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Recommend Mothership thread, please.

UPDATE: Getting conflicted reports about Tahrir Square, and military activity. Protests ongoing at 2 AM Egypt time.

UK's The Guardian newspaper is now reporting that Egyptian police are siding with the protesters. This is exactly how Tunisia fell to democratic forces. We are now seeing the same shift occur in Egypt.

"[The Regime] is already falling. It can't stop." Said a State Journalist to Jack Shenker, a reporter for the Guardian.

This comes on the heels of the news that El Baradei, one of the regime's most famous opponents, has been taken into custody.

This is the biggest political shakeup since the fall of the Warsaw pact. The protests have moved out of Tunisia, the protesters are winning in Egypt. Yemen and Lebanon are expected to see further protests today. The Anonymous hacking group is planning to make attacks against Algerian government websites.

I will continue to update this Diary as the news moves forward.

Update Scarce posted the audio report.

Update:

The police have now given up fighting the protesters. The police and protesters are now talking, with protesters bringing water and vinegar (for teargas) to the police. Afternoon prayer has just been called and hundreds are praying in front of the mosque in east Alexandria.

 title=

The reason for the protesters bringing vinnegar and water to the police is because of posters distributed on twitter. I was in the Anonymous command center yesterday while hackers changed targets. Last night all of Egypt was under a total telecom blackout. The only information getting out was through western journalists with satellite phones. Anonymous had been making Denial of Service attacks on Egyptian websites. There was only one internet service provider still running in Egypt. It made no sense to continue attacks on websites that were already down, and attacking the very ISP providing the world with information would be counterproductive, so Anonymous began setting up a mass Tor Relay to get information out of Egypt once internet services began coming back up, bypassing censorship completely.

Other activities included getting this poster translated into arabic, and distributed on social media sites.

Anyone who wants to help with Tor Relaying can go to Mibbit and join the IRC channel #OpEgypt.

Update Guardian reports Pitched battle between police and protesters on Kassr Nile Bridge.

Listen!

Update: If you have internet television, turn on Al Jazeera. They have live footage of police firing tear gas, and protesters throwing it back.

Egyptian Riot Police do not have gas masks.

Update:FiredUpInCA provides background with a fascinating WikiLeaks cable.

UPDATE: Suez: Protesters now hold center of the city. No police presence. The police has been quite comprehensively defeated by the power of the people. -Al Jazeera

Update: Protesters have surrounded the city center of cairo, and are trying to push across three bridges to get to Tahrir square. Police are pushing them back. City is flooded by protesters from "all walks of Cairo society.  If it keeps going this way, I can't see how president Mubarak can hold on."

Listen!

Update: Human Rights Watch Reports scene from earlier today

After prayers, the protesters came out of a mosque and started shouting slogans. They were saying "peaceful, peaceful" and raising their hands. They were immediately attacked by police in an armoured car firing teargas. Fierce clashes started then, with exchanges of rock throwing. About 200 police faced about 1,000 protesters. The clashes lasted for nearly two hours. Then a much larger crowd of protesters came from another direction. They were packed in four blocks deep. Police tried to hold them back with teargas and rubber bullets, but they were finally overwhelmed.

Then the police just gave up, at about the time of afternoon prayers. Protesters gave water to police and talked to them. It was was all peaceful. Hundreds of protesters were praying in the street.

Now walking down to downtown Alexandria, the whole road is packed as far as we can see, people shouting slogans against [Hosni] Mubarak and his son Gamal. Asking others to join them. It is a very festive atmosphere. Women in veils, old men, children, I even saw a blind man being led. And there are no police anywhere.

Update from Poco

Just saw a fairly large and noisy crowd in front of the Egyptian Embassy in Washington. Cool. There is supposed to be a demonstration tomorrow in front of the Egyptian Consulate in NY between 1 and 3 pm. Address is 47th street at 1st Avenue.

Go protest at your nearest Egyptian Embassy!

Update: Reuters reports protesters calling on the Army to side with them. Protesters are chanting for Army assistance.

UPDATE! Tunisia is seeing the birth of democracy, Egypt, Yemen, Lebanon, and now Jordan are all in protest! Al Jazeera

Update: Army Sighted in Cairo. Unknown if they are siding with protesters or with the Mubarak regime. Cairo natives reporting they can see the army moving to the center of the city.

Update Go to al jazeera link at top and watch live images. Protests have ceased for evening prayers. Protesters praying, police holding back.

http://english.aljazeera.net/...

Update: Al Jazeera may be shut down in cairo. Army sitings confirmed but only for a single Armored Personnel Carrier, rumors of more, but unconfirmed.

Update Guardian:

Egyptian state TV says Mubarak has asked the army to take charge of security alongside the police. Looks like that is how he intends to impose the curfew, due to start in about 15 minutes.

Update: Egyptian tanks and APCs are on the streets of Cairo now. NDP headquarters is burning.

Update Curfew in effect. Police armored vehicles hit with Molotov fire bombs. Protesters are trying to push police and army vehicles into the Nile.

Update: I can see on Al Jazeera TV, protesters have broken through and are moving across the bridges towards Tahrir square. Things are still moving forward now.

Update Some people are heading home, but most are marching in defiance of curfew, chanting "Illegitimate, Illegitimate."

Update: Al Jazeera reports tank column heading into Suez.  Dozens of state security vehicles burning in Suez. Riot police in Cairo falling back. No sign of army response yet.

Update From Addison:

CNN International just reported that Egyptian military just showed up at the Information Ministry/Media Offices. The protesters were excited because the Army apparently has a better reputation than the police.


This is an escalation and is reportedly the first time the army has been directly involved in domestic affairs in 25 years (since 1985).

Also they're confiscating tourists' cameras in hotels (a big deal if only because so much of the economy in Egypt depends on tourists and pissing them off is not good for cash flow).

Update Weasel has mothership diary up.

Update Guardian: "People have been cheering the army hoping it will side with them against the police." Mubarak was scheduled to speak on state TV, but has not yet done so.

Update Gunshots and explosions heard in capitol. Cannot confirm where they are coming from. Helicopters sighted. Fires are burning across Cairo. Protesters reported near Ministry of Interior government buildings.

Update: US Government tweets response:

Events unfolding in #Egypt are of deep concern. Fundamental rights must be respected, violence avoided and open communications allowed.

Reform is vital to #Egypt's long-term well-being. The Egyptian government should view its people as a partner and not as a threat.

Twitter is still blocked for at least 88% of Egyptian internet users.

Update: AP Reports:

An Associated Press reporter saw the protesters cheering the police who joined them and hoisting them on their shoulders in one of the many dramatic and chaotic scenes across Egypt on Friday. After chasing the police, thousands of protesters were able to flood into the huge Tahrir Square downtown after being kept out most of the day by a very heavy police presence. Few police could be seen around the square after the confrontation.

What will the army do? No word yet.

Update Al Jazeera tweet:

AJELive Jamal ElShayyal - Suez, #Egypt - Army are now present in the city amidst cheers by the protestors #Jan25 #Aljazeera

Hillary Clinton pressuring Mubarak to use restraint. Mubarak has not spoken yet.

Guardian Mid East Expert:

It looks to me as if Clinton is angling for a negotiated departure by Mubarak, accompanied by an increase in political freedom. I think the US is aiming to structure the solution in a way that would protect its key interests: the peace treaty with Israel, the Suez canal, and co-operation against terrorism.

UPDATE UPDATE Army siding with protesters in Alexandria!!

evanchill: Military has just arrived in Alexandria and has flashes thumbs up to the protesters. #jan25 ly

Al Jazeera reports! http://english.aljazeera.net/...

Update Protesters storming government buildings. Cairo in chaos. No response from military in Cairo. Protesters are still in Tahrir square.

AJELive AP Reports that protestors have stormed #Egypt foreign minister building.

Update Army tank crews shaking hands with protesters in Alexandria, Al Jazeera reports.

Update Troops in APCs and protesters waving Egyptian flags in Cairo.

Update Al Jazeera tweets: AJELive Al Jazeera English: Unconfirmed reports that that army and the police are clashing #aljazeera #Jan25 #Egypt

Dian Rehm Show on NPR reports "If egypt falls, there will be a domino effect."

Read: bicycle Mohammad paladin's discussion of why this is a democratic revolution.

Update Kuwait Airways stops all flights to Egypt. Mubarak still has not appeared to address the nation.

Human Rights Watch "The army has deployed in Alexandria but atmosphere is calm. Soldiers are talking to protestors. Confirmed that Alexandria governorate and many police stations burned down."

Al Jazeera National Museum of Antiquities in danger of catching fire. Fire trucks heading to NDP headquarters to fight the fires, and protect the museum.

Confirmed! Al Jazeera footage confirms Army siding with protesters IN Cairo's Tahrir square!

Protesters chanting Don't stay here Mubarak.

NDP Headquarters being looted, police vehicles around it are on fire. Flames are nearing the National Museum of Antiquities. Worry that it will catch fire.

Suez: Military taking control Peacefully of vital infrastructure. Oil refineries, Port.

Egyptian Special Forces are protecting presidential palace, State TV building. They were cheered by protesters as they moved in.

Rumors No one knows what Mubarak is doing. There are rumors that he is going to the state TV building to speak to Egypt. There are rumors that he has fled. Will update if either of these rumors is confirmed.

Update: Protesters chanting: We love the Army! Long live the Army! Save us from the Police!

Update More Military units moving to Tahrir square. Army barricading oil refineries, courts, government buildings and port in Suez. Businesses and retail stores controlled by government supporters are burning in Suez. Thick black smoke is choking the city as multiple large buildings are ablaze.

APC Halted by protesters in Tahrir square. Other vehicles approaching.

The Egyptian Museum of Antiquities is in danger of catching fire. Wikipedia:

The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, known commonly as the Egyptian Museum, in Cairo, Egypt, is home to an extensive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities. It has 120,000 items, with a representative amount on display, the remainder in storerooms. Coordinates: 30°2′52″N 31°14′0″E
The museum's Royal Mummy Room, containing 27 royal mummies from pharaonic times, was closed on the orders of President Anwar Sadat in 1981. It was reopened, with a slightly curtailed display of New Kingdom kings and queens in 1985. Today there are about 9 mummies displayed. One of them is the newly discovered mummy of Queen Hatshepsut.

NY brit expat reports:

Al Jazeera interview with W. Mustafa from conservative arab network is saying that the army is not under control of Mubarak and discussed the presidential security force that is not under army control. He said that it is most probable that Mubarak will flee the country as he will be facing a trial if he stays ...

Robert Gibbs to speak at 3:00 PM.

Guardian Reports

CNN's Ben Wedeman – who has been doing an excellent job all day – is asked why things have calmed down in Cairo. "Jim, things have calmed down because there is no government here," saying that police and army had disappeared. Is something about to happen?

Robert Gibbs: We are monitoring a fluid situation. This is not about choosing between a person and the people of Egypt. We think they need to turn the internet and social networking sites back on. The legitimate grievances of the Egyptian people must be addressed by the Egyptian government immediately. This is a situation that will be solved by the people in Egypt. We will be reviewing our assistance posture based on events that take place within the coming days.

UPDATE Syria Al Arabia reports that Syria has blocked all internet access. Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Yemen and now Syria.

Ralph Lopez Reports

Rumours spread after police withdrew very quickly that the Egyptian museum (which has 1/3 of world’s monuments) was about to get robbed. All TV channels were talking about attempts to enter to steal the museum. Once the rumour was spread, thousands and thousands of Egyptians have now made human chains all around the museum to make sure NO one enters.

Interesting Commend about Suez Canal by  Priest Valon

"The canal is owned and maintained by the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) of the Arab Republic of Egypt. Under international treaty, it may be used "in time of war as in time of peace, by every vessel of commerce or of war, without distinction of flag." "

Any new government that doesn't respect this is going to war with numerous Western powers.

The question is how (islamo)nationalist the emerging government will be

CNN Reporter in cairo reports Parliament is burning.

Al Jazeera Reports that soldiers and engineers have created a wall of steel around NDP headquarters, supposedly to prevent the fire from spreading. The building has already been gutted.

Kuwaiti leader reports that he is donating 3.5 thousand dollars A MONTH to EACH CITIZEN for the next few months, as well as providing free food. Al Jazeera expects further announcements from wealthy regimes in the gulf states.

No expectation of revolt in Libya other than an Islamist uprising.

Al Jazeera Tweets:

evanchill Egyptian state television says an important announcement will be made shortly. #jan25
3 minutes ago

nolanjazeera Tanks are providing a secure environment for firefighters to try to extinguish flames engulfing NDP Party Headquarters #egypt
9 minutes ago

nolanjazeera Amoured personnel carriers surround NDP party headquarters which is engulfed in flames #egypt
10 minutes ago


Ben Wederman of CNN tweets:

Teenager showed me teargas canister "made in USA". Saw the same thing in Tunisia. Time to reconsider US exports?

One man said he graduated from college 4 years ago, hasn't worked a day since. Has been in streets since Tuesday protesting.

Saw boys with massive seal of the republic looted from State TV. If this isn't the end, it certainly looks and smells like it.

Guardian:

The speaker of Egypt's People's Assembly has told an Egyptian satellite channel that "an important matter will be announced in a short time". The speaker, Fathi Sorour, was talking to the Mehwar channel and gave no further details, according to Reuters.

The speaker of the assembly is the first in the line of succession to become president of Egypt if the incumbent dies or is incapacitated.

Mubarak I am in control. These protests are only happening because I've allowed political reforms. I am firing the entire government, and will name a new government tomorrow. Protesters now chanting in downtown Cairo.

Cnn, Al Jazeera, reporting protesters streaming back into the streets.

TL;DR Version of Mubarak's Speech

I'm Hosni Mubarak, and I approve these protests. But for my grace and magnanimity, you would not be allowed such freedoms.

The Egyptian people aren't buying it either.

Rumor: French Press reporting possibly erroneous reports that the Military is planning to oust Mubarak.

Is this a Coup? Who is in charge of the Egyptian Military? Are the French Kidding themselves? Nothing on Al Jazeera.

Guardian:

Reuters are reporting that Egyptian armed forces have taken control of Cairo's Tahrir Square, with protesters fleeing into sidestreets, according to eyewitnesses.

Al Jazeera: Rioting continues. Mubarak's speech "Meaningless" Mubarak "out of touch." "This is the end of Hosni  Mubarak."

Is he just stalling so that he can make off to Switzerland with tonnes of gold?

Al Jazeera now reporting that Muslim Brotherhood is calling for the military to oust Mubarak.

Obama: The President appealed for peace, as well as saying that the Egyptian government must respect the rights of its people and lift the communications blackout. It seems he's distancing the US government from the Egyptian Dictatorship for the first time since the Carter Administration. He restated that governments must govern by consent.

Rioting in Tahrir square. Reports are coming in that many of the officials who were dismissed had already fled the nation at the time of their dismissal. Al Jazeera reports that the Army is still refusing to confront demonstrators.

Who is in control of the Egyptian military?

Full Text of Obama's Remarks

We have been closely monitoring the situation in Egypt. As the situation continues to unfold, our first concern is preventing injury and loss of life, so I call upon the Egyptian authorities to refrain from violence against the protesters. The US will stand up for human rights everywhere.

Those protesting in the streets have a resposibility to express themselves peacefully.

The US has a close partnership with Egypt. But we've also been clear that there must be reform - social, political and economic. In the absence of these [reforms], grievances have built up over time. I just spoke to President Mubarak, after his speech, and told him he has a responsilibilty to give meaning to his words.

Violence will not address the grievances of the Egyptian people.

What's needed is concrete steps that advance the rights of the people. Ultimately, the future of Egypt will be determined by its people, and we believe the people want the same things as we want. The Egyptian people want a future that befits the heirs to a great and ancient civiliaztions. The US is committed to working with the government and the people to achieve the goals.

When I was in Cairo, after I became president, I said that all governments must maintain power through consent, not coercion, and that is how they will achieve the future. The US will continue to stand up to the rights of the Egyptian people, and work with the government to ensure a future that is more hopeful.

Philip J. Crowley Assistant secretary of state tweets: Reform is vital to #Egypt's long-term well-being. The Egyptian government should view its people as a partner and not as a threat.

The Globe and Mail reports: As the pundits were busy celebrating the contribution of Twitter and Facebook to protests in Tunisia and Egypt, most of them ignored the terrifying news from Iran, where on Monday two activists were hanged for distributing video footage on the Internet from the country's 2009 “Twitter Revolution.”

Senator John Kerry on Al Jazeera

Mubarak has been helpful. Mubarak has an opportunity to create a transformative moment. This is about the people of Egypt, Egypt as a country, and its legitimate aspirations. Everyone has an interest in not having violence.

I think it's more constructive to focus on what the positives can be. Young people have spoken resoundingly, and Mubarak has an oppourtunity to guarantee that his history is written by his response to his people.

We have resolutions in congress right now to change the aid programs. There has not been a monolithic voice whatsoever. We have a lot of interests which are intertwined. I would like to see the arab world condemning Al Quaeda. I would love to see a lot of people speaking out about a lot of things. But the world is more complicated.

As the people of Egypt are speaking, we have been very clear: We want their voices heard, we want their rights respected.

Ambassador David Walker: Speaks to the Egyptian people through Al Jazeera.

In this nation (Egypt) if a man graduates from college, he can't get a decent job. He can't make enough money to support a wife. He can't have children.  His self respect is gone. He has no future. What else is he supposed to do?

Incredible photo gallery up at Al Jazeera

Update: Egyptian Americans protesting, chanting "Down with Mubarak." Interviewed by Al Jazeera. Protests in Jersey City and New York City. More protests planned. "The People of Egypt have spoken."

Rain reported in Cairo tomorrow. It may be torrential, but the people have braved a rain of tear gas and stun grenades. I doubt water will stop them.

* * * * *

I am signing off now. I have been live blogging for about twelve hours now.

Under a communications blackout, they marched against the Police who have been beating, torturing, and murdering them for decades. Braving tear gas and tanks, they marched. They prayed. In desparation for a brighter future, they pushed forward into the city centers of Alexandria, Suez, Cairo. They pushed into nearly every city in Egypt. They broke through barricades and swarmed into the very halls of power in the largest nation of the Arab world. The revolution came from Tunisia to Egypt. And it now blooms in Lebanon, Jordan, Yemen, and even Syria. Across the darkest, most repressed parts of this earth, the lights are coming on. The dictatorships are in danger of collapse.

From Algiers to Islamabad, let freedom ring.

Originally posted to Writing by Will McLeod: A Better World is Possible on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 05:12 AM PST.

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