CAIRO -- Call it the day the Muslim Brotherhood struck back. In protests that the Islamist organization dubbed the "Friday of Rejection," thousands took to the streets to denounce the military's decision to depose President Mohamed Morsy. The mood among the pro-Morsy crowd turned more martial as the day progressed: Protesters erected makeshift stone walls to protect their rallies from invasion, while civilian guards wore signs around their necks that read, "Martyr project."
The crowd was defiant, at times verging on a state of denial about their suddenly weakened political position. "This evening we will get Morsy back to the palace," chanted one group outside the Rabaa al-Adaweya mosque, the site of a major pro-Morsy rally, while waving posters of the former president triumphantly.
The conflict, at times, devolved into violence. At the Republican Guard headquarters, where Morsy is rumored to be held, at least three protesters died after the Egyptian military opened fire. One video showed a pro-Morsy protester who was chanting in front of army lines shot down in a volley of gunfire.
The clashes weren't only with the military -- the pro-Morsy crowd also engaged in street battles with civilians opposed to the Brotherhood. As night fell, the two groups exchanged gunfire and Molotov cocktails in Tahrir Square, and the nearby October 6 Bridge. They were only separated hours later, when the army moved in to restore calm. At least 17 people were killed in the day's clashes, according to Egyptian state television.
Above, a bird's eye view of the pro-Morsy rally near the Rabaa al-Adaweya mosque.