The Anti-Coup Alliance announced plans to stage a “million man march” on Monday to commemorate the second anniversary of the 2011 Mohamed Mahmoud clashes. The alliance called the deadly clashes two years ago “a link in the chain of repression, oppression, restriction of the people’s freedoms, and the violation of Egyptians’ dignity.”
In its statement issued on Sunday the alliance called on “all free revolutionaries to [amass] near the homes of martyrs and in all public squares, raising those martyrs’ pictures.”
The group, which supports the return of former President Mohamed Morsi, said it would not take its marches to Mohamed Mahmoud Street or Tahrir Square “so as not to give a chance to the conspirators to fabricate violent incidents and blame them on the [Anti-Coup Alliance].”
The coalition used the anniversary to recall the security crackdown on Morsi supporters that occurred following his ouster in July, and said its marches would commence under the banner “one demand”, quoting prominent Salafi politician and former presidential candidate Hazem Salah Abu Ismail who called on the Egyptian military to “return to the barracks.”
The Muslim Brotherhood also released a statement on Sunday regarding the two-year anniversary of the fatal clashes, saying they were used “to drive a wedge between partners of the revolution,” adding that violence on Mohamed Mahmoud Street was part of a “conspiracy” that manifested in Morsi’s ouster, and the “confiscation of freedom and the spread of terrorism throughout the country,” which “cancelled all the gains of the 25 January Revolution, erased its objectives, and restored tyranny and corruption more heinous than it was before the revolution.”
“It then became the national duty imposed on all people to address this fascist bloody military coup,” added the Muslim Brotherhood statement, saying that Egyptians needed to ensure that the military did not interfere in politics.
“The anniversary of Mohamed Mahmoud is not a day for free revolutionaries to express anger toward what has passed, but a spirit that pushes them to revolt against that which is based, the theft of the revolution, the raping of authority and the wasting of the people’s will,” said the statement.
Non-Islamist groups including the Revolutionary Front have called for demonstrations on Tuesday 19 November, the two-year anniversary of the clashes.
The Ministry of Interior has made special preparations in anticipation of the anniversary, saying it had “taken the necessary measures to secure the participants in the commemoration,” and claimed there were plots to ignite clashes between protesters and security forces.
The ministry also said that it would “respect” calls by various political groups and movements to commemorate the anniversary.
On Sunday, interim Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi said that those who died in the 2012 Mohamed Mahmoud clashes, sparked by Morsi’s constitutional declaration, would also be considered “martyrs” by the government.