Millions Rise In Egypt Against Muslim Brotherhood Rule,
16 Dead, 4 Ministers Resign, Call For Civil Disobedience
01 July, 2013
Protesters opposing Egyptian president Morsi wave Egyptian flags and shout slogans against him and members of the Muslim Brotherhood in front of El-Thadiya presidential palace in Cairo June 30, 2013 (Photo: Simon Hanaa)
As millions of people rising against the president Morsi's rule continue occupying the Tahrir Square in Cairo and central squares in other cities and towns in the entire country, political forces have announced an open ended sit-in until “the fall of the regime”. The occupation of the Egyptian squares has begun on June 30, 2013 .
The 30 June Front issued a statement on July 1, 2013 called on Egyptians to immediately start civil disobedience, urging citizens to stay on the streets until president Morsi steps down.
The front, a coordinating political body made up of opposition political and revolutionary forces and led by the 'Rebel' campaign to organize protests as well as the political demands of the protests, said in a statement:
"We ask [Egyptians] in all governorates to stop going to work and demonstrate in all squares and in governorate headquarters."
The front also called on Egyptians to form human chains from Cairo 's Tahrir Square to the presidential palace in Cairo 's Heliopolis district in the scheduled million man march on Tuesday.
The million man march is dubbed "Persistence March" to demonstrate that the opposition force is determined to continue the goals of the January 2011 revolution – bread, freedom and social justice – and remove the Muslim Brotherhood from power.
According to media reports from Egypt , the political forces called on all workers and employees at state institutions to go on a general strike.
A media report said: “It's now 9:10pm , and millions are filling squares in Cairo and in other locations all over Egypt , protesting against Islamist president Morsi.”
Meanwhile, Anti-government protesters have stormed the national headquarters of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo . People ransacked the building and set parts on fire.
Officials say eight people have been killed in clashes outside since Sunday, while eight others have died elsewhere.
In further development, four ministers are reported to have resigned; a day after millions took to the streets across the country to demand the president leave power.
The al-Watan website said the ministers of tourism, environment, communication and legal affairs had acted "in solidarity with the people's demand to overthrow the regime".
Earlier, the opposition movement behind the protests, Tamarod (Rebel), gave Morsi until Tuesday afternoon to step down and call fresh presidential elections, or else face a campaign of civil disobedience.
All sides in Egypt were surprised by the huge scale of the demonstrations against the president.
In addition to Tahrir Square and other places in Cairo , squares in Alexandria , in the Nile Delta and in Upper Egypt are also full of millions of protesters. There are protests all over Egypt including Mansoura, Damanhour, Alexandria , Mahalla, Suez , Minya and Sharqiya. There have been violent clashes in a number of areas.
In the name of the Egyptian people …
National Salvation Front, the main opposition coalition group, in a “Revolutionary Statement” said:
"In the name of the Egyptian people with all their factions, the National Salvation Front announces public endorsement of the ouster of the regime of Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.
"The Egyptian population continues their revolution and will impose their will, which has become unequivocally clear in all Egypt 's squares.
"The Salvation Front also trusts that the Egyptian people will protect its revolution until peaceful transition of power is fulfilled.. We also call on all political forces and all citizens to remain peaceful…and refrain from dealing with the failed Brotherhood government until the fall of this tyrannical organization."
“These are the biggest protests in Egypt since January 28, 2011 and the spirit is the same,” said April 6 founder Ahmed Maher.
“The big difference between now and then is that when we first went out in January 2011 we did not start by calling for the toppling of the president but now we have a clear demand: we want the president to leave.”
For Maher the challenge now is to keep the momentum going until their demands are achieved. “We don't think this will be difficult because all (opposition) forces have been preparing for a long term sit-in. If the Brotherhood and their president think we will get tired or bored they are simply wrong.”
The 30 June Front issued a statement sending a message of “respect and pride” in the Egyptian people who are “resuming the January 2011 revolution” and putting it on the right path again "after a year of Muslim Brotherhood failure and attempts to hijack the Egyptian nation and revolution."
The Front asked workers to go on strike so that “our legitimate demands might be met and snap elections take place.”
It also asked all those who took to the streets “to keep on protesting in the streets and squares nationwide.”
It asked Morsi, who they described as having "completely lost his legitimacy [as president],” to quickly respond to the people's will, “which has been loud and clear today nationwide.”
The Rebel campaign said the petition with collected more than 22 million signatures, surpassing its original goal of 15 million before 30 June that calls for Morsi's removal from office, would be given to the head of the HCC to push for legal action.
The 6 April Youth Movement and the liberal Constitution Party announced a sit-in in front of Abdeen Palace in downtown Cairo .
Leading labor activist Kamal El-Fayoumi, planned to go back to the industrial city of Mahalla . “By then, if the regime hasn't been toppled we will join the sit-in and the calls for civil disobedience,” said Al-Fayoumi.
The protest areas in Cairo are so packed, mobile networks are overloaded and it's hard to get through to people in the area.
In Tahrir Square , with hundreds of thousands of people were waving national flags, red cards with the phrase ‘Leave', and chanting against Islamist president Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. Morsi's opponents accuse him of betraying the revolution's ideals and plunging the economy into free fall.
Prominent activist Nawara Negm told: The June 30 protest is bigger than those of January 25, 2011 , even bigger than the January 28, 2011 protests against Mubarak, because these were mainly concentrated in the capital, while now they are all over Egypt . She compares it to the day when Mubarak was forced to step down on February 11, 2011 .
Thousands of protesters gathered in front of Morsi's house in New Cairo, a wealthy satellite city outside of Cairo , as security forces set up barriers to keep protesters away from the building.
In the vicinity of the Ittihadiya presidential palace was extremely crowded, with moving even small distances is taking a long time. The crowd seemed never-ending as one walks away from the palace. Fireworks were being lit from a building overlooking the avenue as the crowds cheer. It's not possible to see the end of the crowd.
Hundreds of thousands of protesters were carrying flags bearing the face of revolution's slain protesters, like Mohamed ‘Gika' Gabr who was killed during Morsi's rule, Mina Daniel who was killed during the rule of the military council, and Khaled Said who was killed under Mubarak.
In Gharbiya governorate's Kafr El-Zayat, anti-Morsi protesters chanted: “national unity against the Muslim Brotherhood” and “you who rule in the name of religion, where justice is and where is religion?”
Thousands of protesters, many of them women, were gathering in front of Qubba presidential palace singing and chanting.
Leading Middle East urologist Mohamed Ghoneim was among the protesters in another mass march in the city.
Motorists and microbus drivers were honking horns and waving national flags to galvanize the marchers.
Demonstrators were continuing to pour in and the spirit is celebratory, nostalgic of the 18-day sit-in calling for Mubarak's ouster.
There was an angry, but upbeat, mood at the march, and participants were alternating between chants of "down with the regime" and "I am not a Kafir (Infidel), I am not an atheist, down with the supreme guide's rule."
There were many families accompanied by young children, present at the march. Emad brought his two daughters, Yara (20) and Salma (17) to the march as a family so that they could "see everything together and protest together in Tahrir."
Marchers were adhering to the Tamarod (Rebel) request to not wave party political flags.
A plane was reportedly at the palace ready to evacuate the president if required.
Leading one of the marches were opposition leader Hamdeen Sabbahi, labor activist Kamal Abou Eita and filmmaker Khaled Youssef.
The march merges with another was led by opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei at Al-Nahda Square .
Former Egyptian journalists syndicate chairman Makram Mohamed Ahmed and current syndicate chairman Diaa Rashwan led an anti-Morsi march from the press syndicate.
The march passed by Egypt 's High Court on its way to Tahrir in a gesture of solidarity with the Egyptian judiciary. Marchers held images aloft of all journalists slain covering events since the January 2011 revolution until now.
Participants held red cards to demand that Morsi resign and call for snap elections.
Journalists. (Photo: Bassam EL-Zoghby)
Low-ranking police officers were standing in front of Dokki police station holding flags in support of the protesters. Some were holding placards saying 'leave!'
Artists in the upscale Cairo neighborhood of Zamalek, were banging wooden clogs in a nod to Queen Shagaret El-Dorr who was beaten to death by slaves using wooden clogs in 1257. (Photo: Ati Metwaly)
Three marches gathered at Horreyya Square in the southern Cairo district of Maadi and headed to Tahrir Square and Saraya El-Qubba Metro Station en route to the presidential palace.
Two metro trains loaded with protesters left the metro station in Maadi and a few hundred were waiting for the next train, chanting inside the station.
Several thousand protesters in Cairo 's Dawaran Shubra were chanting “Leave!” and “Down with the Supreme Guide.” The people then headed to Tahrir Square .
Busses were passing by the march, with people hanging out of the windows holding anti-Morsi pictures to loud cheers from the crowd.
Thousands of anti-Morsi protesters gathered in Juhayna Square in Cairo 's Six of October City.
Among the demonstrators were a number of women wearing head and face veils bringing their children with them.
Armed Islamists arrested
Around 26 members of Islamist groups were arrested in Cairo 's Moqattam district in the vicinity of the presidential palace for possessing weapons including knives, helmets and bulletproof vests.
Prominent Sunni cleric Youssef El-Qaradawi, known for his support for the Muslim Brotherhood has called on to stay patient with president Morsi.
Unknown assailants stormed Ain Shams University , a few miles from the presidential palace, a focal point for today's opposition rallies. Assailants fired at security guards and students, causing panic outside the nearby defense ministry where protesters are holding a sit-in since last week.
Rebel campaigners – the main force behind today's opposition rallies – informed: electricity has been cut from their stage outside the presidential palace, where tens of thousands of anti-Morsi protesters are gathering.
Three anti-Morsi protesters in Assiut and one protester in Beni Suef were killed and 30 injured following an attack by unknown assailants. The assailants, accused by protesters, are Islamist supporters of Morsi.
The Beni Suef office of the Egyptian Popular Current, a leftist group led by opposition leader Hamdeen Sabbahi, claimed in a statement that 30 members of “the jihadist movement” in Beni Suef were the ones who fired at the protest and that several protesters were injured.
The Egyptian health ministry reports of 174 injured protesters in seven governorates: Cairo , Alexandria , Daqahliya, Gharbiya, Menoufiya, Beni Suef and Beheira.
Around 500 people gathered at headquarters in Cairo , hurling Molotov cocktails and stones at the building.
Numbers of demonstrators increased all over Egypt 's governorates. Thousands were demonstrating in Gharbiya's Mahala, thousands in Sharqiya, thousands in Mansoura and thousands in Suez .
In Sharqiya, protesters concentrated in the areas surrounding Morsi's family home, around the governorate headquarters, and in Orabi Square .
Thousands of anti-Morsi protesters in Ashmoun in Menoufiya governorate cut off the Cairo-Alexandria agricultural road.
Protesters also closed off seven city council buildings in the governorate with chains and erected signs reading "Closed by order of the people." They also closed off the governorate's administration complex.
In Gharbiya governorate, the number of anti-Morsi protesters grew at Shoun Square in the industrial city of Mahalla . Several marches were put off until after afternoon prayers so employees and workers can take part.
Prominent labor activist Kamal El-Fayoumi said in Mahalla: "The Muslim Brotherhood doesn't dare to organize protests in Mahalla. The people of the city voted against the constitution and President Morsi and they reject the group's presence in power.
"Only 10 percent of workers at the state-owned Mahalla Misr Spinning and Weaving Company are working today, the others will be protesting."
Thousands of protesters joined rallies at Al-Shoun Square in key industrial city of Mahalla .
Protesters are chanting against Morsi, repeating slogans such as “Abdel-Nasser has said it before, the Muslim Brotherhood are not to be trusted,” a famous chant referring to former president Gamal Abdel-Nasser whose era witnessed the persecution of several Islamist figures.
Protesters in Gharbiya chain up the doors of several city council buildings and erect banners reading "closed on the revolution's orders."
Seven city council buildings have been closed by protesters in Menoufiya governorate.
In Tanta , capital of the Nile Delta's Gharbiya governorate, opponents of Morsi were driving around the streets with microphones calling on people to join protests at the governorate headquarters.
In Luxor , hundreds of boats headed down the Nile to voice their opposition to President Mohamed Morsi.
Hundreds of other protesters were marching around the tourist city en route to their rallying-point at the governorate building, the place to hold a sit-in until their demands are met.
Luxor security directorate announces that it has transferred all those jailed in the local police station to Qena prison due to the risk of violence.
In north Sinai's Al-Arish, people marched towards Refaie Square , chanting slogans against the Muslim Brotherhood. In the square says the numbers grew and were projected to reach thousands in the coming hours.
Local artists from the Nile Delta city of Ismailiya , actors from the Ismailiya Cultural Palace and residents of Al-Khamsa joined a protest march towards the city's administration building.
In the Canal city of Suez , Anti-Morsi protesters in Al-Arbaeen Square arrested an “infiltrator” carrying a pellet gun and handed him over to the army.
Hundreds of protesters gathered at Alexandria 's main railway station. The atmosphere is jovial with lots of fireworks and people were waving flags as they waited for marches to arrive before heading to Sidi Gaber Square . The numbers at Alexandria 's main railway station increased to a few thousand while protesters continued to wait for marches, flocking from all over the coastal city to Sidi Gaber Square .
In Alexandria , the vicinity of Sidi Gaber Station: “packed, people cannot move.” Thousands upon thousands were still flowing into the area. A stage has been set up and a sit-in has been declared. Tents were already set-up.
Cars with loudspeakers booming out patriotic songs roamed the streets of the canal city of Port Said to invite people to join in.
Violence flared between supporters and opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood in Tanta .
Firearms, birdshot and bludgeons were used.
Clashes erupted after three thousand anti-Morsi protesters gathered near an office of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party. Five were reportedly injured so far. Police intervened to break up the fighting.
In Minya, two people were injured after unknown assailants threw a bomb at protesters.
In Beheira, thousands demonstrated in Damanhour Square . The protesters carry police officers on their shoulders, chanting “Here are all the Egyptian people.” Protesters use drums to accompany their chants against the Muslim Brotherhood.
In Mansoura, thousands of protesters continued to flock towards the iconic Al-Shaheed Square from several rallying points. Their slogans: "Go, go, you're two-faced; you've divided the people in two!"
Solidarity protests in countries
Solidarity protests were held around the world.
Palestinians in the West Bank held a protest in Ramallah in solidarity with Egyptians demanding that Morsi step down. Protesters held placards saying "No injustice, Egypt is the mother of freedom.”
Protests by Egyptian in Jordan and in Norway were also held.
Egyptians were protesting against the Muslim Brotherhood outside the country's embassy in London .
At least five Italian cities witnessed anti-Morsi protests, including Milan , Rome , Bologna , Napoli and Palermo . An Egyptian worker Nabil Hassan told that most Egyptians in Italy were joining the anti-Morsi demonstrations.
Legitimacy of millions in the street
In the vicinity of the presidential palace, former MP Mostafa El-Naggar told: “Talks of Morsi's legitimacy is null and void now and is used by the Brotherhood to scare people off the early elections scenario...there is a revolutionary legitimacy now. The legitimacy of millions in the street trumps the previous electoral legitimacy,”
“If Morsi or the Brotherhood had any real presence, they would have organized a million-man march either in Alexandria or in Cairo , but they could only fill Rabaa Al-Adawiya,” Sarah Mamdouh, one of the protesters at Alexandria 's Sidi Gaber, told. Mamdouh added that Morsi had lost his legitimacy by “his dictatorial decisions and his inability to listen to other political opinions.
Wafaa Mohamed, who was wearing the full face veil, explained about why she was in Tahrir. “The people in Rabaa Al-Adawiya [Muslim Brotherhood gathering] are brainwashed. Morsi is a hypocrite, a liar; he's unjust.”
Ayman Mahmoud, 28, one protester, said: “There's no work, even though I have a degree. Egyptians are currently living in extreme poverty. There has been no justice for my brother's death. This is not what revolution demanded. I feel like Morsi is living in another world, he's taken unpopular decisions and continues to say unpopular things like praising the very police force that were responsible for my brother's death.”
One of the protesters in Alexandria , Wael Nabil, told that he is determined to stay until Morsi leaves, even if it means waiting a year. “Mubarak repressed us, but at least he gave us services; at least he didn't cut the electricity, water and petrol like now.”
“Nothing has changed; my salary didn't increase. My wife is pregnant, how will I provide for my baby?” added Nabil.
One of the protesters in Shubra, Sameh Edward, told: “Today's demonstrations are the second phase of the revolution... The extent to which change happens depends on the ability of the people to continue protesting in the streets for a few consecutive days.”
Khayria, 37, a housewife from Sheikh Zayed City was with her husband, a taxi driver, and carrying her three-year-old daughter on her shoulders.
According to Khayria, she is not afraid, for "we are all one hand: there are no Salafists, no Brotherhood, we're all Muslims."
Khayria wants Morsi to leave immediately and the army to take control, because Morsi has bled the country dry.
“We see so many people on the streets eating garbage and so many people staying at home because they can't find work,” Khayria adds, emphasizing that she is going to Tahrir to “fight until the last moment.”
Ahly's star playmaker Mohamed Abou-Treika, known for being Islamist-leaning, denies joining the mass rally supporting President Morsi as claimed by speakers at the Rabaa El-Adawia Mosque, according to Egyptian sports site FilGoal.com.
Shenouda Makram, 26, a protester at the presidential palace, told: "The Islamists won't give up easily."
Mahmoud Hassan, 19, a plasterer from Qalyubia north of Cairo , told: "Neither Morsi nor the Muslim Brotherhood seems to have the will to make any changes that would satisfy the public and make economic changes."
Ahmed Fathi, a protester at the packed Sidi Gaber Square in Alexandria , told that he voted for Morsi in last year's presidential elections, but stopped supporting Morsi after the latter issued a controversial constitutional decree last November. "I realized that he is a dictator and we did not remove a dictator to bring another dictator," said Fathi.
There is significant anti-American sentiment in Tahrir Square , with signs critical of US Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson and banners reading that America is responsible for bloodshed in Egypt .
Speaking at a press conference, a presidential spokesperson says the presidency and the Egyptian people “would never accept western interference in Egypt 's internal affairs.” The comment is in response to a question about US president Obama's calls for President Morsi and opposition forces to engage in dialogue.
Supporters of the president remain gathered at Rabaa Al-Adawiya Mosque in Nasr City , where hundreds of thousands are holding their sit-in for the third day.
Comments are moderated