Sunday night in Cairo

After 5 days of unprecedented popular dissent in Egypt, protestors are still on the main square in downtown Cairo demanding the resignation of President Mubarak and his entire government, and saying they will not settle for anything less. After 30 years of brutal police oppression the people have finally risen and do not seem to be backing down.

Downtown Cairo was an incredible scene tonight. Tahrir Square was filled with 1000s of protestors, some of whom erected tents on the square’s grassy central island. Roads leading off the square were filled with people strolling about streets empty of traffic, filled with anti-regime graffiti. The road next to the Interior Ministry was a warzone of burnt out cars and smashed windows. Above all there was a sense of joy, of freedom and the possibility of change.

source: Sunday night in Cairo |


occupy everything: cairo

After violent clashes with police, thousands of protesters announced they would stage an open-ended sit-in in Cairo’s centrally-located Tahrir Square until their demands for political and economic reform were met.

Activist and protestor Amar Ali Hassan told Al-Masry Al-Youm from Tahrir Square that Tuesday’s demonstrations were bigger than the initial protests that had eventually led to the recent Tunisian uprising. He pointed to signs that the situation in Egypt could eventually lead to a similar scenario.

Hassan described Tuesday’s protests as “historic,” saying they had been unlike any others witnessed in Egypt. “And that gives me hope,” he said.

“When people see what happened today, more will join the protests–especially now that Egypt has become a tinderbox waiting for a match to set it alight,” Hassan added.

Hassan also asserted that Tuesday’s protests had eliminated any chance of a presidential bid by Gamal Mubarak, son of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. He added that the number of protesters had “exceeded all expectations,” saying that the massive protests “could force the regime to either apply drastic changes or leave.”

A group of activists from the 6 April reform movement, which initially called for Tuesday’s “Day of Anger,” erected a tent in the middle of Tahrir Square to show their intention to stay put until their demands were met.

Adel Abou Zeid, a member of the liberal opposition Ghad Party, is among those who plan to spend the night in Tahrir Square. Abou Zeid said he had long suffered from a sense of injustice, saying that he had “finally found a way of making my voice heard.”

“I have been crushed for thirty years–I can handle a one- or two-month sit-in,” he said. “I will stay here until Mubarak leaves. The Tunisians are no better than us!”

Mohsen, another protester, likewise said he would not leave Tahrir Square until protesters’ demands were met. He went on to urge all Egyptian citizens to participate in the demonstrations.

“We want everybody in Egypt to come out onto the streets,” he said. “The regime doesn’t have 80 million police officers to stop us.”

Heavy clashes had erupted earlier between protesters and police that had lasted for several hours, leading to injuries on both sides as protesters tried to reach the parliament building in downtown Cairo.

Security forces chased protesters down nearby Kasr al-Einy Street with police trucks, frequently blasting them with water cannons and tear gas. Protesters responded by attacking the trucks and throwing rocks at police.

Similar clashes broke out in Tahrir Square as protesters and police pelted one another with rocks. During the clashes, several protesters were snatched from the crowd and detained by police