By Tamim Elyan
CAIRO: More than 500 demonstrated Friday at Roxy Square in support of the ruling military council in what they called “Friday of the silent majority – legitimacy first”, vowing to remain there until their demands are met.
The protesters in the eastern Cairo district of Heliopolis marched later in the afternoon to Ministry of Defense to show their support for the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), before returning to the square.
They criticized the ongoing sit-in in Tahrir Square, saying that they won’t allow groups that are funded by “foreign countries” to lead the majority and demanded that the SCAF leads the transitional period as planned.
“We are called the silent majority but we aren’t silent. We were just watching the people in Tahrir and how it will end up, but now we decided to take it to the street and we will see who has the loudest voice,” said Adel Naguib, member of the Arab Organization for Human Rights and one of the organizers of the protest.
The protesters were discussing late afternoon whether to file a complaint to the Prosecutor General accusing a number of politicians and TV journalists of incitement.
Presidential hopeful Mohamed ElBaradei, who was attacked by one of the speakers there, Democratic Front Party founder Osama El-Gazaly Harb, Kefaya Movement for Change co-founder George Ishaq and activists Asmaa Mahfouz, Nawara Negm and Wael Ghonim were among those singled out by the Roxy protesters.
They also accused TV hosts and journalists Yosri Foda, Ibrahim Eissa and Hala Sarhan, among others, of spreading chaos and destroying the country by allegedly inciting a general strike and the occupation of the Suez Canal.
The protestors’ demands included supporting the SCAF as the legitimate leader of the country as implied by the result of the March 19 referendum; the prosecution of those accused of corruption in fair trials without public pressure; and determining the names and places where martyrs of the revolution died to distinguish between criminals and those who deserved to be honored.
They also demanded an investigation into the individuals and groups who allegedly received foreign funds and where these funds were spent; a legislation that holds accountable those who spread false information or rumors through the media; and punishing corrupt members of the police and supporting honest ones.
“We support the political path that the SCAF had charted to hand over power to a civilian authority. The demands of the protesters in Tahrir are illegitimate and only aims at hindering our progress,” said Adel Ahmed, one of the protestors.
“The youth in Tahrir, despite our respect for them, believe that their interest isn’t in elections and are trying to enforce their will on the people,” he added.
The protest was called for by the March 19 Coalition and the Youth Stability Movement.
Later in the afternoon protesters, who were joined by singer Amro Mostafa, vowed to stage a sit-in until their demands were met.
Protesters said that they support the revolution and don’t support ousted president Mubarak but don’t want chaos.
“After the police collapsed, we can’t allow the army and the judiciary to collapse because then the country would fall; there is a campaign directed against this country,” said Yasser Mohamed, a graphic designer.
The protestors brawled with the Tahrir TV Channel team covering the protest and forced them to leave. They also attacked a passerby carrying a banner demanding the execution of former interior minister, Habib Al-Adly, until police intervened and set him free.
“These people are already politically dead; now that we eradicated corruption we need stability and I don’t like how a minority is controlling the majority,” said Ahmed Al-Sawy, an engineer.
“Across the history of revolutions there are two alternatives: either having a system or the revolutionaries start to eliminate each other like what happened in the 1952 revolution,” he said.