(photo credit: Associated Press)
CAIRO — Egyptian police on Tuesday beat and arrested anti-government activists demonstrating outside the downtown presidential palace against the possibility of the president's son succeeding his father as leader of the country.
RELATED:Dissident signs petition for Gamal Mubarak's right to runPosters set off pro-Gamal Mubarak campaign in Egypt
Some 300 protesters chanted anti-government slogans, waved flags and even burned pictures of the president while hundreds of black clad riot police surrounded them in tight cordons. Many others were prevented from even reaching the square in central Cairo.
Shoving matches broke out between protesters and security forces and some activists were detained in nearby police vans. One woman was grabbed and beaten by female police officer.
Police also confiscated a footage from an Al-Jazeera news cameraman filming the protest.
The rally was protesting widely rumored plans for 82-year-old President Hosni Mubarak to be succeeded by his son Gamal, who is currently a high-ranking member of the ruling party.
Under recent constitutional amendments, Gamal Mubarak is also one of the few politicians in the country qualified to run in presidential elections.
"Enough of you and Jimmy! No inheritance after today, no freedom without blood," chanted protesters wearing matching "no inheritance after today" T-shirts.
A demonstration also took place in Egypt's second city of Alexandria, on the Mediterranean Sea, where police beat protesters and arrested at least 15, according to Abdel Rahman Youssef, a member of the campaign to elect former nuclear watchdog chief Mohammed ElBaradei.
The protests in Cairo included representatives from most of Egypt's legal political parties as well as activists from the Kifaya movement, which made its name in 2004 for being the first to publicly protest Gamal Mubarak's possible succession.
"Most parties are here because we have reached a dead end, there is no other method or way that will work except civil disobedience or popular revolt, anything else is nonsense," said Ahmed el-Kordi, 23, who attended the rally.
Conspicuously absent were members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the country's largest opposition movement, with nearly a fifth of the seats in the outgoing parliament. Hundreds of members of the Islamist groups languish in jail from regular crackdowns by the government.
Representatives from one youth movement said at least 30 of its members
were arrested just trying to reach the site of the demonstration.
The protest comes about two months before parliamentary elections and a
year before presidential elections. Mubarak has not yet announced if he
will run for another term and extend his nearly 30-year reign.