CAIRO: Thousands marched to Tahrir Square on Friday dubbed the “Martyr’s Dream" demanding justice for the hundreds killed during a popular revolt that ousted the regime last January.
"We want to continue our revolution … the martyrs haven’t taken their rights yet. The trials of the heads of the former regime are theatrical and the military trials of civilians continue," Suzanne Abdel Razeq, 55, told Daily News Egypt.
Several marches poured into the iconic square from Dawaran Shubra, Maadi, Giza Square and Mohandiseen. The marches were organized by a number of movements and coalitions including the Coptic Maspero Youth Coalition, the Free Front for Peaceful Change, the Youth for Freedom and Justice Movement and the Revolutionary Socialists.
The protesters were divided between calling on the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) to handover power to the newly elected Parliament Speaker on Jan. 25, or open the candidacy process for presidential elections on that day, which means that the president will be elected within 60 days, and postpone the Shoura Council elections slated for Jan. 29.
Sayed Yehia, member of the Free Front of Peaceful Change, told DNE during his march from Shoubra that the Front demands the immediate transfer of power to the speaker of parliament, which could be the Freedom and Justice Party’s Secretary General Saad El-Katatni.
"The People’s Assembly was elected by the people, so even if we have reservations about El-Katatni we will be fighting against a civilian like us, not the military," he said.
According to this proposed scenario, El-Katatni will head the transitional period for 60 days until a new president is elected.
However, spokesman of the Coptic Maspero Youth Coalition, Nader Shoukry said they do not want a leader from the Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm to head the country during the transitional period.
"We want the presidential elections process to start on Jan. 25," Shoukry said.
On his part, Sayed Taleb, the father of 21-year-old martyr Helmy, said during the march from Giza that his sole demand was the execution of those responsible for killing the martyrs, including ousted President Hosni Mubarak and his aides.
"We don’t want compensation, we don’t want to be honored; we want retribution," Taleb said.
He added that SCAF can stay in power until the end of June, as long as it really prosecutes the murderers of the martyrs.
Other protesters echoed Taleb’s demand saying that if SCAF hands over power now to civilian rule, there would be chaos.
Salwa, 53, said that she participated in the march on Friday as a rehearsal for mass protests on Jan. 25.
“We won’t leave our youth alone in these protests," she said.
The protesters agreed to return to the square on Jan. 25 and hold an open sit-in until their demands are met.
Hundreds marched from Giza Square heading towards Tahrir, chanting for the martyrs. “Either we get their rights, or achieve their dream."
They sang the national anthem and chanted "Freedom, Freedom," right before reaching the Square.
Several protesters joined the small protest from Shubra, saying they felt that SCAF failed the revolution.
Abdel-Rahman Ahmed, a high school student, joined the protest on his way home from Friday prayers.
"I don’t want the blood of the martyrs to go in vain. We want the country to be free from oppression and for justice to prevail," Ahmed said.
Eight-year-old Shaden joined her mother in the protests saying she wanted SCAF to leave.
Shaden’s mother Rasha Helmy said she felt she was fooled by SCAF.
"The oppression has increased after SCAF was handed over power and the martyrs have increased," she said.
A screening of SCAF’s violations was expected Friday evening by the 3askar Kazeboon (Military Liars) campaign and Iskenderella band was scheduled to give a live performance.
SCAF has been under fire for committing several violations against protesters since it took power on Feb.11. The military’s crackdown on protests has left around 100 dead since Feb.11.