Hundreds of artists march to Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Tuesday to join nationwide demonstrations to demand President Morsi’s ouster.
Published in Ahram Online
Egyptian artists gathered once again outside the culture ministry in Cairo’s Tamale district, later walking towards Tahrir Square to join a massive crowd gathered there. Protesters’ demanded that President Mohamed Morsi step down and that the Muslim Brotherhood be removed from power.
Though this time smaller in size, the march still counted several hundreds and was met with cheers by passers-by as the crowd walked through 26 July Street, through Saray El-Gezira Street along the Nile towards Qasr El-Nil Bridge from where it entered Tahrir Square.
The march included artists of all generations and fields: filmmakers, theatre makers, musicians and visual artists, among others. The protesters were led by a car with speakers, as artists sang patriotic songs and stopped occasionally to sing the Egyptian national anthem.
Some professional singers took the mike and led protesters in the songs.
As the march advanced, artists’ chants included “People want the removal of the regime” and “The people removed the regime.”
The latter chant was prompted by a Monday statement by the Egyptian Armed Forces, which gave political forces 48 hours to comply with opposition demands or face an army-imposed ‘roadmap’ out of the crisis.
Most protesters interpreted the statement as reflecting the army’s decision to remove Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood from power.
Other chants, repeated at many protests and marches, include: “Erhal means ‘go,’ you who doesn’t understand,” “Egypt is a secular country,” “Revolution continues,” and “They said freedom and they said justice, but the Brotherhood trades in religion.”
As the march approached Qasr Al-Nil Bridge, it was met with a large crowd of protesters from the Gezira Club and other protest groups. Army vehicles that passed on the street in between the marches were met with cheers.
As protests continue, independent artists announced their willingness to hold a variety of musical events to take place outside the presidential palace, another venue for anti-Morsi protests. On Monday, well-known rock band ‘Cairokee’ performed on the stage erected at the location.
For artists and intellectuals, Tuesday’s march to Tahrir was the second march within two days. On 30 June, the number of artists and intellectuals who marched was in the thousands.
Artists banged clogs together on Shagaret El-Dor Street outside Egypt’s culture ministry in Cairo, a reference to 13th-century Egyptian ruler Shagaret El-Dor, who was beaten to death by slaves wielding wooden clogs.