In These New Times

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The biggest Friday protest rages in Egypt; one killed, dozens injured

Posted by seumasach on January 28, 2011


28th January, 2011

The biggest but the tensest day of rage started in Egypt after Friday prayers. Egypt’s government faces one of its biggest tests ever after hundreds of thousands of Egyptian protesters began another day of rage on Friday following afternoon prayers in the country’s mosques.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which had avoided the protests in previous days, joined the anti-government protests, bringing thousands more people into the streets.

One killed, dozens were injured after protesters clashed with the security forces in Cairo who fired tear gas on the protesters, Al-Jazeera TV reported. Egyptian police fired tear gas, rubber bullets in Alexandria.

Four French journalists reporting on the protests in Cairo have been released, said Le Figaro newspaper, which employs one of the reporters.

Egypt’s interior ministry warned of “decisive measures” as security forces were on high alert. Despite the security crackdown, the demonstrators have vowed to keep in streets until their demands become achieved.

“Mubarak’s men seem to have lost all sense of initiative. Their party newspapers are filled with self-delusion, pushing the massive demonstrations to the foot of front pages as if this will keep the crowds from the streets – as if, indeed, by belittling the story, the demonstrations never happened,” The Independent commentator Robert Fisk said in a report published on Friday.

According to Fisk, you don’t need to read the papers to see what has gone wrong. “The filth and the slums, the open sewers and the corruption of every government official, the bulging prisons, the laughable elections, the whole vast, sclerotic edifice of power has at last brought Egyptians on to their streets”, he said.

Internet and SMS services, that have enabled demonstrators to keep in touch and to organize rallies just as they did in Tunisia, have been disrupted ahead of the planned demonstrations.

Since three days, Egypt has witnessed unprecedented protests against the 30-years-rule of President Hosni Mubarak claiming the lives of seven people and resulting in the arrest of more than 1000 demonstrator.

“Egypt’s Muslims and Christians will go out to fight against corruption, unemployment and oppression and absence of freedom,” a facebook page with more than 70,000 signatories said.

Mohamed ElBaradei, the former head of the UN nuclear watchdog, has participated in the Friday prayers in Cairo amidst police clampdown on his supporters and anti-government protesters. The prominent opposition figure returned to the country, expressing readiness to lead Egypt’s protest movements with the aim of enabling a “peaceful transition” of power.


A report published on As-Safir newspaper on Friday describes how Egypt had been stripped off from its Arab identity and how its security forces are trained to curb the citizens. Egypt is objected to American hegemony, politically and militarily, as it is also subjected to Israeli unfair colonial conditions: the number of the Egyptian armed forces in its different departments is limited. Their US weapons are defensive and undeveloped compared to that owned by Israel. The officers are trained in the United States and the expense of their training is deducted from the “U.S. aid”. Concerning their education on their enemy, it strikes off “Israel” and even considers it a “friend” if not an “ally”.

“The army is prohibited from entering the Sinai, and therefore prohibited from defending their land, waters, while the Israeli battleships, submarines are crossing the Suez Canal from the Mediterranean to the Gulf of Eilat on the Red Sea, and the objection is prohibited!” the report written by the newspaper Publisher Talal Salman said.

Also, the report added, the Egyptian army is prohibited from communicating with other Arab armies, and particularly with his partner in the October War ally [Syria]. “On the other, the Security Forces (about a million!) were strengthened to protect the regime, turned them into the suppressing forces always mobilized. If a hundred citizens protested, they found themselves trapped by a thousand of the wearers of helmets and black shirts with sticks in their hands and tear gas,” it said.


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