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Egypt: Night Falls, After Day of Rage

This post is part of our special coverage of Egypt Protests 2011.

As the night sky extended over Egypt, protests in Cairo and around the country continued. News was dominated by events in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, where police dispersed a sit-in with tear gas, rubber bullets, and water canons leaving many people wounded. In Suez, three people were reported dead. In Alexandria, a sit-in of thousands began amidst arrests. In El-Mahala, a large industrial and agricultural city, there were reports on Twitter of police thugs destroying public property in El-Shoon square and of further clashes between citizens and police.

@Alaa tweeted that doctors were badly needed in Tahrir Square:

Try to move ppl to hospitals instead, doctors need medicine & equipment ♻ @husseinelsaid: @alaa doctors needed at Tahrir DESPERATELY pls RT

Earlier today, the Egyptian government blocked Twitter, and also cut mobile phone coverage around Tahrir Square, leaving protesters with no means to communicate with the outside world. This led to a spontaneous act by residents in the neighborhood to remove the passwords from their wireless routers so protesters could go online:

@Mohrad

المواطنين والمحلات لغوا باسوردات شبكات الوايرلس والمعتصمين في التحرير يستطيعون الآن التواصل مع الناس#Jan25 #fb

Citizens and shops canceled the passwords of their wireless routers. Protesters in Tahrir square can reach people now.

Also, nearby shops began offering protesters food and water.

@Mohrad

من التحرير: هارديز طلع ساندوتشات صغيرة للمعتصمين والأمن منعهم وطلب منهم يقفلوا ويمشوا ورفضوا يقفلوا ومشاركين الشباب

From Tahrir: Hardees gave out free sandwiches to protesters, but the police stopped them and asked them to leave. Shops refused, and joined the people.

A few celebrities joined the protests, and were updating their Twitter accounts. Actors Amr Waked and Khaled Aboul Naga, a female television presenter Bouthayna Kamel, director Amr Salama, and politician Ayman Nour.

Amr Salama and Khaled Aboul Naga, wrote wrote an update from the protesters to all Egyptians:

رسالة من المعتصمين: كلنا موجودين في ميدان التحرير مش هنتحرك، و هنبات و هنكمل مظاهرتنا بكره الصبح رغم كل اللي بيعمله الأمن، اللي يقدر منا ينزل للناس دي ينزل، و اللي يقدر يجيبلهم مية أو أكل يجيب، و اللي مايقدرش ينشر الخبر دا و مايصدقش اللي بيتقال عن إنهم هيمشوا أو هيتحركوا من مكانهم… قوم يا مصري

From protesters: We will stay in Tahrir Sq. We will not move. We will stay and continue our demonstration tomorrow morning despite police brutality. Whoever can join us, please do. Whoever can bring us water or food, please do. We will get them out of the country. Believe it. Get involved Egyptians!

It was around 10:00PM local Cairo time when Farouk tweeted from Tahrir Square.

@farokadel:

من التحرير المعنويات مرتفعة بس الامن بيجهز هجوم تقريبا

There are high hopes. But the police look like they are preparing something.

@Sandmonkey noted:

Fun fact of the day: not a single girl was sexually harassed today. Everyone acted with utter respect. #jan25

However, the mood changed abruptly around midnight when police began dispersing protesters in Tahrir Square by force.

@Mohamed_A_Ali tweeted from the location of the sit in:

الضرب اشتغل الحقونا

They started beating. Help us.

According to well-known female politician, Gameela Ismail, at least 40 people were arrested by the police and taken to an unknown place, including her son Noor, Dr. Mostafa El Nagar, the general coordinator for the Campaign for Change, journalist Mohamed Abdelfattah, and AbdelRahman Ayyash, an engineering student who was scheduled to take an exam tomorrow in his faculty.

There are calls for more protests in different public squares of Egypt tomorrow, but whether demonstrations will actually continue or not in the morning still remains to be seen.

This post is part of our special coverage of Egypt Protests 2011.

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