A 10,000-person protest march started at Al-Fath Mosque in Ramses and crossed Al-Nour Mosque in Abbasiya heading towards Rabaa Al-Adawiya on the second day of Eid- Al-Fitr, which closes the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
Along with chants for regime change, the protesters sent greetings to the deposed president Mohamed Morsi, who has been held in an undisclosed locatio since 3 July, and wished him happy holidays.
The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy, an Islamist umbrella group supporting Morsi, had called for nationwide mass protests following Friday prayers.
Dubbing the day the "Eid of Victory" the alliance has called on Morsi loyalists to march from several mosques across Cairo and in Egypt’s other governorates.
The main banner under which the protesters will march is "the people want to topple the coup," the alliance said in a statement released Thursday.
The alliance's call comes one day after Prime Minister Hazem Beblawy declared that his government is all but ready to disperse pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo after attempts by foreign dignitaries to mediate a resolution to the 6-week-old standoff between the government and a defiant Brotherhood failed.
In the greater Cairo area, the demonstrations were set to kick off from Nour El-Mohamadeya Mosque in Matareya; Al-Aziz Bellah Mosque in Zaitoun; Amr Ibn El-Aas Mosque in Masr Al-Qadeema; the Nour Mosque in Abbasiya; the Fath Mosque in Ramses; the Assad Ibn El-Fourat Mosque in Dokki; Mostafa Mahmoud Mosque in Mohandiseen (all in Cairo); the Istikama Mosque in Giza and El-Hasry Mosque in 6 of October.
In Giza, pro-Morsi marches blocked three main streets after Friday prayer as they headed to join a weeks-long sit-in at Nahda Square. The satellite district of 6 of October also witnessed a small protest, iterating slogans against the interior ministry and the army, while raising pictures of Mohamed Morsi.
Turnout and clashes in Governorates
In Alexandria, the protest started in front of Al-Kaed Ibrahim Mosque and marched along one of the main thoroughfares, the seaside Cornish road, blocking traffic which forced many to angrily take detours on their holiday on the coastal town. The protesters chanted against military rule, requesting Morsi's reinstatement, to continue his "divinely-promised" eight years in rule and holding banners attacking General El-Sisi and the Egyptian army.
Brotherhood member Ahmed Abdel-Mawgoud announced from the main podium at Al-Kaed Ibrahim Mosque that they will continue and escalate activities throughout Eid, asking Egyptians to join them, trusting that Mohamed Morsi will return soon and that negotiations are on to end "the coup."
The central Delta city of of Mahalla Al-Kobra witnessed some tension following prayers when pro-Morsi activists distributed anti-army flyers reading "The achievements of the army rule: 350 martyrs, 7500 injuries, 1000 detainees, reducing pensions." Verbal exchanges turned into fist-fights in front of the mosque after some worshippers objected to the flyer.
In Assiut, Upper Egypt a few hundred pro-Morsi protesters marched around the city, chanting "Islamist … Islamist … Against the wishes of secularists."
Clashes erupted in Fayoum governorate south of Cairo when Brotherhood members allegedly attempted to break into the security directorate building as part of the "break the coup," protest march. Police used teargas to disperse the attempt and the two sides exchanged birdshots, according to Ona News Agency. Al-Jazeera television reported 28 injuries in the clashes, including a police officer.
In the central Delta governorate of Gharbiya, the small village of Qaranshu witnessed rock throwing between pro and Morsi groups after suporters of the ousted president allegedly insulted the army leaving four injuried. A number of anti-Morsi individuals chased the Brotherhood members, but security forces contained the situation and separated the two camps detaining 13 pro-Morsi protestors.
In the city of Ismailiya on the Suez Canal, a number of Brotherhood members staged a march, chanting slogans against the army and police.
A small gathering of pro-Morsi demonstrators in the city of Suez raised flags with statements of "No God But Allah" and chanted against General El-Sisi.
In Zagazig, Morsi's birthplace in Sharqiya governorate, a number of marches supporting the deposed president carried his pictures and chanted against general El-Sisi and the media. "Egyptians won't forfeit legitimacy," one of the protesters at Zagazig, the main city of Sharqiya governorate told the Ahram Arabic news website.
In the town of Monshaet Abu Omar in Sharqiya, anti-Morsi and pro Morsi youth threw stones at each other, leading to minor injuries on both sides, according to the Ahram Arabic news website.
Meanwhile, the head of the hardline Gamaa Islamiya's Building and Development Party in Assiut said that the marches will continue until Mohamed Morsi is reinstated, announcing that hundreds will head to Cairo at the end of the day to join the sit-in at Rabaa Al-Adawiya.
Morsi supporters — namely the Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist allies — have been staging two sit-ins at Rabaa Al-Adawiya and Al-Nahda squares, as well as daily rallies demanding Morsi's reinstatement since his popularly-backed army ouster on 3 July.
On Thursday, pro-Morsi supporters in Cairo and Giza also staged Eid Al-Fitr celebrations.
At Giza's Al-Nahda Square, thousands of protesters gathered to attend the prayers led by Sheikh Mohamed Abdel-Maksoud who stirred controversy in June after he called Muslim Shias "unclean" at a pro-Syria conference held by deposed president Morsi.
In Cairo's Nasr City, at the Rabaa Al-Adawiya sit-in, the wife of deposed president Morsi called or his release from detention promising the crowd he would return to the presidency.