While deposed President Mohamed Morsi’s supporters began marches around Cairo and as their opponents took to the streets in response to an army call for support to fight terrorism, a small group of people opposed to both camps made their position known in Sphinx Square.
They refer to themselves as “the Third Square.” In a leaflet distributed in the protest they describe themselves as “a group of Egyptians who protested on January 25 against the corruption of the [Hosni] Mubarak state … protested against [former head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces Field Marshal Hussein] Tantawi’s men who gave the army a bad name during the transitional period and protested against Morsi and religious fascism in order to call for early elections.”
The leaflet says that they are protesting today against the army playing a role in politics and against “the defense minister calling for an authorization to kill Egyptians on the pretext of fighting terrorism when fighting terrorism does not require a mandate because that is the duty of the Armed Forces.”
One of the protesters, Ahmed Adel, director of an NGO, said, “we are a group of young people whose views are not represented either in Tahrir Square or Rabaa al-Adaweya.” Tahrir Square is where pro-army protesters are gathering, while Rabea al-Adaweya is a site of a sit-in of Morsi supporters.
He was critical of Egyptians being forced to choose between two camps “just because the Muslim Brotherhood failed,” saying that he wants neither “religious fascism nor the army.” He said that many people will not protest today because neither camp represents them.
Another protester, Marwa Ibrahim, said, “I refused the June 30 coup not because I loved Morsi, but because it was a violation of revolutionary legitimacy. We want a civilian president.” Ibrahim said that a priority for her is justice for martyrs killed in the last three years.
Adel said that “[Armed Forces Chief Commander Abdel Fattah al-] Sisi shouldn’t have thrown the Constitution and the elected institutions in the bin. He shouldn’t have resorted to these speedy measures.”
Today’s protests following more than two weeks of clashes between supporters of the president who was deposed by the army on July 3 and his opponents.