A clear divergence in stances characterised the reactions of political parties and figures regarding Monday’s events, as protesters and government supporters took to the streets, with the former often clashing with security forces.
A group of parties, labelled as the democratic current, were among the factions that called for protests under the umbrella of a campaign named “Egypt is not for Sale”. The campaign is protesting the maritime demarcation agreement that will transfer the sovereignty of Tiran and Sanafir islands to Saudi Arabia, pending parliamentary approval.
The campaign emphasised its condemnation of the security clampdown of the protests that led to dozens of arrests. A statement by the campaign on Monday night decried “oppressive practices”, specifically the blocking of routes to announced protest hubs, dispersing protests, arrests, assaults, besieging syndicates and parties and detaining journalists.
The campaign, moreover, stated that it holds President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and the Ministry of Interior responsible for the safety of the arrested citizens.
Several planned demonstrations broke out on Monday in Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, Ismailia, Daqahliya, Sharqeya, Damietta, Menufiya, Sohag, and Aswan, which were met with a strict security clampdown.
According to the Front of Defense for Egyptian Protesters (FDEP), at least 238 were arrested in the aforementioned governorates in relation to the protests. Over the course of the day, at least 13 were subsequently released.
The headquarters of the Nasserist Al-Karama party, which is part of the campaign, was surrounded by security forces for more than four hours as protesters were locked in following a protest in Giza’s Dokki. After failed attempts to break in the headquarters, the protesters were allowed out after threatening to launch a sit-in.
The campaign vowed to continue pursuing its goal of ending the Saudi-Egyptian agreement.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Future of a Nation Party held a celebratory event at Abdeen Palace in downtown Cairo, in commemoration of Sinai Liberation Day. The event saw a large turnout of pro-government demonstrators who chanted in support of the president and the army.
The celebrations were viewed as extensions to previous supporters’ gatherings in Cairo and Giza, defending the government’s stance on the demarcation deal.