Egypt: Protesters give army deadline to choose sides

 Tahrir Square protesters say they plan to march Friday to the presidential palace in Heliopolis unless the army makes its stance clear.



 Youth-led groups issued a statement calling for all Egyptians to march on the palace, the People's Assembly and the television building, in what they are calling the "Friday of Departure."


 They say the army must choose which side they are on: That of the people, or the regime.


 "We the people and the youth of Egypt demand that our brothers in the national armed forces clearly define their stance by either lining up with the real legitimacy provided by millions of Egyptians on strike on the streets, or standing in the camp of the regime that has killed our people, terrorized them and stole from them," read the statement. The protesters say the army has until Thursday morning to make its position clear. A lack of response will be interpreted as support for Egypt's ruling regime. The march will commence after Friday Muslim prayers and Christian services, according to the statement.


 Meanwhile, the liberal Democratic Front Party is expected to release a statement later on Monday calling on the military not to take part in cracking down on protesters. "We believe that the president is trying to involve the army in a confrontation with the people," Ibrahim Nawar, official spokesman for the party, told Al-Masry Al-Youm. "In our statement we will remind the army that it is the shield of the people." Nawar added that he expects military presence will be beefed up in Cairo and Giza to prevent large numbers of protesters from reaching Tahrir Square, which has become the central gathering area of tens of thousands of protesters for the last six days.

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