Coptic March. (Hanna Simon)
Thousands of protesters have begun a march from Abbassiya Cathedral to commemorate the death of Coptic protesters during last month’s Maspero violence.
The march will converge on Tahrir Square, the epicentre of the January 25 Revolution. The march includes members of various political parties and movements as well as families of the martyrs and several of those who were injured in the deadly clashes of 9 October which saw a peaceful march, spearheaded by Egypt’s Coptic Christian community, turn bloody after a violent army crackdown in front of the state TV building (Maspero). The clashes left 26 dead.
Many of the protesters are dressed in Pharaonic costumes, holding large pictures of the martyrs. Others are bearing a symbolic coffin, with the face of activist Mina Daniel plastered on its side. Daniel, 25, was also killed during the clashes.
The protesters are also holding a 500 metre Egyptian flag and are singing Christian hymns as they head towards Tahrir.
Before the march commenced a priest addressed the crowd, urging them to preserve the peaceful nature of the march.
“Only those who die in a peaceful march are martyrs,” he told the protesters.
The march is expected to make a stop at the Coptic Hospital where many of the victims of the clashes were transferred during the night’s deadly events.