Tunisia goes viral: Massive anti-government protests erupt in Egypt


As one revolution dies in Beirut, labor pains for another begin in Cairo. Don’t start handing out cigars yet, though. Remember, Tunisia’s uprising was big news not only because it’s an unprecedented case of an Arab populace removing its own tyrant but because, at least in theory, Tunisians are well positioned to form something resembling an Arab liberal democracy. The public is well educated, women have equal rights, and Islamists don’t have a foothold (yet?) thanks to the since-departed dictator’s crackdown on opposition elements. In Egypt, by contrast, the Muslim Brotherhood has been a major opposition movement for decades, pushing democracy as a means to their end of installing an Islamist government, rescinding the country’s treaty with Israel, and unleashing whatever plans it has for the country’s huge Coptic Christian population. Needless to say, if you think Hamas’s election win in Gaza a few years ago was a big deal to Muslim fundies, imagine the encouragement they’d get from watching Mubarak replaced by the Ikhwan.

Thousands of people calling for the end of the 30-year rule of President Hosni Mubarak clashed with riot police here in the capital and in other Egyptian cities on Tuesday, on a day of some of the most serious civil unrest in recent memory…

The protesters, mobilized largely on the Internet and energized by recent events in Tunisia, occupied one of the city’s most famous squares for hours, beating back attempts to dislodge them by police officers wielding tear gas and water cannons…

Security officials said several thousand people demonstrated in Alexandria, and there were reports of large demonstrations in other cities, including Mansoura and Mahalla al-Kobra. There, a video posted on the Internet showed people tearing up a large portrait of Mr. Mubarak — an act whose boldness here is hard to overstate…

…How the State Department plans to play this, wanting to push democracy but knowing that the alternative to Mubarak would very likely be worse, I have no idea. But if Bush was willing to use a light touch in pressing his freedom agenda with the regime there, I imagine The One won’t be any bolder…

Read the rest (with video) at HotAir.com

Related: Egypt Revolt post Tunisia: Is a Dam breaking? What happens next?

Tens of thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets across Egypt, facing down a massive police presence to demand:

1. Jobs;
2. Cheaper food; and
3. Ouster of President Mubarak, who has ruled Egypt for 30 years since Sadat’s assassination in 1981…

…Twitter and Facebook are amongst the top Internet social networking services used by protesters to share information and to co-ordinate activities. Activists called for a “day of revolt” in web messages.

Twitter’s website became inaccessible in Egypt across all ISPs — Internet Service Providers — as of late Tuesday 25th Jan in what is widely believed to be a move to thwart protesters campaigning to oust Mubarak. Despite this censorship, such is the power of distributed computing social media — supported over multiple communication channels — that local twitter users are currently sending tweets via mobile telephone text messages and third party software applications. This proves, once again, that in the event of a digitally driven rebellion, self assembling dynamic networks are more flexible than central government strategy.

As John Gilmore, one of the great computer science innovators and founders of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said in 1993, “The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it!”…

More Smart Power…Hillary Clinton Defends Mubarak Regime on Same Day They Slaughter Protesters in the Street.

SECRETARY CLINTON: With respect to Egypt, which, as your question implied, like many countries in the region, has been experiencing demonstrations. We know that they’ve occurred not only in Cairo but around the country, and we’re monitoring that very closely. We support the fundamental right of expression and assembly for all people, and we urge that all parties exercise restraint and refrain from violence. But our assessment is that the Egyptian Government is stable and is looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people.

Egyptian Regime Bans Protests After Massive Unrest

Demonstrators deface a poster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Alexandria Egypt, Tuesday Jan. 25, 2011. Thousands of protesters marched in Alexandria Tuesday in what was dubbed a ‘Day of Rage’ against Mubarak and lack of political freedoms under his rule. (AP Photo)

SCARY: Egyptian president’s son and family flee to Britain

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