Egypt's pro-democracy alliance calls for Tahrir protests

Alliance members, who have recently adopted the slogan "Cairo is the capital of the revolution," say they want to stage protests in Tahrir due to the square's iconic nature

Egypt's pro-democracy alliance calls for Tahrir protests

World Bulletin/News Desk

The National Alliance for the Defense of Legitimacy on Monday called on students to stage protests at universities across the nation on Tuesday and urged Egyptians to descend on Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday to protest the July 3 military ouster of elected President Mohamed Morsi.

"Tahrir Square should not be the preserve of a specific group," Alaa Abul-Nasr, secretary-general of the Construction and Development Party, one of the alliance's member-parties, told Anadolu Agency by phone.

He added: "We have the right to protest anywhere and at any time."

The alliance is a coalition of mainly Islamist movements and groups seen as the main support bloc for Morsi.

At least 53 people were killed and 271 injured on Sunday after security forces clashed with pro-democracy protesters trying to reach Cairo's Tahrir Square.

The demonstrations coincided with national celebrations of the 40th anniversary of Egypt's 1973 military victory against Israel and the subsequent liberation of the Sinai Peninsula.

Thousands of Egyptians were in Tahrir already celebrating the war anniversary, long considered a gala day for the Egyptian army.

"You can't hand out sweets and chocolates in Tahrir Square while killing demonstrators elsewhere," said alliance leader Abul-Nasr.

Symbolic

Alliance members, who have recently adopted the slogan "Cairo is the capital of the revolution," say they want to stage protests in Tahrir due to the square's iconic nature.

"It's where the January 25 revolution against Mubarak began," Magdi Qurqur, an alliance member from Egypt's New Labor Party, told AA. "It's also the place where many revolutionaries were killed."

Tahrir Square was also the epicenter of this summer's demonstrations against Morsi, who had served only one year in office when the army unseated him.

Thousands of people had flocked to the square before Morsi's ouster to demand snap presidential polls.

Qurqur says the authorities understand Tahrir's symbolic nature and know that if pro-democracy demonstrators control the square, it would sound the death knell of what he calls the "military coup."

"That's why they will do everything possible to prevent us from reaching it," Qurqur said.

"Freedom has a price," he added. "And we're ready to pay it."

Last Mod: 07 Ekim 2013, 21:27
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