Big Egyptian anti-dictatorship demonstration


This video is called South Koreans protest against Mubarak, Egypt military dictatorship.

This video is about the anti-dictatorship demonstration in Cairo today.

From Associated Press:

10:34 a.m. Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Egyptians denounce Mubarak, clash with riot police

By MAGGIE MICHAEL

The Associated Press

CAIRO — Thousands of anti-government protesters, some hurling rocks and climbing atop an armored police truck, clashed with riot police Tuesday in the center of Cairo in a Tunisia-inspired demonstration to demand the end of Hosni Mubarak’s nearly 30 years in power.

Police responded with blasts from water cannons 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 Egypt’s grinding poverty, corruption, unemployment and police abuses.

Tuesday’s demonstration, the largest Egypt has seen for years, began peacefully, with police showing unusual restraint in what appeared to be a calculated strategy by the government to avoid further sullying the image of a security apparatus widely seen as little more than corrupt thugs in uniforms.

As crowds carrying Egyptian and Tunisian flags filled downtown Cairo’s main Tahrir square, however, security personnel changed tactics and the protest turned violent.

This implies, thought it might have seen said more clearly, that the dictatorship’s police, not demonstrators, were responsible for the violence.

The scenes had particular resonance because Tuesday was also a national holiday honoring the much-feared police.

Demonstrators attacked a water cannon truck, opening the driver’s door and ordering the man out of the vehicle. … Officers beat back protesters with batons as they tried to break cordons to join the main group of demonstrators downtown.

Protesters emerged stumbling from white clouds of tear gas, coughing and covering their faces with scarves.

Some had blood streaming down their faces. One man fainted. Police dragged some away and beat a journalist, smashing her glasses smashed and seizing her camera.

At one point, the protesters seemed to gain the upper hand, forcing a line of riot police to flee under a barrage of rocks. One demonstrator climbed into a fire engine and drove it away.

“I want my 3-year-old child to grow up with dignity and to find a job just like the president,” said 50-year-old Eid Attallah, who works as a driver.

He said he had heard about the planned protests from friends but didn’t expect them to be so big.

Many expressed similar surprise.
A protestor holding a placard in French reading 'Mubarak, get out', is surrounded by riot police during a demonstration in downtown Cairo, Egypt Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011. Anti-government protesters marched in the Egyptian capital chanting against President Hosni Mubarak and calling for an end to poverty. AP Photo/Mohammed Abu Zaid. The French on the placard is inspired by Tunisian anti-Ben Ali signs
“We are fed up; this is just enough,” said Sayid Abdelfatah, a 38-year-old civil servant who marched with an Egyptian flag. “Tunisia’s revolution inspired me but I really never thought we would find such people ready to do the same here.”

To the north, in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, thousands of protesters also marched in what was dubbed a “Day of Rage” against Mubarak and lack of political freedoms under his rule.

Like the Tunisian protests, the calls for the rallies in Egypt went out on Facebook and Twitter, with 90,000 saying they would attend. Organizers used the site to give minute-by-minute instructions on where demonstrators should go in an attempt to outmaneuver the police.

By late afternoon, access to Twitter appeared to have been blocked.

In another parallel with Tunisia, the protests drew energy in large part from the death of one person: a young Egyptian man named Khaled Said whose family and witnesses say was beaten to death by a pair of policemen in Alexandria last year.

His case has become a rallying point for Egypt’s opposition. Two policemen are on trial in connection with his death.

Tunisia’s protests were also sparked by the death of one man: a poor Tunisian vegetable vendor who set himself in fire to protest corruption.

Last week, several people in Egypt — and elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa — set themselves on fire in apparent attempts to copy his actions.

Tuesday’s protesters voiced their desperation under Egypt’s many woes.

“I am not protesting the police,” explained Radwa Qabbani, 26. “They are citizens like me. I am protesting corruption, unemployment and high prices. We are just asking for the smallest dreams.”

Mothers carrying babies also marched and chanted, “Revolution until Victory!” while young waved signs reading “OUT!” that were inspired by the Tunisian protestations of “DEGAGE!” Men sprayed graffiti reading “Down with Hosni Mubarak.”

“We want to see change just like in Tunisia,” said Lamia Rayan, 24, one of the protesters.

Nearly half of Egypt’s 80 million people live under or just above the poverty line set by the United Nations at $2 a day. Poor quality education, health care and high unemployment have left large numbers of Egyptians deprived of basic needs.

The government has played down the self-immolation attempts in Egypt, with Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif telling reporters on Monday that those who committed the act were driven by “personal issues.”

Soon after the Jan. 14 ouster of Tunisia’s longtime President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, all eyes focused on Egypt, with observers wondering if the dramatic events in the North African nation could spur unrest against another entrenched Arab regime.

___

Hadeel Al-Shalchi and Hamza Hendawi contributed to this report from Cairo.

This video is called Mubarak Rules Egypt Through Thuggery.

Don’t miss following Egypt revolt today via Guardian live-blog: here.

Thousands of democracy activists marched through central Cairo today in a Tunisia-inspired demonstration to demand a higher minimum wage and the end of Hosni Mubarak’s nearly 30 years in power: here.

Tunisian trade unionist: ‘Our revolt inspires hope across the Arab states’: here.

Dictators everywhere are living in fear of Tunisian example: here.

6 thoughts on “Big Egyptian anti-dictatorship demonstration

  1. Women protest against inflation

    INDIA: Women activists and supporters of the Communist Party of India – Marxist (CPI-M) protested against rising inflation outside Victoria House in Calcutta on Monday.

    CPI-M official Kalki Bose said: “Within one year, the central government increased the price of petroleum products 11 times and essential commodities’ prices are also increasing at skyrocketing speed.”

    State-owned oil companies ramped up petrol prices by 2.5-2.54 rupees (3.4-3.5 pence) per litre on Saturday.

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/100250

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  2. Mubarek has been able to remain in power in part due to US support. Mubarek is extremely hostile to Iran, so the US counts on Egypt as an ally against Iran. The problem is that the Muslim Brotherhoo­d has wanted to operate freely in Egypt, and Mubarek has treated it like subversive­s. Only time will tell if Mubarek is able to ride it out and pass power onto his son.

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  3. Re #2: I surely hope that the people will succeed in driving out both dictator Mubarak and his son.

    “The problem is that the Muslim Brotherhoo­d has wanted to operate freely in Egypt, and Mubarek has treated it like subversive­s.” No, the central problems at the moment are dictatorship and poverty; “secular” issues. The Muslim Brotherhood has not officialy participated in the anti dictatorship demonstrations; though probably some of its voters have.

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  4. Pingback: Egyptian woman worker interviewed | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: Egyptian, Bahraini human rights activists speak | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: Mubarak dictatorship kills Egyptians | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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