Egyptians call for president's resignation
Women have avoided Tahrir Square because of attacks
Tens of thousands of Egyptians have marked Deliverance Friday by protesting against Muslim Brotherhood rule and calling on Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi to step down after a week-long crackdown that left at least 60 dead and hundreds injured.
The largest crowds assembled in the coastal cities of Alexandria – where marchers followed routes taken by protesters during the 2011 uprising, and Port Said, where people were not only protesting but also commemorating the first anniversary of football violence that led to the death of 74 supporters of a Cairo team.
Demonstrators in Port Said threatened to disrupt operations at the Suez Canal if no legal action is taken against officials and security agents responsible for the deaths last weekend of 44 protesting at death sentences passed on 21 members of the local club for their involvement in the football riot.
Cairo’s Tahrir Square did not draw a vast crowd because of heavy rain and fear of the violence that has erupted on the edges of the square over the past week. Women also hesitated to take part in protests in the square due to sexual attacks by groups of men on 19 women last Friday.
Following noon prayers at a corner of the square there were just a few hundred clustered in front of the platform.
By evening a disappointing two or three thousand had gathered in a place that used to draw hundreds of thousands.
Most of the educated, professional Egyptians who used to take part in protests were absent. People gathered at a cafe in the upmarket district of Zamalek, chatted or watched computer screens – ignoring the huge flat screen television playing non-stop live coverage of the action on the streets.
Backbone of the uprising
Students and young professionals had been the backbone of the uprising two years ago, the first to protest the 30-year presidency of Hosni Mubarak
Many have now lost hope.
They see police still using extreme force against protesters and Mubarak regime henchmen acquitted of corruption, waste and human rights abuses while cases are brought against journalists who criticise the president and protesters are hailed before the courts.