Tens of thousands rally in Cairo to save the revolution and purify the country
Tens of thousands of Egyptians gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square Friday, issuing calls to "save the revolution" that ousted president Hosni Mubarak and to rid of the country of the old regime.
The Youth Coalition Movement, an umbrella grouping those who launched the uprising against Mubarak, called this week for a new demonstration to demand judgment of the corrupt and those who fired live rounds on protesters. The young pro-democracy activists also want the country's institutions purged of members of the former ruling National Democratic Party as well as the restitution of "the millions stolen from the people".
Protesters chanted "The people want to purify the country" and "Marshal, Marshal, legitimacy stems from Tahrir." They were referring to Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces who is de facto head of state since 18 days of popular protests forced Mubarak to resigned on February 11.
Friday's weekly Muslim prayers in Tahrir Square were attended by 15,000 people, according to state news agency MENA, but in the afternoon twice as many protesters thronged the central Cairo plaza.
Egyptian courts have forbidden several former ministers, politicians and businessmen from leaving the country, as well as freezing their assets pending the findings of an enquiry into corruption and embezzlement.
Mubarak and his family were bound by the same restrictions in February.
Nevertheless, pro-democracy activists say they fear a return to the past and the "confiscation" of the revolution.