CAIRO: Protests erupted Wednesday in Nasr City and several universities following a call for demonstrations by the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy to mark the third anniversary of the 2011 referendum.
During a Wednesday meeting at Al-Shaab newspaper headquarters the Muslim Brotherhood-led National Alliance to Support Legitimacy (NASL) created a plan to organize protests that would last for 11 consecutive days. The protests call for the current regime to be toppled and for the goals of the January 25 Revolution to be restored.
The NASL announced the protests last week, adding that the 11 days would begin on March 19 to mark the anniversary of the 2011 referendum on the constitution drafted by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and supported by the Brotherhood.
Reports of protests were sparse early on Wednesday, with rallies of pro-Brotherhood protesters taking place in Nasr City and several university campuses, as reported by The Cairo Post.
Rassd News reported that protests were taking place at Al-Azhar University and Cairo University in coordination with marking the anniversary of the 2011 referendum. Protests also took place at Zagazig University, according to the Ikhwanweb’s Twitter account.
The April 6 Youth Momement announced Wednesday that they would not take part in protests Wednesday.
Mohamed Mustafa, a member of the April 6 Youth Movement’s political office, told Youm7 Monday that March 19 was a “black day in the Egyptian revolution’s history,” adding that the Brotherhood attacked opponents to force them to vote yes in the the 2011 referendum. He also said “we should not revive that day, on the contrary it shoud be a day of mourning.”
April 6 Youth Movement activist Ahmed Maher, who is facing trial on charges of organizing unauthorised protests, released a statement Monday from his jail cell critisizing the NASL. Maher said “the March 19, 2011 referendum had been a setback for the January 25 Revolution.”
Sherif Al-Ruby, a member of the April 6 Youth Movement told The Cairo Post Wednesday that they would not participate in the March 19 protest saying “we will not participate in any protest affiliated with the Brotherhood.”
“The March 19 referendum was the beginning of the January 25 Revolution’s death” he added.
The Wasat Party announced that they would participate in March 19 protests. In a Wednesday statement, the party said “we have always advocated a peaceful method to express our demands.”
Omar el-Gendy, secretary of the National Salvation Front, told Youm7 on Wednesday that the front announced its rejection of protests scheduled for March 19, stressing that “the state of sectarian tensions is deeply rooted in Egyptian society as a result of the the 2011 referendum.”
The Brotherhood is now in its weakest stage, so it wants to “weaken the state’s status,” Gendy added.
Spokesperson for the Strong Egypt Party Ahmed Imam Ahmed Imam told The Cairo Post Wednesday that the party will not participate in the protest.
In anticipation of protests led by Brotherhood supporters to mark the anniversary of the 2011 refrendum, security forces were cautioned to secure vital facilities and were on high security alert, reported Youm7 Monday.