Over 200,000 Egyptians from across the political spectrum came together in Cairo’s Tahrir Square this evening to protest a recent decree by President Mohamed Morsi that opposition activists call a “constitutional coup.” The Islamist leader’s declaration, issued last Thursday, grants him unchecked powers to, in his words, “protect the country and the goals of the revolution.” It also shields the Muslim Brotherhood-led constituent assembly from judicial challenges. Although certain elements of the president’s edict—an article permitting re-opened investigations of Mubarak-era officials charged with violently repressing protests—are welcomed by much of the country, the decree is largely seen as an authoritarian power grab echoing the former president’s 30-year rule.
Yesterday, Morsi’s spokesman reassured the public that the president was retreating from aspects of his decree, and would use his executive power judiciously, though no concrete changes were put forward. Egyptians were clearly not mollified, as today’s protests demonstrate.
The above video was produced by Mosireen, a Cairo-based independent media collective formed during last year’s revolution. It documents street protests in the two days following Morsi’s decree, leading up to today’s massive rallies in the capital and across the country. Click “CC” for English subtitles.