A number of political opposition and activist groups have called for a demonstration in Tahrir Square in Egypt's capital, Cairo, on October 19.
Protesters are expected to march from various areas in the city including the Mohandiseen, Shubra and Sayyeda Zeinab districts to Tahrir Square during the course of the day. The Tahrir Square gathering is expected to begin after Friday prayers.
During the evening, marches are planned from the square to the Shura Council headquarters and the Presidential Palace in Heliopolis. The protest has been called to denounce violence at a protest gathering in Tahrir Square on October 12 and to demand a constitution which represents all Egyptians. The Muslim Brotherhood has announced that it will not participate in the protest.
The October 19 protests were called after violent clashes between anti- and pro-Muslim Brotherhood supporters in central Cairo on October 12, which left a number of people wounded. The opposition and activist groups blamed the violence on Brotherhood supporters. The Brotherhood dismissed the allegations initially but has since stated that some of its members were involved in the clashes.
In addition, secular and activist groups are concerned that a draft constitution recently compiled by the Constituent Assembly does not provide sufficient rights for minorities in the country. There has also been widespread criticism of the composition of the constitution drafting body which is made up predominantly of Islamists. The October 19 protest is likely to attract a large number of people; however, the non-participation of the Muslim Brotherhood and its recent statement taking partial blame for the violence may reduce numbers considerably. In addition to the planned protests in Cairo, similar demonstrations may be held elsewhere in the country, including in Alexandria. But there remains a high threat of confrontations at the gatherings on October 19. The threat increases if pro-government supporters gather near the planned protest sites.
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