Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Belfast City Hall rally supports Egyptian demonstrators

In this photo taken Saturday, Jan.29, 2011, a crowd demonstrate in Alexandria, Egypt. Thousands of Alexandrians met to pray Sunday Jan 30 in downtown Alexandria, a Mediterranean port city that is a stronghold of the Muslim Brotherhood. After prayers, the crowd marched towards the city's old mosque to pray for the souls of those who died in the protests.(AP Photo/Tarek Fawzi)
An anti-government protester cries out after seeing the body of another who was shot by police moments before, in Tahrir square in downtown Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011. Thousands of anti-government protesters returned to Cairo's central Tahrir Square, chanting slogans against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and demanding his departure. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Egyptians protestors clash with anti-riot policemen in Suez, Egypt, Thursday, Jan.27, 2011. Egyptian activists protested for a third day as social networking sites called for a mass rally in the capital Cairo after Friday prayers, keeping up the momentum of the country's largest anti-government protests in years. (AP Photo)

Protesters gathered outside Belfast’s City Hall yesterday to show their solidarity for Egypt’s anti-government demonstrations.

Waving placards reading “united against injustice”, the group protested for several hours and handed out leaflets to passers-by.

Made up almost entirely of health professionals, university lecturers and businessmen, the group stressed the protests across Egypt, which have entered a sixth day of tension, had always intended to be peaceful.

The group led by Iraqi national Dr Raied Al-Wazzan, secretary of south Belfast’s Islamic Centre, called for President Mubarek to step down.

Consultant surgeon Mohie El-Din Omar said: “This is not a political coup by secret arrangement, we are affiliated to no particular party, we don’t want looting or rioting. Egypt is a peaceful country, and it was always meant to be an entirely peaceful protest. That is the beauty of it.”

The protests in Cairo were organised largely online, on social networking and micro-blogging sites, Facebook and Twitter.

Activists had called for a “day of revolt” on January 25 on the websites, meaning the government was pre-warned of the events.

“It is the first time in history that a regime knows the time and date of the revolution but they could not stop it,” Dr Omar continued.

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