CAIRO: Members of various political forces took part in a joint protest in solidarity with Gaza Monday, held at the Lawyers’ Syndicate Downtown.
Holding up newspaper pictures of the victims of the latest Israeli assault on Gaza, and placards reading “our hearts are with you Gaza, the roughly 100 protestors chanted “down with Bush, down with Israel, “Mubarak, the blood of the martyrs is on your hands and “in order to free Jerusalem, we must free Egypt.
Various political currents, including left-wing and Islamic groups, took part in the protest, organized by opposition group Kefaya.
Yosra, a student, told Daily News Egypt that she had come to protest the visit by the US Secretary of State to Egypt.
“I’m here in solidarity with Gaza and to voice my opposition to Condoleezza Rice’s arrival in Egypt tomorrow [Tuesday], she said.
A cordon of riot police stood in front of the entrance to the Lawyers’ Syndicate throughout the duration of the protest.
Two further rows of policemen were added in order to prevent attempts by protestors to leave the Syndicate and demonstrate outside.
At one point protestors set fire to the Israeli flag.
Nagla El-Qalyouby, assistant to the secretary general of the Labor Party said that the Egyptian authorities should do more to help Gazans.
“We want to encourage people to come and protest for Gaza, because what is happening in Gaza has crossed boundaries, not merely because of Israeli action, but because Egypt is responsible for the border with Gaza, she said.
“Egypt was once part of the resistance but it has now turned into a client state of the US, simultaneously denying Gaza food and medicine while we sell Israel our gas at the cheapest prices.
El-Qalyouby called for the opening of the Rafah border crossing.
“One hundred and fifty injured Palestinians tried to enter Egypt yesterday.
Of these, 50 critical cases were allowed in. We’re calling for the permanent opening of the crossing and for the government to organize the entry of injured Palestinians into Egypt and their admittance to hospitals, she explained.
It was announced during the protest that further action will be held today outside the Journalists’ Syndicate.