Anti-Morsi protest
Photo: AP

'Until Morsi falls': Egypt braces for 'day of rage'

Tens of thousands of Egyptians expected to return to the streets Sunday with goal of 'ushering in new political era without Muslim Brotherhood.' Obama calls for dialogue

"I will finish my shift in customer service and go to Tahrir Square with family, friends and colleagues. You cannot overthrow a regime in a day. It will take more time than the Mubarak ouster, but I am not giving up."


Giza resident Hamdi Abu Sayef, 27, is expected to attend just one of several mass "day of rage" rallies that are scheduled to be held across the Arab country with the goal of unseating Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, who took office a year ago.


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US President Barack Obama called on Egypt's government and opposition on Saturday to engage each other in constructive dialogue and prevent violence spilling out across the region.


Bloodshed on Friday killed at least three people, including an American student.


Tens of thousands from both sides rallied again on Saturday across Egypt, although there were fewer reports of violence.


Obama said he was "looking at the situation with concern."


Hundreds have been wounded and at least eight killed in street fighting for over a week as political deadlock deepens. On Friday, a bomb killed a protester at a rally by the Suez Canal.


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"Every party has to denounce violence," Obama said at the other end of Africa, in Pretoria. "We'd like to see the opposition and President Morsi engage in a more constructive conversation about how they move their country forward because nobody is benefiting from the current stalemate."


He added that it was "challenging, given there is not a tradition of democracy in Egypt."


The Egyptian newspaper Al-Masri Al-Youm reported that Morsi and his family were moved on Thursday from their home to the Presidential Guard headquarters in Cairo ahead of the mass anti-government demonstrations planned for Sunday.


הפגנות באלכסנדריה (צילום: רויטרס)

Riots in Alexandria (Photo: Reuters)


"Clashes may or may not occur, but I will continue to protest until he falls. My liberty is the main goal," Abu Sayef told Ynet. "Morsi missed his final opportunity when he blamed 'enemies of Egypt' for sabotaging the democratic system instead of saying he had some soul-searching to do. He should have apologized and given people their rights back.


"Morsi has repeated (ousted President Hosni) Mubarak's mistakes and failed to make good on even one promise," she said.


Among those killed during the recent violence in Egypt was Andrew Pochter, a 21-year-old Jewish American teacher who was stabbed to death during an anti-government protest in Alexandria.


אנדרו פוכטר במצרים (צילום: AP)

Andrew Pochter in Egypt (Archive photo: AP)


Meanwhile, the youth group leading the campaign against Egypt's president said it has collected the signatures of 22 million Egyptians who want to remove Morsi from power.


Mahmoud Badr, a leader of the Tamarod, or rebel, movement said Saturday that 22,134,460 Egyptians have signed the petition demanding President Mohammed Morsi's ouster.


Badr did not say whether there had been an independent audit of the signatures.


On Friday, anti-Morsi demonstrators in Cairo spread a huge Israeli flag in front of the Defense Ministry, defaced it with slogans and swastikas before finally setting it on fire.


"I supported the Muslim Brotherhood and said they should be given an opportunity," Abu Sayef recalled. "Initially, the entire Egyptian nation was with Morsi; there were celebrations on the streets. He should have become the president of all the people, but he has acted only on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood."


Abu Sayef expressed hope that the army would support the anti-government demonstrators. "I truly hope the army will seize power until new elections are held," she said.


A local journalist who is also planning to demonstrate against Morsi said, "Tomorrow the people will take to the streets in order to end the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood."


Speaking to Ynet, the reporter said the protests have one main goal: "To usher in a political era without the Muslim Brotherhood. No one can predict how long it will take, but what's certain is that the people are frustrated and there is a popular desire for change."


Reuters contributed to this report. 



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פרסום ראשון: 06.29.13, 23:59
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