CAIRO: Hundreds marched Tuesday in the upper middle class neighborhood of Nasr City west of Cairo to denounce military rule.
The march, which is part of popular street action to expose “military violations” in different neighborhoods, began with tens of protesters at the Labor University who chanted against military rule, as more people joined them to reach about 1,000.
The march demanded that the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) hand over power to civilian rule as well as the trial of those who killed protesters, including army and police generals, since Jan. 25.
“I didn’t expect it to be this big. I didn’t think we would get as much support from the street. Nasr City wasn’t as politically active as downtown Cairo, however we had marches back on Jan. 27 and 29 but they weren’t as big as this,” said Hazem Sadek, 21, university student.
Protests are a rare sight in Nasr city and the nearby Heliopolis neighborhoods, two middle class neighborhoods known for their shopping malls.
“We got great responses from the people in the street. I saw them chanting with us from their homes and cheering us in their cars. The revolution has reached out of Tahrir and it’s everywhere now,” Sadek added.
Ahmed Nabil, 27 and a Nasr City resident, said, “We are the January 25 youth and we will be back to Tahrir on Jan. 25, 2012.”
Women dominated the march, chanting in solidarity with the iconic protester who was beaten and stripped to her bra in Tahrir Square on Dec. 17.
“Egyptian women are a red line,” they chanted along with other slogans against military rule.
“I’m proud of Egyptian women,” Nabil said. “I didn’t know we had this many revolutionary women in Nasr City.”
“I came from Heliopolis to support the Nasr City march,” said Hadeel Gamal, a 16-year-old high school student. “We want SCAF to leave. We held a similar march in Triumph Square in Heliopolis [last Thursday]. These marches are the best way to reach more people and show them the truth.”
By 7:30 pm the march had reached about 1,500 protesters. It was cordoned off by organizers to make sure it does not disrupt traffic.
“I’m volunteering to make sure we don’t disrupt traffic so they don’t claim that we are harming the economy. We are peaceful protesters,” said Ahmed Hussein.
Yet one man expressed his discontent.
“You are foreign agents,” he said, addressing the protesters, “you are thieves.”
“We need stability,” another couple said, as protesters handed out flyers outlining army violations.
They also handed out stickers and sprayed graffiti saying “Down with Military Rule” and “SCAF are Liars” during the march.
“We are telling people the truth that the state media doesn’t show. When the next confrontation with SCAF happens, we will need the masses to join us,” said Abdel Rahman Khedr, a Nasr City resident.
A similar march is planned for Thursday.