Students across Egypt took to the streets on Sunday in protest at the aggressive handling of student movements by security forces and university staff, as well as the gross neglect of students’ needs by universities. Clashes have been reported at several universities, including Ain Shams and Alexandria.
In Ain Shams, the protest witnessed minor clashes after security personnel arrived and tried to expel the students from the area. Alexandria also reported a crackdown on students protesting.
A statement published by Misr Al-Qawia on Sunday pointed to the recent poisoning of hundreds of Al-Azhar students, the death of a student at Mansoura University, and the attack on Ain Shams students during a protest as examples of “thuggery”, repression and neglect by academic institutions in the country.
“History testifies that the Egyptian student movement carries the torch in addressing the external and internal tyranny and broadcasts the spirit of resistance and struggle within the Egyptian people,” the statement said.
Misr Al-Qawia accused the Minister of Higher Education and university administrations of being silent on such matters when they should be objective, adding that universities do not realise the true value of students and do not make appropriate investments in their future.
As a result, Misr Al-Qawia said the students will no longer stand silent against those who are preventing them from fulfilling their potential.
“The Misr Al-Qawia youth committee declares solidarity with the legitimate demands of the students for a better life and education,” the statement read.
The students’ demands include the immediate release of all detained students, an end to security crackdowns on student demonstrations, and that students must be allowed to practice freedom of opinion and expression without compromising their freedom to protest and to strike.
Students are also demanding an end to the practice of preventing certain students from participating in university politics.