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Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Islamist youth group defend their right to march in Mohamed Mahmoud

The Youth Against the Coup group claim they are not affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood; say they support the goals of the revolution

Ahram Online, Tuesday 19 Nov 2013
Mohammed Mahmoud street
Banner raised in Mohammed Mahmoud street reads in Arabic "no entrance for feloul (remnants of the old regime), military or Muslim Brotherhood supporters.", near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013. (Photo: AP)
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A group of independent Islamist activists against the military have said they will march to Mohamed Mahmoud Street on Tuesday evening to commemorate the clashes which took place there two years ago.

The "Youth Against the Coup" group has said the march will aim to raise the same demands made by Egyptian people in the 2011 revolution, which toppled long-time autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak.

The second anniversary of the clashes is being marked by a number of different revolutionary groups who oppose the participation of Muslim Brotherhood supporters in commerating the battle of Mohamed Mahmoud.

Some 47 people were killed and at least 3,000 injured in days of clashes beginning on 19 November 2011 between anti-military protesters and security forces.

At the time, the Muslim Brotherhood and their Islamist allies denounced the protesters, accusing them of trying to disrupt the parliamentary elections which were scheduled to start a week later.

The clashes took place while the country was being governed by the supreme council of the armed forces.

The Way of the Revolution Front, a recently-launched group aimed at providing a revolutionary alternative amid the current polarisation between the military and the Brotherhood, called for demonstrations to take place in Mohamed Mahmoud on Tuesday. The group said Muslim Brotherhood supporters are not welcome in Mohamed Mahmoud. A banner was hung at the entrance to the street off Tahrir Square reading: "Muslim Brotherhood, military and feloul (remnants of the old regime) are not allowed."

Meanwhile, Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of the ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi said they will refrain from marching to Mohamed Mahmoud in fear of spurring clashes. Instead, the Brotherhood is holding a protest at the presidential palace of Qasr El-Qobba in east Cairo.

The "Youth Against the Coup" group has said that it is not a Muslim Brotherhood group.

"We do not represent certain currents; what brings us together is the goals of the revolution," Diaa El-Sawi, a spokesman of the group as well as a member of the Islamist El-Amal party and the Muslim Brotherhood-led National Coalition to Support Legitimacy told Ahram Online.

Hundreds of supporters of "Youth Against the Coup" students marched on Tuesday from their campuses to different destinations. A march left Ain Shams University heading to the defence ministry, and another march in Cairo University planned to head to Nahda Square in Giza, the site of a major pro-Morsi protest camp which was dispersed in August.

"The coalition of the Brotherhood wants to go back to before 30 June. We want to go back to 11 February," El-Sawi said, referring to the day Mubarak was ousted.

"We will raise the pictures of the martyrs, but whoever raises the four-finger symbol of Rabaa, it's their personal choice," El-Sawi said commenting on a possible clash with anti-Brotherhood protesters in the square.

"Our stance on the military has not changed," he said.

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