Egyptian uprising - updates and discussion

Egyptian uprising - updates and discussion

Live updates and discussion from the Egyptian uprising which began on 25 January 2011.

From the Egyptian Chronicles blog...

The January 25th protest is getting serious attention more and more. More Facebook pages and groups are calling for the #25 Jan and more political groups are going to participate in the huge event "They are about 17 groups".Many are praying that it be the start of a new thing in Egypt. Now if you are interested in following the protest on twitter to know its updates then follow this hash tag (#Jan25)

Surprisingly “Salafist movement for reform” aka “HAFS” has announced that it will participate in the event , this is the first time a Salafist movement participates in something like this considering the Salafist believes and teachings. I have my fear and my suspicion which I will keep it to myself. I know that this particular movement  has its political believes still ....

The Mahalla workers will participate too , you may remember how they made their own day on the 6th April from couple of years ago.

Another huge surprise or even change in this protest is its location in Cairo and Giza, it is no longer Down town or Nile corniche but rather at the famous Gamaat Al Doul street in Mohendessin , the heart of the middle class in Giza !! The other places are : Cairo university in Giza , Dawaran Shubra and Dawaran Al Mataria in Cairo.

The NDP will participate too , of course in pro-regime protests of love …etc. May be this will be a showdown between the regime and the opposition , the real opposition in Egypt on who has got the word in the street. There are rumors that the MOI will launch its thugs to create chaos and violence , all what I know for sure is  that the police will not enjoy their holiday because they will have to work.  Personally I think the regime will let that day pass peacefully in order not to push the people in to another degree of anger , the world is now watching the Arab countries post-Tunisian revolution in an anticipation.

The Egyptians in London are going to protest next Sunday January 23, 2011 at 1 PM in front of the Egyptian embassy in London , if you are there and interested in joining them then here is the Egyptian embassy address : 26 South Street, Westminster, London W1K 1DW. There will be also insh Allah a protest in Bologna , Italy. It will be held on the 23rd of January at 12 PM at Piazza del Nettuno. Also on Sunday there will be a protest held at 1 PM  in front of the Egyptian mission to the UN HQ in New York at at 304 East 44th Street.  Now it will not be the last capital in the world that will witness a protest in front of the Egyptian embassy or mission on that coming Sunday because there will be a protest in our embassy in Madrid at 1 PM too.

Our  great Tunisian brothers are going to protest in solidarity with the Egyptian people in front of the Egyptian embassy next January 25, 2011. Also our dear Jordanian brothers are going to protest inn front of the Egyptian embassy next January 25 ,2011. Our brothers in Yemen sent a solidarity email to the admin of “We are all Khaled Said” page.

Just like El General in Tunisia the Egyptian rap singers and bands are making songs for the #Jan25 just  like this one by rapper Ahmed Rock.There are lots of video clips on YouTube made by activists to encourage the people to participate in the protest of #Jan25.

Posted By

Jan 23 2011 13:13


Attached files


Valeriano Orobó...
Jan 27 2011 15:05
Samotnaf wrote:
but I don't think the world rulers' desire that "everything must change so that nothing changes" is going to have as smooth a ride as they'd wish. It's getting more and more interesting by the hour.

Agree. And on this; ElBaradei has returned ( expenting to lead the protest (on behalf of capital, i suppose) and he's already noticed it's not gonna be an easy road.

For the ones that suggested a similarity with Portugal: There's no Spinola i think neither in Tunisia nor in Egypt, aside of the fact that he couldn't keep in power.

Funnily enough turbocapitalism has't turned the world only in an even more awful place than it has always been but has turned its balance too in incredibly unstable and fragile one.

Jan 27 2011 15:06

It would have been Kaled Said's 29th birthday today, apparently.

Jan 27 2011 15:27

Nic pic re tomorrow's demo, #J28

No surprises that the Ikhwan have finally tried to jump onto the train. This from today's Guardian Egypt stream

The outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, the biggest opposition group in Egypt, has thrown its weight behind tomorrow's planned demonstration. People are spreading the world via Twitter, trying to get a million people onto the streets after Friday prayers.

From Al-Masry Al-Youm:

A member of the group's Executive Bureau and its spokesman, Dr. Mohamed Morsi, said that the group will participate in a demonstration after Friday prayers in order to "achieve popular demands." The Brotherhood is keen on pushing the people's demand for reform as the group is part of the people, he said in a statement to reporters. A member of the group's Guidance Office, Dr. Saad al-Katatni, said the demonstration has been successful so far because it represents the whole society.
He said in a statement to Al-Masry Al-Youm that it is not necessary for the Brotherhood to take a leading role in the protests, but if the situation requires, its members will maintain a strong street presence.

There have already been concerns raised on Twitter that the group will hijack the protest and its involvement might taint what is a non-religious uprising.

Personal opinion, given that it's day 3 and it's still going like gangbusters without them (some reports from Suez that they've moved on from burning down cop shops to buringing down the fire dept. to stop them putting out the cop shops), they may be a little behind the curve at this stage. But I guess we'll see how tomorrow goes.

edit: the other graphics on (the source of the above pic) are definitely worth checking out two. A couple of pretty brave guys there in the other 2 #J28 pix. Kudos.

p.s. #sidibouzid, #j25, #j28, looks like we've moved from colours revolutions to hash-tag ones.

Jan 27 2011 17:56

from Guardian stream

4.38pm: Reuters has just sent the following update on the state of play in various areas of the country:

• SHEIKH ZOWEID - Security forces shoot dead a Bedouin demonstrating in a town in Egypt's Sinai region, eyewitnesses and a security source say. Security forces fire tear gas to disperse dozens of protesters.

• SUEZ - Security forces fire rubber bullets, water cannon and use tear gas to disperse hundreds of protestors. Youths throw rocks and petrol bombs at the police.

• SUEZ - At sunset, hundreds of demonstrators are still on the streets and black smoke hangs over the city. Youths walk around shooting fire extinguishers into the air.

• ISMAILIA - Hundreds of protesters clash with police, who disperse the crowd with tear gas.

• CAIRO - Large groups of riot police keep watch in Cairo and in Giza suburb. Outside the press syndicate in central Cairo, dozens of protesters shout demands for President Hosni Mubarak to resign as police look on.

• CAIRO - State news agency MENA says the security services have released protesters in several parts of the country.

Go on Suez. They've burnt down the cop shops, the government buildings and the fire station and now they're shooting off the fire extinguishers in celebration. I love it.

Jan 27 2011 21:59

SHE2I2, a blog with articles and photographs on the protests, by someone, apparently a journalist in Cairo, who lists "anarchosyndicalism" and "libertarian socialism" among her interests in the profile. Might be interesting to follow (I found it through the EA Worldview liveblog).

Jan 28 2011 00:14

Interview with Hossam el-Hamalawy (Egyptian Trotskyist who runs the 3arabawy blog. He's run some really interesting articles in the past on labour stuff in Egypt and regarding that stuff he's pretty on the ball..

Jan 28 2011 00:44

From the Guardian

Egypt braces itself for biggest day of protests yet

Egypt protest leaflets distributed in Cairo give blueprint for mass action

Egyptians have been urged to come out after Friday prayers tomorrow and demand the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak's government, along with freedom, justice and a democratic regime.

Anonymous leaflets circulating in Cairo also provide practical and tactical advice for mass demonstrations, confronting riot police, and besieging and taking control of government offices.

Signed "long live Egypt", the slickly produced 26-page document calls on demonstrators to begin with peaceful protests, carrying roses but no banners, and march on official buildings while persuading policemen and soldiers to join their ranks.

The leaflet ask recipients to redistribute it by email and photocopy, but not to use social media such as Facebook and Twitter, which are being monitored by the security forces.

Protesters in Cairo are advised to gather in large numbers in their own neighbourhoods away from police and troops and then move towards key installations such the state broadcasting HQ on the Nile-side Corniche and try to take control "in the name of the people". Other priority targets are the presidential palace and police stations in several parts of central Cairo.

The leaflet includes aerial photographs with approach routes marked and diagrams on crowd formations. Suggested "positive" slogans include "long live Egypt" and "down with the corrupt regime". There are no signs of slogans reflecting the agenda of the powerful Muslim Brotherhood. It advises demonstrators to wear clothing such as hooded jackets, running shoes, goggles and scarves to protect against teargas, and to carry dustbin lids – to ward off baton blows and rubber bullets – first aid kits, and roses to symbolise their peaceful intentions.

Diagrams show how to defend against riot police and push in waves to break through their ranks. "The most important thing is to protect each other," the leaflet says.

It is important to prevent policemen penetrating the ranks of demonstrators, it adds. If they do, they should be persuaded to change sides and reminded that their own families could be among the people...

Jan 28 2011 01:00


0017 GMT: Multiple sources on social networks are reporting that police in Cairo are pouring gasoline on cars. Reportedly, this is so that tomorrow, they could be easily set on fire and then be blamed on protesters. The police - according to these sources - will then have an easier time arresting protesters on charges of vandalism and rioting. 

We cannot independently confirm this. 

0010 GMT: There are reports that three rocket-propelled grenades were fired on police stations in Sheikh Zuwayid in the Sinai, but one missed the target and hit a medical center. One managed to hit a police station 2 miles from the town, setting it on fire while the third landed in an empty lot. Not casualties have been reported. 

The RPGs were likely fired in retaliation of the death of a protester in the city earlier in the day. 

2325 GMT: Several sources confirm that internet has been shut down in major parts of Egypts. People on twitter and other social media are reporting that many people directly connected from Egypt have fallen off messengers and other devices. Those inside Egypt are telling sources that internet is completely down in Cairo and Alexandria and possibly other places.

2240 GMT: Al Masry Al Youm reports that so far at least 70,000 Egyptians have confirmed through social media sites that they will participate in the nationwide protests planned after Friday prayers tomorrow. 

This number is sure to grow as more people sign in after getting home from today's protests. 

2130 GMT: Meanwhile in Suez, the government has managed to disperse another protest. 

Eyewitnesses confirm that the neighborhood of Al-Arbe'en - which saw intense clashes last night - has saw its public lighting cut off. Protesters have also torched a fire station, a police station and several other buildings in the past two days. Police have so far arrested between 15-50 protesters, eyewitnesses claim. 

1852 GMT: Masrawy is reporting that Bedouin in the Sinai fired three rocket-propelled grenades at security forces.

1600 GMT: Another protester has been killed today. Mohamed Atef was shot in the head during demonstrations in the town of Sheikh Zowayed in the Sinai peninsula.

Atef is the fifth protester to die since Tuesday. Officials say two policemen have also been killed.

1535 GMT: The Egyptian stock market fell another 10.5% on Thursday.

The index decreased 6% on Wednesday. Since yesterday afternoon, it has recorded a a loss of 54 billion Egyptian Pounds ($9.2 billion) in trading.

The market was suspended for 45 minutes after it fell 6.2% in the first quarter-hour of trading on Thursday.

The Egyptian Pound, already at a six-year low, is still sliding against the US dollar.

1525 GMT: This weekend's domestic football league games have been cancelled.

1519 GMT: Report from Al Jazeera correspondent in Suez, "Protestors kettled in Al Arbaeen, tear gas & smoke so heavy we can hardly see. Police using Batons, rubber bullets."

And another observer in Suez, this update: "Protesters looting fire station. The surge seems unaffected by tear gas, rubber bullets."

1445 GMT: Protests in Rafah in South Sinai are continuing after pro-government tribesmen failed to convince protesters to halt, as authorities consider whether to charge their detained relatives.

The total number of detainees is estimated at 420.
In Mahalla, north of Cairo, police have arrested seven activists, including five members of the Democratic Front Party building, but there have large rallies elsewhere in the city. Seucrity forces, including some in armoured vehicles, quashed a demonstration in Tanta.

1425 GMT: 1st-hand from Suez, "Fire department building on fire. Billows of black smoker rising. Firemen jumping out windows."

1415 GMT: Recap from Suez. One police station was burned this morning, and relatives of detainees gathered around a second station. Trouble then escalated, with the reports of clashes involving tear gas, rubber bullets, and water cannon. There are unconfirmed claims of Molotov cocktails and live fire.

Al Jazeera says 300 people have been detained. Al Arabiya's correspondent Ahmad Othman was prevented from entering the city.

Jan 28 2011 01:07
Mike Harman
Jan 28 2011 01:53
2325 GMT: Several sources confirm that internet has been shut down in major parts of Egypts. People on twitter and other social media are reporting that many people directly connected from Egypt have fallen off messengers and other devices. Those inside Egypt are telling sources that internet is completely down in Cairo and Alexandria and possibly other places.

This is coming up on twitter as well. Looks like it could end up a full blackout.

Jan 28 2011 04:32

Just saw this on The Guardian CIF thread:

Mubarak regime is banning Facebook, Twitter, and all other popular internet sites. Tomorrow the government will block the 3 mobile phone network and the internet completely. And there is news that even the phone landline will be cut tomorrow, to prevent any news agency from following what will happen.
Suez city is already under siege now. The government cut the water supply and electricity, people, including, children and elderly are suffering there now. The patients in hospitals cannot get urgent medical care. The injured protestors are lying in the streets and the riot police are preventing people from helping them. The families of the killed protestors cannot get the bodies of their sons to bury them. This picture is the same in north Saini (El-Sheikh zoyad city) and in western Egypt (Al-salom). The riot police is cracking down on protestors in Ismailia, Alexandria, Fayoum, Shbin Elkoum, and Cairo, the capital, in many neighborhoods across the city.
The government is preparing to crackdown on the protestors in all Egyptian cities. They are using tear gas bombs, rubber and plastic pullets, chemicals like dilutes mustard gas against protestors. Several protestors today have been killed when the armored vehicles of the riot police hit them. Officials in plain clothes carrying blades and knives used to intimidate protestors.
All this has been taken place over the past three days during the peaceful demonstrations in Cairo and other cities. Now, with the suspicious silence of the local media and the lack of coverage from the international media, Mubarak and his gang are blocking all the channels that can tell the world about what is happening.
People who call for their freedom need your support and help. Will you give them a hand?
The activists are flooding the net (youtube and other sites) with thousands of pictures and videos showing the riot police firing on armless people. The police started to use ammunition against protestors. 15-year old girl has been injured and another 25 year old man has been shot in the mouth. While nothing of these has appeared in the media, there is more to happen tomorrow. Will you keep silent? Will you keep your mouth shut while seeing all these cruelty and inhumane actions?
We don’t ask for much, just broadcast what is happening

Mike Harman
Jan 28 2011 06:08

There's apparently one or two providers still running in Egypt, and people are setting up proxies to deal with the blockage of particular sites. This was a couple of hours ago though so they may just not have got to them yet.

Internet in 5 star hotels also still up apparently.

Just saw something flash past in twitter about ham radio, that's next to impossible to shut down, but it's very limited, better than nothing though!!/MichaelFelch/status/30863272609587200

There's also been reports that police agents were going 'round all the main squares overnight covering cars with petrol - so they can set fire to them today and arrest everyone in the vicinity.

This site just went up - not a lot there yet, but just in case it develops.

Mike Harman
Jan 28 2011 06:09
Mike Harman
Jan 28 2011 06:14
Jan 28 2011 11:08

More on the internet shutdown. Follow the link for updates and comments.

Egypt leaves the Internet

Confirming what a few have reported this evening: in an action unprecedented in Internet history, the Egyptian government appears to have ordered service providers to shut down all international connections to the Internet. Critical European-Asian fiber-optic routes through Egypt appear to be unaffected for now. But every Egyptian provider, every business, bank, Internet cafe, website, school, embassy, and government office that relied on the big four Egyptian ISPs for their Internet connectivity is now cut off from the rest of the world. Link Egypt, Vodafone/Raya, Telecom Egypt, Etisalat Misr, and all their customers and partners are, for the moment, off the air.

At 22:34 UTC (00:34am local time), Renesys observed the virtually simultaneous withdrawal of all routes to Egyptian networks in the Internet's global routing table. Approximately 3,500 individual BGP routes were withdrawn, leaving no valid paths by which the rest of the world could continue to exchange Internet traffic with Egypt's service providers. Virtually all of Egypt's Internet addresses are now unreachable, worldwide.

This is a completely different situation from the modest Internet manipulation that took place in Tunisia, where specific routes were blocked, or Iran, where the Internet stayed up in a rate-limited form designed to make Internet connectivity painfully slow. The Egyptian government's actions tonight have essentially wiped their country from the global map.

What happens when you disconnect a modern economy and 80,000,000 people from the Internet? What will happen tomorrow, on the streets and in the credit markets? This has never happened before, and the unknowns are piling up. We will continue to dig into the event, and will update this story as we learn more. As Friday dawns in Cairo under this unprecedented communications blackout, keep the Egyptian people in your thoughts...


From the comments thread...

Thank you , thank you very much for posting this, we, Egyptians living in Canada, has been trying to contact media lately to spread the news about internet cut (and also SMS service) in Egypt, we cannot reach anyone unless we call and not always get through to, they are isolated and trapped in black-hole .. This has two meanings, government wants to prevent activists from communicating like they used to on twitter to agree on locations and help each other when needed, and also prove they are planning the worse for tomorrow and wants it away from media since activists have been posting instantly pics videos and tweets live from the action.
Please keep posting!
Jan 28 2011 11:44


1138 GMT: Reports of protests in Shobra area of Cairo and in Arish area of Sinai. Also a claim by Al Jazeera that Egyptian protesters have gathered near a Cairo residential palace of President Hosni Mubarak.

Protests are reported for the first time in the Nasr City area of Cairo. Al Arabiya says downtown Cairo --- where security forces have locked down Tahrir Square --- is now "surrounded by protests".

1135 GMT: Reports of clashes between thousands of protesters in Mansoura and police.

1131 GMT: Jack Shenker of The Guardian has posted an audio report of police in Cairo using tear gas, sound bombs, and water cannon on thousands of protesters with Mohammed ElBaradei.

Shenker says the streets are now a "war zone" and residents are helping protesters by giving them water. He said he believes ElBaradei got out of the area but is not sure.

1129 GMT: Al Jazeera from Suez, "Protests in Martyrs Street, Army Street, & Hamza mosque. All trying to get to al Arbaeen area."

Also a report of thousands in Dumyat in northern Egypt chanting, " Mubarak must leave!"

1125 GMT: First-hand from Cairo, "The street is filled, we cannot see the pavement. Chanting "Mubarak has to leave."

1120 GMT: Egyptian police are now reportedly firing rubber bullets as well as tear gas.

Thousands are protesting in Sharqiya and clashing with security forces.

Demonstrations also reported in Suez, Ismailia, and other cities.

1119 GMT: Al Jazeera claims 20,000 protesters are at the Al Azhar Mosque protest in Cairo.

An Al Jazeera English reporter, Rawya Rageh, is amongst those tear-gassed in Alexandria outside the Qaed Ibrahim Mosque. She is choking through her report but describes "incredible scenes".

1115 GMT: Police are tear-gassing protesters in Alexandria.

Al Jazeera reports thousands are protesting in front of main mosque at Minya Governorate in Upper Egypt.

1110 GMT: Nic Robertson of CNN, Several hundred riot police w/ sticks [and] rubber bullet guns surround central mosque. Crowd 500-1000 in street outside. Both sides tense [and] nervous."

1105 GMT: Protests have erupted at Al-Azhar Mosque against the regime. Police are using water cannons against the protestors, who are throwing rocks and raising banners "Down with Dictatorship" and "End Corruption".

Jan 28 2011 12:22

From the Guardian

Live updates

Map of the protests

Live Q&A: Middle East protests

Want to understand the political unrest spreading from Tunisia to Egypt, Yemen and beyond? Post your questions for one of the Guardian's Middle East experts, Brian Whitaker

Protests in Suez – in pictures

Mike Harman
Jan 28 2011 12:08

Guardian stream says third day of protests in Jordan too.

Jan 28 2011 12:11

Information lockdown in Egypt (

There is a general expectation that today will be decisive, one way or the other. If the protesters win the day, it will set the course for a new Middle East: Egypt is not Tunisia – it is the most populous Arab country and a real heavyweight. The outcome will have even greater influence than it did in Tunisia.

My hunch, though, is that today will signal the start – in earnest – of the Egyptian revolution rather than its culmination. In Tunisia it took a month; Egypt is a much bigger fish and this has only been going for three days. The regime won't give up easily and will try to  fight on, even if mortally wounded.

But evaluating all the signs as honestly as I can, think Mohamed ElBaradei was right when he said yesterday that the situation has passed a point of no return. For all practical purposes, the Mubarak – father and son – era is finished and the only question left is whether or not its death throes will drag on until the presidential election scheduled for October.

Even so, I keep wondering if I might be wrong. I have read the article on Ynet assuring Israelis that it's going to be fine: that the friendly dictator will remain in place, that "nothing will be changing" in Egypt and that "when the situation calms down and the streets empty, those who provoked the 'day of fury' will be taken care of".

It's a point of view, and it's what always happened in the past. But I really can't see the situation calming down now until Mubarak goes…

Brian Whitaker, 28 January 2011

Jan 28 2011 13:02

from Guardian stream

12.59pm: In another extraordinary audio report Jack Shenker in Cairo reports on signs that the police are siding with the protesters. He saw a senior police officer discard a teargas canister to signal to protesters that he was on their side. Will the regime fall he asked a state journalist. "It's already falling, it can't stop," Jack was told.
Jan 28 2011 13:13

From the liveblog

1310 GMT: From Suez, the Al Jazeera correspondent reports protesters have taken over the police station and freed detainees.

Three armoured vehicles were set alight, with other protesters trying to put out the fires.

Al Jazeera images show police being overwhelmed by demonstrators.

1300 GMT: From Cairo, "20,000 protesters take over Qasr al-Nil Bridge".

And now this: "Tahrir [Square] is mysteriously emptied of police is now filling with protesters. Police taking to the rooftops" to fire tear gas. Two police cars are reportedly burnt, and casualties are claimed.

1255 GMT: Al Arabiya reports that protesters have stormed the headquarters of the ruling party NDP in Damietta. Unconfirmed reports that NDP headquarters have been taken over in Mansoura.

Earlier today, protesters reportedly stormed the NDP headquarters in Ismailia (see 1213 GMT).

1250 GMT: Al Jazeera reports 40,000 marching in a suburb north of Cairo.

A police vehicle has been torched in Abdul Menem Riyad square in central Cairo.

1247 GMT: Latest news is that "many people", including Mohamed ElBaradei, are still "holed up" in a mosque in Giza, "under siege" by security forces.

1245 GMT: Al Jazeera is reporting that police units have refused orders to fire tear gas bombs at protesters in Alexandria.

1235 GMT: Al Jazeera's corrspondent in Suez says that, as protesters began a peaceful march, security forces tried "to run them over" with a fire engine. However, the fire engine was forced to veer off the stree because of garbage cans put across the road, and it was "almost destroyed" in minutes by demonstrators throwing stones.

Al Jazeera images show many thousands on the streets, with police struggling to hold their line.

The correspondent continues that two "security officials" have been suspended for refusing to authorise live fire against protesters in Suez last night.

1229 GMT: Al Masry Al Youm journalist Ahmad Ali on BBC Arabic estimates that the number of protesters in Alexandria has reached 100,000.

Jan 28 2011 13:27

Al Jazeera English - live stream

Just now this was reporting demonstrations in Istanbul and Ankara in support of the Egyptians

Al Jazeera liveblog

2:55 pm - Our Arabic channel is reporting that 40,000 protesters in Mansoura - a mid-sized, working-class town in the Nile Delta - are attacking the offices of the ruling National Democratic Party. That would be an enormous crowd, and we haven't confirmed the number.
Jan 28 2011 13:40

Suez police station has fallen. Alexandria police out of gas and surrounded by superior force, pleading for mercy.

Guardian stream

1.23pm An eyewitness account from Peter Bouckaert of Human Rights Watch, who says police immediately set upon peaceful protesters.

We are in East Alexandria. Immediately after prayer, the people came out of mosque with banners and started marching, shouting 'we are peaceful, we are peaceful'. Security arrived and immediately began shooting teargas and rubber bullets at peaceful protesters, about 600. Then one-hour rock throwing clash, but police didn't advance more than one block and kept being pushed back. Then a massive column of protesters came from the other direction and blocked in police, holding up their hands and shouting we are peaceful. Right now police is held up in the yard of mosque and protesters all around, police can't move. They repeatedly ran out of teargas and begged protesters to stop, protesters telling them to join them.

1.09pm: Al-Jazeera in Suez says the police station in the port city has been taken over by protesters who have freed detainees. They have also set fire to three armoured cars. The reporter said the police were overpowered within minutes.

edit: Alexandria police have surrendered.

1.33pm: More from Peter Bouckaert, from Human Rights Watch, in Alexandria:

The police have now given up fighting the protesters. The police and protesters are now talking, with protesters bringing water and vinegar (for teargas) to the police. Afternoon prayer has just been called and hundreds are praying in front of the mosque in east Alexandria.

Jan 28 2011 14:40

from the guardian feed:

2.32pm: Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director of Human Rights Watch, gives this detailed account of how police overwhelmed protesters in Alexandria today.
After prayers, the protesters came out of a mosque and started shouting slogans. They were saying "peaceful, peaceful" and raising their hands. They were immediately attacked by police in an armoured car firing teargas. Fierce clashes started then, with exchanges of rock throwing. About 200 police faced about 1,000 protesters. The clashes lasted for nearly two hours. Then a much larger crowd of protesters came from another direction. They were packed in four blocks deep. Police tried to hold them back with teargas and rubber bullets, but they were finally overwhelmed.

Then the police just gave up, at about the time of afternoon prayers. Protesters gave water to police and talked to them. It was was all peaceful. Hundreds of protesters were praying in the street.

Now walking down to downtown Alexandria, the whole road is packed as far as we can see, people shouting slogans against [Hosni] Mubarak and his son Gamal. Asking others to join them. It is a very festive atmosphere. Women in veils, old men, children, I even saw a blind man being led. And there are no police anywhere.


2.27pm: "It doesn't show any sign of dying down at the moment," says Peter Beaumont who has been witnessing teargas canisters exchanges on the Kassr Nile bridge. "Having got gassed earlier today, I've got no idea how the protesters are managing to stay in the smoke," he says.
Listen! Turn off auto refresh to listen to full audio

2.19pm: The protesters are in control of the central square in Suez says al-Jazeera. There is no police presence. Jamal Elshayyal, their reporter in Suez, says:

The police has been quite comprehensively defeated by the power of the people.

2.08pm: Al-Jazeera is showing extraordinary live footage of a police firing teargas cannisters at protesters and protesters throwing them back. Police have cleared one of the main motorway bridges over the Nile.

"The people want to bring down the regime," protesters are chanting, according to a translator.


1.44pm: Peter Beaumont reports on a pitched battle between police and protesters on the Kassr Nile bridge. "It is white with gas, but the protesters are pushing the police back," he says. Like Jack Shenker and Human Rights Watch, Peter has also seen signs of protesters trying persuade police to join them.

Jason Cortez
Jan 28 2011 14:42

Just seem an armoured vechile knock someone over then reverse back over them on a cario 6 oct bridge

Jan 28 2011 15:04

The police have been defeated in both Suez and Alexandria, reports are also in of NDP headquarters stormed in Mansoura and Dumya. No news has been heard from Sheikh Zuwayid, Port Said or many of the other places that we've heard from in last days. Presumably at least partly due to communication difficulties with the internet shut down.

The reports from other cities suggest that there has been a concentration of police forces and materiél in Cairo, to make the battle for the capital the make or break play. Certainly they shown no signs of running out of gas like in Alexandria. It seems the other towns and cities have been left to the local forces to defend on a "best endeavours" basis.

But so far, no sign of the army. In this context, no sign is a good sign.

Jan 28 2011 15:21

Seeing that Suez is a garrison town then what is happening there could be significant for the role of the army. Last night al-Jazeerah on the spot reported hundreds of demonstrators on the streets at 9pm (GMT) and then at 10 o'clock it was thousands. That intensification seems to have continued.
Given that earlier I expressed some doubts about the working class being swamped by the forces of democracy or religion then this is not turning out to be the case at the moment. There were reports of the working class area of Mahalla being isolated (not attacked) by the forces of repression but there has since been reports of outbursts here as well as the working class district of Mansoura.
The expression of revolt here is becoming quite problematic for imperialism, particularly the US.

Jan 28 2011 15:25

uh-oh... spoke too soon, perhaps.

3.12pm: Following up from the previous update, al-Jazeera just showed pictures of protesters jumping and cheering beside what appeared to be an army armoured vehicle in Cairo with the occupants in the vehicle not responding in any kind of negative fashion. It's too early to get carried away but al-Jazeera was suggesting this could be a sign that the army's allegiance is with the people.
Let's just hope the hopes of the people are not misplaced.

3.05pm: Egyptian protesters in Cairo are calling for the army to side with them against the police, Reuters reports:

Egyptian protesters in Cairo chanted slogans calling for the army to support them, complaining of police violence during clashes on Friday in which security forces fired teargas and rubber bullets. "Where is the army? Come and see what the police is doing to us. We want the army. We want the army," the protesters in one area of central Cairo shouted, shortly before police fired teargas on them.

be careful what you wish for...

Mike Harman
Jan 28 2011 15:36

A few bits and pieces, none of this confirmed:

Some people apparently trying to push armoured vehicles off a bridge.
Some police have apparently taken off uniforms and switched sides.
Right now on Al Jazeera there's ceasefire for Friday prayers - police taking a break as well.
Also reports of the army refusing to tear gas people, and potentially a tank that switched sides.
At least one protester killed today.

There's a 6pm curfew, I think it's pushing 6pm in Egypt.