Anti-Morsi protesters break through wired fences of presidential palace
December 7, 2012
Several guards have been injured after protesters broke through barbed wire around the presidential palace in Cairo. Tens of thousands have come to the palace to slam Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s bid for absolute power.
Friday again saw thousands marching towards the presidential palace in Cairo, while hundreds others rallied in the iconic Tahrir Square. The demonstrations were called by opposition forces, which include various leftist, liberal and democratic groups.
“We want to see the fall of the regime,” chanted the crowd venting their anger with President Morsi, the drafted constitution and the Muslim Brotherhood.
The palace has grown surrounded with barbed wire fences and concrete blocks. Police, national guard troops and military are guarding the place, including the tanks brought in Thursday.
The protesters rallied peacefully for several hours, but as night fell some began attempting to remove the barbed wire.
RT’s reporter Bel Trew watched the crowd remove the barricades and flood the streets around the presidential palace. There, the demonstratots climbed onto army tanks waving flags and chanting slogans against President Mors. Others tried to get over the gate or remove the barbed wire.
Protesters told Trew that the Republican Guards “just stepped aside and let people pass.” The guards are currently standing next to their tanks and other posts, but not getting involved with the protest.
“At the moment the mood here is more jubilant than violent. People are dancing and singing, there’s a lot of drum beats and football chants,” Trew says, adding that the protesters are set to spend the night rallying right in front of the palace.
At the same time, Muslim Brotherhood supporters are gathering in an area near the palace, Trew reports via Twitter. If the two camps meet, it could bring a repeat of Wednesday’s violence, when at least six were killed and hundreds injured after Brotherhood supporters drove out opposition crowds camped outside the palace.
Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood Friday once again slammed the opposition’s attempts “to stall the democratic transition.” In its Twitter feed, Egypt’s most influential religious movement called on the nation to rule the country by ballot on the constitutional referendum which is set for December 15.
On Friday, Justice Minister Ahmed Mekki said the constitutional referendum might get rescheduled.
“The president is ready to talk with political figures without any preconditions. He is open to the idea of postponing the referendum to reach a consensus over the contentious articles. He is ready for that, even if it means the constitution will return to the assembly,” Mekki said.