April 6 kicks off anniversary with “unlawful march” Sunday
April 6 Movement Flag - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: The April 6 Youth Movement announced that it will stage a march on Sunday without getting a prior police permit on the sixth anniversary of its foundation, breaking the recently enacted protest law in November.

The movement added in a press conference held on Thursday that they will demand the overturning of the protest law and the release of political detainees, Youm7 reported.

Meanwhile, a security source told Youm7 that the police have not yet received a notification from the movement about the alleged march.

The conference was held in cooperation between the April 6 Movement and the April 6 Democratic Front for the first time since the 2011 split.

April 6 coordinator Amr Ali said during the conference that the protest law has fallen constitutionally and popularly, and the movement will not seek a permit from the police for its march.

Ali clarified that the movement invited the National Council for Human Rights instead to participate in the march to make sure it is peaceful, clarifying that the council accepted to send delegates.

The movement does not wish to clash with the police, but calls for repealing the protest law and defining the role of the police in dealing with the protests held by activists, Ali added.

Ali denied the circulating reports about the Muslim Brotherhood‘s participation in the commemoration of April 6 on Sunday, clarifying that the movement will not be subjected to any attempts to involve it in violence.

Meanwhile, Sherief el-Rouby, member of the April 6 Democratic Front movement, told The Cairo Post that “demanding the release of the detainees and repealing of the protest law are the primary demands of the movement, besides the aims of January 25 Revolution.”

Rouby clarified that Sunday’s march will launch from the Press Syndicate, without revealing its course.

Further, Mohamed Youssef, member of the political bureau of the April 6 Democratic Front added during the conference that the movement reaffirms its support for the civil state, and its rejection of the militarization of Egypt.

With regards to the movement’s stance on the presidential candidates, Youssef clarified that the movement will announce the candidate who they will back later on.

The movement first appeared in the days preceding April 6, 2008, when it called for a full strike against price hikes and corruption, in solidarity with the Mahalla Textile Workers’ strike, which stood in clear revolt against Mubarak’s regime.

Since then, the movement has become popular among the political circles, called and participated in several political events, such as calling for and participating in the January 25 Revolution in 2011.

However, following the revolution, on April 17, 2011, the movement witnessed the first split, which entailed the formation of the April 6 Democratic Front, due to disputes that erupted between some of the movement members and the founder Ahmed Maher. The disputes centered mainly on holding internal elections for the movement after large numbers of members began joining the movement in the wake of the revolution.

Recently, the April 6 Movement launched a petition calling for the revocation of the protest law, ratified by the interim president in November. The law criminalizes protests and demonstrations without getting a prior police notification. Hundreds have since been arrested, including Ahmed Maher under the umbrella of the protest law.

Ahmed Maher, Mohamed Adel and leftist activist Alaa Abdel Fatah were arrested last October, over accusations of protesting without a permit, assaulting security forces, disrupting public order and endangering citizens.

The three were sentenced to three years in prison. However they appealed the court ruling on March 23. Abdel Fatah was released on 10,000 EGP (U.S. $1,400) bail, pending investigations into his case.

Additional reporting by Samar Salama and Ibrahim Ahmed.

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