14:35 In the upscale Cairo suburb of Maadi, tens of anti-Morsi protesters are joining larger marches, Ahram Online’s Mary Mourad says. Motorists and microbus drivers are honking horns and waving national flags to galvanise the marchers.
14:25 Ahram Online’s Bel Trew notes a significant amount of anti-American sentiment in Tahrir Square, with signs critical of US Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson and banners reading that America is responsible for bloodshed in Egypt. Security is tight on the square with a significant amount of distrust being shown towards foreigners.
14.15 Hatem Bagato, minister for parliamentary affairs and vice president of the High Constitutional Court (HCC), tells reporters that the HCC cannot dismiss the president from office.
On Saturday, the Rebel campaign said it had collected over 22 million signatures, surpassing its original goal of 15 million before 30 June, calling for President Morsi’s removal from office. It said it would give the petition to the head of the HCC to push for legal action. It also reaffirmed its call for the head of the HCC to take power for six months then call fresh presidential elections.
14:00 Military helicopters fly towards Tahrir Square from the direction of Imbaba to applause from some protesters.
13:55 Back up north, protesters in Gharbiya chain up the doors of several city council buildings and erect banners reading “closed on the revolution’s orders.”
In a similar vein, seven city council buildings have been closed by protesters in Menoufiya governorate, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reports.
13:50 In Tanta, capital of the Nile Delta’s Gharbiya governorate, opponents of President Morsi are driving around the streets with microphones calling on people to join protests at the governorate headquarters.
Luxor security directorate announces that it has transferred all those jailed in the local police station to Qena prison due to the risk of violence.
13:45 The 30 June Front announces that open-ended sit-ins have started in front of the presidential palace, in Tahrir Square and in all other major squares across Egypt until President Morsi steps down and all the legitimate demands of the Egyptian people have been answered.
13:40 Back in Tahrir Square, Ahram Online’s Bel Trew speaks to Ayman Mahmoud, 28, about why he is protesting today:
“My brother died in Mohamed Mahmoud Street during the 18 days, he was just 25 years old, his name was Mostafa. If I had the money I’d leave the country and travel abroad because there’s no work, even though I have a degree. Egyptians are currently living in extreme poverty. There has been no justice for my brother’s death. This is not what revolution demanded. I feel like Morsi is living in another world, he’s taken unpopular decisions and continues to say unpopular things like praising the very police force who were responsible for my brother’s death.”
13:35 Unknown assailants storm Ain Shams University, a few miles from the presidential palace, a focal point for today’s opposition rallies.
Assailants fire at security guards and students, causing panic outside the nearby defence ministry where protesters have been holding a sit-in since last week.
13:30 Morsi backers are flocking to the Cairo suburb of Nasr City, where thousands have been camped out since Friday. Morsi supporters say most of the country’s problems were inherited from the corrupt regime of Hosni Mubarak.
13:25 Back in the capital, thousands of protesters have been in Tahrir Square since early Sunday morning. People are waving flags and chanting against Islamist President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. Morsi’s opponents accuse him of betraying the revolution’s ideals and plunging the economy into free fall.
13:20 In the Nile Delta’s Sharqiya protesters are concentrated in the areas surrounding Morsi’s family home, around the governorate headquarters, and in Orabi Square.
Sharqiya governorate’s media office denies reports that protesters have forced the office to close and says its working as normal.
13:10 On Egypt’s north coast, hundreds of protesters are arriving at the Al-Qaed Ibrahim Mosque in Alexandria, a meeting point for rallies in the city, chanting “Leave! Leave!”
Hundreds of anti-Morsi protesters in Ashmoun in the Nile Delta’s Menoufiya governorate have cut off the Cairo-Alexandria agricultural road.
Protesters have also closed off seven city council buildings in the governorate with chains and erected signs reading “Closed by order of the people.”
They have also closed off the governorate’s administration complex.
13:00 Good morning, we open our live coverage of today’s mass protests. Thousands of opponents of President Mohamed Morsi are flooding into Cairo’s Tahrir Square and protest sites across Egypt. Opponents of the president have been camped out at the presidential palace since Friday.
For more background information on the expected rallies, click here.
Egypt is anticipating its biggest wave of protests since the January 25 Revolution, this time calling for Islamist President Morsi to step down and for early presidential elections.
Spearheaded by grassroots Rebel campaign, which says it has collected 22 million signatures calling for the president’s ouster, organisers have vowed an open-ended sit-in until Morsi leaves office.
Several marches will descend on Tahrir Square and the presidential palace in the capital’s Heliopolis Sunday, meanwhile similar rallies are expected in governorates across the country.
Once allies in Tahrir Square for 18 days in 2011, the liberal and leftist parties and groups are preparing for a face-off with the now-ruling Muslim Brotherhood president, his party and a number of Islamist forces who decided to back him in his war for “legitimacy.”
Protests have already been breaking out a week in advance of 30 June in Cairo, Alexandria and several Egyptian governorates, including Daqahliya, Sharqiya and Zagazig.
Fierce clashes broke out in Alexandria, Egypt’s second city, often ending in clashes between the president’s supporters and opponents. This alarmed many activists and politicians who repeatedly called on all parties to remain peaceful.
Islamist forces are currently staging a sit-in at Rabaa Al-Adawiya Mosque in Cairo’s Nasr City that they started on Friday in support of Morsi (see video here). They held a similar rally last week, which numbered in the hundreds of thousands.
Also on Friday, tens of thousands of anti-Morsi protesters gathered in several parts of Cairo and marched on to (see video here) Tahrir Square – the flashpoint of Egypt’s revolution.
The Brotherhood offices have come under attack, with Freedom and Justice Party headquarters in the Nile Delta and Alexandria being firebombed and ransacked, resulting in several deaths.
Against the backdrop of growing violence some are calling on the military to intervene.
Defence Minister Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, for his part, said last week that the armed forces did not want to get involved in politics, however they would come to the streets to prevent Egypt from slipping into a “dark tunnel of civil unrest.”
A day ahead of the mass rallies, Morsi met with his defence and interior ministers Saturday to discuss plans to secure the country.