Mubarak Speaks: Defends Security Forces And Promises Formation Of New Government
UPDATE 1/28/2011 10:00 a.m.: Various reports coincide that thousands continue to defy the government imposed curfew. Gunfire and explosions are being heard throught Cairo as on-scene reporters describe the situation as one of chaos. Some unconfirmed reports allege that military and security troops have been seen removing thier uniforms. The army has not actively engaged that defying the curfew, fueling some speculation that the military may not actively be defeding the regime.
The headquarters of the ruling party has been set ablaze.
Communications and the web contine to be severed. Al Jazeera reports more than 400 injured or wounded in Friday's protests.
UPDATE 1/128: 8:45 a.m. PDT: Egypt is actively working to stop the protests. According to reports, opposition leader ElBaradei is now under house arrest.
The Egyptican government has called from a curfew that will run from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. in Cairo, Alexandria and Suez, where protets broke out during the day.
Voice of America reports on the Friday protets: In Suez, witnesses say at least one protesters has been killed. Television foot Sage from the city has shown demonstrators throwing rocks at security vehicles, thick black smoke pouring from a building and protesters directly confronting police in riot gear.
UPDATE 1/28/2011 4:00 a.m. PDT:
Anti-government protests are once again underway in Egypt.
The Wall Street Journal reports: "Thousands of Egyptian antigovernment protesters are clashing with police in Cairo, who are firing rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons to disperse them."
Police used water cannons against Egypt's prodemocracy leader Mohamed ElBaradei and his supporters as they joined the latest wave of protests after Friday noon prayers. Police also used batons to beat some of Mr. ElBaradei's supporters, who surrounded him to protect him. Clusters of riot police with helmets and shields were stationed around the city, at the entrances to bridges across the Nile and other key intersections."
Violent clashes have also erupted between police and protesters in Alexandria, Egypt, with police firing tear gas at the crowds.
CNN reports: "At least 1,000 protesters had gathered, and youths hurled rocks through black clouds of gas. Crowds ran through the streets toward the city's central square."
UPDATE 1/28/2011 2:50 a.m. PDT:
The Guardian reports: "The Egyptian dissident Mohamed ElBaradei warned President Hosni Mubarak today that his regime is on its last legs, as tens of thousands of people prepared to take to the streets for a fourth day of anti-government protests.
The Nobel peace prize winner's comments to the Guardian represented his strongest intervention against the country's authoritarian government since he announced his intention to return to Egypt to join the protests. "I'm sending a message to the Guardian and to the world that Egypt is being isolated by a regime on its last legs," he said."
UPDATE 01/28/2011 2:00 a.m. PDT: Legendary Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk, writing in the Independent: "The barren, horrible truth, however, is that save for its brutal police force and its ominously docile army the government is powerless. This is revolution by Twitter and revolution by Facebook, and technology long ago took away the dismal rules of censorship.
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, that by belittling the story, the demonstrations never happened."
UPDATE 01/28/2011 1:15 a.m. PDT: The New York Times reports: "In Cairo’s central Tahrir Square, a focal point of protest, reporters on Friday saw black-uniformed riot police taking up position, pouring from armored trucks, and news reports said several members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, the largest opposition organization, had been arrested overnight."
UPDATE 01/28/2011 1:00 a.m. PDT: The Wall Street Journal: "Early Friday morning, the U.S., which has taken a more strident tone in support of the demonstrators in recent days, denounced the clampdown. Fittingly, it did so via Twitter, the online social-networking site that has played a key role in coordinating and sustaining the unrest that is sweeping the Arab world.
'We are concerned the communication services, including the internet, social media and even this tweet are being blocked in Egypt,' State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley tweeted at 5:30 a.m. Egyptian time.'"
Demonstrators in Egypt are planning for massive protests that are expected to take place Friday afternoon after weekly prayers. Organizers are planning to flood the streets with millions of people for an event they're calling "Friday Rage."
According to Reuters, Friday's planned protests are "the biggest protests yet planned against President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule.
And NBC's Richard Engel tweeted Thursday evening: "Us officials expect 'significant violence' in #egypt tomorrow"
In anticipation of the protests, the Egyptian government shut down the Internet and social media sites on Thursday. Despite a ban on public gatherings issued on Wednesday, organizers had been using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to prepare for the protests.
Wired reported that the cyber-crackdown includes the shut down of texting and Blackberry messaging.
All basic Internet service in and out of Egypt was totally blocked as of midnight Thursday in Cairo. The Internet shutdown also happened after graphic video surfaced showing a protester getting shot by Egyptian security forces. Reuters reported that the protester died.
The government also detained seven senior members of the country's main opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood early Friday.
Reuters reported: "Members of the Muslim Brotherhood, including at least eight senior officials of the opposition group and its main spokesmen, were rounded up overnight. A security source said authorities had ordered a crackdown on the group."
The group is expected to have a major role in planned demonstrations against Mubarak.
On Thursday, opposition leader and Nobel laureate Mohammed ElBaradei returned to Egypt and explicitly called for a "new regime." ElBaradei said of Mubarak: "He has served the country for 30 years and it is about time for him to retire." ElBaradei also said he plans to take part in Friday's massive demonstrations.
According to The Guardian: "After four days of unrest, six people have died and almost 1,000 have been rounded up by police."
The protests started on Tuesday and followed closely in the wake of regime change in Tunisia.
For a guide on how to follow Egyptian events on social media as the protests continue to unfold, click here.
Connect With Us:
The best way to stay on top of Neon Tommy articles?
Or enter your email in the box below to receive a weekly news update from us. Check your inbox every Wednesday morning for "Neon Tommy News Highlights."