Tens of thousands mark revolution’s first anniversary in Alexandria

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ALEXANDRIA: Tens of thousands of protesters in Alexandria marked the first anniversary of the Jan. 25 uprising as five marches met in front of Al-Qeddesine Church chanting against military rule.

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood camped in front of Al-Qaed Ibrahim Mosque celebrating the success of the revolution and promising to continue to achieve its demands, without raising any chants against the military rulers.

"Many are saying we achieved nothing which is denying God’s gifts to us," the mosque’s imam, Ahmed El-Mahallawy said addressing the crowd.

"Build your country, never stop working, and never vandalize an institution. We have been living under the military rule for 60 years which makes us hungry for achievements," he added.

The MB raised a large banner outlining the achievements of the revolution, listing the ouster of Mubarak, dissolving the National Democratic Party, dissolving the municipal councils and disbanding the state security apparatus.

But protesters marching across the city had their own lists of demands.

"I’m protesting to call for early presidential elections, we do not want the constitution to be written under military rule," said activist Ahmed Moustafa, 28.

"I also demand trying members of the military council for the crimes they committed as well as justice for the martyrs," he added.

A scuffle took place between a group of 20 protesters with MB members when the former attempted to chant against the military. The protesters left Al-Qaed Ibrahim Mosque and joined another march.

Boushra El-Selmy, coordinator of the arts and culture committee of the MB’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), told Daily News Egypt that she is working on keeping the revolution alive until it achieves all the demands. The first step was electing the parliament, she said.

"The parliament is elected, the emergency law is lifted, we have seen free and fair elections, and now a fact-finding committee will be formed by the parliament [to investigate the case of the martyrs and the injured of the revolution]," she added.

The biggest march led by workers started 60 meters away from the Corniche in Hakaneya Court in downtown Alexandria.

Marches by students also joined, in addition to one from Al-Qeddesine Church, which witnessed a deadly bombing last year. Protesters headed to the Northern Military Compound.

Members of the MB left at 6 pm while around 3,000 protesters camped in Victor Amanowail Square and started a data show as part of the 3askar Kazeboon (Military Liars) campaign, but a decision whether to stay for a sit-in was not taken until press time.

Coordinator of Youth for Freedom and Justice Movement Mohamed Abdel Salam, 23, told DNE that he is protesting for three demands.

"I have a political demand which is to hand over power to the elected parliament and calling for presidential elections in 60 days and writing the constitution afterwards," said Abdel Salam.

"Another social demand is to set a minimum and a maximum wage and to renationalize 1,000 factories and companies that were illegally privatized [under ousted president Hosni Mubarak] as well as putting on trial those who killed our martyrs either before or after the revolution," he added.

Sherif Mohy, an employee in a real estate company, 22, told DNE that he has not seen major changes in the past year except for the parliamentary elections.

"The emergency law is still active, SCAF is lying to us [by using thuggery as an exception to use the emergency law], in addition to the fact that families of the martyrs have not seen justice until now," Mohy said.

"As long as police forces are not prosecuted for the crimes they committed against Egyptians and still doing their jobs, they will continue to kill the people with no consideration," he added.

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