Protests on Mohamed Mahmoud Street near Tahrir Square have entered their fourth day, as protesters gather in theirs thousands to show their discontent with the government and commemorate the anniversary of lethal clashes on the same street last year. Meanwhile several political groups have called for the violence to stop.
Police occupying the French Lycée Al-Horreya in downtown Cairo have said they are awaiting orders to leave the school and are currently there to protect it. Since Wednesday, security forces occupying the school have used it as a fortification against protesters. Eyewitnesses reported seeing officers throw computers and furniture out of the windows while protesters lit fires.
In response to the school takeover, the students have gone on strike, blaming the headmistress for allowing the police to use the building to beat protesters. On Thursday some demonstrators threw rocks at central security forces (CSF) stationed on the walls of the school, but the protest was generally peaceful.
Since the onset of clashes which began on the anniversary of last year’s Mohamed Mahmoud Street clashes, one protester has been seriously injured, perhaps mortally, and Maha Ma’moun from the No to Military Trials for Civilians movement said they expected up to 100 arrests to take place on Thursday. This latest estimate would put the total arrests at 217 by their count.
Following the shooting of a member of the 6 April Youth Movement and Al-Dostour, Gaber Salah Gaber, the Popular Current and several other political movements declared a protest would be held on Friday, dubbed the Friday of Rage. Salah Gaber was shot in the head and neck, inflicting severe brain damage. He is in a coma and not expected to recover.
Demands set forth by political groups such as Al-Dostour Party and No for Military Trials for Civilians, include bringing to justice those responsible for killing protesters since the start of the revolution and dissolving the Islamist dominated Constituent Assembly. The signatories called for a cessation of violence and a march of unity to perform a funeral prayer for Salah Gaber, followed by “a peaceful march to the Shura Council.” Ma’moun said that the main focus of the march would be to express their political demands and call for an “end to the occupation of the Lycee by Ministry of interior forces.”
Also planning to attend Friday’s protests are the Revolutionary Socialists, the National committee for Change, the Kefaya Movement, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party and the 6 April (Democratic Front).
At the time of writing, tear gas had reportedly been fired toward Tahrir Square. Doctors working in the square said that the number of injured was in the hundreds by Thursday afternoon. Ma’moun said she feared what could happen if the Muslim Brotherhood also protested in the square on Friday, adding that violence would be likely.
Politics editor at Daily News Egypt Twitter: @sara_ab5