Egypt: Marchers in Cairo call for release of detainees

Anna Livingstone reports from Cairo

On Sunday 6 May in Cairo well over 1000 people joined the demonstration from the High Court to Parliament in protest at the violence, arrests and killing by the military and those reported to be in their pay, of protesters at Abbasiya on the previous Wednesday and Friday where Salafists and progressive forces had been protesting about the banning of a Salafist candidate from the presidential election.

This was a vibrant and assertive protest, mainly of young people, many women as well as men and indeed some children, with a strong socialist presence and slogans for continuing the revolution. Doctors and medical students were well represented, following an earlier well attended medical demonstration that day. They are amongst students most involved in the revolutionary movement, having provided medical support at protests throughout the revolution of January 11, and among whom the violence has taken its toll. State medical services are under attack from privatization and wages are so low that doctors tend to go abroad to earn a living wage for the future.

The protesters were watched by army with tanks, and helmeted defence forces, as they tore down the barbed wire barricades which for months have blocked the Qasr el Aini Road past Parliament and Government buildings against demonstrations.

Earlier in the day, women detainees from Abbasiya were released as the military seemed to back off a little from a confrontation that many suggested might be engineered to force the postponement of potentially democratic elections.

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