- (Photo: Reuters/Stringer)
The April 6 Youth Movement, a major force in the ouster of Hosni Mubarak’s regime in Egypt earlier this year, is calling for a struggle against the military-led interim government amid ongoing clashes that have killed two and injured 750 people in Cairo.
Egyptian police were clashing for a second day on Sunday morning in central Cairo with protesters demanding that the military announce an early date to hand over power to an elected government, according to the local newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm.
The protests carried on despite the killing of two people and the injuring of at least 750 as clashes erupted Saturday, according to Health Ministry figures.
Mainly Islamists, and also some liberal, leftist and youth groups, held a massive protest at Tahrir Square on Friday, days before parliamentary elections are scheduled to begin on Nov. 28, against proposed provision for special powers for the military in the new constitution.
However, many continued to protest Saturday, which led to the clashes. The protests also spread to the cities of Suez and Alexandria.
Many liberals initially did not participate as they believed the Friday demonstrations were actually organized by the Islamists against the country’s identity and not to oppose special powers being proposed for the military. Deputy Prime Minister Ali al-Selmy and some political parties led by the Freedom and Justice Party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, are negotiating a “supra-constitutional principles” document that precedes and will influence the drafting of the new constitution.
However, after Saturday’s clashes, the April 26 Movement issued a statement urging its members to descend on Tahrir Square “immediately because resistance is the only solution,” according to CNN. “Down with military rule,” the movement said even as protesters chanted against the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which rules Egypt, and Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the council’s head.
Ahmed Maher and Waleed Rashed, the movement’s co-founders, played a key role in the anti-Mubarak demonstrations. They started the movement as a Facebook group in 2008 which now has tens of thousands of members.
Protests also stretched to the United States, where demonstrators gathered in Washington, D.C., in opposition to military rule in Egypt.
Protester Amin Mahmoud, a member of the “Egyptian Organization for Change USA,” was quoted as saying that Egypt’s military “has been taking civilians before military courts, and we are against that.” “They are torturing a lot of young revolutionaries, accusing them of being traitors, and that is not true.”