Quantcast
Connect with us

Cairo erupts as Egyptian protesters demand Mubarak resign

Published

on

Update: Twitter, Facebook reportedly inaccessible

Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets across Egypt Tuesday, facing down a massive police presence to demand the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak in protests inspired by Tunisia’s popular uprising.

Gamal Mubarak, son of President Hosni Mubarak, had fled the country along with his family, according to the Adnkronos International news service.

ADVERTISEMENT

Demonstrators calling for economic and political reforms broke through police barriers and began marching in Cairo’s streets.

Protesters gathered outside the Supreme Court in downtown Cairo and held large signs that read “Tunisia is the solution” amid massive police deployment, an AFP correspondent said.

Chanting “Down with Mubarak” — in reference to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak who has been in power for three decades — they broke through several police cordons and began marching towards Tahrir Square, in scenes seldom witnessed in Egypt.

Others shouted “Tunisia is not better than Egypt” as the crowds began to swell.

A security official told AFP that at least 20,000 to 30,000 police had been mobilized in the center of the capital alone, and that the area housing the interior ministry had been sealed off.

ADVERTISEMENT

In a stunning video released Tuesday, one protester was seen standing his ground against a mobile water cannon.

Twitter reportedly inaccessible

Twitter was inaccessible in the country in what was believed to be a move to thwart protesters using the social network in their campaign to oust Mubarak.

ADVERTISEMENT

The US-based microblogging service that allows people to use mobile phones to broadcast short text messages was out of service in Egypt on Tuesday, according to the herdict.org tracking website recommended by Twitter.

A Twitter spokesman declined to comment on what was causing the service outage in Egypt.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Egypt is going wild and I’m not sure we’ll really have a sense of it until the dust clears,” Digital Democracy’s Mark Belinsky told CNET. “Hard to say whether or not it’s just getting overloaded though…(physically severing) Internet was done in Burma after a while but it usually leads to international uproar. What they generally do is slow down the signal to a crawl, as they did in Iran, which they can then say was infrastructure failure or any other made up excuse.”

“It would be an interesting and desperate move for Egypt because their state security apparatus has been very good at infiltrating communication instead of blocking it,” he added. “They go so far as to ask for the passwords to the e-mail accounts of dissidents and log-ins for their Web sites instead of censoring them. There are some tech-savvy youth there, hence tweeting through proxies as soon as they encounter some difficulties. But after a critical mass, organizing is done more on the streets than online and the authorities already know the details about who the key organizers are in the crowd.”

The protest, called by the pro-democracy youth group the April 6 Movement, coincided with a national holiday to mark Police Day.

ADVERTISEMENT

Update: Facebook blocked

Reports Wednesday indicated that Egyptian authorities had also moved to block Facebook.

“If Facebook has in fact been blocked, this isn’t particularly surprising. Facebook itself has also been actively used to organize the demonstrations in Egypt. For instance, one Facebook Group called We Are All Khaled Said, features up-to-the-minute updates on the protests and photos from the scene,” Techcrunch wrote.

Said was “a young man brutally tortured and killed by police in Alexandria,” according to the Foreign Policy blog.

— With AFP

This video of protesters literally chasing riot police through Cairo’s streets was published to YouTube on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011.

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

The tumult following Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death previews things to come

Published

on

On Friday evening, just before 7:30 p.m., the U.S. Supreme Court announced that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a pioneer in using the law to advance gender equity, had died from complications due to metastatic pancreatic cancer just six weeks ahead of the presidential election.

The death of Ginsburg, who had battled various forms of cancer over the years, was not altogether surprising.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump knew how bad COVID-19 was in January — but called it ‘good’ because he could avoid shaking ‘disgusting’ voters’ hands: ex-Pence aide

Published

on

Olivia Troye, a former White House aide who worked for Vice President Mike Pence's office, is sounding off with more details about the Trump administration's early knowledge about the severity of the coronavirus.

Troye appeared on "The Today Show" on Tuesday where she discussed the weeks leading up to the World Health Organization declaring the coronavirus a global pandemic. Although Pence and President Donald Trump have repeatedly claimed they had no way of knowing how bad the pandemic could be, Troye suggests otherwise, reports The Hill.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

‘Completely shameless’: Pompeo faces backlash for violating his own guidelines on political activity

Published

on

President Donald Trump's secretary of state has been increasingly "brazen" about appearing at political events, in apparent violation of his own directive to the department's employees.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wanted to accept the president's invitation last year to speak at a campaign rally, but a congressional aide said he backed down after being told that would violate existing rules, reported Politico.

However, that's all changed this year.

“What he is doing is entirely unconventional,” said Harry Kopp, an author of books on U.S. diplomacy. “The employees of the State Department have, by now, I think, no illusions about the partisan nature of their secretary of state.”

Continue Reading
 
 
Democracy is in peril. Invest in progressive news. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free. LEARN MORE