News / Middle East

Egyptian Groups Unify for Huge Protest Friday

George Ishak, founder of the Kefaya (Enough) Movement and one of the leaders for National Coalition for Change, shouts anti-government slogans during a protest in front of the High Court in Cairo (File Photo - December 12, 2010)
George Ishak, founder of the Kefaya (Enough) Movement and one of the leaders for National Coalition for Change, shouts anti-government slogans during a protest in front of the High Court in Cairo (File Photo - December 12, 2010)
Al Pessin

Egyptian activist groups have agreed to a joint plan for a huge demonstration in Cairo’s Tahrir Square Friday, a move designed to avoid clashes among protesters with different views. 

After meeting for several hours Wednesday, representatives from about two dozen activist groups agreed to work together on Friday. Leaders were concerned about the possibility of clashes among competing groups like the one last Saturday that caused about 300 injuries.

One activist who attended the meeting, George Ishak of the Egyptian Movement for Change, says there was a lot of frank discussion, but in the end the activist leaders reached an agreement.

“All the opposition movements will be in one unit against any division between the opposition movements," said Ishak. "So we will go to this demonstration with one vision.  We will keep our revolution, and we don’t permit anybody to divide us."

Ishak says the group leaders agreed to share one stage at Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday.

A statement issued by one Islamist group, the Gamaa Islamia, confirmed the agreement.  Activists say the meeting agreed that another Islamist group, the Muslim Brotherhood, will provide security on the square.

Among other things, the groups are calling for an end to the emergency law left over from the regime of ousted President Hosni Mubarak. They want public trials for Mubarak and other former officials, and the prosecution of police officers and soldiers accused of attacking protesters during the revolution earlier this year. They also want more power for the civilian government, which now works under the ruling military council.

Various groups have different specific demands, and tension seems to be highest between those who sharply criticize the military council and Gamaa Islamia, which is supporting it.

Earlier in the week, the Egyptian Center for Human Rights called on the activist groups to stop trying to undermine each other, particularly with accusations of foreign influence.  George Ishak says Wednesday’s agreement moves the groups in that direction.

“Nobody has all the reality.  We are different.  We have many visions," said Ishak. "And every group, every element, has his right to show himself without any objection.  Without any talk about ‘you follow a foreign agenda’ or something like that.  It is forbidden.”

Organizers talk about drawing a million people to Tahrir Square Friday, and are arranging pick-up points in various parts of the country.

At the al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, Emad Gad expects a lot of people to come out, but hopes things will quiet down after that for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which is expected to begin on Monday.

“I think it will be a very big demonstration and each side will try to avoid any kind of clashes," said Gad. "And after that, I think they will clean Tahrir Square in order to receive Ramadan.”

But youthful protesters who have been camped out on the square for the last several weeks say they won’t leave until all their demands are met.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces a Chaotic World and the Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid