The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Activists call for release of detainees

Around 150 activists assembled on the doorsteps of the Press Syndicate, protesting the continued detention of Youth for Change activists Sharqawi and Sha3er, and hundreds of Muslim Brothers detainees.

The one-hour stand protest began at 6pm, with several released detainees leading the chants. The protestors were mainly rights lawyers and activists from Kefaya, left wing groups, Al-Ghad Party, and few members of the MB.

The demonstrators carried posters of Sharqawi, Sha3er and MB leader Dr. Essam el-Erian.

The syndicate was surrounded since the afternoon by CSF troops, who formed a two row cordon circling the syndicate. At least four CSF trucks were parked in Ramsis St. Two battalions of plainclothes thugs were stationed in their usual places, on the two corners of the syndicate building. Security controlled access to the demo location, but it posed no obstables for those who wanted to get in.

For roughly an hour, demonstrators chanted the usual chants against Mubarak, the govt, police, called for the release of detainees. Later, they started chanting slogans against the Israeli military operations in Gaza and Lebanon. At 6:50pm, two Youth for Change activists decided to get out of the CSF ring, and distribute flyers in the street. For no more than two minutes, the two guys kept on throwing the leaflets accross windows of passing cars, before security moved in quickly. Plainclothes and uniformed officers moved quickly, grabbed the two and pushed them back. A brief scuffle happened with other activists pushing CSF concripts trying to get out to join their friends, but it was over when the two activists were returned to the ring.

Ten minutes later, the demo was over, as Rozza's memorial was about to start...

Here is slideshow of pix by 3amr 3abdallah of today's demo.

On Friday, Al-Masri Al-Youm reported several thousands took part in protests in solidarity with the Lebanese and Palestinians in Al-Azhar Mosque and other provinces outside Cairo.

Here's a slideshow of pix by Nasser Nouri of Al-Azhar Friday demo. Activists from the Islamist-leaning Labor Party, according to Nasser, led others in chanting in solidarity with the Palestinians and Lebanese. There were also chants against the Saudi royal family, and Arab regimes.