Egypt braces for nationwide protests
Egypt braced for a day of nationwide anti-government protests yesterday, with organisers counting on the Tunisian uprising to inspire crowds to mobilise for political and economic reforms.
Celebrities, football supporters and opposition movements have said they will join the protests, and tens of thousands have said on a Facebook page created to advertise the demonstrations that they will participate.
Protests will kick off at 2:00pm local time at several locations in the capital and across the country, in a day dubbed "the day of revolt against torture, poverty, corruption and unemployment."
The call was first launched by pro-democracy youth group the April 6 movement, to coincide with a national holiday to celebrate Police Day.
Among demands are the ouster of Interior Minster Habib al-Adly, whose police and security forces have been accused of heavy-handedness; the removal of the decades-old emergency law and a rise in minimum wages.
The controversial law, which gives police wide powers was renewed in 2010 for a further two years.
The interior ministry has warned that it would deal "firmly" with all those who behave illegally.
Tunisian grievances have been echoed throughout the Arab world, whose mainly autocratic leaders were unnerved by events in Tunisia.