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Mass Protests in Egypt Demand that Morsi Go Home

Wed, December 5, 2012

Protestors estimated at 100,000 strong in Cairo alone have vowed not to leave the streets until Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi rescinds his latest decree granting himself powers over every branch of the government two weeks ago.

In addition to gathering Tahrir Square, protestors marched on the presidential palace Tuesday night where they broke through the barbed wire surrounding the building and flung chairs and rocks at police guarding Morsi’s place of work.

Morsi left through a back door at the end of his work day.

Police initially responded with tear gas but eventually withdrew behind fences and stopped confronting the protestors. The protests continued peacefully into the night.

In Menia, south of Cairo, violent protests broke out in front of Morsi’s party headquarters. The building was damaged and at least 10 protestors were injured.

Morsi has pushed through a draft constitution that protestors say will take away basic human rights, especially to women and religious minorities, and facilitate the use of Sharia as the law of the land.

The committee that drafted the Constitution was heavily weighted with Islamists. The draft will be put to a popular vote December 15, but opponents say the vote will be immaterial and that the outcome has already been “decided.”  Oppponents of the Constitution have yet to say whether or not they will participate in the vote, saying that the Constitution is worded unfairly and is yet another attempt by Morsy to seize more power.

The media, which has also been targeted by Morsi, joined in with a “silent protest.” Dozens of newspapers did not publish on Tuesday and four  satellite channels were expect to go off the air Wednesday.