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Egyptian Revolution: Updates

January 30, 2011

Thought I’d use the blog to give updates on the unfolding Egyptian revolution. Feel free to make any comments below. Times will be in Australian Eastern Standard Time

7:08 P.M is a good photo gallery of the role of women in the protests.

7:19 P.M. Al Jazerra confirms Egyptian army is in  Sharm el Sheikh, which is in the Sinai Peninsula, which would require Israel’s approval. Troops sent in to quell uprising of Bedouins. Locals believe that Mubarak is actually in the city, as has been reported

7:27 p.m Reports that women will take to the streets in greater numbers today than before.

7:28 p.m Locals in Sharm-el-Sheikh convinced Mubarak is holed up there

7:37 p.m Al Jazeera has more on the significance of Egypt sending troops into the Sinai peninsula. Confirms Israel is directly supporting a crackdown.

“Sunday is the start of the work week in Egypt, but as Al Jazeera’s Dan Nolan reports, things in Cairo are “a long way from business as usual”.

He says authorities are placing new military roadblocks on Galaa street in Cairo, blocking traffic from going through to the Corniche that runs along the Nile river. “Still a very tense scene with military everywhere,” he says.

Later, he reports that the military has begun moving in on the streets of the Red Sea resort city of Sharm El Sheikh to protect tourist areas. “What makes this so significant is that this is in the Sinai Peninsula. Under the terms of the Camp David accord, a peace treaty signed between Israel and Egypt, there was to be complete restrictions on any military ever entering the Sinai. It was always that the security in the Sinai could only ever be handled by police forces. This would indicate that police are no longer doing their job in the Sinai peninsula.”

8:01 p.m Reports that Al Jazeera is being banned in Egypt.

8:02 p.m BBC announcing that Al Jazeera shut down in Egypt

8:05 p.m on Egypt’s ban on Al-Jazerra

8:10 p.m Reports that there is a heavier military presence in Cairo today, implementing more restrictions and road blocks. Reports also saying heavier military presence in Suez.

8:14 p.m is the Australian Greens statement on Egypt. One facebook friend commented  “This Greens statement on Egypt is not just pissweak – someone has taken the urine, diluted it to one in ten thousand or some such homeopathic level, and THEN sent it out for all to see how insipid it is….. is this how a party should respond to a PEOPLE”S REVOLUTION???”

8:19 p.m pictures of solidarity demo in Sydney today.

8:24 p.m Al Jazerra  reporting of new prison break at Wadi Natrun. 5000 escapees. Still confirming but had 2 similar reports. Prison guards fled.

8:29 p.m “Don’t worry we’ll still report what’s happening in #Egypt no matter what new restrictions they put on us.” says Dan Nolan of Al-Jazerra on twitter, thank christ. Al-Jazerra are showing up all the western media in coverage of Egypt, no wonder the government wants it banned.

8:34 p.m From John Passant on facebook. Haaretz on why Israel is so scared of the overthrow of Mubarak

8:46 p.m From al- jazerra reporter “heavier military presence, some roads blocked by tanks. No handshakes bw miitiary & ppl, no citizens sitting on tanks today”

8:49 p.m “Several aspects of the apparent government shutdown of AJ remain unclear, we’re all waiting now. No one has come to turn us off.” from al-Jazerra reporter in Egypt

9:00 p.m Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on protests in Egypt

“We are following with vigilance the events in Egypt and in our region … at this time we must show responsibility and restraint and maximum consideration. Our efforts have been intended to continue to preserve stability and security in our region.

“I remind you that the peace between Israel and Egypt has lasted for over three decades.”

9:15 p.m Guardian Writer thinks crackdown is unlikely today writing “Rumours have been circulating that the army will take a much tougher line with protesters today – what some are calling the Tiananmen Square option. However, I am sceptical about that. For one, thing, the US has warned strongly against it, and though Mubarak may not listen to Washington I think his commanders are more likely to.”

9:17 p.m Al Jazeera’s statement on its closure in Egypt

“Al-Jazeera sees this as an act designed to stifle and repress the freedom of reporting by the network and its journalists. In this time of deep turmoil and unrest in Egyptian society it is imperative that voices from all sides be heard; the closing of our bureau by the Egyptian government is aimed at censoring and silencing the voices of the Egyptian people…

Al Jazeera Network is appalled at this latest attack by the Egyptian regime to strike at its freedom to report independently on the unprecedented events in Egypt.”

9:22 p.m on why al-jazerra’s coverage of Egypt is so important and so good.

9:28 p.m Alexandria and Cairo relatively calm for the moment. But call out for big protest in Cairo, crowds are beginning to build.

9:38 p.m : Very funny mock interview with Hosni Mubarak on Saturday Night Live can be seen here:

9:43 p.m: Al Jazerra’s network licences cancelled and accreditation of staff in Cairo withdrawn by order of information minister.

9:54 p.m The BBC’s Rami Ruhayem says: “We’re getting reports of preparations for a large demonstration in Mahalla al Kubra, an industrial city north of Egypt. The city is home to many textile and gas factories. There was rioting last night near some of the factories, and reports of army reinforcements arriving at one of the main textile factories.”

10:07 p.m Here is an article  a few years ago about workers struggles in Mahalla, incredibly important if there is a large demonstration. Workers there won concessions a few years ago, imagine what they could win now.

10:16 p.m 3,000- 5,000 gathered in Liberation square, according to al-Jazerra. The BBC’s Lyse Doucet writes on Twitter: “Army now checking everyone entering Tahrir Square …long queues forming ..very orderly.
Demonstrations apparently not afraid  of military presence.

10:22 p.m From BBC  “In Cairo one protester tells Reuters news agency that most of those doing the looting are policemen. “We are protecting the country,” Medhat Shaker says. “We arrested a police officer and group of policemen looting and the majority of looters are policemen, and you can ask the military troops if you do not believe me.”

10:24 p.m “Protests have begun in Alexandria, chants are “No to Mubarak, no to Suleiman” says a writer on Twitter.

10:29 p.m The BBC’s Kevin Connolly, in Cairo, says the army is playing an ambiguous role and does not seem to have clear orders, certainly not the crucial order to enforce the curfew. “There is a very febrile atmosphere – there is real fear, on the streets, that stories of prisoners being released and looters roaming the streets are being circulated to sap the will of protesters.” and the BBC’s Jon Donnison, in Jerusalem, says there is deep concern behind the scenes in Israel. “One former ambassador said ministers were desperately running between meetings to form a future plan. One concern is the country’s border with Gaza and Egypt’s ability to maintain security along that border.”

10:32 p.m From Dan Nolan on twitter “Al Jazeera crew leave Suez as no longer safe to be there. Direct threats made against jazeera. Unsure where anger originating?Thugs?”

10:39 p.m From the We are all Khalid Said facebook group “Egyptian Army at this stage is siding with protesters, not firing at them, allowing to protest & almost every single Army vehicle now has got “Down Mubarak” sprayed on by protesters 🙂 Protests to start in Alexandria from Qa’ed Ibrahim mosque after mass funeral prayer to protesters killed by Police. Army open fire on a Police armourd vehicle that tries to break into Ahly bank in Alexandria killing 3 police officers.”

10:51 p.m al- jazerra reporting “Shots fired in capital’s central square, as anti-government protests continue amid reports of prisons being attacked.”

10:54 p.m  Dan Nolan, again “Packing our equipment. We have been kicked out of office. Jazeera only network being shut down according to these guys”

10:50 p.m
via We are all Khaled Said “Urgent Breaking news: Interior Minister, Habib AlAdly, who has slaughtered Egyptians, is being evacuated from Ministry HQ in central Cairo with Police opening fire randomly while evacuating him. VERY good News: Hundreds of Egyptian judges are joining protesters in Tahreer square calling on Mubarak to go! Freedom.”

11:07 p.m Protests continues to grow in Liberation square in Cairo after afternoon prayers waving Egyptian flags. Military helicopters flying overhead, which didn’t happen yesterday.  Situation is tense but protesters seem to have steely resolve to continue with big protests.

11:14 p.m “Can someone tell Pres Obama bout the latest “legitimate” freedom withdrawn in Egypt” Dan Nolan on al-Jazerra being shut down.

11:19 p.m al-Jazerra reports many judges will join protests today.

11:21 p.m Protests begin in Suez for today. Factory workers have gone on strike in the city saying they won’t return to work till Mubarak is gone.

4:00 a.m Internet has been out, so no updates but lots has happened. Protest in Cairo is MASSIVE. ElBaredi has joined in the protests, the government has sent in fighter jets and helicopters to intimidate protestors. The United States is failing badly to speak out of both sides of the mouth. In Alexandria, protestors are calling for Mubarak to be hung. Some military officers telling protestors they will only serve the people, it’s getting more and more critical.

4:07 a.m Egyptian State television are showing palm trees and calm streets. What a joke.

4:12 a.m El Baredi tells protestors “You have taken back your rights and what we have begun cannot go back…We have one main demand — the end of the regime and the beginning of a new stage, a new Egypt…I bow to the people of Egypt in respect. I ask of you patience, change is coming in the next few days…Muslim Brotherhood has promised support for ElBaredi, sections of the movement thinks he is too pro-US.

4:19 a.m Al Jazerra reporter in Alexandria reports that march in that city has many more women involved, all banners and signs are in English and the muslim brotherhood are beginning to take a more active role.

4:24 a.m The BBC is reporting “Just days into a return to his homeland, it appears that Mr ElBaradei – former head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog, the IAEA – is seeking a key role in the protests. But the Nobel Peace Prize winner is not widely seen as a popular figurehead – and is not generally famed for his public speaking.”

4:28 a.m From The Guardian

ElBaradei is preparing to address the crowd in Tahrir Square and has been handed a megaphone, Jack Shenker reports.

“ElBaradei stared out at the crowd with a half smile on his face. There were waves of excitement and optimism as he arrived. But but a notable number chanted anti-ElBaradei slogans, asking ‘how can you steal our revolution now?'”, Jack told us in another phone update.

4:37 a.m “Many people in the crowd feel this is the final hours of the Mubarak regime,” says the Guardian

4:41 a.m “There is a counter-revolution in Egypt.  It is, like the tear gas canisters, made in the USA and Israel.” from Angry Arab

4;44 a.m Hilary Clinton on Egypt, still backing Mubarak”“[W]e do not want to send any message about backing forward or backing back,” she said. “What we’re trying to do is to help clear the air so that those who remain in power, starting with President Mubarak, with his new vice president, with the new prime minister, will begin a process of reaching out, of creating a dialogue that will bring in peaceful activists and representatives of civil society to, you know, plan a way forward that will meet the legitimate grievances of the Egyptian people.

4:47 a.m

“I don’t know why did we have police in the 1st place. We seem to be taking good care of each other, organizing traffic, cleaning streets & everything else without the need to have Egyptian police.” says a person living in Cairo

4:48 a.m From Angry Arab “You may now expect tons of articles about the Egyptian museum.  The White Man really cares about the museum.  They will write more articles about the damage to two Egyptian mummies than to the scores of people killed and injured by a regime sponsored by the US.”

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