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Protests Have Broken Out in Egypt: "Mubarak, Get out!"

category international | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Tuesday January 25, 2011 20:19author by gar - Report this post to the editors

Thousands of Egyptian protesters on Tuesday

Inspired by Tunisian demonstrators, thousands of Egyptian protesters on Tuesday gathered in Cairo and other major cities, calling for reforms and demanding the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, The anti-government protesters, some hurling rocks and climbing atop an armoured police truck, were chanting slogans against Mubarak, who has ruled the country for three decades.Downtown Cairo came to a standstill with protesters chanting slogans against the police, the interior minister and the government, in scenes that the capital has not seen since the 1970s.

Police fired tear gas to disperse thousands of protesters in the capital, Cairo. Several people are said to have been injured. More than 30,000 police have been mobilized in the city centre to launch a crackdown on the protesters. Some have gathered outside the Supreme Court, chanting slogans against President Hosni Mubarak, who has been in power for three decades, and his government. Protests have also been held in other parts of the country, including the Mediterranean city of Alexandria. The events have been inspired by the recent revolution in Tunisia. "Zine El Abidine -> who is coming next?" the protesters shouted. Organizers say it is a day of revolt against torture, poverty, corruption and unemployment.

Demonstrators marched toward what Al Jazeera's Rawya Rageh called the "symbols of their complaints and their agony," the headquarters of the ruling National Democratic Party, the foreign ministry and the state television.

But police responded with blasts from a water cannon and set upon crowds with batons and acrid clouds of tear gas to clear demonstrators crying out "Down with Mubarak'' and demanding an end to the country's grinding poverty.At least 30 people have reportedly been arrested in Cairo, according to official sources.Protests also broke out in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, the Nile Delta cities of Mansura and Tanta and in the southern cities of Aswan and Assiut, witnesses said.Earlier on Tuesday, Rageh reported from the protests, calling them "unprecedented" in the leniency showed by security forces who allowed demonstrators to march through the capital. The Egyptian government had earlier warned activists hoping to emulate Tunisian pro-democracy protesters that they faced arrest if they went ahead with Tuesday's mass demonstrations, which some labelled the "Day of wrath".

Promoted Online

The rallies have been promoted online by groups saying they speak for young Egyptians frustrated by the kind of poverty and oppression which triggered the overthrow of Tunisia's president. Mamdouh Khayrat, 23, travelled from the governorate of Qalubiya to attend protests in Cairo. He spoke to Al Jazeera's Adam Makary. "We want a functioning government, we want Mubarak to step down, we don't want emergency law, we don't want to live under this kind of oppression anymore," he said. "Enough is enough, things have to change, and if Tunisia can do it, why can't we?" Khayrat added.
Mohamed Ahmed, 36, a demonstrator from Boulaq told Al Jazeera's Makary: "We might be trying to copy what happened in Tunisia. If Egyptians manage to even come close to what they did then I can proudly say today was successful but we still have a long way to do."

"The reaction [to join the protest] has been overwhelming," Rageh said. "The people we have seen taken to the streets today are not the 50 or 60 activists that we have been seeing protesting in Egypt for the past five or six years. These were normal Egyptians, older women, younger men, even children."

A day of revolution

Black-clad riot police, backed by armoured vehicles and fire engines, have been deployed in a massive security operation in Cairo, with the biggest concentrations and likely flashpoints, including: the Cairo University campus, the central Tahrir Square and the courthouse where protesters are said to be gathering. Coinciding with a national holiday in honour of the police, a key force in keeping president Mubarak in power for 30 years, the outcome in Egypt on Tuesday is seen as a test on whether vibrant Web activism can translate into street action.

Organisers have called for a "day of revolution against torture, poverty, corruption and unemployment".
"Activists said they wanted to use this particular day to highlight the irony of celebrating Egypt's police at a time when police brutality is making headlines," reported Rawya Rageh, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Cairo.

"In fact, the call originated from a Facebook page initially set up to honour a 28-year-old man from Alexandria who activists say was tortured to death by police."Witnesses are telling us that there are hundreds on the streets. This is an indication that the protests seem so far to be larger than the usual protests that have taken place here in Egypt over the past few years."

Banned demonstrations

"The security apparatus will deal firmly and decisively with any attempt to break the law," the government's director for security in the capital Cairo said in a statement released ahead of the protests.
Since Egypt bans demonstrations without prior permission, opposition groups say they have been denied such permits, any protesters may be detained.

Habib el-Adli, the interior minister, has issued orders to "arrest any persons expressing their views illegally".
"I tell the public that this Facebook call comes from the youth," Adli said in an interview published by the state-owned newspaper al Ahram."Youth street action has no impact and security is capable of deterring any acts outside the law," he said, adding that he welcomed "stationary protests held for limited periods of time" and that police would protect the protesters.

"Beginning of the end"

"Our protest on the 25th is the beginning of the end," wrote organisers of a Facebook group with 87,000 followers.
"It is the end of silence, acquiescence and submission to what is happening in our country. It will be the start of a new page in Egypt's history, one of activism and demanding our rights."
Rights watchdog Amnesty International has urged Egypt's authorities "to allow peaceful protests".
Protests in Egypt, the biggest Arab state and a keystone Western ally in the Middle East, tend to be poorly attended and are often quashed swiftly by the police, who prevent marching.
The banned Muslim Brotherhood, seen as having Egypt's biggest grassroots opposition network, has not called on members to take part but said some would join in a personal capacity.
Organisers have called for protesters to not display political or religious affiliations at demonstrations. The Facebook page says: "Today is for all Egyptians."

Commenting on the wave of public unrest in Tunisia, Adli, the interior minister, said talk that the "Tunisian model" could work in other Arab countries was "propaganda" and had been dismissed by politicians as "intellectual immaturity"."Young people are very excited, and this time there will be much more than any other time," Ahmed Maher, one of the founders of the opposition youth movement said.
"This is going to be a real test of whether online activism in Egypt can translate into real action," Al Jazeera's Rageh reported.

"Anger has been on the rise in Egypt for the past couple of years, but we have seen similar calls fizzle out. The main difference now is that these calls are coming after what happened in Tunisia, which seems to have not only inspired activists, but actually ordinary Egyptians, a dozen of whom we have seen set themselves on fire in copycat self-immolations similar to the one that had sparked the uprising in Tunisia."

Caption: Cairo 25 Jan 2011

 #   Title   Author   Date 
   More reports of protests in Cairo     T    Tue Jan 25, 2011 22:24 
   more demonstrations today     joe    Wed Jan 26, 2011 18:52 
   Reports that Egypt President's son and family 'have fled to the UK'     T    Thu Jan 27, 2011 13:02 
   Hope it's True!     Ahmed.    Thu Jan 27, 2011 13:10 
   Sceptical.     Egyptian.    Thu Jan 27, 2011 13:17 
   call out for solidarity demo tomorrow     joe    Thu Jan 27, 2011 13:38 
   Let the flame of justice spread to further shores     Solidarity with Egypt    Thu Jan 27, 2011 14:34 
   Egypt's Communications Severed     joe    Fri Jan 28, 2011 12:42 
   probably     opus diablos    Fri Jan 28, 2011 14:59 
 10   curfew defied     joe    Fri Jan 28, 2011 20:17 
 11   dublin demo     joe    Fri Jan 28, 2011 20:28 
 12   Nearly 100 dead in Egyptian revolt - "Regime change. Mubarek must go!"     Revolt in Egypt    Sat Jan 29, 2011 12:02 
 13   15 minutes till cerfew     Revolt in Egypt    Sat Jan 29, 2011 13:44 
 14   Uncle Sam is galloping     opus diablos    Sat Jan 29, 2011 14:07 
 15   People Rule.     Computer Nerd.    Sat Jan 29, 2011 14:29 
 16   Worse to come?     American.    Sat Jan 29, 2011 14:37 
 17   facebook     joe    Sat Jan 29, 2011 15:10 
 18   3 killed + dead man taken through the streets     Revolt in Egypt    Sat Jan 29, 2011 15:17 
 19   overview     opus diablos    Sat Jan 29, 2011 15:41 
 20   The Devil and a Hard Place.     American    Sat Jan 29, 2011 15:52 
 21   DUH....     opus diablos    Sat Jan 29, 2011 16:21 
 22   How to protest intelligently - the Egyptian Activists' Action Plan     Revolt in Egypt    Sat Jan 29, 2011 21:00 
 23   Egypt set for another day of protest, same call: "Mubarek must go"     Revolt in Egypt    Sun Jan 30, 2011 08:38 
 24   Egypt: Government plans to shut down al-Jazeera's operations in Egypt.     Al Jazeera - the revolution is being televised and tweeted    Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:54 
 25   Al Jazeera statement on the closure of its Cairo bureau by the Egyptian Government     Al Jazeera statement    Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:00 
 26   Al Jazeera live stream down, follow them on LIVE FEED + TWITTER     AJE TWITTER    Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:16 
 27   al jazeera shut down     joe    Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:23 
 28   Tensions high, is today the big day? "MUBAREK HAS TO GO"     Revolt in Egypt    Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:45 
 29   China seems to believe..     opus diablos    Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:53 
 30   Al Jazeera - restream available     Al Jazeera - the danger of truth    Sun Jan 30, 2011 19:25 
 31   Robert Fisk: It is over.     Revolt in Egypt    Sun Jan 30, 2011 19:30 
 32   An Open Letter to President Barack Obama     Noam Chomsky + pals    Sun Jan 30, 2011 22:27 
 33   just whats needed     opus diablos    Mon Jan 31, 2011 14:28 
 34   1000`s injured, few dead, State sponsored terror violence- murabek must go!!!     Revolt in Egypt    Thu Feb 03, 2011 09:11 
 35   Democracy Now! + Noam Chomsky: ďThis is the Most Remarkable Regional Uprising that I Can RememberĒ     Democracy Now!    Thu Feb 03, 2011 09:17 
 36   State terror - cop IDs found + thugs arrested and being held behind the barracades     Revolt in Egypt    Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:21 
 37   Battle of Tahrir Square: homemade catapult behind the barracades     Revolt in Egypt    Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:27 
 38   visit my blog     waqaramjad    Wed Feb 09, 2011 15:24 
 39   Mubarek: Going, Going, Gone? (Inshallah)     Mubarek Gone?    Thu Feb 10, 2011 16:02 
 40   Suleiman is another terrorist just like Mubarak. He should be rejected     T    Thu Feb 10, 2011 16:06 
 41   I think, T..     opus diablos    Thu Feb 10, 2011 16:31 
 42   The Revolution has won, Mubarek has Gone!!!     Revolt in Egypt    Fri Feb 11, 2011 18:23 

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