Sunday, January 30, 2011

'Mega Protest' Planned in Egypt

Borrowed from Al Jazeera - Thank you

Opposition movement calls for "a million people demonstration" on Tuesday in a bid to topple president Hosni Mubarak.
Egyptian protesters have called for a massive demonstration on Tuesday in a bid to force out president Hosni Mubarak from power.
The so-called April 6 Movement said it plans to have more than a million people on the streets of the capital Cairo, as anti-government sentiment reaches a fever pitch.
Several hundred demonstrators remained camped out in Tahrir square in central Cairo early on Monday morning, defying a curfew that has been extended by the army.
"It seems as if they are saying: 'We are here to stay. We are re-invigorating our movement and we are not going anywhere'," one of Al Jazeera's correspondents in Cairo said. 
Protesters seem unfazed by Mubarak's pledge to institute economic and political reforms. Our correspondent said that people feel that such pledges "are too little, too late".
Early on Monday morning, unconfirmed reports said the police had been ordered back on the streets.
"We are expecting a statement by the minister of interior about whether the police are going to return or not," our correspondent said.
"The absence of police has given looters a free rein, forcing ordinary citizens to set up neighborhood patrols. Many people are wondering where the police disappeared to.
"There are two schools of thought as far as the police are concerned: One is that many of them decided to join the protesters. The other is that the regime was saying to the people, 'You want to protest. We'll pull back the police and you feel what anarchy feels like'," our correspondent said.
A day earlier, Mohamed ElBaradei, a leading opposition figure, joined thousands of protesters in Tahrir Square.
The former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency told the crowd on Sunday night that "what we have begun cannot go back" referring to days of anti-government protests.
The National Coalition for Change, which groups several opposition movements including the Muslim Brotherhood, wants ElBaradei to negotiate with the Mubarak government.
"The people want the regime to fall," protesters chanted as ElBaradei walked to the centre of the square, holding hands with some demonstrators.
Jail breaks
The show of continued defiance by the people came on a day when air force fighter planes flew low over Cairo along with helicopters and extra troop lorries appeared in the central square.
As the protests continue, security is said to be deteriorating and reports have emerged of several prisons across the country being attacked and of fresh protests being staged in cities like Alexandria and Suez.
Thirty-four leaders from the Muslim Brotherhood were freed from the Wadi Natroun jail after guards abandoned their posts.
The protesters in Cairo, joined by hundreds of judges, had gathered earlier in Tahrir Square in the afternoon to demand the resignation of Mubarak.
Al Jazeera's correspondent, reporting from the scene, said that demonstrators confronted a fire truck, at which point army troops fired into the air in a bid to disperse them.
He said the protesters did not move back, and a tank commander then ordered the fire truck to leave. When the truck moved away from the square, the thousands of protesters erupted into applause and climbed onto the tank in celebration, hugging soldiers.
Main roads in Cairo have been blocked by military tanks and armoured personnel carriers, and large numbers of army personnel have been seen in other cities as well.
Our correspondent said that extra military roadblocks had been set up in an apparent attempt to divert traffic away from Tahrir Square, which has become a focal point for demonstrators.
"It's still a very tense scene to have so much military in the capital city of the country."

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