Egypt: 100,000 Demonstrators Deliver “Final Warning,” chase President Morsi from Palace

On Tuesday, another big wave of protests was held against the policies of President Muhammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, with rallies in in the public squares of most of Egypt’s major cities. The protests were called “The Final Warning.” Many newspapers and television stations went dark, while big rallies were held in Tahrir Square (downtown Cairo) and at the residence of the president in Heliopolis. Some 100,000 demonstrators marched on the presidential residence, broke through a barbed wire barrier, and engaged in clashes with police, who initially fired tear gas and tried to repel them. Then, abruptly, according Arabic wire services, the police allowed the crowd to approach the building, prompting Morsi to flee the building. Russia Today’s correspondent, an eyewitness, said that a section of the police sought protection from the crowd, afraid of being overwhelmed, and the protesters then threw up a cordon around them.

The sight of the elected president of Egypt forced out of the presidential palace by angry demonstrators has to join other iconic images of the nearly two-year-old Egyptian revolution.

Belle True’s Russia Today reports from the scene:

Alarabiya is reporting that the demonstrators gave Morsi until Friday to renounce his constitutional declaration of November 22, which placed him and his decisions beyond the review powers of the courts. Many of the demonstrators also want the draft constitution, placed before the president by a Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Constituent Assembly last Saturday, withdrawn.

A separate, huge, rally was held in downtown Cairo at Tahrir Square, and some of the demonstrators at the presidential palace returned there to share what had happened. (Tahrir when in demonstration mode typically has several makeshift stages, and people mount them to speak into a microphone to the crowd.

The new constitution, which guarantees many rights but is vague about others and has articles that could be a trojan horse for crackdowns by Muslim authorities, is scheduled to be voted on by the people on December 15. But 90% of Egyptian judges are refusing to oversee the vote (this role for them is required by law).

Scroll down this page for a great collection of pictures from various protest sites on Tuesday.

There was also a truly massive protest in Alexandria.

For what’s going on outside Cairo, see the report by Lamia Hassan at “Your Middle East”

7 Responses

  1. on the other hand there were hundreds of thousands of people demonstrating in favor of Mursi in the Nahda Square. This demonstration whatever did not get any coverage. All these Newspaper never went to protest in the Mubarak Era. The Judges that were handpicked by Mubarak and have dissolved the elected Parliament and refused to punish the people that where responsible for the Killings of protesters two Years ago for lack of evidence. Not to mention there general Complicity with the former regime. This demonstration itself is made of:

    a) people that are truly concerned because of the weakness of some articles in the Constitution,

    b) disappointed opposition Politicians that have allied themselves with the elements of the Mubarak regime that is still more powerful than the MB in the state apparatus.

    c) The former Regime under the guidance of shafiq who got suitcases full of oil-money after his recent visit to the emirates. They want to overthrow the president by provoking a possible coup by the military establishment.

    d) Nostalgic Nasserist

    e) Hooligans who want to have some “fun”.

    And to RT I want to say that fleeing the palace is better than declaring the Anti-Morsi protesters Terrorists and start to kill them like Russia`s ally Bashar Al Assad did. And like Russia itself practiced it on the Chechen Uprisings.

    This is just my opinion

  2. I do not know why the President fleeing from his residence has to be seen with such glee. Based on the principles set up by the democratic countries, do they consider it correct for random mobs to corral the elected President of a country and if given the chance perhaps lynch him?

    If Obama where to dissolve the other branches of government [who were trying to depose him, no less] and name himself dictator, do the Americans consider it correct for a crowd to converge on the White House, some with the purpose of killing him if possible?

    I know the American model has been around for a very long time and such a dictatorial declaration would be unimaginable, but I want to know if people really think this hypothetical scenario is OK with them (If people love Obama too much to think clearly, replace him with Bush 43 and make the same comparison).

    It seems to me that most Americans, whether conservative or liberal, deep down really were quite happy with the Mubarak era, regardless of any clamor they may have made about “democracy” and “freedom”

  3. Perhaps, we in the United States should import some of that Nile water or whatever it is that stimulates Egyptians to take to the streets to oppose whatever it is they object to instead of just taking whatever crap the Establishment wants to dish out.

  4. Does Juan (or anyone else, for that matter) have reasonably reliable demographics on the demography of the Muslim Brotherhood and its opponents in the street and elsewhere? My vague impression is that the Brotherhood is older, and that many of Egypt’s young folk, who were the vanguard of the Arab Spring, have no love lost toward the Brotherhood.

  5. Prof. Cole, I just watched your interview on Al Jazeera about the Cairo protest. Reading your column, there were no surprises. I picked up some information that Morsi is not always his own man but is seen as a puppet of MB leader Khairat El-Shater. Perhaps that weighs in on the severity of the protest. Two of Morsi advisors have stepped down today. Zaghloul El-Balshi, the general secretary of the supreme committee on the constitutional referendum, announced his resignation in a televised interview:

    “I will not participate in a referendum that spilled Egyptian blood,” he said as cited by Ahram Online daily. “I call on Morsi to cancel the constitutional declaration immediately.”

  6. “It seems to me that most Americans, whether conservative or liberal, deep down really were quite happy with the Mubarak era, regardless of any clamor they may have made about “democracy” and “freedom””

    It is probably more accurate to say that most Americans didn’t have a clue about Mubarak and his regime. Many Americans would have a hard time locating Egypt on a map, in the first place. As for Mubarak, most Americans most likely subscribed to the party line promoted by the foreign policy establishment and the main stream media.

    • I almost wrote the same thing to “Defending Islam.” I’d put the % of Americans who could identify Hosni Mubarak at about 4% in 2009.

      It wasn’t until the Arab Spring that he became the subject of any real attention here. I recall that the MSM coverage during the Tahrir Square protests was quite favorable towards the protesters.

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