Other, more secular groups who welcomed Morsi's ouster also saw Sisi's announcement as a move designed to provoke violence and create an excuse to impose
curfews and increase the military's hold on power. "We are stuck in the middle between military and fundamental authoritarianism," says Bassam Maher, an
activist and NGO worker.
He added, that while many "revolutionary" activists are becoming increasingly suspicious of Sisi's motives, they have been reluctant to stand against the
military directly because they do not wish to be thought of as aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood or other Islamist groups, which they also oppose. Many
activists describe themselves as paralyzed and conflicted about opposing the army's recent moves.
A few, however, are willing to take a stand. On Friday, while most of the city divided itself into pro-Morsi and pro-military groups, a small number of
protesters opposed to both camps attempted to establish a "third square" in central Cairo. The demonstration was tiny in comparison to the mass rallies
held elsewhere, but it did signal the appearance of a new force in the protests."Once the military starts building its powers, they will not just be used against the Muslim Brotherhood, but against all social movements," said Mohamed Hazem, a leftist protester. "We believe that once people
will realize the military is against the revolution and things the revolution is asking for, like social justice and freedom and democracy, people will
Since the attacks, the military has moved to further tighten its grasp. On Sunday, Interim President Adly Mansour gave Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi the
authority to enable the military to make civilian arrests. The previous day, Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim announced that departments axed after the
2011 uprising would be reinstated, including one dedicated to pursuing religious "extremism." The move prompted suspicion even from close allies, such as
Tamarod, the youth group which was heavily involved in the June 30 protests and had encouraged Egyptians to take part in Friday's demonstration.
Spokesperson Mahmoud Badr said: "Our campaign supports the state's plans in fighting terrorism; however, we have earlier stressed that this support doesn't
include the taking of extraordinary measures, or the contradiction of freedoms and human rights."
The group held another protest on Sunday. After a nervous start, hundreds flocked to the square, more than doubling Friday's attendance.
Ahmed Nasser, one of the protest's organizers, said the movement was opposed to Islamist and military rule, both of which, he said, it saw as a
continuation of the Mubarak regime. He did, however add that they viewed Morsi's overthrow as being undertaken at "the sound of the peoples' request."
Nasser described the group's goals as being more closely aligned with the original revolutionary movements that overthrew Mubarak in the first place. "I
believe these people are the first sparks of the 25th of January revolution. They're not aligned with any particular party, but just trying to determine a
new future for Egypt."