Voices from Egypt

Protesters from pro and anti-government camps share their views on the escalating crisis.

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    Voices from Egypt
    A pro-President Morsi protester shouts slogans near Cairo University after deadly overnight clashes [EPA]

    Cairo, Egypt - Anti-government demonstrators arrived in the thousands to Tahrir Square on Wednesday, denouncing President Mohamed Morsi and awaiting a military response to his tumultuous rule over the past year.

    The mood was upbeat as protesters discussed Morsi's loss of political allies, including six of his ministers who recently resigned from his government.

    A woman held a large sign demanding Morsi leave "because there is no water, because there is no electricity, because there is no gas, because there is no petrol." Asked who could fix these problems, she replied that said she didn't know.

    Pro-Morsi protesters, meanwhile, gathered at a square in front of Cairo University, only a few kilometres away from where clashes the night before killed 18 people and wounded about 200 others.

    The area was cordoned off with metal barriers with entrances were guarded by men demanding identification documents and inspecting passers-by.

    The square looked like a war zone with pavement hacked apart to be thrown at opponents. Pro-Morsi demonstrators shouted slogans including "We've come here for Allah" and "We're not afraid, we won't give in, even if they use rubber bullets." Pictures of Morsi were draped over a wooden speaking platform and tents for sleeping.

    Anti-Morsi demonstrators

    Mahmoud Hussein, driver

    We have the army with us. Morsi told us he is legitimate but we have millions in the streets. The armed forces will make a statement tonight and god willing we will have a new president.

    Saber Helmy, tea seller

    I want Morsi to come to Shubra [area], we have no water, no electricity. Only because of this [selling tea], because of the people here, maybe I make enough money to live. We have nothing. He promised to make things better and he hasn't.

    Ahmed Abdel Rahman, engineering student

    [President] Obama's statement is not enough. They [the US] covered up for the Brotherhood for a year, even after Morsi forced through the constitution. And until now he hasn't told Morsi to step down.

    Pro-Morsi protesters

    Mohammed Ali, 30, Cairo-based bank employee

    We will never resort to violence. It was them yesterday who attacked us. You don't see us attacking those in Tahrir Square. So do they want to keep changing a president every year? This is not the democracy they asked for. Morsi came through polling boxes and it's his right, and the right of his supporters, that he completes his four-year tenure.

    Hala Mohi el-Din, 48, housewife

    I will not accept the army's coup. It does not matter who the president is. I am not here for Islam, but to support democracy, and the army's intervention is unacceptable. Morsi's only mistake was that he did not use an iron fist against the opposition from the beginning.

    Jihan Mohammed, petroleum-sector employee

    Morsi's ouster will lead to massive bloodshed. We don't want this for Egypt, and this is why I'm here. The military's ultimatum has emboldened the opposition against its ruler. The army should now force the opposition to accept dialogue to save Egypt from an inevitable violence.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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