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.

Comments

Mike Harman
Jan 29 2011 13:10

http://twitter.com/#!/ajtalk/status/31328353743011840

CONFIRMED: EGYPTIAN MILITARY ABANDONS THE BORDERS BETWEEN GAZA AND EGYPT #Jan25 #Jan28 #Rafah #Gaza #Mubarak #Police #Cairo

Mark.
Jan 29 2011 13:31

More from the Al Jazeera liveblog

Quote:
3:17pm The Saudi stock market, the Arab world's largest, dropped 6.43 per cent on Saturday amid rising Egypt tensions. Traders fear that other Gulf markets, due to open on Sunday, could experience similar drops.

3:06pm At least 8 people killed by live fire at prison near Cairo, and Egyptian authorities call for all banks to close.

3:03pm Al Jazeera correspondent reports that 36 deaths are confirmed in Alexandria, a coastal city where several police stations have been torched. Protesters continue to gather along the Corniche there - but not as many as yesterday.

2:47pm Up to 50,000 people gather in Cairo's Tahrir Square, saying that resignation of the cabinet is not enough. Egyptian state TV says that the curfew will begin at 4pm local time.

Mark.
Jan 29 2011 13:40

From the EA liveblog

Quote:
1220 GMT: Al Jazeera is now reporting that at least 95 people have died in protests.

1035 GMT: Hospital sources say 30 bodies were taken to El Damardash hospital in central Cairo overnight, including two children.

Suez steel workers are going on strike until President Mubarak resigns.

1020 GMT: From Al Jazeera reporter, "Driving across Cairo not seen a single cop! Civilians directing traffic at some intersections as even traffic police have gone."

sitcom
Jan 29 2011 13:47

Alexandria, according to this source, is now under the control of the demonstrators. See pictures as well:

http://blogs.sacbee.com/photos/2011/01/rioting-and-chaos-engulfs-egyp.html#mi_rss=The%20Frame

Quote:
Más de medio millón de manifestantes asumen el control de Alejandría
Agencias

El control de la ciudad egipcia de Alejandría ha pasado a manos de la población civil después de que más de medio millón de manifestantes expulsaran a las fuerzas de seguridad del presidente Hosni Mubarak y asaltaran posteriormente la sede de Gobierno, según informa la cadena panárabe Al Yazira.

"La ciudad está en manos de los manifestantes", informó un corresponsal de la emisora, quien explicó que los participantes de las protestas han conseguido echar "a botellazos" a la Policía egipcia antes de tomar por la fuerza la Gobernación de la ciudad. "No hay presencia policial en la sede de Gobierno. Todos se han marchado", indicó.

Previamente, la corresponsal había informado de que habría al menos un muerto en los enfrentamientos, en los que los manifestantes han prendido fuego a numerosos coches y camiones de Policía.
Las protestas, según la enviada de Al Yazira, se han concentrado en torno a la mezquita en la que se produjeron violentos enfrentamientos con la Policía el pasado junio después de la muerte de un joven tras ser golpeado por agentes. Alejandría es considerada como un bastión de los Hermanos Musulmanes, principal grupo opositor del país y que no está reconocido legalmente.

Mark.
Jan 29 2011 13:53
Mark.
Jan 29 2011 14:05

On twitter

Quote:
Al Jazeera reporter: "I received calls from hospitals in Egypt by doctors telling me they have been told not to record deaths by bullets"

Eye Witness: Massacre at Abo Zaa'bal prison targeting MB leaders

Intense firing at Central Bank Press in #Cairo

Urgent from Tahrir Square: police members come into protesters and shoot

Shops reopen in Alexandria Egypt, men sip coffee in cafes on Corniche as protesters march by.

Protesters in Alexandria Egypt find leaders, organisers marshall protesters, direct chanting and keep the peace

"We are finally out we are never going back" they chant,"Mubarak, Saudi Arabia is waiting for you." Army vastly outnumbered just watches.

London: thousands protest before Egyptian Embassy now

Mark.
Jan 29 2011 14:27

From Al Jazeera liveblog

Quote:
4:00pm Curfew has commenced in major cities across Egypt - Cairo, Suez, and Alexandria - but thousands of protesters remain in the streets.

I'm not sure how much the curfew will mean in practice. [Edit: I've just been watching the live feed from Tahrir Square in Cairo and no one's going anywhere. Army and tanks on the streets but relations between protesters and soldiers seem friendly]

http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/

Baderneiro Miseravel
Jan 29 2011 14:14

I found thoe slogans on the net and was told they're being shouted in Egypt:

Quote:
"ا مبارك ارحل غور أحسن بكره تموت مقتول
“Oh Mubarak leave for good, or else tomorrow you’ll be killed”

• الهلال ويا الصليب بيقولوا لأ يا حبيب
“The crescent and the cross say “no” my love / darling”
(Jonathan sent me this: "Just FYI the Habib in الهلال ويا الصليب بيقولوا لأ يا حبيب is surely Interior Minister Habib el-Adly, not 'darling'"

• الهلال ويا الصليب ضد القتل والتعذيب
“The crescent and the cross against murder and torture”

• حسني مبارك يا عميل بعت الغاز وفاضل النيل
“Husni Mubarak, you agent, you sold the gas and (only) the Nile is left (to be sold)”

• قولوا وردوا أنت وهي ...مصر هتفضل غاليه عليا
“Say and repeat, you and she…. Egypt will stay dear to me”

...مصر حتفضل غاليه عليا رغم الخونه والحراميه
“Egypt will stay dear to me, despite the traitors and the thieves”

• ارحل ارحل ارحل غور خلِّي بلدنا تشوف النور
“Leave, leave, leave, for good, let our country see the light”

• ارحل ارحل يا عميل بعت بلادك لاسرائيل
“Leave, leave you traitor, you sold your country to Israel”

• ياعيون العالم طُلي مصر لبست توبها التلُّي
“Oh, eyes of the world behold, Egypt wore her tulle dress”

• ارفع ارفع الهتاف شعبنا حر ومش هيخاف
“Raise, raise the chant / call / slogan, our people are free and not afraid”

• اضرب اضرب يا حبيب مهما تضرب مش هنسيب
“Hit, hit, you darling, no matter how much you hit, we won’t let go”

• مش عايزينه مش عايزينه ولا كلابه ولا زنانيه
“I don’t want, I don’t want, neither his dogs nor his prisons”

• اصحي يا مصر وفوقي م النوم نهبوا ولادك يوم ورا يوم
“Wake up Egypt and become aware, they had deprived your sons of sleep day after day”

• ثوره ثوره في كل مكان ضد الخونه والأندال
“Revolution, revolution everywhere, against the traitors and the scoundrels”

• ثوره ثوره يا مصريين لجل ما نخلص م الخاينين
“Revolution, revolution, oh Egyptians, so that we can get rid of the traitors”

• اهرب اهرب ياجمال انت وابوك والأندال
“Escape, escape, Gamal, you and your father are scoundrels”

• ثوره ثوره يا مصريين لجل ما نخلص م الخاينين
“Revolution, revolution, oh Egyptians, so that we can get rid of the traitors”

• اهرب اهرب ياجمال انت وابوك والأندال
“Escape, escape, Gamal, you and your father are scoundrels”

• يا مبارك يا خرتيت ارحل ارحل يا غتيت
“Oh Mubarak, you rhinoceros, leave, leave, you’re annoying”

• علِّي الصوت علِّي كمان لجل ما يسمع كل جبان
“Raise your voices even more, so that every coward hears”

• حسني مبارك جلده تخين هو وعيلته مش سامعين
“Husni Mubarak has thick skin, he and his family aren’t hearing”

• حسني مبارك يا بليد شعب مصر مش عبيد
“Husni Mubarak, you lazy one, Egypt’s people are not slaves”

• حسني مبارك يا جبله اطلع اطلع اطلع بره
“Husni Mubarak, here’s the clarification, get out, get out, get out, outside”

• يا جمال يا غراب البين خد ابوك وروحوا لزين
“Oh Gamal, you crow, we’re turning your father’s cheek, so you two leave to Zayn (al-‘Abideen Bin ‘Ali)”

• شعبنا رافضه من سنين بس مبارك جلده تخين
“Our people are refusing him, it’s been years, but Mubarak’s skin is thick”

• علِّي علِّي علِّي الصوت النظام خايف موت
“Raise, raise, raise the voice, the regime is scared to death”

• التغيير التغيير ارحل ارحل يا حقير
“Change, change, leave, leave, you contemptible (person)”

• مش ماشيين قاعدين قاعدين حسني مبارك جلده تخين
“We’re not leaving, we’re sitting, sitting, (because) Husni Mubarak has thick skin”

• ارحل ارحل ياخسيس بره بره يا عجل يا تيس
“Leave, leave, you despicable (person), outside, outside, you calf, you ass”

• فاقد الحس والأهليه هو وابنه والوليَّه الخرتيت ابن الحراميه
“They don’t have sensations or qualifications, he and his son and his wife, the rhinoceros, the son of thieves”

• كل الشعب يقول وينادي حسني مبارك بره بلادي
“All the people say and call: Husni Mubarak (get) outside his country”

• يا حبيب يا حبيب حسني مبارك قتله قريب
“Oh sweetie / darling, oh sweetie / darling, Husni Mubarak’s murder is near”

• السرطان في كل مكان والغاز متباع بالمجان
“The cancer is everywhere, and the gas is sold for free”

• باعوا دمانا وباعوا كلاوينا وبنشحت احنا وأهالينا
“They sold our blood, they sold our kidneys, and we beg, we and our families”

• تسقط تسقط العصابه الزعيم ويا الديابه
“Fall, Fall, the gang, the boss, and the wolves”

• مسلمين مع مسيحيين كلنا طالبين التغيير
“Muslims with Christians, we all demand change”

• الكرامه والحريه مطلب كل المصراويه
“Dignity and freedom, is the demand of all Egyptians”

• التحرير التحرير من حكم الرمه الخنزير
“Liberation, liberation, from rule by the dregs / junk, the pig”

• التحرير التحرير من حكم عصابة التزوير
“Liberation, liberation, from rule by the gang of fraud”

• مصر بلدنا مش تكيه للهليبه والحراميه
“Egypt, our country, is not a hospice, for villains and thieves”

• شرطة مصر يا شرطة مصر انتو بقيتوا كلاب القصر
“Police of Egypt, oh police of Egypt, you’ve become the dogs of the castle”

• لأ لأ لأ يا جيش خليك بره واوعى تطيش حسني مبارك مش حيعيش"
“No, no, no, oh army, stay out and aware, don’t be reckless, Husni Mubarak will not live”"

Mark.
Jan 29 2011 14:37

From the anti-cuts thread

Quote:
Just heard the entire London demo is heading for the Egyptian embassy
no1
Jan 29 2011 15:32
Mark. wrote:
Just heard the entire London demo is heading for the Egyptian embassy

Also, slightly odd, but apparently people formed a chain around the British Museum in solidarity with protests in Cairo last night: http://reallyfreeschool.org/?p=181

juozokas
Jan 29 2011 16:51

Right. So this guy is on Al Jazeera now saying that people from 'the poor areas' are going to the rich areas and taking furniture and cars and shit. And that the wealthier citizens have formed militias with rocks and knives and shit.

Auto
Jan 29 2011 17:05

Can anyone confirm this? Especially the bit about private property being 'siezed'?

Quote:
6:50pm As protesters continue to defy curfew, a bystander in Cairo tells Al Jazeera that there are no police left in the capital. Formerly omnipresent traffic police are nowhere to be found. Reports suggest that private property is being seized in locations throughout Egypt.
Beltov
Jan 29 2011 17:17

Some reports on AJ of 'popular committees' forming in Alexandria (and Suez?) to protect private property and counter violent actions of 'thugs'. Members of public also directing traffic in absence of traffic police. A little odd to see the protestetors stopping to pray, and then get up to carry on protesting. Reminiscent of Feburary revolution in 1917 starting as protest led by Orthodox priest Father Gapon, although the Imams in Egypt seem to have been very conservative. Fascinating...

Mike Harman
Jan 29 2011 17:44
Quote:
Called my mother just now. This is an update from Alexandria as of 29 January 2011 10 am (EST).

As the police stations were torched, some of the suspects inside have escaped. Some criminals has taken advantage of the absence of police and formed gangs, robbing what they can.

The Alexandria governor's residence has been torched and looted. He is much hated to the degree that when people called the fire service, they said ما يتحرق ("Let it burn"). The gangs were selling the loot: suits that belonged to the governor were going for 5 LE (less than $1). My mom saw about 12 or so men on the street with an air condition and other stuff. Some tried to sell the forged iron gates of the residence, but the merchants refused to take stolen goods.

A bank nearby was looted. Though most of the cash would be in a vault. Banks have a holiday tomorrow to prevent robbery and looting.

Youth are trying to form groups to protect public property from these gangs.

http://baheyeldin.com/places/egypt/update-egyptian-revolution-1.html

petey
Jan 29 2011 17:50
no1 wrote:
Also, slightly odd, but apparently people formed a chain around the British Museum in solidarity with protests in Cairo

i've seen reports that a human chain was made around the museum in cairo (to prevent looting) so an act of imitation in solidarity?

Mark.
Jan 29 2011 18:00

From the Al Jazeera liveblog

Quote:
7:38pm Ayman Mohyeldin reports that eyewitnesses have said "party thugs" associated with the Egyptian regime's Central Security Services - in plainclothes but bearing government-issued weapons - have been looting in Cairo. Ayman says the reports started off as isolated accounts but are now growing in number.

7:31pm The Egyptian military is now reportedly driving through suburbs trying to protect affluent homes from looters.

6:59pm Al Jazeera's Sherine Tadros, reporting from Suez, says that the army has made a push to enforce the curfew there by clearing the center of the city. Protesters got angry with the soldiers, who scuffled with demonstrators while trying to keep the area secure without frustrating the people. Sherine observes people amicably drinking coffee with soldiers.

6:50pm As protesters continue to defy curfew, a bystander in Cairo tells Al Jazeera that there are no police left in the capital. Formerly omnipresent traffic police are nowhere to be found. Reports suggest that private property is being seized in locations throughout Egypt.

6:43pm Some of the rarest antiquities in the world are found damaged by looters at famed Cairo musuem.

6:14pm Reports emerge of gun fire in the affluent Cairo neighborhood of Mahdi. Local men are going into the street with clubs and chains to prevent looting. Residents are trying to protect the entrance to the neighborhood with blockades.

This is starting to sound like the situation in Tunis two weeks ago.

no1
Jan 29 2011 18:00
petey wrote:
no1 wrote:
Also, slightly odd, but apparently people formed a chain around the British Museum in solidarity with protests in Cairo

i've seen reports that a human chain was made around the museum in cairo (to prevent looting) so an act of imitation in solidarity?

Yeah, that must have been the idea. The thing is that half of the stuff in the British Museum was looted from Egypt - but Egyptians were protecting their heritage from looters (who no doubt would sell it to international collectors and museums).

Mark.
Jan 29 2011 18:12

From the EA liveblog

Quote:
1756 GMT: As the night drags on and the military keeps telling people to go home - and in one case to defend their own property -, the mood in Cairo seems to be one of defiance. Nobody seems to want to leave the city center and give Mubarak and his government the chance to come to grips with situation. 

1735 GMT: EA correspondent reports that the Children's Cancer Hospital near Old Cairo has been looted.

1729 GMT: EA correspondent brings news from Shubra in Cairo, of sexual threats to women and stealing from shops and houses: "Women have started to cook spices to throw in looters eyes and faces as protection. They've got knives with them and are all gathering together in the rooms, switched the lights off. Anything to protect themselves."

1715 GMT: An EA correspondent brings more information from calls to Egypt:

Quote:
Ex-prisoners, thugs and gangs have hit the streets [in sections of Cairo]! Outside my friend's flat, thugs and gangs shot live rounds in the air...shouted a bit. Thank God they've dispersed to other places.
 
Just now in Heliopolis (Masr Gedida): Thugs have hit the streets just round the corner from the presidential palace). The men from the flats have gone downstairs with sticks to protect it. All the lights have been switched off. People are TERRIFIED!

 
1710 GMT: Al Jazeera English has been showing pictures of the aftermath of the looting of the National Museum on Friday, despite a human shield was set up to protect the building.

1645 GMT: Al Jazeera English is now conducting a panicked interview with an observer in Cairo, which affirms what we just reported about looting. Gangs "are taking everything they can. The main thing is, 'Where are the police who were shooting the protesters?'"

1640 GMT: However, even with appointment of a Vice President, the mass rallies in Egypt defying curfews, and the apparent reconcilation between Army and demonstrators, the big emerging story appears to be looting. An EA correspondent has been collecting reports this afternoon. Here is her unedited report:

I just called my best friend in Nasr City. Gangs have just gathered downstairs under their flat. They can't move and they are trapped! People are terrified. WHERE ARE THE ARMY? IT IS GETTING DARK!! Not sure I'm excited about this anymore.

Calls from Maadi, Mohendiseen, Nasr City, and Moqattam: people are terrified. They cannot leave their flats because gangs are standing outside threatening them with machetes and sticks. Oh wait: the army are too busy high 5'ing protestors outside the State TV station. Oh...THAT'S where they are!

Remember Scott I said earlier my friend said her family in Shubra [in Cairo] saw looters raid the police station and even took their uniforms. Now the problem is no-one knows who anyone is anymore.

I've switched from Al Jazeera arabic to Al Arabiya to mehwar and all those calling into the stations are BEGGING the army to establish order because organised thugs and gangs have taken over. There is certainly an air of urgency that the army do something.

1625 GMT: Back from a break to find Al Jazeera reporting that protesters in Alexandria are arresting police officers caught looting and handing them over to soldiers.

Khawaga
Jan 29 2011 18:13

Re: looters. It is very likely that at least some of them are plain clothes security services or even the hired thugs (batalgiya) that the police and mukhabarat hire when they need to beat up protesters.

Mark.
Jan 29 2011 18:16

Again that sounds like what happened in Tunis.

Mark.
Jan 29 2011 18:31

Egypt in 140 characters or less (al-bab.com)

Quote:
t is so important to remember that the vast MAJORITY of those on the streets around the country do not have the time, the ability, the resources (including smartphones) and certainly no access to working mobile phone service. This revolution is JUST NOT BEING TWITTERED by the people who are actually protesting.

The only people tweeting are either reporters with huge bureaus and live cameras to back them or people like me reporting from the cyber-frontlines talking to the few friends in Cairo we can reach on their landlines.

To tweet this revolution and Egypt’s complex back-story in 140 characters or less is impossible.

(…)

Not many correspondents are able to get to neighborhoods like Rihab, Mohandasin, Zamalek, Maadi—which cyber-reporters/tweeters like me are able to do by talking only on landlines (mobiles are not working) to our friends—ordinary citizens. Hopefully this below, is an example of that. 

(…)

My friend Fouad was able to get on the landline again. His body and soul are still bruised and yet he has never been more hopeful. His severe anger at Hosni Mubarak’s speech full of lies and his ambivalence about the appointment of Omar Soliman, the head of intelligence as the new vice president. 

It a fragmented conversation on a still functioning landline. And as bullets do rain all around him, here are his bullet points. The thoughts and experiences of an ordinary citizen, not a reporter.

• Mohandaseen is burning—we are surrounded by looters, and the army is just watching

• They are looting houses and we have no idea who these looters are

• My parents asked army tank guys and they said we cannot intervene!

• Everyone here is saying that Mubarak is being spiteful-he wants looters so that he can say: "Look, I gave you calm for 30 years. OK now you want to get rid of me? Well see the chaos my going can bring. Enjoy the unrest and the looting. Only I could have protected all of you!"

• I was driving and 3 men with knives attacked me near Sudan street—I had to sort of run them over

• Big rumor that Mubarak is releasing prisoners and arming them so that they can infiltrate neighbourhoods and loot them

• Maadi, Street number nine-huge vandalism happening—There is looting everywhere in Rihab city, in Mohandasin, in Shubra. In Heliopolis there are plainsclothes police

• My parents are organizing all the baobabs in our street and making blockades to stop the looters

• There are Balkageyah (thugs) everywhere—all rich neighborhoods are being attacked 

• I think he is fucked up yaani--He didnt resign---his speech instigated the violence---now looters and the poor think that when you know there is no hope you might as well get as much as you can as long as the chaos lasts--people were hopeful that he would go

• Maybe in other governates -- people are more organized and closer to each other as community members ... so they will organize better, perhaps — In Cairo it is difficult to control the chaos and disorder—there are 19 million people in this city who often don’t talk to each other and are so separated by class and money — I am wondering how they can organize together?

• The people in Cairo are fighting two things--they are fighting police forces but also now fighting looters

• People prayed the Salat ul Genaza, the funeral prayer after the evening prayers in Tahrir—we carried a body through the crush of thousands—I was crying, so many of us were crying

Parvez Sharma

Samotnaf
Jan 29 2011 19:43

National French TV news showed people climbing on tanks, the soldiers not seeming bothered at all. Also, banks looted, and, alothough petey says:

Quote:
i've seen reports that a human chain was made around the museum in cairo (to prevent looting)

in fact, the Cairo museum seems to have been broken into and looted a bit.

I think this, from a text I co-wrote, referring to the looting of the Baghdad museum in the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq, begins to put a bit of nuance onto the pillaging of museums, though i think there are more nuances that could be developed:

Quote:
Sure, some of the looting was by gangs, and some of those gangs would've been like any other thug-businessmen, but an intelligent refusal of moralism should lead us to make distinctions. Typically, liberal journalists, always incapable of making any distinctions whatsoever, lumped the looting of the museums with the looting of medicine and medical equipment from the hospitals, which very clearly was an attack on the poor.
On the other hand, in most people's minds there's a difference between attacking an art museum and attacking a museum preserving a "nation's heritage". Most people probably couldn't give a toss either way about wrecking an art museum, but people often identify with museums holding a "nation's treasures". For the patriot, there is an emotionally colonised identification with these treasures, at least when they're looted. Such museums are meant to preserve a country's memory: that this memory is reduced to monuments and artifacts in which the miserable social relations that produced them are entirely forgotten illustrates how much this memory is merely the memory permitted by a nation's ruling class. People are meant to ignore the fact that these beautiful 'treasures' on display hide, and implicitly justify, the brutal exploitation that produced them. All this helps the continuation of this horrible history into the present (the reign of things over people, the fetishism of "treasures" divorced from their use, their use as a means of domination, etc.) by dazzling us with a collection of fascinating artifacts.

Also, the news started off by saying it was only men, then showed at the end interviews with women protestors, and insisted that the movement was of both men and women (young and old, poor and middle class...). In fact, it did seem like over 90% men (probably the same percentage of participants on libcom as well), clearly a weakness of the movement .

Mark.
Jan 29 2011 20:03

The looting at the Cairo museum was fairly minor and seems to have happened despite attempts by protesters to protect it. I doubt that you'd find many people in Egypt who didn't think it worth protecting. It's the most impressive museum collection I've seen anywhere. You don't have to be a nationalist to appreciate it.

Given Egyptian society I'd say that if women were anything approaching 10% of the people on the streets that would actually be something quite positive.

Mark.
Jan 29 2011 20:08

From the EA liveblog

Quote:
1940 GMT: Al Jazeera reports the torching of the State Security and Police Bureau buildings in Damanhour, 160 kilometres/99 miles northwest of Cairo.

1903 GMT: Al Arabiya reports 8 killed and 17 injured in an attempt to storm the Police Bureau in Beni Suef, 115 kilometres/72 miles south of Cairo.

Ariege
Jan 29 2011 20:14
Quote:
Such museums are meant to preserve a country's memory: that this memory is reduced to monuments and artifacts in which the miserable social relations that produced them are entirely forgotten illustrates how much this memory is merely the memory permitted by a nation's ruling class. People are meant to ignore the fact that these beautiful 'treasures' on display hide, and implicitly justify, the brutal exploitation that produced them. All this helps the continuation of this horrible history into the present (the reign of things over people, the fetishism of "treasures" divorced from their use, their use as a means of domination, etc.) by dazzling us with a collection of fascinating artifacts.

I have visited the Egyptian Museum and will always remember seeing its collection of antiquities. I am afraid I don't buy this "nuanced" defence of museum pillaging; where does it lead? Let's burn the books? Let's destroy all of the works of the past 6000 years? Let's drive the intellectuals out into the rice paddies? This kind of thinking is halfway between the Khmer Rouge and the Taliban and I find it detestable.

It is perfectly possible to admire the works of humanity and yet to critically appreciate the social milieux in which they were produced, moreover there are plenty of museum workers and scholars around the world who try everyday to provide nuanced interpretations for visitors without smashing up mummies.

Mark.
Jan 29 2011 20:24
Samotnaf
Jan 29 2011 20:24

The bit I quoted was a footnote to this:

Quote:
Nowadays the destruction of museums is associated with the looting of the Bagdhad Museum in 2003, immediately after the war in Iraq officially ended . A crazy response to a crazy war is how the liberal lefties would like us to see it: many of those who (rightly) opposed the war were (wrongly) shocked by this looting ; as if Iraqis didn't have good desperate reasons to loot the stuff, if it gave them a chance to survive a bit longer and better after years of brutal attacks by Saddam Hussein, the United Nations and the USA and UK. Although this looting turns out to have been much exaggerated, we have no qualms with the poor looting art in order to survive. As Karl Kraus, an independent old-style liberal, said after The First World War, "In a time of desolation the truly creative act would be the resolve to cover a freezing man's nakedness with the canvas of the available Rembrandt".

To compare desperate looting with the vicious State-armed madness of

Quote:
the Khmer Rouge and the Taliban

is

Quote:
detestable.

Having said, that, I don't entriely agree with what I co-wrote about 6 years ago, but it's more complex than your post, Ariege.

Beltov
Jan 29 2011 21:00

I suspect the government are behind the attempts to ramp up terror and panic over security over night. Lots of talk about looting, gangs roaming around intimidating residents. Wouldn't be surprised if this is police seeking revenge for being beaten off the streets yesterday. Great pretext for government and army to push for restoration of 'law and order'. Typical tactic of the reaction.

EDIT: just saw this tweet on #jan25
Reports of suspected looter killed by unknown persons in Heliopolis. Police ID reported found on body.

EDIT: Some expat on AJ says reports of looting in the neighbourhood next to him are false. When asked "How are you defending yourself, sticks and knives?" he replies "No. Shotguns and pistols. And an old cricket bat."

Hieronymous
Jan 29 2011 21:13
Ariege wrote:
Quote:
Such museums are meant to preserve a country's memory: that this memory is reduced to monuments and artifacts in which the miserable social relations that produced them are entirely forgotten illustrates how much this memory is merely the memory permitted by a nation's ruling class. People are meant to ignore the fact that these beautiful 'treasures' on display hide, and implicitly justify, the brutal exploitation that produced them. All this helps the continuation of this horrible history into the present (the reign of things over people, the fetishism of "treasures" divorced from their use, their use as a means of domination, etc.) by dazzling us with a collection of fascinating artifacts.

I have visited the Egyptian Museum and will always remember seeing its collection of antiquities. I am afraid I don't buy this "nuanced" defence of museum pillaging; where does it lead? Let's burn the books? Let's destroy all of the works of the past 6000 years? Let's drive the intellectuals out into the rice paddies? This kind of thinking is halfway between the Khmer Rouge and the Taliban and I find it detestable.

It is perfectly possible to admire the works of humanity and yet to critically appreciate the social milieux in which they were produced, moreover there are plenty of museum workers and scholars around the world who try everyday to provide nuanced interpretations for visitors without smashing up mummies.

ART IN THE AGE OF INJECTION-MOLDED PLASTIC REPRODUCTION

Why is the "authentic" original somehow better that the 100% accurate exact reproduction, made in Guangzhou, China, that I just bought at Wal-Mart?

I've got my plastic mummies and sarcophagi beautifully displayed in my living room in wonderful imitation-oak-veneer particleboard (chipboard to those of you in the UK) IKEA display cases.

Mark.
Jan 29 2011 21:38

From the Al Jazeera liveblog

Quote:
11:06pm Cairo neighborhoods are being policed by local residents wielding kitchen knives and hunting rifles, after the military called for civilians to protect their own property.

10:42pm Gunfire has been heard coming from the direction of the interior ministry in Cairo during a confrontation between guards and protesters, and the National Press Building next to the NDP headquarters is on fire.

9:46pm Ayman Mohyeldin reports desolate Cairo streets and roaming bands of thuggish-looking men who cannot be identified as plainclothes police or civilians. He also says many fewer people are in the streets than earlier in the evening.

From the EA liveblog

Quote:
2100 GMT: Al Jazeera reports that fire has engulfed the Supreme Council of Journalism and surrounding buildings in central Cairo with no firefighters to be seen.

2053 GMT: A first-hand report from the Bulaq section of Cairo, "Police Station a ball of flames. Heavy gunfire."

2045 GMT: Reports come in from various sources of mosques urging area youth to help secure neighbourhoods. One mosque has announced the emergency phone number 0104888848 for assistance.

2018 GMT: Al Arabiya reports from witnesses that Bedouin protesters have stormed a Police Bureau and confiscated weapons in Arish in the Sinai.

2015 GMT: A resident in Nasr City in Cairo reports no police, local armed youth armed the neighborhood, roads barricaded, and passers-by welcoming the Army.

From the Arabist

Aftermath

The army and the people