In cities around Egypt, protesters march to demand civilian rule

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CAIRO/ALEXANDRIA: Demonstrators in governorates around Egypt organized marches and protests on Friday, reiterating chants against military rule.

Dubbed “Friday of Dignity,” protesters commemorated the anniversary of last year’s "Friday of Anger," which fell on Jan. 28 and witnessed the bloodiest confrontation with police forces during the early days of the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.

In Alexandria, thousands of protesters along with martyrs’ families began marching after Friday prayers from Al-Qaed Ibrahim Mosque, demanding a swift handover to an elected civilian rule.

Chanting "We don’t want it military, we want it civilian" and "Martyr rest in peace, we will continue the struggle," protesters divided themselves into four groups, each taking a new route in order for the march to reach out to more citizens around the city and make them aware of the demands, said activist Abdel Rahman El-Rewebshy, part of Mohamed ElBaradei’s campaign.

Around 3,000 protesters marched towards downtown and poorer areas of the city, while another one consisting of around 5,000 marched towards the Northern Military Compound. As soon as they arrived, they split and one of the marches headed towards Victor Amanowiel Square, where a sit-in is taking place.

Others marched to the television building, and member of the Revolutionary Socialists Ahmed Mamdouh said the purpose was to protest there and not for any kid of escalation.

Geologist Mohamed Shawky, 28, told Daily News Egypt that the ability to end military rule before drafting the constitution depends mainly on the level of the protests that may force the Egyptian army to choose between the people and the ruling military council.

A group of martyrs’ families raised photos of their sons and recounted stories of how they were killed on Jan. 28 of last year.

In Damietta, thousands toured the streets across the city, starting from El-Sherbasy Mosque to Al-Sa’aa Square, according to activist Mohamed Mansour.

In Tanta, thousands marched around the city demanding justice for the martyrs of the revolution. There were also chants in solidarity with April 8 army officers who were arrested after joining protesters in Tahrir last year.

Aswan saw a large march which started from Mansour Mosque and headed towards El-Mahatta Square before marching to the central military compound where they also chanted against military rule.

Meanwhile in Qena, thousands demonstrated in front of Nagaa Hammadi police station, according to activist Ahmed El-Badry.

In Sohag, protesters gathered in Al-Thakafa Square while in Assiut, some marched across the city and later set up a data show as part of the "3askar Kazeboon" (Military Liars) campaign.

Protests also took place in Mansoura, Port Said, Qaliubiya and Ismailia.

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