Stone-throwing, tear gas, molotov bombs, and possible gunfire reported at demonstration to commemorate victims of last year's clashes; demonstrators reach vicinity of interior ministry; ministry says 8 officers injured
Ahram Online , Monday 19 Nov 2012
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Clashes erupt at Mohamed Mahmoud protests An injured protester at Mohamed Mahmoud Street Monday night (Photo: Ahram Arabic News Website)
Protesters commemorating the anniversary of last year's Mohamed Mahmoud Street clashes were demonstrating in the vicinity of the Ministry of Interior through Nubar Street off Mohamed Mahmoud on Monday evening.
Other roads leading to the ministry from Mohamed Mahmoud Street have been closed off for months by walls made of concrete blocks.
Rows of Central Security Forces and military police are standing between the protesters and the ministry building, according to Ahram Online reporters on the ground.
Earlier in the evening, clashes erupted between protesters and police at the scene of the demonstration in central Cairo.
Stone-throwing between protesters and police has been taking place intermittantly in Youssef El-Guindy Street, off Mohamed Mahmoud Street, over a wall erected by the army last year that stands between both sides.
Tear gas canisters were fired by the police in Youssef El-Guindy, forcing protesters to fall back to Mohamed Mahmoud.
The sound of gunfire could be heard, but it is unverified whether the sounds are coming from birdshots, rifles firing rubber bullets or live fire.
Motorcycles started ferrying wounded protesters to safety, in scenes reminiscent of last year's clashes.
Some protesters have lobbed molotov cocktail bombs prepared on the scene at security forces, according to Ahram Online reporters.
Later in the evening, the Ministry of Interior issued a statement saying that 3 officers and 5 soldiers have been injured in the clashes.
Thousands of protesters are currently gathered in the street where dozens were killed and thousands injured last year.
Protesters have also blocked the entrance to the square from Tahrir Square with a sign declaring that "the Muslim Brotherhood isn't allowed to enter."
At the beginning of the demonstration, protesters chanted against retired field marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi – the interim ruler of Egypt during the clashes of 2011 – as well as against the police and Egypt's current rulers, the Muslim Brotherhood.
Protesters carried flags of Ultras, hardcore football supporters, and the 6 April Youth Movement as well as placards emblazoned with the faces of Egyptians viewed as revolutionary martyrs like Mina Daniel and Azhar preacher Emad Effat.
Fifty political parties have marched to Mohamed Mahmoud in the afternoon hours of Monday.
University students came from Cairo University to Tahrir Square in mid-afternoon to mark the anniversary.
The Popular Socialist Alliance Party, April 6 Youth Movement, Constitution Party, Maspero Youth Coalition, the Revolutionary Socialists, the Popular Current, and Shayfenkom are also taking part in the memorial event.
Last November, around 47 protesters were killed during four days of street clashes that erupted after the Central Security Forces tried to violently disperse a peaceful sit-in in Tahrir Square.
The commemoration is planned to continue until Friday. Each day activists will march from a different location to Tahrir and Mohamed Mahmoud.
The Second Revolution of Rage group had called for a march on Monday from the school in Sayyida Zeinab attended by one of the slain protesters to Mohamed Mahmoud Street. A second protest took off from Qasr El-Nil bridge to remember those who suffered eye injuries duing the clashes.