Unrest in Egypt prompts protest downtown
Published Saturday, August 17, 2013 5:26PM MDT Last Updated Saturday, August 17, 2013 6:29PM MDT
The political turmoil in Egypt has sparked demonstrations around the world and in Calgary protesters gathered in front of City Hall to denounce the violence in their homeland.
The military overthrew President Mohammed Morsi’s government on July 3rd and since then Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters have attacked and torched police stations, churches, shops and homes in retaliation.
Since Morsi was deposed in the military coup, the Brotherhood has stepped up its confrontation with the new leadership, rallying thousands of supporters in sit-ins and vowing not to leave until Morsi is reinstated
On Wednesday, riot police broke up two sit-ins in Cairo by Morsi supporters and more than 600 people were killed and thousands more injured in the clashes.
The military action sparked days of violence that killed 173 people and injured another thousand more.
Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi, who leads the military-backed government, later told journalists that authorities had no choice but to use force in the wake of the recent violence.
"I feel sorry for valuable blood shed," el-Beblawi said. However, he cautioned that there will be no "reconciliation with those whose hands are stained with blood or those who hold weapons against the country's institutions."
On Saturday, Egyptian security forces stormed a Cairo mosque after they got word that another sit-in was being planned by the Brotherhood.
The violence has spurred public anger and in Calgary about 200 members of the Egyptian community protested in front of City Hall on Saturday.
“The military are killing, have been killing innocent protesters who are doing the same thing that we are doing here, “said one man. “We’re lucky to be here to have the freedom of speech, we can express ourselves. We could have different opinions and we won’t be killed for that. There in Egypt unfortunately, what’s happening that people are killed because of their opinions so we’re here to make our fellow Canadians and Calgarians aware of what’s happening there.”
Some are calling on the Canadian government in intervene and say they want international interference to ensure the Egyptian government understands the consequences of its actions.
Others say the Brotherhood needs to be ousted from Egypt.
“This terrorism organization tried to destroy Egypt. Only yesterday they burned 20 churches,” said one woman. “
Foreign Affairs have confirmed that a permanent resident of Canada is among the dead.
Amr Kassem, 24, of Toronto was shot during a protest in Alexandria on Friday.
The military-backed government in Egypt has declared a state of emergency and has announced that it will look at banning the Brotherhood from the country.
(With files from ctvnews.ca)