Islamist protesters driven out of Tahrir on Mohamed Mahmoud anniversay

Sarah El-Rashidi, Tuesday 19 Nov 2013

The group 'Students Against the Coup' had aimed to join the commemoration of the 2011 Mohamed Mahmoud clashes

Islamist protesters were driven out of Tahrir Square in central Cairo on Tuesday evening by demonstrators gathered to commemorate the November 2011 Mohamed Mahmoud clashes.

The march by activist group the Youth Against the Coup tried to enter Mohamed Mahmoud Street, just off Tahrir Square, but other groups of protesters blocked their entrance.

They were reportedly holding posters with pictures of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, and yellow flags bearing the four-fingered Rabaa sign, a symbol of pro-Morsi protesters.

No clashes broke out between the two groups.

Within Tahrir Square, a number of pro-Islamist protesters engaged in arguments with other protesters who oppose the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Youth Against the Coup, a group of independent Islamist activists backing Morsi and opposed to the military, had announced they would march to Mohamed Mahmoud earlier on Tuesday.

The group was formed to oppose the ouster of Morsi in July.

"We are here for the martyrs," Khaloud Abdel-Fattah, 25, told Ahram Online. "I am not a Brotherhood member, but I am with them because Morsi was not given a chance."

"I was in Mohamed Mahmoud in 2011 and I feel nothing good has happened, no justice," Mostafa Anana, 24, said. "I did not vote for Morsi, unfortunately. Perhaps sharia (Islamic law) would have made it better."

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, had called for demonstrations to take place in Mohamed Mahmoud Street on Tuesday. The group had said that Muslim Brotherhood supporters are not welcome at the celebration.

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."

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 following president Hosni Mubarak's ouster in February 2011.

Earlier on Tuesday, scuffles broke out between military supporters who had come to Tahrir Square to demonstrate, and the anti-military protesters. The military supporters were driven out.

Pro-army protester Afaf Mohamed told Ahram Online that she had come to urge army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to run for the presidency in 2014.

"I want to support him and I believe in his agenda," she said. "May God protect him and our army."

Demonstrators opposed to both the military and the Brotherhood continue to protest in Mohamed Mahmoud Street on Tuesday evening.

Meanwhile, hundreds of supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood held a protest commemorating the anniversay outside of the presidential palace of Qasr El-Qoba in east Cairo.

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