Today was the largest protest against the Mubarak regime that has been stages yet. Vowing not to leave Tahrir Square in Cairo until Mubarak is gone. The day has been relatively peaceful and there have been only small clashed with the military establishing order keeping the pro-Mubarak supporters out of the square and re-instituting searches for weapons as people entered the square. Night is falling and thousands still remain.
The attacks on the independent news media continues with the burning of the Al Jazeera offices with all their equipment destroyed and Al Jazeera reporters beaten and arrested. The major American news media has taken refuge in hotels as it is completely unsafe for them on the streets. Also reporters from the New York Times, the BBC and others have also been detained and threatened.
Up Date: 1800 hrs EST:
Tahrir Square has turned into a small encampment as Evan Hill, a producer for al-Jazeera English who lives in Cairo, tweets:
Tahrir is a fully functioning encampment, with medical camps and pharmacies, amazing they’ve managed to keep it functioning
I found this video from Euro News showing on of the field hospitals that has been set up in Tahrir Square to treat the injured. Warning, if you’re at all squeamish, Don’t Watch.
“He is proud, but he is also a patriot,” Obama said. “He needs to consult with those around him in his government,” listen to the Egyptian people “and make a judgment about a pathway forward that is orderly but that is meaningful and serious.”
“His term is up relatively shortly,” the president noted. “The key question he should ask himself is how does he leave a meaningful legacy behind.”
Obama called Egypt “a great and ancient civilization” that is “going through a time of tumult.” But he reassured the Egyptian people that “they will continue to have a strong friend in the United States of America.”
Peace – alongside solid, stable community organisation – was the hallmark of Egypt’s “day of departure”, an event which produced the biggest turnout yet in Egypt’s 11-day-old national uprising. The target of that uprising was yet to be toppled as night drew in, but at times, amid the impromptu tea stalls, the neat rows of first aid tents and the well-manned security cordons, that almost didn’t seem to matter. At the centre of a city that is rife with chaos, Tahrir square had become an oasis of calm.
As a mark of how secure this anti-Mubarak stronghold has become after days of fierce fighting with armed supporters of the current regime, Egypt’s defence minister walked among the hundreds of thousands who packed the square. Hussein Tantawi was welcomed by the crowds, who chanted ‘Marshal, we are your sons of liberation’.
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How does a Revolution Sound?
Tracey Chapman may say it sounds like a whisper, but girlfriend that whisper has become a roar!
It is not just about the bread lines, nor about a simple regime change, the World is crying out for Democracy of the REAL kind – for People to determine the conditions of their own life.
I’ll be reporting on Egypt, and Tunisia and all the other places people are refusing to take the uneven hand they are dealt by the Ruling Elite Class.
When will WE quit whispering and ROAR?
We witnessed first hand as our Earth was torn asunder and bled oil, which we treated with poison. The Gulf Crisis is far from over. We need to keep looking critically at what has been done, and what is still occurring.
No guesty goodness tonight, so I will be welcoming YOUR calls!
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I Wont Go! I’m Holding My Breath Now I’m Stomping My Feet
As protests build, the U.S. faces the difficult task of supporting reform while maintaining ties with an ally who has long blamed the U.S. for the theocracy in Iran and the chaos in Iraq.
Mubarak digs in against reform, as he always has
Reporting from Washington – Embattled yet unbending, President Hosni Mubarak is sending a message that he remains deeply suspicious of reform efforts in Egypt and resistant to the calls from Washington and his own populace for him to step aside.
But this is not just the face of a leader in crisis. This is the way Washington’s relationship has always been with Mubarak. Two years ago, a secret cable from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo described Mubarak as stubborn and stone-faced when pressed to make reform, and maintaining that he is the only barrier standing in the way of disaster.
This week’s selection was written by Robert Allen, with lyrics by Al Stillman and became a major hit in 1957. In fact, the song was listed on Billboard’s “Most Played By Jockeys” survey for the performer who has sold more than 350 million records during his lengthy and highly successful career. The song was also received the Grammy Hall of Fame award in 1998. The song first appeared on the Billboard Top 40 charts on September 16, 1957, remained on the charts for 22 weeks and peaked at #1. The “B”-side was one of three Top Ten hits in 1957, peaking at #9.
After last week’s somewhat gloomy leadup to St. Valentine’s Day, this song conveys a sense of cautious hope, suggesting to the recipient of the song that love is entirely possible, along with a reminder that matters of the heart, like life itself, always include an element of risk.
Reporting that “Violent clashes continue in Egypt. The most recent reports out of Cairo show that seven demonstrators have been killed and more than a thousand injured. Many of the pro-Mubarak agitators have been shown to be undercover security forces. In Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the uprising, thousands of Egyptians remain peaceful and defiant. We get a live report from Democracy Now! senior producer Sharif Abdel Kouddous, who is on a rooftop near the 6th October Bridge, and from Mona El Seif, an activist who has remained in Tahrir Square since yesterday.“, Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez of DemocracyNow.org talk today by telephone with Democracy Now! Senior Producer reporting from Cairo Sharif Abdel Kouddous, and with Egyptian pro-democracy activist Mona El Seif, live from Cairo, Egypt, who describe violent attacks on “a couple of hundred thousand” peaceful protesters in Tahrir Square by Mubarak faction thugs on camels and on horses, using knives and guns.
Amy also talks with “Sandmonkey” – Egypt’s most well known English-language blogger – who calls downtown Cairo a “war zone”, and who said in his last blog post:
The End is near. I have no illusions about this regime or its leader, and how he will pluck us and hunt us down one by one till we are over and done with and 8 months from now will pay people to stage fake protests urging him not to leave power, and he will stay “because he has to acquiesce to the voice of the people”. This is a losing battle and they have all the weapons, but we will continue fighting until we can’t.