‘The chant is يسقط يسقط حسني مبارك – Tell the world he is killing us’
As the Sun rises in Cairo on the tenth day of the Egyptian uprising, the protesters opposed to the government of Hosni Mubarak still hold Tahrir Liberation Square. They still hold it in spite of a night of horrific violence by pro-Mubarak thugs that attacked the peaceful protesters with machine guns, other guns and fire bombs. Overwhelming evidence is already mounting that this murderous gang was composed of police in plain clothes, NDP functionaries and loyalist and hired thugs. The army, which in previous days made sure all the protesters that entered the square were unarmed, stood by and did nothing while the assault took place.
The goal of the thugs was to drive the protesters from the square. In this they were not successful.
The price these freedom fighters, men, women and children, have paid so far is high. As I write this, the number of dead is being put at 5, but since over 800 are reported injured, the number of deaths is likely to rise. One witness said she saw seven bodies.
But they held! They held that now bloody ground which is the symbol of their fight against a tyrant and now a beacon for the liberation of all humanity.
When night falls, the thugs will strike again.
Unless while the Sun is still shining on Cairo, the pressure of the people of the world can be brought to bear to make Mubarak call off his thugs. The U.S. bankrolls the Egyptian military to the tune of $1.3 billion USD a year. President Obama can make him call off the thugs so pressure should be put on him too.
You should make it your mission for the next 24 hours to make sure your voice is heard and tell
Mubarak, Call Off Your Thugs!
Campaigns and protests will be forming up shortly so stay tuned.
it was then re-posted as BREAKING: Mubarak Thugs Fire on Protesters in Tahrir Sq. w' Mach Guns!
I just posted this diary under the title Google Goes Rebel, Supports Egyptian Protest When I did I saw that no one had Broken this story on the DailyKos and in fact the diary published right after mine by FDRDemocrat was titled Mubarrak Has Kept The Peace
8:53pm pst AJ is reporting witness that saw protester shot in the head.
At this hour Mubarak's thugs are using gun fire, including automatic weapons fire on the protesters in Tahrir Square. More. Later, Al Jazeera is reporting 4 dead 150 wounded but I have been hearing the gun fire for an hour and it will be much greater than that. To see what is going on RIGHT NOW go to Al Jazeera's LIVE FEED
Army did nothing to stop the assault. They had been checking to make sure protesters enter the square had no weapons though.
Protesters vow they won't be driven from the square.
Police offered me money to join pro Mubarak Protests
To be honest, I want to tell you something. I am unemployed, and I have a relative who works with the police who offered me money to join the pro-Mubarak protests. Frankly, I took the money and went and I know that they are all police men or those who are benefitting from the National Party, and who want the regime to stay in power. I want to let you in on the secret: they are giving money to police or to soldiers and asking them to demonstrate for Mubarak, and to bring anyone else they know so that it appears that Mubarak has lots of supporters. To be honest, I am ashamed of myself, and I feel that this a huge betrayal of the nation. I took the money and went with them and demonstrated with them and I was not proud of myself. I support the Egyptian people, and god willing the Egyptian people will be victorious.
8:17am Cairo Egyptian government spokesman telling BBC only 1 protester has died, and they fell off a bridge
Heard in Cairo: "#Egypt military may replace the president, but will never replace the regime, never accept civilian rule."
9:47pm pst State-run Nile TV reports 4 dead, 829 wounded in battle of #Tahrir Square. Expect more upward revisions.
Yesterday was like a celebration in the park for an estimated 2 million anti-Mubarak protesters in and around Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo. As the army looked on but checked people entering the square for weapons, the city center started filling up with protesters in the early morning. It was time in seven days of protest that many from the various neighborhoods felt able to venture to the square. By Tuesday, neighborhood patrols were in place well enough to secure their homes and possessions against roving bands of criminals and looters. Many more felt it safe to leave home and join the movement.
The numbers swelled as a result and not only in Cairo, but in Alexandria where over a million anti-government protesters turned out, in Suez where a quarter million turned out, Sinai, Mansoura, Damnhour, Arish, Tanta, el-Mahalla and el-Kubra all had mass protests as well.
In Tahrir Square the mood had been festive all day. The chants for Mubarak to leave were loud and the banners were colorful. Many people had gotten their first taste of self-organization only days before in establishing the defenses of their neighborhoods. Now they were here in the center of Cairo inventing the future of Egypt.
More than a million people in the square and yet some people said they had never seen it so litter free. Young people would circulate among the crowds collecting trash with the call "Donations for the NDP, donations for the NDP." Women said they had never felt so respected and free in Egypt. As the number of protesters swelled, so took up the tasks of food preparation and water distribution. They were protesting their tyrannical government and caring for each other, creating the future of their country while they did it. It was a historic and beautiful day. Then it turned ugly.
The Empire Strikes Back: Mubarak Sends in the Thugs
Late in the evening Hosni Mubarak made a defiant speech promising to serve out the rest of this Presidential term and to "die on Egyptian soil"
Then pro Mubarak forces that had been gathering up moved to violent confrontation with the pro-democracy protesters in Alexandria and Cairo.
Mubarak hopes to create a climate of chaos so that fear will drive people off of the streets and back into their homes.
First the police were used to suppress the protesters in the usual manner, by the end of Friday pray it was clear that tactic wasn't working.
The police were withdrawn. The army was sent in to protect selected sites but most neighborhood went without protection.
The pro-Mubarak thugs also represent a broad cross section of Egyptian society. Some were genuine Mubarak supporters or NDP Party loyalists and functionaries, many where there because they were promised 200 lbs and paid 50 up front, many were police or govt security personnel in plain clothes, this became clear from the volume of captured ID's, many oil workers had been told by their bosses to come, and in at least one case a company promised to make it's temp workers permanent if they joined in. Such is the 'organic' nature of the pro-Mubarak forces. This explains why it took many days for them to assemble and show themselves.
Was first posted as Google Goes Rebel, Supports Egyptian Protest
Twitter has been something of a lifeline for the Egyptian people in this time of struggle. It has been a major conduit for getting up to the minute information out of Egypt and it has allowed the Egyptian protesters to communicate and organize.
So when Hosni Mubarak pulled the plug in on the Internet last week in an effort to quell the dissent, the people at Google decided it was time to take their latest speech-to-text technology out of Google Labs and into the real world. They got together with Twitter and set up three phone lines that Egyptians could call and leave a voicemail that would be turned into a Tweet. The numbers, which went into service on Monday, are +16504194196, +390662207294 and +97316199855 and they have been advertised in Al Jazeera's ticker since. The tinker doesn't mention Google BTW.
Google quietly reported this in their official blog:
Like many people we’ve been glued to the news unfolding in Egypt and thinking of what we could do to help people on the ground. Over the weekend we came up with the idea of a speak-to-tweet service—the ability for anyone to tweet using just a voice connection.
We worked with a small team of engineers from Twitter, Google and SayNow, a company we acquired last week, to make this idea a reality. It’s already live and anyone can tweet by simply leaving a voicemail on one of these international phone numbers (+16504194196 or +390662207294 or +97316199855) and the service will instantly tweet the message using the hashtag #egypt. No Internet connection is required. People can listen to the messages by dialing the same phone numbers or going to twitter.com/speak2tweet.
We hope that this will go some way to helping people in Egypt stay connected at this very difficult time. Our thoughts are with everyone there.
In a presumably unrelated development, Google's head of marketing for the Middle East and North Africa has gone missing after joining protests against the Egyptian government on Friday. A Google employee at a protest sounds pretty par for the course to me. I remember that an anti-Bush demonstration at Santa Monica Airport in August 2004 just around the corner from Google's Santa Monica location pretty much cleared out the office. I ran into a friend that worked at Google at the protest and after it was over he took me back to the office and treated me to one of their free Pepsi's. On this missing Google employee The Wall Street Journal reports:
A Google spokesman said: "We care deeply about the safety of our employees."
Wael Ghonim’s web postings suggest a deepening engagement with politics. His Facebook page lists opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei as a person he admires, along with Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Steve Jobs. In mid-January he tweeted that he was traveling to Qatar to participate at an Internet freedom forum hosted by network Al Jazeera.
Later, he sent a tweet that said he was going to join the Egyptian protests despite "all the warnings I got from my relative and friends."
On Jan. 26 after Egypt clamped down on Twitter, Wael sent a tweet that was recirculated by colleagues, friends and strangers: "A government that is scared from Facebook and Twitter should govern a city in Farmville but not a country like Egypt," he said, referring to the Farmville Internet game by Zynga Game Network Inc.
On Friday, he tweeted: "Very worried as it seems that government is planning a war crime tomorrow against people. We are all ready to die."
As I write this automatic weapons fire is being heard in Tahrir Square and Al Jazeera is reporting a mounting death toll amoung the protesters. I fear for Wael Ghonim and all those in the square. I hope he can get to a phone and tweet us real soon.
Here are the links to my articles at WL Central:
2011-02-01 Jordan's King Sacks Government as Protests Grow
2011-02-01 Tunisian Islamic Leader Returns as EU Freezes Ousted President's Assets
2011-02-01 Army Vows Not to Shoot as Protesters make Million Man Marches in Cairo, Alexandria Today [UPDATE: 2]
2011-01-30 Million Egyptian Protest Planned as Resistance Continues
2011-01-29 No Internet? No Problem! Anonymous Faxes Egypt
2011-01-28 In Jordan Thousands Demand New Government
2011-01-28 Mubarak Refuses to Step Down!
2011-01-28 Egypt is on Fire!
2011-01-27 Libya is in Revolt as Gaddafi Worries
2011-01-27 Algerians Plan Big Protest Rally for February 9th
2011-01-27 Tunisia Protests Continues as a Warrant is Issued for Ben Ali
2011-01-27 Tens of Thousands Rally in Yemen, Demand Change
2011-01-27 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:
They Should Have Helped That Street Vendor
Million Egyptian Protest Planned as Resistance Continues
Huffington Post Disses the Jasmine Revolution Redux
No Internet? No Problem! Anonymous Faxes Egypt
Egypt is on Fire!
North African Revolution Continues
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