Activists flock to Tahrir Square to protest against military rule

Activists continued to flock to Tahrir Square on Sunday to protest against the mismanagement of the transitional phase and return of pre-revolution police practices, joining hundreds of protesters gathered at the birthplace of the 25 January uprising.

A huge rally is now on its way to Tahrir from Cairo University’s Faculty of Medicine in Giza to support the protesters, said the April 6 Youth Movement on its Facebook page, as well as a number of activists on Twitter.

In Tahrir Square, the protesters chanted slogans such as "leave, leave" and "the people want to topple the field marshal" in reference to Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, head of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

Regaining the 25 January spirit, social networking activists posted tips on how to avoid the effects of tear gas. The gas was used heavily by police during last night’s clashes, which resulted in the deaths of at least two protesters and the injuries of over 760.

Activists also called on the Egyptian people to supply the field hospital located near the edge of Tahrir Square with medical supplies to treat injured protesters. The field hospital has been receiving increasing amounts of first aid and other medical supplies from citizens supportive of the protesters' cause.

Meanwhile, security forces continue to fire tear gas at protesters filling the streets leading to the Interior Ministry, specifically Mohamed Mahmoud Street and Sheikh Rihan Street. Protesters have responded by throwing rocks and setting tires on fire.

Clashes continued between protesters and Central Security Forces as protesters continued their attempts to reach the Interior Ministry building from Qasr al-Aini Street and Mohamed Mahmoud Street. All streets leading to Tahrir Square have been closed to traffic.

Israa Abdel Fattah, an activist with the April 6 Youth Movement, blamed the escalation of events in downtown Cairo on the security forces that have been clashing violently with protesters since Friday evening.

Journalist Youssef al-Husseini said he was participating in the protests out of a personal desire to demand an end to military rule and the formation of a national salvation government.

Even though most Salafi parties and the Muslim Brotherhood did not urge their followers to join the Tahrir sit-in, some of them joined the protest anyway.

"I’m in Tahrir becasue the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) is dragging its feet on handing over power to civilians," said Ahmed Mostafa, 31, a member of the Salafi-led Nour Party. "It seems as if the SCAF is telling Islamists to choose between accepting Deputy Prime Minister Ali al-Selmy’s supra-constitutional principles document and postponing the parliamentary elections."

The Revolutionary Socialists and No to Military Trials Campaign took part in Sunday's demonstrations.

Revolutionary Socialists member Youssef Ahmed said, "In order for the sit-in to succeed, there is a need for popular consensus over rejecting the SCAF's continued hold on power."

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