After two days of violent clashes between Anti-Morsi protesters and Muslim Brotherhood members, hundreds of thousands of Egyptians in all cities protested against Morsi’s continued dictatorial rule. In his speech last night, Morsi stated that those on the streets are the “minority” and that they must respect the “majority…because that is democracy.” He also stated that the “minority” were violent on Tuesday – the ‘Final Warning’ Protest which attracted millions of peaceful protesters across the country and very few reports of injuries.
Tonight, Egyptians once again proved that Morsi and his party continue to lie. Tonight, I stood by women, children, seniors, and even the Presidential Guard to protest against the continued injustice against the Egyptian people. I did not witness one incident of violence – and reports of injuries have so far been due to congestion, dehydration, or accidents (such as a man I saw who fell off the shoulders of another Egyptian while chanting against Morsi).
Upon my arrival at approximately 4.p.m. I noticed six Interior Ministry Trucks parked along one of the side streets. However, throughout the early hours of the protest, there was no presence of the Interior Ministry – only the Presidential Guard was blocking the way to the palace.
At the time I arrived, there were only a few thousand protesters at the scene and thus it was very easy to get to the front lines and witness the blockade by the Presidential Guard, which consisted of several rows of soldiers and (at an earlier point) barbed wire which was removed after discussions between protesters and the Presidential Guard.
The Presidential Guard – like the Interior Ministry officers on Tuesday – were very compassionate. At almost every entrance, there was a commander who was talking to the protesters and walked among them to hear what they had to say. The commander I encountered stated “We are not here to hurt you. We are here to protect the state’s institutions and to protect you. This is your palace. If you don’t want the President, then go ahead and remove him…we are with you no matter what.” At one point, they were also helping out a protester who fainted by carrying him to a nearby ambulance.
The protesters at the scene where I was, surprisingly, consisted of mainly women: non-veiled women, niqab wearing women, hijab wearing women. There were also many children and seniors (and of course men). The heavy presence of women might be due to the unrepresentative constitution, which fails to address women’s rights. One clause even states that women have to ‘balance’ their lives between ‘work’ and ‘mother-ly duties’.
However, by 6p.m. reports started coming in that tens of thousands of protesters – and all other marches – had convened on the other side of the blockade (near the Heliopolis Sporting Club). As a result of this, the protesters at Merghany – which had reached at least 10,000 – started marching through side streets to the other side. The march took an hour due to many blockades which led to longer routes being taken.
Upon arrival protesters started cheering intensely – creating quite a thrilling atmosphere. A few minutes later, the Presidential Guard removed the blockade and allowed protesters to protest in front of the Palace creating a jubilant scene. Reports state that this was due to a ‘break’ in and ‘minor scuffles,’ however from what I witnessed (and from statements by the Presidential Guard on television), the Guard allowed the protesters in after they agreed not to storm the palace.
Like last Tuesday, Graffiti quickly dotted the Palace’s walls. The guards remained among the people, providing the injured with assistance and taking photos with protesters. It became a very festive atmosphere.
Tonight, Egyptians once again proved that Morsi and his thuggish party are wrong: hundreds of thousands convened in Cairo outside the Presidential Palace and not one single rock was thrown. Hundreds of thousands convened in Cairo, and not a single burst of violence was reported. Egyptians stood by one another and called for justice. The voices of true Egyptians will soon be heard – Morsi’s time is running out.