Egypt to face its first Tunisian-inspired protests

sister herb

Official TTI Chef
Mon Jan 24, 9:08 am ET
CAIRO – Egyptians plan to mark Tuesday's holiday honoring the much-feared police force with protests being organized through Twitter and Facebook, where 80,000 Egyptians have logged their support.

Drawing inspiration from the popular revolt in Tunisia, organizers have dubbed the protests "the day of revolution against torture, poverty, corruption and unemployment."

The people's fear of a heavy security crackdown makes it hard to predict the actual size of the protests in Cairo and Alexandria. Organizers on Facebook challenged people to stand up, saying, "We are not less than Tunisia."

Almost immediately after the Jan. 14 ouster of Tunisia's longtime president, all eyes focused on Egypt, with observers wondering if the dramatic events could spur unrest against another entrenched Arab regime.

sister herb

Official TTI Chef
Egypt protesters clash with police

January 25, 2011

Inspired by Tunisian demonstrators, thousands of Egyptian protesters on Tuesday gathered in Cairo and other major cities, calling for reforms and demanding the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, Al Jazeera's correspondents have reported.

The anti-government protesters, some hurling rocks and climbing atop an armoured police truck, were chanting slogans against Mubarak, who ruled the country for three decades.

Downtown Cairo came to a standstill with protesters chanting slogans against the police, the interior minister and the government, in scenes that the capital has not seen since the 1970s.

Demonstrators marched toward what Al Jazeera's Rawya Rageh called the "symbols of their complaints and their agony," the headquarters of the ruling National Democratic Party, the foreign ministry and the state television.

But police responded with blasts from a water cannon and set upon crowds with batons and acrid clouds of tear gas to clear demonstrators crying out "Down with Mubarak'' and demanding an end to the country's grinding poverty.

Earlier on Tuesday, Rageh reported from the protests, calling them "unprecedented" in the leniency showed by security forces who allowed demonstrators to march through the capital.

The Egyptian government had earlier warned activists hoping to emulate Tunisian pro-democracy protesters that they faced arrest if they went ahead with Tuesday's mass demonstrations, which some labelled the "Day of wrath".

Promoted Online

The rallies have been promoted online by groups saying they speak for young Egyptians frustrated by the kind of poverty and oppression which triggered the overthrow of Tunisia's president.

Mamdouh Khayrat, 23, travelled from the governorate of Qalubiya to attend protests in Cairo. He spoke to Al Jazeera's Adam Makary. "We want a functioning government, we want Mubarak to step down, we don't want emergency law, we don't want to live under this kind of oppression anymore," he said.

"Enough is enough, things have to change, and if Tunisia can do it, why can't we?" Khayrat added.

Mohamed Ahmed, 36, a demonstrator from Boulaq told Al Jazeera's Makary: "We might be trying to copy what happened in Tunisia. If Egyptians manage to even come close to what they did then I can proudly say today was successful but we still have a long way to do."

"The reaction [to join the protest] has been overwhelming," Rageh said. "The people we have seen taken to the streets today are not the 50 or 60 activists that we have been seeing protesting in Egypt for the past five or six years. These were normal Egyptians, older women, younger men, even children."

A day of revolution

Black-clad riot police, backed by armoured vehicles and fire engines, have been deployed in a massive security operation in Cairo, with the biggest concentrations and likely flashpoints, including: the Cairo University campus, the central Tahrir Square and the courthouse where protesters are said to be gathering.

Coinciding with a national holiday in honour of the police, a key force in keeping president Mubarak in power for 30 years, the outcome in Egypt on Tuesday is seen as a test on whether vibrant Web activism can translate into street action.

Organisers have called for a "day of revolution against torture, poverty, corruption and unemployment".

"Activists said they wanted to use this particular day to highlight the irony of celebrating Egypt's police at a time when police brutality is making headlines," reported Rawya Rageh, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Cairo.

"In fact, the call originated from a Facebook page initially set up to honour a 28-year-old man from Alexandria who activists say was tortured to death by police.

"Witnesses are telling us that there are hundreds on the streets. This is an indication that the protests seem so far to be larger than the usual protests that have taken place here in Egypt over the past few years."

Banned demonstrations

"The security apparatus will deal firmly and decisively with any attempt to break the law," the government's director for security in the capital Cairo said in a statement released ahead of the protests.

Since Egypt bans demonstrations without prior permission, opposition groups say they have been denied such permits, any protesters may be detained.

Habib el-Adli, the interior minister, has issued orders to "arrest any persons expressing their views illegally".

"I tell the public that this Facebook call comes from the youth," Adli said in an interview published by the state-owned newspaper al Ahram.

"Youth street action has no impact and security is capable of deterring any acts outside the law," he said, adding that he welcomed "stationary protests held for limited periods of time" and that police would protect the protesters.

"Beginning of the end"

"Our protest on the 25th is the beginning of the end," wrote organisers of a Facebook group with 87,000 followers.

"It is the end of silence, acquiescence and submission to what is happening in our country. It will be the start of a new page in Egypt's history, one of activism and demanding our rights."

Rights watchdog Amnesty International has urged Egypt's authorities "to allow peaceful protests".

Protests in Egypt, the biggest Arab state and a keystone Western ally in the Middle East, tend to be poorly attended and are often quashed swiftly by the police, who prevent marching.

The banned Muslim Brotherhood, seen as having Egypt's biggest grassroots opposition network, has not called on members to take part but said some would join in a personal capacity.

Organisers have called for protesters to not display political or religious affiliations at demonstrations. The Facebook page says: "Today is for all Egyptians."

Commenting on the wave of public unrest in Tunisia, Adli, the interior minister, said talk that the "Tunisian model" could work in other Arab countries was "propaganda" and had been dismissed by politicians as "intellectual immaturity".

"Young people are very excited, and this time there will be much more than any other time," Ahmed Maher, one of the founders of the opposition youth movement said.

"This is going to be a real test of whether online activism in Egypt can translate into real action," Al Jazeera's Rageh reported.

"Anger has been on the rise in Egypt for the past couple of years, but we have seen similar calls fizzle out. The main difference now is that these calls are coming after what happened in Tunisia, which seems to have not only inspired activists, but actually ordinary Egyptians, a dozen of whom we have seen set themselves on fire in copycat self-immolations similar to the one that had sparked the uprising in Tunisia."

Sympathisers across the world have said they plan to protest in solidarity. In Kuwait, security forces detained three Egyptians on Monday for distributing flyers for the protests, while large demonstrations have also been planned outside the Egyptian embassies in Washington, DC, and London.


Junior Member
Please pray for my country.

There has been unconfirmed news that coward Hosny Mubarak along with his wife and son have fled to London. This morning the government had blocked all websites like Twitter and major news websites to decrease the number of protesters who get motivated to join. And also to try to shush what's going on. But I'll keep you updated inshaa Allah.

Large numbers of Tear-Gas canisters (60 canons so far) are being used as well as live ammunition, leading to several injuries and fainting reports. The security forces who are supposed to protect us, have so far killed 3 civilians and injured hundreds. They have also arrested many of my brothers and sisters including Nour, son of Ayman Nour.


Junior Member
Assalaam walaikum,

Yes, we will make dua.

Alhumdullila, the people of Egypt are free.

Inshaa Allah ya rab. We have waited so long.

Eyewitness in the Protests : From 2:30 pm, and for the whole day, the demonstration was extremely civilized... People have taken the Square safely, nothing was broken, nor was moved from its place. Instead, some people were actually collecting the bags, and empty bottles from the streets.Some people were reading Quran,... others were sitting together talking..and some were speaking to the officers. but, unfortunately, Habib el Adly's orders were set, to kick us out, and break up the gathering...and here, all the civilized attitudes came to an end.and we were treated violently, as if we were zionists. (R.N.N)


Junior Member
My very brave friend safely arrived home now and shared this with us.


I was in El-Tahrir from around 7pm. At around 1am they started throwing an insanely huge no. of tear gas bombs that almost blinded us and kept us choking till now, we kept running & circling around the Tahrir square chanting "الشعب.. يريد.. إسقاط النظام" we headed 2 shubra tunnel where they suddenly appeared in the tunnel running 2wards us like animals with their steel rods =(.. we all ran back, some got hurt badly and a guy beside me got hit so hard on his head that blood came out as a fountain! Others carried him while running.. and I couldn't know how can I run, take my breath and cry so hardly at the same time ='((.. when we were crossing the street, unfortunately they were able 2 corner a few of us (me & another 12), they gave us the choice 2 either take a taxi back home immediately or get harshly beaten up! I took a taxi.. alHamdulellah.. and i know that i left some real champions who're still fighting, running, crying & spreading hope at this very moment.

sister herb

Official TTI Chef

May Allah safe all of those whose are seeking they freedom and win from tyranny.


Freedom for Egypt!


Junior Member
Rasd network: URGENT: firing bullets in Ataba and the demonstration hiding to Abdeen

Recently: One of the protesters is raising a paper on which he wrote: I wish I can eat MEAT twice salary is 379 LE ~ 69 US$ Per MONTH "Al Jazeeera".

Recently: The police arrests 8 journalists peacefully demonstrating infront of their syndicate "Al Jazeera".

Today: No peaceful demonstrations are allowed anywhere in Egypt......People are arrested before any protest starts.....Underground does not stop in vital stations.....College students are arrested one after the other. "Al Jazeera"

sister herb

Official TTI Chef

Thank you for keeping us updated about what is really going on in Egypt.

:tti_sister: May Allah give victory and freedom to your people from the rule of dictators whose don´t respect rights of they people.


Junior Member

Thank you for keeping us updated about what is really going on in Egypt.

:tti_sister: May Allah give victory and freedom to your people from the rule of dictators whose don´t respect rights of they people.

Thank you so much for reading! The TVs here are airing happy movies, and the major newspapers have lied and said that we and the police and security forces are exchanging "flowers and chocolates". As if nothing is going on. The only news we can rely on is through FB and that is where the updates are being posted. Also, earlier today, the government blocked FB in Egypt but unblocked it a few hours later when they discovered that it was ineffective since we were using services to unblock it.

Security forces are surrounding Al-Ahram Newspaper's building and journalists are joining the protests. (R.N.N)

Witnesses heard several shots over the OCTOBER BRIDGE in El Tahreer 6:22 PM Source: El Shorouk.

Recently from the head protesters: We will go out marches in all mosques and churches of Egypt, heading to the public squares and sit until we receive our rights usurped. Egypt's Muslims and Christians alike will emerge to fight corruption and unemployment, injustice and lack of freedom. mosques and churches Will be selected on Thursday night.


Junior Member
Severe Street fighting in Suez between protesters and security forces. Police uses live bullets in Ahmed Oraby, Al-Arbeen and El-Malah Streets.

Jack Shenker, the Guardian's reporter in Cairo, was beaten and arrested alongside protesters in the capital last night. He made this remarkable recording while locked in the back of a security forces truck next to dozens of protesters.

"At one o'clock in the morning, after a day covering the protests across the Egyptian capital, I found myself in Abdel Munim Riyad square, a downtown traffic junction close to Tahrir, Cairo's central plaza, which had been occupied by demonstrators for several hours. Egyptian security forces had just launched an attack on Tahrir and thousands of people were now pouring in my direction, teargas heavy in the air. A few hundred rallied in front of me on Al Galaa Street; spying an empty police truck in the road, several people began to smash it up, eventually tipping it over and setting it on fire.

In the distance, riot police could be seen advancing from Tahrir. I called the news desk to report that violence was spreading; while I was on the phone the police began to charge, sending me and several hundred protesters running. A short distance away I stopped, believing it safe; a number of ordinarily dressed young men were running in my direction and I assumed them to be protesters also fleeing the police charge behind them. Yet as two of them reached me I was punched by both simultaneously and thrown to the ground, before being hauled back up by the scruff of the neck and dragged towards the police lines.

The men were burly and wore leather jackets – up close I could see they were amin dowla, plain-clothes officers from Egypt's notorious state security service. All attempts I made to tell them in Arabic and English that I was an international journalist were met with more punches and slaps; around me I could make out other isolated protesters also being hauled along, receiving the same treatment.

We were being dragged towards a security building on the edge of the square, two streets away from my apartment, and as I approached the doorway of the building other security officers took flying kicks and punches at me. I spotted a high-ranking uniformed officer and shouted at him that I was a British journalist. He responded by walking over and punching me twice, saying in Arabic, "*censored* Britain".

Other protesters and I were thrown through the doorway, where we had to run a gauntlet of officers beating us with sticks. Inside we were pushed against the wall; our mobiles and wallets were removed. Officers walked up and down ordering us to face the wall and not look back, as more and more protesters were brought in behind us. Anyone who turned round was instantly hit. After approximately an hour we were dragged out again one by one.

Outside we were loaded on to one of the green central security trucks that had been ubiquitous throughout the streets that day. The steps up to the vehicle were short and narrow, and the doorway into the pitch-black holding area inside the truck barely wide enough to fit a single person – my head was smashed against the metal door frame by a policeman as I entered. Inside, dozens of protesters were already packed in and crouched in the darkness – the trucks have barely any windows, just a handful of thick metal grates through which it is impossible to see anything. There were 44 of us inside the tiny space.

With barely room to move, the temperature rose quickly and several people fainted. Many of the protesters were nursing severe wounds, visible by occasional flashes of streetlight that came through the grates.

I realised I still had my dictaphone and started making recordings, describing what was happening and interviewing those around me. The truck drove east at top speed, towards the outskirts of the city – whenever it slowed or veered round a corner we were all sent flying. One protester, a diabetic, had slipped into a coma and was clearly in a grave medical condition; despite banging the side of the truck and shouting through the grates, we couldn't get the drivers to stop.

We eventually pulled up outside a government security headquarters on the desert fringes of the city. After a long delay a policeman unlocked the door to try to extract a specific prisoner called "Nour" – a young activist who is the son of Ayman Nour, a prominent dissident. As one we charged at the doorway, sending him flying and spilling out on the street. The unconscious protester was carried out and cars flagged down to take him to hospital. The rest of us had to find a way of making our own way back to city."


Junior Member
Cairo/ Demonstration conductors: "We will not move away or stop protesting until the government is toppled"


Junior Member
Cairo-Eyewitnesses(R.N.N): The Armed vans are not enough for all the detainees, and the Security forces are still beating the gatherings