World Bulletin/News Desk
A state of cautious joy has enveloped the Cairo square of Rabaa al-Adawiya as thousands of backers of ousted President Mohamed Morsi flocked to the sit-in camp to celebrate the first day of the Eid al-Fitr amid tightened security.
"We cannot deny that there are concerns and firm instructions from those responsible for guarding the square," a protestor guarding the area, who asked not to be named, told Anadolu Agency as he keeps a watchful eye over the flow of visitors coming to the square.
"Caution brings about safety," he added with a simple smile.
Armed with a helmet and a stick, the vigilante said the vigil committees had moved their barricades to add more space to the sit-in site to be able to contain the huge numbers expected to converge on the square to celebrate the Eid. More sandbags and checkpoints were erected at entry points to the tent city.
He added that they are responsible for "preserving the peaceful nature of the sit-in and checking who is coming in to make sure nothing would threaten the sit-in's peacefulness."
"We taste the Eid's joy when we see people feeling safe and unworried about threats to storm the square," the guard said in reference to the several warnings by the government to the protesters to leave the square they have been occupying for weeks.
The government has described the two sit-ins as a "threat" to national security and mandated the interior minister to take "all necessary measures" to disperse them.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawi said that the government will not retreat on dislodging the tent-city sit-ins. The announcement came hours after the Egyptian presidency announced end of diplomatic mediation efforts with the Muslim Brotherhood, blaming the group for the failure of the endeavors.
However, the National Alliance for the Defense of Legitimacy, a pro-Morsi coalition led by the Muslim Brotherhood, said the protesters would not go home until the elected leader is reinstated.
Gamal Hishmat, a senior Muslim Brotherhood leader and a member of the alliance, said that the protesters are unfazed by the threats.
"Our peacefulness and joy would be stronger than any threats coming from this or that side," he told AA.
"The Eid celebrations colored by the peaceful revolution would continue, and we would not pay attention to the coup plotters trying to spoil this joy," he added.
"These threats would not intimidate the Egyptian people who are resolved to restore their legitimacy and to reject the military coup, police state and dragging the army into the political life."Last Mod: 08 Ağustos 2013, 18:00