Activists launch campaign against Protest Law
Demonstration against the Protest Law

Members of several political movements held a press conference on the stairs of the Journalists Syndicate Thursday night to announce a series of actions opposing the Protest Law.

Ratified last November, the controversial Protest Law has imposed severe restrictions on the right of assembly, including an article requiring a permit from the Ministry of Interior for any assembly of over ten people in a public space.

According to the activists, more than 1,000 people have been arrested for breaking the law since it was issued.

Representatives of movements including the April 6 Youth Movement and the Revolutionary Socialists announced that their street actions would culminate in a protest at the Ettehadiya Presidential Palace on April 26. They demanded that interim President Adly Mansour — who currently holds legislative power — annul the contentious law.

Other forces taking part include the Freedom for the Brave Movement, the Revolutionaries Front, the Popular Current Party, the Egyptian Current Party, the Strong Egypt Party and the Bread and Freedom Party.

“The state promotes this law as a way to protect the country from chaos, but it actually aims at protecting corruption from the revolution,” prominent Revolutionary Socialists member Haytham Mohamadeen asserted during the press conference.

The planned actions include a marathon next Saturday under the slogan, “The street is ours, no to the Protest Law,” as well as a student action to demand that dozens of recently arrested students be set free.

Other actions would include a graffiti campaign and forming human chains on the October 6 Bridge in Cairo and in other governorates.

All the events are orchestrated with the common goal of cancelling the Protest Law and demanding the release of all those detained or convicted on charges related to the law.

High-profile examples include April 6 co-founders Ahmed Maher and Mohamed Adel and activist Ahmed Douma, each of whom was sentenced to three years in prison for breaking the law. Their appeal was rejected this week.

The law has not only been levied against prominent activists, but hundreds of others put behind bars as part of the state’s effort to curb student and labor movements, the activists said.

“Nothing changed since the revolution. How can the state imagine that it can stop millions from demanding their most basic rights with a law?” asked activist Khaled al-Sayed. “Getting rid of this law will be the first step in reinvigorating the revolution.”

Sayed was released on bail in March after serving two months in prison. He was convicted of protesting without a permit.

Following the press conference, around 200 people marched to Talaat Harb Street, chanting against the Ministry of Interior and the military.