Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has fled the presidential palace in Heliopolis after it was surrounded by angry protesters. Tens of thousands of Egyptians are rallying in violent demonstrations across the country in the worst political crisis there since the ouster two years ago of then-President Hosni Mubarak, the Washington Post reports.

Protesters are calling the rallies "The Last Warning" to the Islamist Morsi after he gave himself sweeping powers in a decree that placed him above judicial oversight last month.

At the palace, protesters pushed a barricade topped with barbed wire several hundred yards from the palace walls, the AP reported.

Police fired tear gas, and then retreated. With that barricade removed, protesters moved closer to the palace’s walls, with police apparently choosing not to try and push the crowds back.






Some of the protesters wore stickers with the words "the Brotherhood's constitution is illegitimate," a reference to Morsi's political party.



The Egyptian news site Daily News posted the following map of marches planned Tuesday to Tahrir Square and to the Presidential Palace:

Screenshot: Daily News

Protesters also climbed atop a police van and waved Egypt’s flag:


On Monday, several Egyptian news outlets blacked out their sites in a strike against the draft constitution, which was passed by the Islamist-dominated Constituent Assembly on Friday and and is set for a vote Dec. 15. Journalists and activists point out that the draft does not contain articles protecting journalists from imprisonment in free-expression cases.

 The scenes around the country have echoes of the Arab Spring rebellions that toppled Morsi's predecessor.

Protesters are objecting to the constitution-writing assembly itself, which they say was unrepresentative after liberal, secular and Christian members walked out, according to reports from The Washington Post's Stephanie McCrummen.

They objected to what they knew of the charter, which does not contain explicit protections for minority religions or women’s rights and which many referred to as the “Muslim Brotherhood constitution."

By nightfall, according to according to the Associated Press, the crowd outside the palace was chanting “'erhal, erhal,'” Arabic for “'leave, leave,' and 'the people want to topple the regime' — two well-known chants from the 2010-2011 Arab Spring revolts that toppled Mubarak and other Middle Eastern and North African rulers,"