Protesters in Tahrir Square on Friday rejected a statement released by the military council calling for respect for judicial rulings and threatening to respond forcefully to attempts to damage public and private interest.
State-run Al-Ahram newspaper said the demonstrators chanted, “Down with military rule” and “Say it, the military council must leave” immediately after the statement was announced.
Al-Ahram added that a march arrived in the square from the Abbasseya neighborhood, the site of a bloody attack on protesters in May.
A security source told Al-Masry Al-Youm that protesters are responsible for securing the square, and security in Cairo has not been beefed up in response to the protest. However, he said security personnel will continue to guard the Interior Ministry and important sites near Tahrir, including the Egyptian Museum and the Maspero state media building.
The Muslim Brotherhood called for Friday's protest against the military council. Protests have been ongoing since Monday, and a number of protesters spent Thursday night in the square.
Safwat Hegazy, a preacher aligned with the Brotherhood, gave a speech in Tahrir after Friday prayers.
“We won’t allow a military state. We came here to grab power from the military council and hand it to Mohamed Morsy,” he said.
“Legitimacy is in the square, and the MPs are in the square. Don’t believe rumors that there are negotiations or deals between Morsy and the military council,” he added.
After the speech, protesters chanted, “Free revolutionaries will continue the path” and “The military council must get out.”
Sheikh Mazhar Shahin, the imam of Omar Makram Mosque, delivered the Friday sermon to thousands of protesters in Tahrir Square, calling for the cancelation of the supplementary constitutional declaration and demanding that the dissolved Parliament reconvene.
“The battle was and still is over the rights and dignity of the people. We won’t allow the return of the former regime after the revolution toppled it,” Shahin said.
“We demand there be no manipulation of the presidential election results,” he added, saying, “Tahrir Square wants legitimacy and legitimacy is on the side of Morsy.”
Protesters broke into chants of, “Down with military rule” after the sermon ended.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces issued a supplement to the Constitutional Declaration late Sunday night that expands the military council’s powers while limiting those of the future president.
Protesters called on the SCAF to cancel the supplementary declaration, transfer power as scheduled, and reinstate the People’s Assembly. They stressed that the People’s Assembly, which was dissolved after a constitutional court decision on 14 June, maintains legislative power. They also demanded that the Constituent Assembly formed by the People’s Assembly to draft the new constitution continue its work.
Protesters rejected the recently-issued Justice Ministry decree authorizing military police and intelligence to investigate and arrest civilians.
Protesters closed all entrances to the square with iron barricades. Street vendors converged on the square early in the morning in anticipation of the protest.
Edited translation from MENA