By Tamim Elyan
CAIRO: The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) said they will participate “symbolically” in protests organized by a number of opposition powers and youth movements on Jan. 25.
Local activists called for nationwide protests against torture, poverty, corruption and unemployment for Tuesday, inspired by Tunisia’s overthrow of its autocratic president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
“The MB will participate in certain events only as part of the National Association for Change (NAC) as agreed upon with the association,” Mohamed Al-Beltagy, prominent MB member, told Daily News Egypt during a meeting of NAC members at the Democratic Front Party headquarters late Saturday.
Al-Beltagy said that a number of MB members will participate in the protest organized by NAC and the Popular Parliament in front of the Supreme Court on Jan. 25, but will not be present at the street demonstrations planned for this day.
The April 6 Youth Movement called on all opposition groups to participate in demonstrations around Cairo on Jan. 25, a national holiday that honors Egyptian police and commemorates the 1952 struggle by the Ismailia police force against the British Occupation.
The Popular Parliament, an alternative body to the official People’s Assembly formed by opposition leaders, said in a statement that it will organize a protest in front of the Supreme Court where members will present a list of social, economic and political demands.
Protestors’ demands include the annulment of the emergency law, the resignation of Interior Minister Habib El-Adly, dissolving the current parliament and increasing minimum wage to LE 1,200.
“We support the activities that will take place in Cairo and other governorates — organized by youth movements as members of NAC working under its umbrella — but we as leaders will participate only at the Supreme Court’s protest,” Sayed Ghadban, NAC’s spokesperson, told Daily News Egypt.
According to Ghadban, members of the association in various governorates were instructed to organize their activities within their governorates and not to join those in Cairo.
Gamet El-Dowal Street, Dawaran Shubra, Dawran Al-Matariya and Cairo University were identified as the assembly points for the demonstrations, in addition to other protests in Alexandria, Daqahliya, Ismailia, Assiut, Sohag, Suez and Port Said.
Alternative protests are set to be held in front of Egyptian embassies in Tunisia, Beirut, the United Kingdom and USA.
Demonstrations are planned to begin at 2 pm at the predetermined assembly points and end in front of the Ministry of Interior at 5 pm, according to an April 6 statement.
Protestors are set to use plastic shields to face “security violence,” the statement said, and a number of participants are being trained on how to use them.
Tunisian Mohamed Bouazizi himself on fire last month, triggering a series of protests throughout Tunisia that eventually led President Ben Ali to flee the country.