CAIRO – Riot police fired tear gas as Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi reportedly left his palace during a massive rally by opposition movements against his expanded powers and a much-criticized proposed constitution.
Protesters shoved aside a barbed-wire barricade and minor skirmishes with police were reported.
But overall the demonstration was relatively peaceful. Police and activists – normally adversaries -- gathered and talked around security vans as night fell. The protest, dubbed The Final Warning, was a series of marches from across Cairo that converged on the presidential palace.
“If the people approve of Morsi’s actions, then they are signing on to be slaves,” said Nabil Zaki, an opposition figure outside the palace walls. “We won't negotiate with him anymore. We will hit the streets. Expect a united opposition, expect nationwide strikes, and a working class that will also hit the streets to say ‘No’ to Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.”
The march on the palace was an attempt by protesters to increase pressure on Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood. Morsi angered much of the country last month when he expanded his powers and hurried an Islamist-led constitutional assembly to draft a constitution even as the nation’s highest court was expected to dissolve the body.