Thousands demonstrated against Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi and his political backers, the country's ruling Muslim Brotherhood, on the second anniversary of former President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster from power.
Protesters in planned anti-government marches set out Monday evening from around the Egyptian capital of Cairo, heading towards Tahrir Square, the birthplace of the January 25 Revolution that deposed Mubarak and overturned his government in February 2011.
“Down with the rule of the [Muslim Brotherhood] Supreme Guide,” protesters chanted as they marched towards the iconic central square, where on a massive stage was displayed the famed televised statement by then-Vice President and former intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, announcing that after 18 days of protests, Mubarak had stepped down.
On the second anniversary of that moment, protesters called for a new unity government less than a year after their first democratically-elected president entered office. They also called for constitutional amendments and the firing of Egypt’s prosecutor-general, appointed by Morsi after first granting himself sweeping new powers that placed his presidential authority above that of the judiciary and in effect, creating a legal dictatorship.
The country’s security forces have been on high alert for days, since rioting began on the second anniversary of the start of the January 25 Revolution.
University students demonstrated in the cities of Kafr El-Sheikh and Alexandria, reported the daily Al Ahram newspaper.
Activists protested the deaths of dozens of demonstrators in clashes with police in recent months, and the fact that no one has been held accountable – an echo of the Mubarak regime, albeit in Islamic attire.
“The revolution continues!” read some banners . “After blood has been spilled, there is no legitimacy.”