaper’s website quoted Nasser Youssef, a member of the Free Egyptians Party, as saying that constitutions all over the world are written by consensus, not by a single group, irrespective of how large it is, because constitutions are crafted to protect the rights of minorities.
In Luxor, about 700 kilometers south of Cairo, thousands of members of revolutionary movements and political parties protested Morsy and chanted slogans against the Muslim Brotherhood.
In Port Said, north of Cairo, protesters tore down banners supporting Morsi across the city.
Thousands of protesters in Alexandria demanded the resignation of the current government and the formation of a national salvation one instead. They also chanted slogans against the Muslim Brotherhood’s supreme guide.
“The constitution makes Morsy a god that cannot be tried or questioned by Parliament or the judiciary,” said Abdel Rahman al-Gohary, one of the protest coordinators, according to Egypt’s Independent paper.
Mohamed Saad Khairallah, general coordinator of the Popular Front against the Brotherhoodization of Egypt, considered the demonstration outside the presidential palace a decisive battle to retain the goals of the revolution.
Newscast Media CAIRO, Egypt—Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was ousted on grounds that he was running a dictatorship, now the same Egyptians who called for his ouster, say Mohammed Morsi is worse and has exceeded Mubarak by driving the country into a civil war.
Leftist, liberal and independent political forces met Thursday at the headquarters of Egypt’s Socialist Popular Alliance Party (SPAP) to comment on the current political crisis and planned weekend protests. Meeting attendees included members of the SPAP, the Constitution Party, the Popular Current movement, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, the Free Egyptians Party, the Free Egypt Party, the 6 April youth movement, the National Front for Justice and Democracy, the Lotus Revolution Coalition and the Maspero Youth Coalition, among others.
In a joint press statement released after the meeting, attendees called on Egyptians nationwide to take to the streets on Friday in planned demonstrations to demand that Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi reverse last week’s “authoritarian” presidential decree.
“The only way to break the current impasse is to listen to the pulse of the street, as opposed to following a group that has attempted to steal the revolution,” the statement read.
They further called on protesters to avoid clashing with pro-Morsi rallies planned by the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist parties for Saturday in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.
The statement went on to accuse Morsi of adopting the methods of ousted president Hosni Mubarak. “This is certainly proof of the quivering regime, which cannot withstand such public outrage and uses force,” the statement read.
“Morsi has exceeded Mubarak by attempting to drive the country into civil war, of which only he will be held responsible for,” the statement warned.
Commenting on the constitutional draft currently being voted on by Egypt’s Constituent Assembly, they claimed the draft charter was “void” and thus could not be put before public referendum.
“This is a constitution drafted by an illegitimate assembly that represents only one political current and is not representative of Egyptian society at large,” the statement read.
They reiterated their rejection of the same practice seen in last year’s March referendum on the constitution, which “largely resulted in the division of Egyptian society.”
Source: Ahram News Online
Newscast Media, CAIRO, Egypt–The Egyptian military has been pressured by the U.S. government to hand over power to civilian leaders so they can form a new government that is acceptable to the Egyptian people, after Friday’s protests that filled Tahrir square with tens of thousands of protesters. Amid turbulent protests in Cairo this week, the White House has called for the military to set aside in Egypt, in favor of a civilian government.
Part of the statement from the White House press secretary read: “The United States strongly believes that the new Egyptian government must be empowered with real authority immediately. We believe that Egypt’s transition to democracy must continue, with elections proceeding expeditiously, and all necessary measures taken to ensure security and prevent intimidation. Most importantly, we believe that the full transfer of power to a civilian government must take place in a just and inclusive manner that responds to the legitimate aspirations of the Egyptian people, as soon as possible.”The entire statement can be read here.
Despite the many parallels being drawn to this week’s unrest and the mass protests that brought down President Hosni Mubarak in February, several key differences are contributing to the containment of this conflict.
“The protesters don’t want to antagonize the lifestyle of the rest of the population, but the most important fact is they want to show up for a mass rally in a place that’s safe because it’s self-protected from attacks,” said Ashraf al-Sherif, a political science lecturer at the American University (AUC) in Cairo.
When protests erupted throughout the country in January, Tahrir had not yet become the local and international symbol of freedom and civil rights, or even the popular social destination, that it is now.
“At that time Tahrir was not really that iconic and people were fighting their own battles with police in popular neighborhoods, unlike now when protests are concentrated in main squares in the cities and life is kind of normal outside of that,” Sherif said.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces’ announcement Friday that Mubarak-era Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri will lead a new cabinet did nothing to assuage the anger in the square on “Last Chance Friday.” And many are skeptical the tenuous peace imposed early Thursday morning between police and demonstrators will hold.
Tensions and rallies are likely to escalate even further over the next few days as military rulers fail to satisfy the Tahrir demands ― namely that they step aside, according to AUC lecturer Sherif. Protests and renewed clashes could spread throughout the city ahead of or during the scheduled vote, he said.
“In the coming few days before the elections I think the crisis will intensify,” he said. “It’s not the scale of the protests ― it doesn’t really matter if there are only 30,000 or 40,000 people in Tahrir, that’s enough to cause a problem ― it’s the lack of solutions.” http://www.newscastmedia.com/cairo-egypt3.html
Newscast Media CAIRO, Egypt — Less than two hours after the speech by Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, clashes erupted again on Mohamed Mahmoud Street, a sign that activists and politicians say indicates that the nation’s military rulers are following the former regime’s failed strategy to remain in power.
Eyewitnesses and doctors at a makeshift field hospital said there were an invisible substance causing suffocation and inflammation of the eyes. Reports of protesters fainting were widespread.
Video by Bridgette Auger filmed in Tahrir Square
Women have now taken the lead in providing medical care to protect the protesters from the effects of chemicals from the tear gas.
Shortly after Tantawi finished his speech, thousands of protesters in Tahrir chanted slogans reminiscent of those used during the protests that brought down President Hosni Mubarak.
“Leave, leave,” they told Tantawi.
Egyptians say the only peaceful way to end the protests and clashes is for the military council to step down and appoint an interim government with real powers. http://www.newscastmedia.com/cairo-egypt2.html
Newscast Media — After their triumphant revolution that started on Jan. 25, Egyptians are calling for a “Million Man March” to Tahrir Square on Friday 18, to honor those who lost their lives during the uprising that forced former President Mubarak to step down.
Several groups including the Muslim Brotherhood plan to participate in the day that has been dubbed “Friday Of Victory.” Demands have been put for the for elimination of the ‘Emergency Law’ and the release of political prisoners.
Meanwhile, Mubarak is reportedly at his Red Sea resort residence in Sharm el-Sheikh, with his health in questionable condition. The former president has said that he would die on Egyptian soil.
After the government changed hand with the military in control, several parties have emanated, including several thousand former National Democratic Party members who have now formed a new party called the Egyptian Youth Party. http://www.newscastmedia.com/friday-of-victory.html
Newscast Media CAIRO, Egypt — On Day 15 of the uprising, the youth have been re-energized by the release of Wael Ghonim, a Google marketing manager who played an essential part in mobilizing the youth-led demonstrations. Streets around the square were closed and traffic rerouted as hundreds of thousands filled Tahrir square. The youth have asserted that their only demand is that Mubarak step down before any negotiations can begin.
Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper reports that dozens of protesters prevented media personality Lamis al-Hadidi, who hosts a program on state television, from entering the square, accusing state-run television of misleading the Egyptian public and causing more victims to fall by broadcasting false information about the protests. The protesters in Tahrir Square today are saying that public opinion, which had been divided throughout last week between people supporting the protests and people calling on them to stop, has now united again unanimously calling for Mubarak’s unconditional resignation.
“All those who cried in sympathy for Mubarak after his speech are protesting again today,” said one demonstrator.
The success of this demonstration will largely depend upon non-interference of the West who seem to support the side that appears to have the upper hand. When the youth are perceived as having the upper hand in the protests, leaders in the West declare that they want Mubarak to step down now. When it seems that Mubarak could ride out the storm, the same leaders say they support a “gradual” transition.
Now the youth are even more determined than ever because they can see the hypocrisy of Western governments, and it is evident to the protesters that they are on their own. Protester are also camped outside the Egyptian Parliament with signs that read: “Closed Until Regime Changes.” They are now planning rallies outside the state-owned television building and Interior Ministry.
Because the youth are re-energized and have stocked up on necessities like water, bread, batteries, and dried fruit, today has seen the largest crowd since the protests started on Jan 25. Today’s march has made the White House nervous, that Vice-President Joe Biden was prompted to make a phone call to Egyptian VP Omar Suleiman, demanding the transition produce “immediate, irreversible” progress. The White House’s response has once again been upgraded from “gradual” to an “immediate” transition.
What is different about these new rounds of protests is that they are attracting new faces like Egyptian celebrities who had not participated in the initial ones, but have now joined because they too want to play a role in uprising. http://www.newscastmedia.com/egptyday15.html