Live updates: Millions on streets in Egypt as defiant Morsi addresses nation

Hazel Haddon, Salma Shukrallah, Osman El-Sharnoubi, Nada Hussein Radwan, Sherif Tarek, Tuesday 2 Jul 2013

Massive anti-Morsi rallies in Cairo, Alexandria and other governorates, while Morsi's supporters turn out in smaller numbers; figure of 7 deaths in Cairo clashes not confirmed officially

Tahrir Square
Fireworks burst over opponents of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, July 2, 2013 (Photo: AP)

00:30 It's been another turbulent day in Egypt. We are closing the live updates here; thank you for reading.

00:25 A defiant speech from President Morsi. His supporters at Rabaa Al-Adawiya Mosque are celebrating, while massive anti-Morsi crowds at Ittihadiya palace and in Tahrir Square are chanting "Leave!"

00:22 "My iron will is with my people and is unshaken." President Morsi finishes the speech after saluting the nation.

00:19 "Legitimacy and legitimacy alone, the constitution and constitution alone, and the elections and the elections alone."

00:17 "There are many challenges but the biggest is not to fall in the trap and take the country in the wrong direction, and make our enemies happy."

00:15 "To save the nation we need to sacrifice, but not against each other....when we announce jihad that must be against foreign enemies and not against each other. We sacrifice for our country and I am the first to sacrifice. If the cost for legitimacy is my blood I will give it easily."

00:12 "The constitution which we all uphold and respect says that the government that will be chosen by the parliament will have more authorities than the president."

00:10 "We have to prove to the world that we are capable of democracy...peacefully we protect the legitimacy...legitimacy is our only guard from future faults....I do not accept anyone saying anything or taking steps against legitimacy; this is completely rejected."

00:07 "After this I decided there is no alternative for legitimacy and keeping an open channel for dialogue...Legitimacy is the only guarantee against violence.The old regime won’t return....If this initiative isn’t accepted, the country will go down a dark road and we’ll be back to square one."

00:05  "I called for dialogue. An initiative was made to talk with the opposition, form a new government, hasten the elections laws to hold parliamentary elections soon after 6 months, resolve the crisis of the prosecutor-general, empower youth in decision making."

00:02 "There is no problem with peaceful protests."

00:00 "I want to say some clear points...There is no alternative for legitimacy, constitutional legitimacy, legal legitimacy, the legitimacy of elections held before."

23:58 Morsi continues: "We want a strong army; don’t ever insult the Egyptian army. Safeguard the army with me because it is our support. Don’t ever use violence against it. I’m telling all Egyptians - no violence between each other or towards the army or police.

Violence and bloodshed is a trap, if we fall into it, its the end of us."

23:56 "I will safeguard legitimacy with my life."

23:54 "My message to you all, to the opposition, is that I will stand by this legitimacy. And to the supporters who respect democracy and love legitimacy, safeguard Egypt and the revolution. Don’t let the revolution be stolen from you, opponents and supporters."

23:52 President Morsi continues, "I care very much that the blood of Egyptians is not spilt. I will stand firm against any who spill this blood."

23:50 "The old regime don’t want democracy. They’re used to rigging elections. They don’t know what democracy and freedom of expression are. They are using the youth and those suffering from the economic problems to sow chaos and violence. Why doesn’t this violence appear until they announce they will change the regime and abort democracy?"

23:48 The speech is sounding fairly similar in tone to Wednesday's speech. It certainly doesn't sound like the beginning of a resignation.

Morsi continues: "It is normal after revolution for there to be opposition and support. We wrote a constitution and it was (passed) via referendum. We had legitimacy afterwards, and this legitimacy is what guarantees for us that there be no infighting between us and no bloodshed if we respect it."

23:45 He accuses the "remnants of the former regime" and the deep state of blocking Egypt's transition.

23:43 President Morsi says that " I want for Egypt to own its own will, for no one to dictate what it should do...There are people outside of Egypt who don’t want Egypt to own its will. It’s easy to just listen to instructions. Egypt’s revolution wasn’t the revolution of the hungry. It was the revolution for owning our will, freedom and justice."

23:40 He reiterates that he has made mistakes, and that things have become clearer after his first year in office.

23:35 President Morsi is speaking on Egyptian state television. He talks about Egypt's transition, stressing that he came to power through the first free presidential elections, and mentioning that the 2011 revolution was peaceful.

23:30  There are a number of ongoing clashes being reported on Twitter. It's hard to get confirmation, but so far it looks like there are violent incidents in a number of places in Giza (at Cairo University and at Been Al-Sayarat) and in 6 October, a satellite city outside Cairo.

23:15 Away from all the clashes, the mass rallies at Ittihadiya presidential palace are apparently peaceful and celebratory. Ahram Online's Ayat El-Tawy reports from the scene that numbers are greater than on Monday, and spirits are soaring as men and women dance to patriotic music. She notes that "the volunteer-manned checkpoints seem to have been tightened up since yesterday. They are searching car trunks and girls' bags."

Crowds at Ittihadiya presidential palace (Photo: Ayat Al-Tawy)

23:10 AP is reporting a figure of seven dead in Cairo according to anonymous security and hospital officials. According to the report, "the officials say the seven were killed in three separate clashes, but had no further details."

23:00 Anti-Brotherhood feeling shows no sign of slacking, even in Ismailia, where the organisation was founded over 80 years ago.


Firefighters in the city, which is located on the Suez Canal, have put out a fire in the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood's FJP in the district of Al-Tal Al-Kebeer, a well-known Brotherhood stronghold in the city.


Hundreds of anti-Morsi protesters reportedly besieged the office and set it alight, according to an Ahram Arabic reporter in the field.


A number of police and army forces were deployed to the area following the fire.

22:55 President Morsi has just issued a tweet on his official account saying that he insists on “holding on to constitutional legitimacy" and rejects any attempt to abort it, and calles on the army to withdraw its "ultimatum," as he rejects any internal or external pressures.


22:45 A security source told Ahram Arabic that bomb disposal experts have successfully disarmed a bomb found at the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in Moqattam, a suburb of Cairo. The source of the bomb remains unknown - security forces were responding to a bomb threat they received. The Moqattam headquarters were torched and ransacked after clashes on Sunday.


22:40 Thousands of President Morsi's supporters are on the streets in Upper Egypt's Qena, according to state news agency MENA.


The Freedom and Justice Party, along with their allies the ultra-conservative Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya, the Raya Party (founded by prominent Salafist figure Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail), and the Salafist Watan Party are the organisers of the rally.

Morsi's proponents mainly gathered at Saa Square in the middle of Qena to support the "legitimacy of President Morsi," lamenting what they describe as the "opposition figures' attempt to turn against legitimacy."

22:30 There are ongoing reports of clashes in Giza, around Cairo University. The Independent's Alastair Beach is reporting several hundred people fighting in the area.


22:20 The presidency has said it is preparing a statement with the military addressing the current political situation. Armed forces spokesman Ahmed Ali has, however, denied any such coordination with the presidency, reported Ahram Arabic.

On Monday, the presidency criticised the army's 48-hour ultimatum, saying it was not consulted before the statement was released.

22:10 The April 6 Youth Movement has endorsed Mohamed ElBaradei to negotiate on the behalf of the opposition. ElBaradei has so far been endorsed by the 30 June Front and the Egyptian Popular Current.


22:00 Ahram’s Arabic website reports that numbers are increasing at the Qobba presidential palace in Heliopolis. At a nearby underground metro station, crowds are so large the station workers have opened the metro barriers to allow people to exit more easily. Groups of people wearing high-visibility jackets are spreading out securing the rally, reports Ahram.


Qobba only became a major location for protests this weekend; previously, anti-Morsi marches headed to Tahrir Square or to Ittihadiya presidential palace (also in Heliopolis), where the president’s office is officially based. On 30 June, however, the president moved his office to Qobba, and as a result the palace is becoming a popular destination for rallies and marches.




21:45 More clashes in Upper Egypt. Violence broke out between pro- and anti-Morsi supporters in the city of Minya after a number of Morsi supporters reportedly fired at anti-Morsi protesters during rival protests, according to Ahram Arabic.


Thousands of Morsi supporters had gathered in front Al-Rahman mosque, known in the city as an Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya spot, in a march towards the city’s Palace Square where hundreds of anti-Morsi protesters had been staging a sit-in against the recently-appointed Islamist affiliated governor, when a number of people from the pro-Morsi protest reportedly fired at protesters in front of the governorate building.


An account of injuries has not yet been provided.


Police fired rounds of teargas in the perimeter of the governorate headquarters to disperse the two camps.

21:40 Clashes erupt in Luxor in front of the governorate headquarters after pro-Morsi demonstrators attacked an anti-Morsi protest, reports Ahram Arabic. Several have been reported injured, although the official number is still unconfirmed. Security forces apparently intervened to contain clashes.


In Beni Suef, pro-Morsi demonstrators retreated from the main square after anti-Morsi demonstrators approached.

21:30 Ministry of health announces one dead in clashes in Giza that took place between opponents and supporters of President Morsi. In total, 72 have been injured during the Tuesday clashes over nine different governorates.


21:05 We should stress that the injuries and deaths that are being reported are happening at the margins, not in the main protest sites. Tahrir Square, Ittihadiya, and Qobba are all so far free of any clashes, as is the main Islamist rally in Rabaa Al-Adawiya.


The clashes have been occurring in locations where smaller numbers and marches are taking place. The two reported deaths were in Kit Kat in Giza, which is located on the western side of the Nile river, opposite Cairo.


21:00 The Minister of Health Mostafa Hamed has announced that 39 people have been injured in clashes in seven governorates: Cairo, Alexandria, Qalioubiya, Giza, Daqahliya, Damietta and Fayoum, which saw the highest number of injuries per governorate at 21.


Hamed said that 17 out of the 39 injured have been discharged from hospitals. The two deaths in Giza have yet to be confirmed officially.


20:50 Thousands of anti-Morsi demonstrators are gathered in El-Horreya Square in the city of Damietta, reports Ahram Arabic. Earlier on Tuesday evening, hundreds of Morsi supporters had gathered near the square to demonstrate but retreated when scuffles broke out with residents. Police forces are still deployed around the square to form a buffer between the two camps.


20:45 There have been a number of political resignations today, including six ministers, a cabinet spokesperson, and a number of others.


30 June After math


20:40 There are more clashes reported in Beheira governorate, where Damanhour is located.

Violence broke out between opponents and supporters of Morsi in the industrial city of Kafr Al-Dawar in Beheira, according to Ahram's Arabic website. Dozens were injured as live rounds were fired, the site reported.

The ultra-conservative Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya had earlier staged a pro-Morsi march, while other protesters chanted slogans against him, prompting minor clashes as each side threw stones at the other.

20:30 More clashes in El-Agamy on the Mediterranean, where police are firing teargas at fighting crowds, after violence erupted a few hours ago between Brotherhood supporters and residents, in which both sides exchanged fire and birdshot.


Violence broke out after drivers and residents in the area were angered after a pro-Brotherhood march blocked part of the road. Many were injured, according to the same report, while no deaths were reported.


Police General Nasser El-Abd, head of Alexandria's investigative department, said that 25 people were injured in the clashes. He said they were all injured by stones, stressing that no one was injured by birdshot or live ammunition.

Not far away in the city of Damanhour, MENA agency reports clashes between Morsi's supporters and opponents, after the pro-Morsi group had gathered to begin a march. Shots could be heard from the clashes but thus far no injuries have been reported.


20:25 Clashes between pro- and anti-Morsi groups in the Kit Kat district of Giza have killed two, according to Ahram Arabic. The two people were killed by "live fire" which also injured another 13 people. The injured have been moved to hospitals in Imbaba and Agouza.

20:20 In the vicinity of Rabaa Al-Adawiya Mosque in Nasr City, quite a long walk from Tahrir Square but a fairly short drive when Egypt’s streets are clear, the president’s supporters gather in their hundreds of thousands, defying the millions of anti-Morsi demonstrators gathered in dozens of squares across Egypt.


It seems the numbers are swelling somewhat. MENA agency reports that a group have left the Rabaa sit-in to form a march to nearby Abbas Al-Akkad avenue, presumably as the space fills up.


MENA also reports that the supporting rally at Cairo University in Egypt’s Giza district is growing as many marches, some led by Islamist MPs, make their way to the area.


20:15 Thousands of pro-Morsi demonstrators took over the Thaqafa Square, the main square in Upper Egypt’s Sohag. Anti-Morsi protesters were pushed to retreat into other streets of the city fearing clashes, reports Ahram Arabic.


20:10 Reports of more clashes are coming in. The Socialist Popular Alliance reports on Twitter that member Mohamed El-Sayyed was shot in the arm during a Brotherhood attack on an opposition in Helwan, south of Cairo.


20:05 Thousands of supporters of President Morsi have gathered in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Assiut in front of Omar Makram Mosque, reported Ahram Arabic. At the same time, hundreds of opponents have started to gather in a demonstration in front of the governorate headquarters.

20:00 Egypt’s state news agency MENA reports two major marches have reached a packed Tahrir Square.


19:50 A US State Department spokesperson speaking at a press conference says that reports that the US has been pressing for early presidential elections in Egypt - the main demand of anti-government protesters - are inaccurate. She seems reluctant to commit to one side or the other, commenting that the US government is in contact with all sides - government, military, opposition - and refusing to speculate about any implications for American aid to the country.

19:40 Egyptian television is showing images of Qobba presidential palace in Cairo, where hundreds of thousands have gathered. Fireworks are lighting up the sky.


19:35 The headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) in the city of Banha in the northern governorate of Qalioubiya was burnt after it was stormed by anti-Morsi protestors. The contents of the headquarters were destroyed and the banner that carries the name of the party was removed, reports Ahram Arabic.


19:27 There are a number of reports coming in of gunfire in Kit Kat Square in Giza.  Ahram Online’s Sherif Tarek reported hearing gunfire in Nile Street in Agouza, in Giza, while Ahram Arabic website reports clashes using pellets and Molotov cocktails in two separate places: Bein Al-Sarayat district in Giza, and Kit Kat.


19:25 In a statement issued at 4pm, the Islamist Wasat Party - one of the Muslim Brotherhood's staunchest allies - talked about the “angry, legitimate mobilisation of the people” and warned against plans by "enemies of the nation" to "hijack" their movement.


The party also acknowledged what they said were failures by the ruling regime to manage economic problems, and blamed the anti-government media for angering Egyptians. The statement called for supporting "constitutional legitimacy" and expressed its reservations about the army's entry into political affairs.


19:20 Anti-Morsi marches are heading to Tahrir Square from Shubra district and from Mostafa Mahmoud Square in the district of Mohandeseen. 


19:15  The anti-Morsi Rebel campaign has released a statement saying that it has nominated three of its members to participate in the negotiations called for by the armed forces to set a new road map. Mahmoud Badr, Hassan Shahin and Mohamed Abdel-Aziz are the three members nominated.


Member of the Rebel’s central committee, Mona Selim, announced that 90 percent of the campaign’s organising committee have agreed to participate in the negotiations, declaring them “a dialogue for handing over power”.


The campaign’s proposed roadmap stipulates that power is handed over to head of the High Constitutional Court (HCC) and a new technocrat government is formed.


19:10 Dozens were reportedly injured in clashes between pro- and anti-Morsi protesters in the seaside town of of El-Agamy, east of Alexandria, where police forces are attempting to contain the clashes, reports Ahram Arabic news website.


19:00 Welcome to Ahram Online's live updates. We are 24 hours into a 48-hour ultimatum issued by the Egyptian military, which called on political forces in Egypt to "meet the people's demands" or face a military-imposed roadmap.


The ultimatum came after a weekend of massive, unprecedented protests against President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood group from which he hails.


Anti-Morsi supporters have been flocking onto the streets and celebrating the army's statement in the key focal points of the Ittihadiya palace and Tahrir Square, with many reading it as a sign that Morsi will step-down. Morsi's supporters have also taken to the streets in several parts of Egypt, mainly in Rabaa Al-Adaweya square where hundreds of thousands have been holding a sit-in since Friday, to declare their support for the president.


Key events today so far:

  • The 30 June Front, a coalition of a number of key opposition groups, have put forward Mohamed ElBaradei as a spokesman, while the cabinet has selected Prime Minister Hisham Qandil. President Morsi, Qandil and armed forces head Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi reportedly met today.
  • Violent clashes since Monday in a number of governorates have led to 152 injuries.
  • A Cairo appeal court on Tuesday morning upheld a lower court's decision to dismiss prosecutor-general Talaat Abdullah, appointed by President Morsi, although it is unclear whether the former prosecutor-general, Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud, will take up the position.
  • The number of ministerial resignations is up to 6, with the resignation of foreign minister Mohamed Kamal Amr, a career diplomat who was originally appointed in 2011 under military council rule. Two presidential spokesmen also resigned.
  • Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II issues a statement praising the anti-Morsi Rebel campaign which spearheaded the weekend's protests.
  • The April 6 Youth Movement, a key revolutionary group, called on President Morsi to dissolve the Islamist-dominated Shura Council, freeze the constitution and hand over power to the head of the High Constitutional Court who would then set the date for presidential elections within three months.
  • The Egyptian stock market reacted very positively, climbing 5 percent on Tuesday.

Egyptians are currently on the streets in large numbers.



Anti-Morsi demonstrations:

  • In Cairo, there are massive anti-Morsi crowds gathered in Tahrir Square, at Ittihadiya presidential palace, and at Qobba presidential palace.
  • There are also anti-Morsi rallies in Alexandria and the governorates of Gharbiya, Sharqiya, Daqahliya, and in the cities of Suez and Port Said.
  • There are some smaller protests, directed against new governors appointed by President Morsi earlier this month, being held at governorate headquarters in Gharbiya, Sharqiya, Assiut and Kafr El-Sheikh.

Pro-Morsi demonstrations: 

  • In Cairo, supporters of the president are still gathered at Rabaa Al-Adawiya Mosque in Nasr City, and there are smaller demonstrations on the other side of the river in Giza.
  • There are demonstrations underway in Ismailiya and Zagazig; both reportedly number in the hundreds.
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