Supporters of Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Morsi during a Cairo protest on 8 Nov raise his poster and the four-finger symbol of the Rabaa Al-Adawiya Mosque, site of a weeks-long pro-Morsi protest camp violently dispersed in August (Photo: AP)
The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy (NASL), an Islamist coalition demanding the reinstatement of deposed president Mohamed Morsi, called on its followers to converge on the streets Monday to mark the second anniversary of the 19 November 2011 Mohamed Mahmoud clashes which left dozens dead.
The NASL called on its loyalists to avoid Mohamed Mahmoud Street or any venues of potential confrontation “to deny plotters the chance of stirring violence and holding the alliance responsible.”
Although it did not specify where its followers should demonstrate instead, the alliance's statement called on all Egyptians to partake in a nationwide protest titled the 'Million-Man March for One Demand.'
The Islamist coalition claims to have drawn inspiration for the title from Salafist political figure Hazem Salah Abu Ismail – in detention since July on charges of inciting murder and forging presidential candidacy qualification documents– who first used it while protesting a ruling by the then Supreme Council of Armed Forces.
The Mohamed Mahmoud clashes, which erupted between protesters and security forces outside the Interior Ministry headquarters on 19 November 2011, eventually turned into a movement opposed not only to military rule but also to the Muslim Brotherhood and their Islamist allies for denouncing the protesters and accusing them of trying to foil the parliamentary elections scheduled a week away from the deadly clashes.
The six-day violence killed at least 47 across Egypt.
Fears of violence loomed on the second anniversary of Mohamed Mahmoud as rival groups, including pro-military factions, called for protests.
Citing fears that the event may be "appropriated by state or Muslim Brotherhood forces to serve their respective interests," a number of Egyptian activists published an earlier statement on Facebook calling for commemorations to be held a day ahead of the actual date.
The Martyr Gaber Salah Movement, named after Gaber Salah (aka Jika) who was killed by police on last year's first anniversary of the clashes, supports the early demonstration.
On the other hand, a number of groups, including the Way of the Revolution Front, maintain their plans to demonstrate on the anniversary's actual date, which falls on Tuesday, 19 November.
Egypt's Interior Ministry officially stated on Sunday it had taken all necessary measures to secure Tuesday's commemoration and warned against "elements that might infiltrate the gatherings to threaten public security and peaceful protest."