Update: High Court protests end early Friday evening

Opposition activists have called an end to Friday’s protests in Tahrir Square and at the Cairo High Court, fearing the outbreak of possible clashes. The organizers of the demonstration issued a statement declaring that the demonstration had delivered the intended message.

Dozens of activists had marched from Tahrir Square to the High Court late Friday afternoon, demanding the fall of President Mohamed Morsy, the dissolution of the Muslim Brotherhood and Prosecutor General Talaat Abdallah’s dismissal.

Protesters raised Egyptian clover (a symbol of what they call the animal-like nature of Brotherhood officials) and Egyptian flags emblazoned with the phrases, “How dare you be so wrong?” and “People are hungry under your rule, Morsy.”

Calm prevailed in Tahrir today, and eight tents remained in the square after anonymous assailants had attacked the sit-in there on Thursday, attempting to open Tahrir to traffic.

In addition to the march, dozens more staged a protest in the square, raising photographs of late President Gamal Abdel Nasser, and banners reading: “The people want to bring down the regime” and “Execute the killer.”

At the High Court, minor altercations broke out when some protesters began chanting for army rule, saying: “The army is ours, the supreme guide is not.” Other demonstrators objected to the chants.

Hundreds of Central Security Forces were deployed to the High Court’s main lobby mid-Friday afternoon, reinforcing the already heavy security presence in place since this morning. The officers carried sticks and batons, acting under the supervision of Cairo Security Directorate leaders to respond to potential outbreaks of violence during today’s protest.

All doors to the building were closed, and one fire truck was stationed nearby.

Traffic bottlenecked on Galaa and 26 July Streets as hundreds of demonstrators continued to flock to the area, assembling in front of the prosecutor general’s office in the court complex.

Security sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm that personnel had been ordered to exercise self-restraint when dealing with demonstrators in order to prevent clashes. However, should there be any attempts to storm the building or any rioting should occur, the security forces would deal with the perpetrators swiftly, the sources cautioned.

They added that special forces were also assisting in securing the High Court.

Dozens of protesters began gathering outside the High Court earlier on Friday afternoon in preparation for a protest they called, "We are not to be intimidated."

They chanted, "We will not go, he shall go," "The people want to bring down the regime," "I am not a coward, I am not a Brother," "Morsy, leave" and "Secular, secular, we do not want a Brotherhood [state]."

Central Security Forces trucks arrived at the scene, transporting security personnel who were deployed inside the High Court building and on its balconies overlooking bystreets.

A protester raised a banner reading, "We will shut it [the court] down by the name of people." Others raised Egyptian flags that read, "Protect Egypt," and "25 January is the day of freedom."

Security officers stood at the High Court's main door, while street vendors flocked to the area to sell flags and hats.

Several youth movements announced Tuesday that they would perform Friday prayers outside the prosecutor general’s office at the High Court in Cairo.

They are demanding the dismissal of Prosecutor General Talaat Abdallah, Justice Minister Ahmed Mekki and Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim after Abdallah issued arrest warrants for five activists accused of inciting clashes near the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in Moqattam last week.  

They also called for the public prosecution to summon Brotherhood members involved in violent incidents around Moqattam and the Ettehadiya President Palace, and accused the judiciary of bias.

Representatives of 12 youth groups, including the Dostour Party, Free Egyptians Party, the Kefaya Movement, the Second Revolution of Anger and Maspero Youth Union, held a meeting Tuesday at the Youth for Freedom and Justice Movement headquarters to discuss their Friday plans.

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