Saturday, May 18, 2013

New 'Rebel' movement in Egypt aims at the fall of president Morsi

A report was filed on Wednesday to the Supreme State Security Prosecution accusing the Tamarod campaign of attempting to overthrow the regime. (Photo courtesy of Tamrod Facebook Page)
Copies of the Tamrod petition
Thousands of protesters converged on Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday to join a planned rally in solidarity with the recently-launched Tamrod ("Rebel") campaign, which aims at "withdrawing confidence" from Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and bringing about early presidential elections.
Hundreds of marchers coming from Sayyeda Zeinab Mosque and Mostafa Mahmoud Mosque arrived in the square, before hundreds more arrived from Shubra, carrying mock coffins and raising aloft crosses in a symbolic gesture of remembrance of recent victims of sectarian violence.
The Tamrod movement is a new phenomenon in Egypt, but the word Tamrod is the new buzz word in opposition circles. It all started with three activists from the Kefaya movement, an opposition group which has been calling for political reform since 2005. The movement wanted to organize a strong street action against the deteriorating political and economic conditions. The founders recruited volunteers from different political backgrounds, drafted a petition and declared the birth of the movement on May Day. Since then, it has been a huge success. In a news conference last week, Tamarod claimed that in less than 10 days it collected more than 2 million signatures through the efforts of its volunteers in the streets, and via the online form of the petition.
The movement has headquarters in Cairo, organizers in every governorate, and a strong network of volunteers, whose numbers significantly increased after the National Salvation Front, the April 6 Youth Movement, the Constitution Party, the  Egyptian Conference party and many other Muslim Brotherhood adversaries officially joined the movement.
Legally the significance of collecting signatures is doubtful to say the last, according to the constitution it will remain without results as far as Morsi's term as president is concerned. But the impact of a mass campaign like this one may book results in another way. Hasan Nafa'a, professor of political science at Cairo University, is an outspoken supporter of Tamarod and he points at a petition in 2010, the National Awareness Campaign, which in vain tried to influence then president Mubarak to organize free elections and political reform. The campaign of 2010 didn’t topple the regime, but it did spread unprecedented levels of involvement and awareness in the streets, according to Nafa'a. ''And today the opposition must use all and every peaceful means of resistance against a regime that betrayed the values of the revolution".   

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