Thousands of protesters are converging on Tahrir Square from various points around Cairo to protest President Mohamed Morsy’s constitutional declaration, as one protester was reported to have died after fainting from teargas exposure.
Dozens of parties and civil society groups had called for the protests after Morsy’s declaration last Thursday significantly expanding his powers and declaring the Constituent Assembly and Shura Council immune from judicial review.
A march starting in the Shubra neighborhood north of Cairo, led by former presidential candidate Khaled Ali, arrived in the square late Tuesday afternoon. Earlier news reports had said that Constitution Party leader Mohamed ElBaradei would lead the march.
The classic chants of the revolution came back in loud roars, with protesters shouting "The people want to bring down the regime," as well as newer slogans such as "Bread, freedom, down with Constituent Assembly."
As he watched the march pass, one passer-by said, "It's over. Tahrir is already full; Morsy will fall tonight."
Protesters stressed that their large numbers prove false the Brotherhood's claim that they represent the majority, chanting, "They said we're a minority' we showed them a million man march."
They also addressed Morsy, chanting, "Shave your beard and show your shame, you'll find that your face is Mubarak's face," pegging the current Islamist president to former President Hosni Mubarak.
Several other political parties also participated in the march, including the Free Egyptians party, The Social Democratic Party, Adl Party, Socialist Popular Alliance Party and the Revolutionary Socialists Movement. Protesters chanted “Leave, leave” and “the people want to bring down the regime.”
Activist and Constitution Party member Abdel Rahman Mansour said that the opposition is finally able to rally masses to the streets after a long period of failures.
“Now I can say the myth that the opposition doesn’t know how to mobilize is gone forever. ...Welcome to the new Egypt,” Mansour tweeted.
Hundreds of political forces including April 6 Youth Movement, Free Egyptians Party, Egyptian Social Democratic Party, Constitution Party and Tagammu Party, also gathered Tuesday evening outside the al-Fateh Mosque to begin marching to Tahrir. Protesters raised flags for their political parties and banners rejecting the constitutional declaration.
Free Egyptians Party secretary general in Ain Shams Mohamed al-Koumy said the march calls on Morsy to cancel the declaration. "We will bring down the regime if he does not respond. We will stage a sit-in, then announce a general strike."
"We brought Mubarak's regime down in 18 days and we will knock Morsy and his group over in less than that."
Dozens of engineers belonging to the independent engineers' movement also marched from the union's headquarters to Tahrir, demanding the cancellation of the declaration and the withdrawal of engineering sector representatives from the Constituent Assembly.
The engineers chanted against Muslim Brotherhood and its Supreme Guide Mohamed Badei, while raising banners supporting the judiciary and rejecting the declaration.
Former candidate for Engineers Syndicate head Tareq al-Nabarawy told Al-Masry Al-Youm that Egyptian engineers reject the declaration. He added the statement of the official Brotherhood-majority Engineers Syndicate council supporting the declaration was "a lie and forgery of the engineers' will."
Another march against the declaration comprising hundreds of Tourism Support Coalition members headed to Tahrir from the Hilton Ramses Hotel, with protesters "bread, freedom, bringing down the [Constituent] Assembly."
Coalition coordinator Ehab Moussa said, "Morsy's latest decisions harm the tourism sector and investments in Egypt. Investors will run away after their trust in the Egyptian judiciary is shaken."
Meanwhile, a protester was reported dead Tuesday as a result of the protests.
Talaat Fahmy said Fatehy Gharib, 60, from Matareya, died Tuesday in a downtown hospital of teargas exposure.
“The security forces threw tear gas near the Socialist Popular Alliance Party’s tent in front of the Mugamma, after which Fatehy fainted,” Fahmy told Al-Masry Al-Youm.
“Fatehy was transferred to the intensive care unit at Helal Hospital where his death was announced 15 minutes later,” Fahmy said. “They killed him with tear gas. I am on my way to the hospital and lawyers are on their way to submit a complaint about the incident.”
The marches from neighborhoods throughout Cairo join thousands of protesters already in the square, chanting, “The people demand the fall of the regime,” “Down with the [Brotherhood] Supreme Guide’s rule” and “Mohamed Morsy is Mubarak.”
University students and retired officers were also present in the square, and a Wafd Party march led by party head Al-Sayed al-Badawy had set off from its headquarters towards Tahrir.
“The constitutional declaration is an assault on statehood and the rule of law,” said Mohamed Shaaban, a lawyer. “The president is seeking seize all powers, but the people will not remain silent until he moves back.”
Dozens of students affiliated with political parties also marched across Ain Shams University to the Tahrir protests, raising banners reading, “No to the new constitutional declaration.” Some students said they would take the metro to join a march staged from Cairo University.
Meanwhile, dozens of Muslim Brotherhood students distributed statements at Ain Shams University reading, “The main goal of the recent constitutional declaration is Egyptians’ interests, in order to hold retrials of protesters’ killers and allocate pensions to the injured and martyrs, as part of their rights.”