“The people demand the execution of the decision” chanted crowds in Tahrir Square Tuesday evening. What started as a show support for President Mohamed Morsy’s decision to reinstate the People’s Assembly, the lower house of parliament, grew into a tens of thousands strong demonstration against the Supreme Constitutional Court’s decision to revoke the president’s move.
The protests gained steam during the early evening, when the sun lowered and the day’s work wrapped up, tensions were already running high in the mid-afternoon. Morsy’s position had long been backed by the Muslim Brotherhood, whose representatives dominated the assembly.
“This parliament is the purest I have seen in all of my 51 years,” shouts a shabbily-dressed man named Adel at a knot of people gathered around him. “Didn’t they win fairly? Why should they be dissolved? We did not give them a chance. We do not want another parliament!”
His views were echoed in the conversations with various groups of people scattered around the square. Since the election of Morsy as President, Tahrir has been more of a home for his supporters than anywhere else, with his opposition finding other niches such as Nasr City.
Adding to the unease were the somewhat inflammatory warnings by the Judges’ Club that gave Morsy 36 hours to reverse his decisions or else he would be “confronted.” The responses among Morsy supporters ranged from perplexity to outrage.
“If I wanted to solve a problem with you, I’d take you aside, go to the ahwa or speak nicely. I would not want to embarrass you,” an elderly bearded man named Sheikh Hamid tells me. “How can a bunch of felool [remnants of the old regime] judges tell our president he has a deadline to do what they want? How can they speak to him like this? It’s disrespectful.”
Tension heighted as the new president’s first substantive decision was revoked.
There was no shortage of anger though, as Tahrir Square began to fill up during the early evening Tuesday. Most of the anger was directed at the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) and the judiciary, who Morsy supporters perceived as corrupt and entrenched in Egyptian affairs due to the restrictions placed on Morsy and any unilateral action on his part.