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...

http://egyptianchronicles.blogspot.com/2011/01/jan25-is-getting-serious.html

Quote:
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

Mark.
Jan 23 2011 13:13

Share

Attached files

Comments

ocelot
Jan 28 2011 20:52

I've never seen such a hopeless press conference as the current White House press briefing. The structure of regimes in the Middle East that the US has supported since the Iranian Revolution is collapsing before our eyes and these clowns don't even know what to say, and yet are prepared to have a press conference to broadcast that fact to the world. The following tweet reported on the Guardian stream just about sums it up:

Quote:
8.21pm "So the White House has called this press conference to convey with clarity and firmness its mixed feelings and uncertainty," tweets former Bush administration speechwriter Joshua Treviño.

not with a bang, but a whimper...

Komar
Jan 28 2011 21:19
Mark.
Jan 28 2011 21:43

The CEMB thread is also worth following

Mark.
Jan 28 2011 22:11
ocelot wrote:
It must be Friday. The president is due to address the nation. It's deja vue all over again...

...and I've got back in and I'm struggling to make sense of the days events all over again.

Re the effect of the internet shutdown - I caught part of a phone interview this afternoon on BBC news with a random office worker in Cairo. He said he turned up at the office this morning and was sent home as without the internet there was no work to do. So he went to Friday prayers and then joined the protests.

From the Guardian live updates:

Quote:
7.56pm GMT: CNN's Ben Wedeman – who has been doing an excellent job all day – is asked why things have calmed down in Cairo. "Jim, things have calmed down because there is no government, there's no authority," saying that police and army had disappeared, "there's no one to protest against."

From the liveblog:

Quote:
2155 GMT; Egyptian state TV has denied that private jets have departed from Cairo airport.

Al Jazeera has claimed that Egyptian businessmen and "prominent figures" had left in jets earlier tonight. And the BBC said within the last half-hour that three private jets left Cairo airport under heavy security.

Mark.
Jan 28 2011 22:17

More from the liveblog

Quote:
2125 GMT: Dima Khatib of Al Jazeera sends a message that the Egyptian Embassy in Venezuela has been taken over by a group of Egyptian and Arab protesters.

2110 GMT: It appears the Army is moving to protect the key points in Cairo, such as the Prime Minister's offices, the Parliament building, State Radio and TV, and the US and British Embassies.

2105 GMT: Ben Wedeman of CNN reports, "Saw boys with massive Seal of the Republic looted from State TV. If this isn't the end, it certainly looks and smells like it."

2055 GMT: Meanwhile, journalists in Tunis contact us with this information....

We witnessed this afternoon how police and plainclothes stormed the demonstrators' camp at Place de Kasbah with tear gas and dogs. Very ugly scenes.

Place de Kasbah since 1700 (1600 GMT) controlled by military, all tents and installations vandalised. Also clashes between demontsrators and police in Av. Bourguiba and centre of city. Lot of tear gas. Plainclothes with sticks all around as well as groups of enraged young demonstrators armed with stones and sticks. Atmosphere tense and unclear what is going to happen next.

Reuters has a brief reference to "police fir[ing] tear gas at anti-government protesters" but is far more concerned that "Islamists marched through central Tunis"

2050 GMT: More live shots from Al Jazeera English of protesters greeting Army units in streets of Cairo.

2045 GMT: Al Jazeera is reporting that protesters stormed Vodafone HQ in Cairo & other cities around Egypt.

Earlier today, complying with a Government order, Vodafone disconnected mobile and Internet services.

2039 GMT: Al Jazeera is updating that 11 people have been killed in Suez today. Among 150 injured, 20 are in critical condition.

2012 GMT: Al Jazeera is reporting that Mubarak's presidential guard unit is heading towards the State TV builiding in Cairo.

All flights into and out of Cairo are now suspended.

2004 GMT: The Egyptian Day of Chaos continues. Now there are reports by AJE that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is on fire as well. The Egyptian Army Chief of Staff is returning from a trip to the US back to Egypt in light of the unrest. The protesters remain on the streets and have refused to budge. 

2000 GMT: A very touching story is developing in Cairo. As the NDP's headquarters burn, there were fears that the Egyptian National Museum, which houses some of the world's most ancient artifacts from the old Egyptian civilization and a beautiful collection of ancient whales fossils, would catch on fire too. There were earlier reports - albeit unconfirmed - that some people were looting the museum.

Now Al Jazeera is reporting that young protesters have formed a human chain around the museum to protect it against looting. It seems for now that this treasure trove of human ingenuity and the natural world's wonders is in no immediate danger.   

Juan Conatz
Jan 28 2011 22:31

So Mubarak basically said "I'm gonna fire all my underlings and crack protester skulls."

ocelot
Jan 28 2011 22:32

So that was Mubarak addressing the nation. He's sacked the cabinet (big whup) but is intent on ploughing on. They don't call him the rhinocerous for nothing. But this changes bugger all, essentially.

Mark.
Jan 28 2011 22:53

From the Guardian live updates

Quote:
10.29pm GMT: Mubarak finally appears on Nile TV. The translation is very halting and difficult to follow, so these notes may not be accurate, and it's much as I could catch:
Quote:
I assure you I am working for the people and giving freedom of opinion as long as you are respecting the law. There's a very small line between freedom and chaos....

We have to be careful of anything that would allow chaos. No democracy would be there if we allow chaos. These demonstrators wanted to speak about their opinion, to give have more job opportunities and lower prices and fight poverty. I know all of these issues that people are asking ... I will always be on the side of the poor....

CNN is running Mubarak in a split screen, with the president on one side and the fires and wreakage in the streets around Cairo and Alexandra on the other.

Quote:
Dear citizens, I don't talk to you today as a president but as an Egyptian. I [have] spent war and peace in this counrty, we overcame very hard times, we were united as people.... [We need] new steps for more democracy, for more freedoms for citizens, new steps to raise the economy and to stand by the poor and those with limited salaries. This is what is going to make our future and we can't do that unless we are open and we are hard working. We need to build...

What happened in the last few days put fear in everybody's hearts and the fear for the future and additional chaos. I take responsibility for the security of this country and our citizens, I will not let this happen. I will not let fear live in the hearts of the citizens.

Then Mubarak announced that he will force the government to resign and appoint a new one tomorrow. But Mubarak gave no sign whatsoever that he would be going with them, quite the opposite in fact.

Now let's see how that goes down on the streets of Cairo.

Jazzhands
Jan 28 2011 23:22

There are at least two possibilities for the outcome I see here.

1. The protesters win. The streets don't quiet down for months as whoever gets to Mubarak first tries to figure out how to form a new government. Either there will be a new dictator who won't last long, or a bourgeois "democracy" will be put in place that tries to accommodate the other parties in an uneasy compromise.

2. Mubarak wins and becomes even more dictatorial. His regime collapses within 10 years. We've seen that pattern in Yugoslavia, after the Croatian Spring.

Incubus
Jan 28 2011 23:24

Weapons seized from ransacked police stations in Suez and elsewhere. Masses stoning army convoys in Cairo. Price of Oil approaching $100 pb. Dow Jones down by nearly 200 points. Ha ha.

Mark.
Jan 28 2011 23:32

From the liveblog

Quote:
2315 GMT: While we report on news from Egypt, what are the people inside the country saying about what's happening? True, internet has been mostly cut-off. But a few people have managed to keep themselves connected to the rest of the world. Twitter steps in to fill the void: 

@DannyRamadan: 

More protesters are back in the streets shouting: Down with Mubarak. They are on the Corniche. 

20 protesters on Qasr al-Nil screaming: Ya Gamal 2ol la abook kol el-Sha3b bekrahook (Gamal, tell your father, people here hate you)

Cairo is taking couple of hours to sleep. I'm looking forward to tomorrow.

I'm greatful for all the support I get from people and the tweets I'm getting from all across the globe. Keep the word out, people.

@JRug 

I have been trying for hours to get a phone line out of Cairo. Hotel lobby filled with tear gas.

Tanks are rolling around central Cairo to no apparent purpose. Hundreds on freeways and underpasses watching.Museum still safe.

@JonJensen

Most Egyptians I talked to in past 2 hours want to know - where are the police? Who is in control of Cairo tonight?

Downtown Cairo still reeks of tear gas. Shots ringing every few seconds near Parliament. Protesters set up roadblocks on Kasr el-Nil Bridge.

Police seem to have vanished. Troop carriers in Agouza, 15th May Bridge, mostly empty by look of it. Looting in Mohandesin.

@Ssirgany

Again only demand in protests since Tuesday were for Mubarak to leave. Economic & political reforms were merely demands made before.
 
2306 GMT: The speech by President Hosni Mubarak moments ago has had no effect on the protests. Protesters remain in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez and other cities and still have not be dispersed. Many are continuing their anti-government chants and now directly asking Mubarak to step down...

Mark.
Jan 28 2011 23:38

On twitter - a tip for the next domino to fall?

Quote:
#jAN25 Ripple effect of #Jan25 felt in Mauritania. Massive protest out on the streets of capital right now!
about 3 hours ago
Jazzhands
Jan 28 2011 23:51

Obama gave a speech on the Egyptian thing a few seconds ago. He basically said "We will work with Mubarak against dictatorship," a statement as ridiculous as it is typical of Obama. So you're going to work with a dictator...against dictatorship? Al Jazeera says that Obama's supposed "phone conversation" with Mubarak didn't happen until AFTER he mentioned it in the speech, since the Press Secretary was asked about whether they had been in phone contact before the speech and he kind of sidestepped the question.

Mark.
Jan 29 2011 00:03

Also on twitter

Quote:
Cairo: Army spreading in streets making gathering for protesters, who are exhausted by now, very difficult #Jan25 #Jan28 #Egypt
less than 5 seconds ago via web

RNN: Trusted Source: From one army leader: so far, army is out and Presidential Guards are those in the streets #jan25 #egypt
5 minutes ago via jan25live

Live Phonecall: Police trucks seen in Dokki, major streets quieter near Charles de Gaulle. #Jan25 #Jan28 #Egypt
10 minutes ago via web

RNN: one bedwin and one borders guards soldier killed in conflicts between both sides in Sinai #jan25 #egypt
3 minutes ago via jan25live

Dostor: State Security location in Rafah under siege by armed people and firing from Sinai Bedwins #jan25 #egypt
26 minutes ago via jan25live

Rafah is on the border with Gaza. This point was made on the angryarab blog earlier in the day:

Quote:
Can anyone doubt that a new regime in Egypt (whether secular or Islamist) in no way can continue the official embrace of Israeli war crimes and that the siege of Gaza would be first to go?
Mark.
Jan 29 2011 01:19
Mark.
Jan 29 2011 01:52

From the liveblog

Quote:
0138 GMT: Sarah El Sirgany from Cairo tweets incidents of looting of shops in the city.

Another Egyptian twitterer tweets:

Curfew > Ignored. #Mubarak Speech > Ignored. Obama Speech > No one cares. Revolution is on.

0132 GMT: Al Jazeera now claims that over 20 protesters were killed today and over 1,000 were injured. I suppose this is what happens when you use the freedoms that President Hosni Mubarak has provided Egyptians.

0115: Even at almost 4 in the morning, Cairo is still being rocked by the sounds of explosions. Multiple people in Cairo claim that they have heard several small explosions coming mostly from the center of the city. No confirmation existed as to what exactly is causing the explosions. 

0100: As chaotic as scenes have been in Cairo, Alexandria seems to have suffered an equal amount of damage. The Army just arrived in the city and were faced with the left-overs of what was the 28th of January - the carcasses of burnt out government buildings, police stations and the mess created by clashes between hundreds of thousands of protesters and riot police.

Mark.
Jan 29 2011 01:36

On twitter in the last hour or so

Quote:
Doors are being quietly knocked on and people asked to join protests tomorrow.

On streets of Alexandria, seems every police truck deployed for riots was destroyed, burnt, litter roads near clashes.

Alexandria Governorate building heavily burnt and looted, a war against the Egyptian government people here say.

Tour of downtown Alexandria reveals destruction of police stations and only a few dozen Egyptian soldiers 37 minutes ago.

Egyptian Army arrive in Alexandria after damage is done, stand guard at useless, burnt out police stations

at alex police station where people say police allegedly murdered innocent man in cold blood last year — now total destruction.

Army looks on, does nothing as one of Alexandria's largest police station burns and looters carry away anything of value.

Streets of Alexandria very quiet now, soldiers with bayonets fixed on rifles guard road to torched police station.

Man shot dead in Maadi by police. Victim's family steal firearms from nearby store and violence erupts.

Man shot dead in Maadi by police forces trying to enforce curfew. Street fight ensues between police and victim's family.

Mark.
Jan 29 2011 02:01

Egypt's security and armed forces: The deciding factor (BBC)

Quote:
The fate of Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak, his entire state apparatus, and that of the popular uprising confronting them now depends largely on the actions of his army and security forces.

The two are not the same.

Broadly speaking, Egyptians respect their army, which is still seen as a patriotic bulwark against their neighbour Israel, with whom they went to war in 1967 and 1973.

But the black-clad riot police, the Central Security Force (Amn al-Markazi), belongs to the interior ministry, and has been in the forefront of much of the violent confrontations with protesters.

Poorly paid and mostly illiterate, they number around 330,000 when combined with the Border Force. They themselves rioted over low pay in the early years of President Mubarak's rule and had to be brought under control by the army.

The army has a similar strength - around 340,000 - and is under the command of Gen Mohammad Tantawi, who has close ties with the US (he has just been visiting the Pentagon).

When Mr Mubarak ordered the army onto the streets of Cairo and other cities late on Friday, his aim was to back up the riot police who have been heavily outnumbered by the protesters.

But many of them are hoping the army will take their side or, at the very least, act as a restraining force on the police who have been acting with excessive brutality throughout this protest.

Hence the cheers that greeted the columns of army vehicles as they drove through Cairo on Friday night.
Up until now, President Mubarak has enjoyed the support of the armed forces.

He was, after all, a career air force officer suddenly catapulted to the presidency when Anwar Sadat was assassinated in 1981.

But if these protests continue and intensify there are bound to be senior voices within the military tempted to urge him to stand down...

Mark.
Jan 29 2011 02:22

From the liveblog

Quote:
0153 GMT: So did the protesters go home now that it's around 4 AM in Egypt? Well, not quite. Tharwacolamus tweets: 

Thousands of protesters still in Tahrir Square, signing, dancing, chanting "down with Mubarak," plan to stay all night. What curfew?

Mark.
Jan 29 2011 03:11
Samotnaf
Jan 29 2011 03:49

Found this account here interesting, even though she puts it in terms of reclaiming "our country":

Quote:
ahead of us was a wall of teargas. We ran down the slope of the bridge and straight into a line of central security soldiers. They were meant to block the way. We were three women, dishevelled, eyes streaming. We came right up to them and they made way. "Run," they urged us, "Run!"
"How can you do this?" I reproached them, eye to eye.
"What can we do? We want to take off this uniform and join you!"...Once, a long time ago, my then young son, watching a young man run to help an old man who had dropped a bag in the middle of the street, said: "The thing about Egypt is that everyone is very individual, but also part of a great co-operative project." Today, we are doing what we do best, and what this regime has tried to destroy: we have come together, as individuals, in a great co-operative effort to reclaim our country.

Thing that gets me about all these very moving spine tingling events is the incredible pace of them - who would have thought this could happen on Tuesday morning?

petey
Jan 29 2011 04:11

a few MSM notes:
- NBC's man in cairo points out that the tear gas canisters being fired are labelled 'made in USA' and that this has not gone unnoticed; the muslim brotherhood is getting on board and this is a source of fear among the demonstrators; ex-defense sec'y cohen and current v.p. biden both spoke in support of mubarak
- ITN's man (via PBS here in the states) thinks there's 'too much leadership' among the demonstrators and there's no-one to treat with mubarak, though el baradei is a reformer, hence 'reasonable'

sitcom
Jan 29 2011 11:01

This little item just caught my eye:

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia-pacific/2011/01/201112991712140318.html

China has blocked the word "Egypt'' from the country's wildly popular Twitter-like service, while coverage of the political turmoil has been tightly restricted in state media.

China's ruling Communist Party is sensitive to any potential source of social unrest.

A search for "Egypt'' on the Sina microblogging service brings up a message saying, "According to relevant laws, regulations and policies, the search results are not shown".

The service has more than 50 million users.

News on the Egypt protests has been limited to a few paragraphs and photos buried inside major news websites, but China Central Television had a report on its midday broadcast.

China's foreign ministry did not respond to a request for comment Saturday on the events in Egypt.

Source: Associated Press

Beltov
Jan 29 2011 11:15

AJ just reported that salt workers in Suez have gone on strike 'until Mubarak resigns'.

Samotnaf
Jan 29 2011 11:45

According to latest French national news, Mubarak's 10-storey ruling party HQ in Cairo is on fire, a supermarket in the 'banlieux' (working class outskirts) of Cairo has been looted, and there are no cops on the streets!!! (prelude to the army preparing a massacre, a coup, a mutiny or.......what???)

Mike Harman
Jan 29 2011 12:04

It sounds like the cops got completely routed in some areas (although not Cairo) yesterday. I could imagine them staying at home and licking wounds today, but no cops at all sounds a bit ominous of something.

Mike Harman
Jan 29 2011 12:20

Riot cop getting a kiss from a protester http://twitpic.com/3uhaj1

There's no context (apart from the 'just doing their job' caption), so hard to tell if this was just a photo-op or fraternisation and part of the trend of riot police quitting.

baboon
Jan 29 2011 12:27

I didn't catch where but the BBC reported at 11 o'clock today that a steel works had been on strike for two days and voted today on an indefinite strike.

Spartacus
Jan 29 2011 12:43

Al Jazeera's Liveblog for today

the more interesting parts:

Quote:
1:58pm A group of Bedouin has attacked state security headquarters in the town of Rafah near Egypt's border with Israel, killing three policemen, witnesses and a security source said.

1:55pm The headquarters of the ruling party in Luxor, Upper Egypt, have been torched. Military tanks are entering the city.

1:50pm A huge number of protestors is heading toward Tahrir square in downtown Cairo.

1:15pm Officials in Alexandria tell Al Jazeera that the death toll has risen to at least 27.

...

12:50pm Police in Alexandria are clashing with protesters, using live ammunition to control crowds, witnesses tell Reuters news agency.

12:38pm Egyptian state television says that the cabinet has officially resigned.

...

12:12pm Binyamin Nethanyahu, Israel's prime minister, has ordered government spokesmen to keep silent on anti-government protests in neighboring Egypt. Security officials nonetheless expressed concern the violence could threaten ties with its important ally and spread to the Palestinian Authority.

12:09pm Around 100 people have gathered outside the morgue in the eastern city of Suez where they said the bodies of 12 protesters killed on Friday in anti-government demonstrations were.

11:42pm Al Jazeera's Dan Nolan tweeting from Egypt: "Army tanks all through Cairo. Just filmed in gutted NDP compound, still burning, 50 vehicles torched in the grounds."

11:35am Crowds mass in major cities calling for President Mubarak to step down. The death toll from the protests on Friday has crosses 50.

...

9:45am Al Jazeera's Rawya Rageh reports there are protestors gathering in Alexandria.

8:41am Protesters are back on the street of Cairo. Hundreds gather in Tahrir Square in view of troops. Reports are coming in of tank rolling into the square.

8:30am Al Jazeera's Rawya Rageh reports having seen more than 20 bodies in the Egyptian city of Alexandria.

7:07am Reports of police opening fire on protesters in main Tahrir Square in central Cairo.

7:05am Mobile phone service partially restored in Egypt after communications blackout.

...

6:38am Internet and mobile phone networks are still down in Egypt.

6:30am The headquarters of the ruling National Democratic Party in Cairo are still on fire.

...

5:29am Associated Press news agency is reporting that China has blocked the word "Egypt" from the country's wildly popular Twitter-like service, while coverage of the political turmoil has been tightly restricted in state media.

...

4:17am Al Jazeera's Amyman Mohyeldin says the streets of Cairo are "still abuzz" but peaceful. The curfew, which thousands have defied since it came into effect at 6pm yesterday, is in place until 7am.

...

3:00am Mubarak's decisioon to sack the government does not seem to be enough to appease protesters. "The problem is he is a corrupt president and had a corrupt government and if he brings a new government is will also be corrupt since the system is all corrupt", a man in Cairo tells Reuters. "It was never the government, by God, it is you that has to go, it is enough what you have done to the people," says another protester.

2:17am Reuters reports that protesters stream back into Cairo's central Tahrir square in their hundreds, despite a heavy military presence. The news agency says a small fire has been set at the Mogama building, housing several government offices in the square.