As the Egyptian revolt entered it's third day the number of protester continued to grow into the tens of thousands, numbers completely unprecedented for a country in which such mass demonstrations have been illegal for more than 30 years. The activists who began by calling for economic relief and an end to this State of Emergency first established in 1981 are now demanding a complete change in government and the ouster of president for 30 years Hosni Mubarak.
The police have been attempting to brutality suppress and scatter the protesters, some of which stayed in the streets for a second night. At least six people have been killed since the protests began. In the eastern city of Suez, which was cut off by road, Internet and cell phone access for a period yesterday, protesters torched an Egyptian police post. Al Jazeera writes:
Angry demonstrators in Egypt have torched a police post in the eastern city of Suez, where violence between police and protesters has ratcheted up amid a security crackdown.
Police fled the post before protesters used petrol bombs to set it on fire Thursday morning, witnesses told the Reuters news agency. Police in Suez responded to other demonstrators by firing rubber-coated bullets, water cannons and teargas.
Dozens of protesters gathered in front of a second police post later in the morning, demanding the release of relatives who were detained during a wave of unprecedented protests that authorities have failed to quell since they began on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, activists calling for the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, who has served as Egypt's president for 30 years, clashed with police in the capital, Cairo, in the early hours of Thursday.
Mohamed El Baradei, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning former head of the United Nations' nuclear watchdog who has announced his support for the revolt and says he is willing to become president, is expected to arrive in Cairo today.
There were anti-government rallies in Yemen also. Inspired by events in Tunisia and Egypt, tens of thousands took to the streets of the country's capital, Sanna to demand President Ali Abdullah Saleh's resignation. According to Al Jazeera:
Opposition members and youth activists are rallying at four different locations in Sanaa on Thursday, chanting for Saleh, who has been in power for 32 years, to step down.
"Enough being in power for [over] 30 years," protesters shouted during the demonstrations.
They also referred to the ouster of Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, saying he was "gone in just [over] 20 years".
"No to extending [presidential tenure]. No to bequeathing [the presidency]," they chanted.
An opposition activist said that the staging of the demonstration in four separate parts of the capital was aimed at distracting the security forces.
Saleh's ruling General People's Congress held counter marches that were much smaller but also numbered into the thousands. Yemen is the most impoverished country in the Arabian Peninsula.
In Tunisia, foreign minister Kamel Morjane resigns as demonstrations continued there too. Although they forced President Ben Ali to flee on January 14th, the activists are demanding a complete break with the corruption of the past and the removal all officials associated with the ruling RCD party of the ousted president. Political sources say that the interior and defense ministers are also expected to be replaced in the widely expected cabinet shuttle. The industry and international co-operation ministers are expected to remain from the old government but neither was a member of the RCD. Still, it is not clear if even this complete purge of the RCD will satisfy the people's demand for change especially now that it is being reported that Mohammed Ghannouchi will remain prime minister. Protesters, who earlier today stormed police barricades in Tunis, the Tunisian capital are demanding a clean sweep.
Tunisia's powerful labor union did call off the general strike planed for Stax, Tunisia's second largest city, on Friday in a move to ease tensions, but it will not join the new government. However, teachers and doctors have already gone out on strike in the town that started it all, Sidi Bouzid.
France24 reported on Tunisia:
Some Tunisians demanded steady rather than abrupt change.
"RCD members need to get out little by little, but now this is a dictatorship of the people where there is anarchy. We must little by little trust each other, we must listen to each other," said a doctor who gave his name as Labib.
Hundreds rallied in the capital Tunis on Tuesday in support of the interim government formed after Ben Ali’s fall, later clashing with protesters who complain that it is dominated by former members of his RCD party.
In the deprived central city of Gefsa, Tunisian soldiers fired in the air to disperse hundreds of demonstrators, the first time the army has intervened since Ben Ali’s departure on Jan. 14, and witnesses said a young man set himself alight.
The Algerian opposition is regrouping after thousands of police were deployed on Saturday to suppress several hundred demonstrators. They too are inspired by the Tunisian revolution. With public protests being so strongly suppressed some Algerians have turned to a more drastic demonstration of their opposition to the status quo. At least four people in Algeria have attempted self-immolation, some successfully, since Tunisia freed itself of Ben Ali.
As with Tunisia and Egypt, activist in Algeria have been able to make creative use of the Internet to organize in spite of the governments best efforts to stop them. France24 reports:
And as the Algerian blogosphere is in a fever of excitement, web users are accusing the government of taking measures to censor the Internet. They believe Twitter, Facebook and SMS services have been intermittently blocked over the past few days.
And this was all that was needed for Anonymous to launch an operation against the Algerian government. This cyber activist group that lent its support to Tunisian demonstrators is reportedly behind a series of cyber-attacks that notably blocked the web site of the Interior Ministry.
This is what they said about the rally:
Police broke up an opposition march calling for democracy in the Algerian capital on Saturday, with troops out in force and streets barricaded to prevent protests in the wake of a popular revolt that toppled the president in neighboring Tunisia.
Algeria’s capital awoke to a virtual state of siege on Saturday, with a heavy police presence and many streets blocked in order to prevent protesters from reaching the May 1 Square, where opposition groups planned to stage a pro-democracy march.
The opposition Rally for Culture and Democracy (RCD) planned to defy a 19-year-old ban against marches in Algiers, despite warnings from the authorities and in the wake of a popular revolt that overthrew neighboring Tunisia's long-time president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali only a week ago.
The pictures below were taken by David Davidson in Algier and posted on 22/01/11 @ 22:08. We found them through the Anonymous OpAlgeria board. You can see the whole collection on his Facebook page here. I copied some to my flickr account so that I could post them here.
In co-ordination with these protests on the ground the hacker group Anonymous has launched Operation Algeria. They have been supporting the struggle on the ground my transmitting and translating materials from the struggle. They have also been getting pictures and video out on the net.
Through OpAlgeria Anonymous has launched DDOS attacks against 'Attaque DoS contre le site Internet du ministère de l'Intérieur algérien' and other government websites. Apparently they have been successful at shutting down some Algerian websites and cracked one. They put there own "Message Presse Anonymous" on an Algerian government website.
Anonymous also issued this video Press Release on Operation Algeria:
The date to watch in Algeria is February 9th, the 19th anniversary of the establishment of the state of emergency. Numerous trade unions and political parties are calling on people to take to the streets on that day.
Libya's Moamer Gaddafi may have hailed WikiLeaks for exposing US 'hypocrisy' back in December but since the cablegate exposures helped rally the people to throw out Ben Ali in January, he has been singing a different tune. Yesterday Gaddafi "said he feared that the Tunisian revolution which overthrew president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was being exploited by 'foreign interests'" according to France24. In an interview, he told the private Tunisian Nessma TV station "I fear for the Tunisian revolution."
Because Libya has 5.9 million cell phone users but less than 400,000 Internet users, Anonymous OpLibya is adopting strategies that focus more on spreading information via SMS.
Anonymous produced this video to explain the housing crisis in Libya:
Indymedia has this on Libya:
There are reports from Libya that YouTube has been blocked, largely because the videos of protests are being uploaded there. One twitter comment has said "Citizens of Bani Walid in #Libya said they will continue to take the streets until their demands are met". (Videos: Three clips of protest in Libya in Beida, the third-largest city in Libya. Reports of unrest in Zuwara, Zawiya, Tajoorah, Bayda, and Benghazi.
The Guardian printed this Friday:
We Libyans are just as hungry for a just and accountable government as our Tunisian brothers and sisters. The lack of resilient institutions will make our task more difficult. However, a worried Gaddafi was the first Arab leader to give an address on television about the events in Tunisia. He obviously disapproves, but also hopes to quell the protests that have started in some Libyan towns and cities.
This article is from last Sunday and so a little dated but it still has important and rare information about what has been happening in Libya recently:
Protests in several cities in Libya continued for a third day over the late completion of government subsided housing.
Last night hundreds of people broke into vacant houses and took over about 800 vacant units in Bani Walid city (180 kilometres south east from the capital, Tripoli).
We also have this report on the struggle in Libya from an Anonymous source:
Here are the links to my articles at WL Central:
Libya is in Revolt as Gaddafi Worries
Algerians Plan Big Protest Rally for February 9th
Tunisia Protests Continues as a Warrant is Issued for Ben Ali
Tens of Thousands Rally in Yemen, Demand Change
Mubarak Blinks as Egyptian Protests Continue for 3rd Day
Here is a recap of my other DKos dairies on the Internet, North Africa and Anonymous:
Egypt Protests Continue, Tunisia Wants Ben Ali Back
BREAKING: Protesters Plan Massive "Day of Wrath" in Egypt Today
Tunisians Thank Anonymous as North Africa Explodes
Huffington Post Disses the Jasmine Revolution
Tunisia: A Single Tweet Can Start A Prairie Fire!
Anonymous plans Op Swift Assist in Tunisia
Arrested Pirate Party Member Becomes Tunisian Minister
Is Libya Next? Anonymous Debates New Operation
Tunis: This Photo was Taken 66 Minutes Ago
The WikiLeaks Revolution: Anonymous Strikes Tunisia
EMERGENCY: DKos Must Act Now to Protect Tunisian Bloggers!
Free Software & Internet Show Communism is Possible
BREAKING - Digital Sit-Ins: The Internet Strikes Back!
Cyber War Report: New Front Opens Against Internet Coup d'état
Operation PayBack: 1st Cyber War Begins over WikiLeaks
The Internet Takeover: Why Google is Next
BREAKING: Goodbye Internet Freedom as Wikileaks is Taken Down
BREAKING NEWS: Obama Admin Takes Control of Internet Domains!
Things Even Keith Olbermann Won't Cover - UPDATE: VICTORY!!!
Stop Internet Blacklist Bill Now!
Sweet Victory on Internet Censorship: Senate Backs Off!
Internet Engineers tell the Senate to Back Off!
Why is Net Neutrality advocate Free Press MIA?
Obama's Internet Coup d'état
Julian Assange on Threat to Internet Freedom
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