The Guardian reports: More than 100,000 people took to the streets of Cairo on Tuesday to protest against a decree by the Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, that grants him sweeping constitutional powers.
Columns of protesters from all over the Egyptian capital descended on Tahrir Square, the focus of the January 2011 revolution, in numbers that rivalled the rallies in the 18-day protest that toppled the authoritarian ruler Hosni Mubarak.
“Dictator” was the word being used to describe Morsi’s new status after last Thursday’s decree, which grants the immunity for the president from judicial review as well protecting a controversial constitutional assembly dominated by the group he is affiliated with, the Muslim Brotherhood.
“Today’s protests are to overthrow oppression and stand up to the new dictatorship of Morsi, his decree and a constitution far removed from the revolution,” said Haytham Mohamedeen of the Egyptian Revolutionary Socialists movement. “He has to back down. The revolution and the streets will dictate what he will do. If he stands in the way of the revolution he will share the same fate as Mubarak.”
Other marchers – who took to the streets in numbers similar to those that toppled Mubarak – called for Morsi not merely to rescind his decree but to step down from the presidency. The chant of the 2011 revolution – “The people want to bring down the regime” – was echoed in other major Egyptian cities, including Alexandria and Suez. [Continue reading…]