(9 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
CLASHES HAVE BROKEN OUT BETWEEN PRO AND ANTI GOVERNMENT FORCES IN TAHRIR SAQUARE
Al Jazeera has a Live Blog for Feb 2
As you can see we now have the live feed from Al Jazeera English and I am posting this at very early so everyone can watch the events in Egypt as they happen.
This is day eight of the protest in Egypt demanding that President Hosni Mubarak step down. Late last night on Egyptian state television, Mubarak said that he would not run for reelection on September but would not step down. His tone and words at times were aggressive and confrontational condemning the demonstrators, echoing the speech given by former Tunisian President Zine el Abidine ben Ali the day before he fled by private jet to Saudi Arabia.
President Obama said he spoke to Hosni Mubarak after the Egyptian president’s announcement to serve out his remaining term, and told Mubarak an orderly transition of power in Egypt ‘must begin now’.While the meaning of the last phrase was deliberately vague, it appeared to be a signal that Mr. Mubarak might not be able to delay the shift to a new leadership.
Mubarak’s speech did little to quell the demands for his immediate departure. The opposition leaders have vowed to keep up the protests and said they would get bigger until Mubarak is gone. Angry Chants of “Erhal! Erhal!”, or “Leave! Leave!” could be heard and scenes of protesters waving their shoes and using them to beat pictures of Mubarak were common.
From the NYT’s The Lede Live feed
In the past few minutes, Ramy Raoof, an Egyptian blogger and human rights activist, has started using his mobile phone to broadcast live video of the opposition protesters in central Cairo to the mobile broadcasting Web site Bambuser.
5:34 P.M. Protesters Reportedly Push Back Regime Supporters
A few minutes ago, Anderson Cooper of CNN reported from Cairo that a phalanx of opposition protesters, using sheets of metal as improvised shields and advancing in a line had successfully pushed a dwindling number of regime supporters back and taken control of a street outside the Egyptian Museum.
Mr. Cooper, watching from above the national museum, estimated that only a few hundred regime supporters remained at that entrance to the Tahrir Square area filled with thousands of opposition protesters.
Anthony Shadid, David Kirkpatrick and Kareem Fahim reported from Cairo earlier that the regime supporters might not be as motivated by political convictions as the opposition protesters.
The violence came after the Egyptian government “struck back at its opponents on Wednesday, unleashing waves of pro-government provocateurs armed with clubs, stones, rocks and knives in and around Tahrir Square in a concerted effort to rout the protesters who have called for an end to President Hosni Mubarak’s near-30-year rule.”
Mr. Alhossary also posted a photograph of what he said was the police I.D. card of one of the regime supporters who had been captured after attacking opposition protesters.
From Al-Masry Al-Youm:
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon expressed his deep concern regarding the escalating clashes between protesters in Tahrir Square, calling the violence used against protesters unacceptable and urging restraint on all sides.
“This is very much an unacceptable situation. Any attack on peaceful demonstrators is unacceptable and I strongly condemn it,” said Moon.
A group of independent writers and businessmen called on President Hosni Mubarak to delegate all authority to his deputy and serve as a “ceremonial” leader until his term ends in September, according to a statement issued Wednesday.
Human rights advocacy group Amnesty International on Wednesday called on Egyptian authorities to protect the right to peaceful protests and blamed Wednesday’s outbreak of violence at Tahrir square on the Egyptian authorities.
Following violent attacks on protesters in Tahrir Square on Wednesday, activists who were already reluctant to accept the regime’s invitation to negotiate say that such a move is now completely out of the question.
“We might have negotiated a diplomatic solution with the regime, but after today’s developments, the fight will continue; what happened will not weaken it,” said Nasser Abdel Hamid, member of the National Association for Change. “Even if people are forced to leave the square, they will return another day.”
Mubarek Supporters(security) VS Demonstrators
From the New York Times
CAIRO – The Egyptian government struck back at its opponents on Wednesday, unleashing waves of pro-government provocateurs armed with clubs, stones, rocks and knives in and around Tahrir Square in a concerted effort to rout the protesters who have called for an end to President Hosni Mubarak’s near-30-year rule.
After first trying to respond peacefully, the protesters fought back with rocks and Molotov cocktails as battles broke out around the square. A makeshift medical clinic staffed by dozens of doctors tended to a steady stream of antigovernment protesters, many bleeding from head wounds.
As the two sides exchanged volleys, the military restricted itself mostly to guarding the Egyptian Museum and using water cannons to extinguish flames stoked by the firebombs.
From the blog We are all Khaled Said reports:
Mubarak thugs are throwing fire bombs on Egyptian Musuem which carries 1/3 of world heritage. They are setting it on fire. @waelabbas: witness:Tank commander put a pistol in his mouth to commit suicide, his soldiers stopped him & burst out crying. Pro Democracy & Freedom are being slaughtered by Mubarak. Plz take an action now. Contact the white house, contact your leaders & Representatives. Show your support.
From The Guardian
Four reporters set upon as hundreds of pro-government supporters launch resistance against protests
Supporters of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak beat up several journalists after going on the offensive today.
Anderson Cooper from CNN, two Associated Press correspondents and a Belgian reporter were all set upon as hundreds of young pro-government supporters attacked crowds demanding Mubarak’s immediate resignation.
Egyptian president’s regime orchestrates bloody battles in Tahrir Square against protesters seeking his removal from power
Hosni Mubarak launched his counter-revolution today, sending waves of armed thugs to do battle with pro-democracy demonstrators in Cairo and other cities. The attacks, reportedly involving plainclothes police and vigilantes as well as pro-regime citizens, appeared to be carefully co-ordinated and timed. And the army, which only days earlier had sworn to protect “legitimate” rights of protesters, stood back and watched as the blood flowed.
Celebratory mood evaporates amid reports of violence and accusations that pro-Mubarak protesters are being paid by police
Supporters of President Hosni Mubarak are staging a furious counter-demonstration in the Alexandria square that has been the scene of protests for nine days, sparking violent arguments and altercations between rival groups.
The celebratory mood of yesterday evaporated amid reports of violent overnight confrontations in Egypt’s second city and accusations from anti-Mubarak protesters that their adversaries were paid agents of the regime.
From Al Jazeera English
Clashes rage in Tahrir Square (video)
At least one dead and hundreds injured as pro-Mubarak supporters attack protesters seeking his ouster in central Cairo.
Clashes have broken out between pro- and anti-government demonstrators in the Egyptian capital Cairo.
Protesters from both sides threw stones at each other in Tahrir Square, the epicentre of ongoing opposition demonstrations against President Hosni Mubarak for the past nine days
The health ministry said at least one person had been killed and more than 600 injured in Wednesday’s violence.
Al Jazeera correspondents, reporting from the scene, said clashes were still raging and that petrol bombs were being hurled.
Military urges protesters to pack their bags and go back to ‘normal life’ as anti-government rallies enter ninth day.
The Egyptian army has called for protesters rallying for a ninth day against President Hosni Mubarak’s
regime to go home and “return to normal life.”
In a call for protesters to leave the streets, Ismail Etman, a military spokesman said on state television on Wednesday: “The army forces are calling on you … You began by going out to express your demands and you are the ones capable of restoring normal life.
“I call on the conscious youth of Egypt, honest men of Egypt, we should look forward to future, think of our country, Egypt. Your message has been heard, demands understood, and we are working day and night to secure our homeland for your interest, the honourable people of Egypt.”
Unlike the police, which is widely reviled in Egypt for its repressive tactics, the military is widely admired and is seen as neutral.
Other news stories from the region:
PARIS – In the latest shock wave emanating from protests across the Arab world, President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen announced on Wednesday that he would not stand for re-election when his term expires in 2013 or try to hand on power to his son, news reports said.
Former PM praises Egyptian president over role in peace negotiations and warns against a rush to elections that could bring Muslim Brotherhood to power
Fear mongering from a war criminal
Al Jazeera’s senior political analyst says those hoping for a quick Mubarak resignation have been disappointed.
Egyptians air different views on their hopes for the future but all of them agree it is time for Mubarak to go.