Pro-Morsi Protesters Launch A Million-Man March As Tensions Rise

Protests continue this Friday in Egypt as Morsi supporters take the streets in wide-scale protest. They're calling for millions of people to join their demonstrations. But for now only a few thousand have gathered. 

Ever since ex-president Mohammad Morsi was ousted in a publicly-supported military overthrow two weeks ago, Morsi's Islamist following has vowed to continue protesting until he is reinstated. Yet considering that the military, led by Armed Forces Chief, General Sisi, already instated a transitional government, restoring Morsi's political presence in Egypt seems to be a lost cause. 

Friday's protesters are most up in arms about Cairo's violence this week. Reuters reported that just this week 90 people died in clashes between pro- and anti-Morsi groups. Fifty of those causalities occurred on Monday. 

The true story behind Monday's violence are still being disputed. One thing is for sure though -- the Egyptian military arrested Mohammad Morsi on the first day of the overthrow. Many believe he is being held in the Republican Guard, the military's headquarters in Cairo. On Monday, Morsi's supporters gathered in front of a military barricade that separated the Republican Guard from possible intruders. 

Now the military said that armed gunmen in civilian clothes fired first. But the protesters said that they were peacefully demonstrating when soldiers released fire onto the unarmed crowd. 

Monday's violence has troubled many all over Egypt. Fatah Ali, a 54-year-old civil servant in Cairo told Reuters, "It's a very hard time for Egyptians, to see footage of blood and violence during the holy month of Ramadan, and everyone I speak to says the same thing." 

Even Egypt's interim government officials expressed their remorse for the incident. Mohammad ElBaradei, Egypt's current vice president, gave his condolences on Twitter. He said,"Violence begets violence and should be strongly condemned. Independent investigation a must. Peaceful transition is only way."

Adly Monsour, Egypt's president, vowed on Monday to create a judicial committee to investigate these allegations. 

 

None of this means that Egyptians pity the Muslim Brotherhood. Reuters reported that although the Brotherhood views itself as "the victim of a military crackdown," many Egyptians blame the Islamists for the violence, and some have "little sympathy for the demonstrators who died."

Who knows where the pro-Morsi protests will take us this Friday. Possibly nowhere, probably to more violence. We'll have to wait. 

The saga continues.

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Uchechi Kalu

Uchechi is PolicyMic's Politics Intern and a senior@ Princeton University. Tweet her @chechkalu

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