- The Egyptian government has ordered its police to be on high alert to prevent a nationwide strike planned by pro-democracy activists today. The order comes just a day after police arrested more than 25 members of April 6 Movement.
According to the Interior Ministry statement, Police have been given orders to arrest anyone taking part in the strike.
Local reports said hundreds of riot police were stationed in the city-centre square and around universities to prevent demonstrators from gathering. The reports further said about 100 protesters gathered at the journalists' association headquarters in Cairo and chanted anti-government slogans.
The mass strike organisers who blamed the poor turn out on police threats, have however urged the people to wear black so as to show solidarity with the protestors and also appealed on protests to form small gatherings including sit-ins at places of work or study.
The campaigners are pressing the government to raise the national minimum wage and are calling for a new constitution to be drafted. Egypt is run under an emergency law that has been in place since the assassination of President Anwar Sadat in 1981.
The officially banned Muslim Brotherhood has endorsed the protest, calling on all to express their anger and objection to the policies of the regime, they accuse to have squandered the country's riches.
The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest opposition group, is formally banned but fielded independent candidates in 2005 elections, winning a fifth of the seats in parliament.
The April 6 Movement gets its name from the date last year of a strike by workers at a textile factory who were demanding higher wages, a protest that prompted a brutal police crackdown.
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