"The Secretary-General of the ruling NDP party, Dr Hossam Badrawi, told the U.K's Channel 4 News that he was expecting Mubarak to stand aside in his televised address. 'I'm expecting him to pass his decision for the constitution amendments and for him to go to the constitution and transmit his authorities as president to his vice president,' Badrawi told Channel 4 News."
"Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has agreed to yield power to his vice president, a senior U.S. official told CNN's John King, citing contacts within the Egyptian government."
"In this hotel, there are only two items on the menu for those who don't behave – electrocution and rape." ...
I had "disappeared", along with countless Egyptians, inside the bowels of the Mukhabarat, President Hosni Mubarak's vast security-intelligence apparatus and an organisation headed, until recently, by his vice-president and former intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, the man trusted to negotiate an "orderly transition" to democratic rule.
Judging by what I witnessed, that seems a forlorn hope.
The statement was labeled "communique number 1," a phrasing that suggests a military coup.
Suleiman has said that... he does not think that it was time to lift the 30-year-old emergency law and that Egypt was not yet ready for democracy. ...perhaps he is deliberately giving notice to protesters that what they can achieve will be quite limited.
Probably Suleiman may be quite right. The transition will not be to democracy but to some cosmetic changes and real reforms but with the army remaining in control and ensuring the U.S. and Israeli policy aims are met insofar as that is possible. ...
Suleiman knows that his job is not to make a transition to democracy but to get the protesters to go home with changes that are as minimal as possible.
The Egyptian military has been secretly detaining and torturing those it suspects of being involved in pro-democracy protests, according to testimony gathered by the British newspaper the Guardian.
The newspaper, quoting human rights agencies, put the number of people detained at "hundreds, possibly thousands," since protests against Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, began on January 25.
After sending mixed signals, the administration has appeared to settle on supporting a measured transition for easing Mubarak out of power. That strategy, which remains the subject of vigorous debate inside the administration, calls for a Mubarak crony, Vice President Omar Suleiman, to lead the reform process.
According to experts who have interacted with the White House, the tactic is favored by a group of foreign policy advisors including Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, national security advisor Thomas Donilon and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who worry about regional stability and want to reassure other Middle East governments that the U.S. will not abandon an important and longtime ally.
The BBC's Magdi Abdelhadi in Cairo says: "It's slightly ambiguous whether the army has staged a coup, or if they're just going to respond to the people's demands and have Mubarak pushed to the side. So clearly, this might turn into a very long night for the people in Tahrir Square."
President Hosni Mubarak will step down shortly and transfer authority to the Egyptian Higher Council of the Armed Forces, a senior Egyptian official confirmed to Fox News on Thursday.
The group is comprised of the minister of defense, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi -- who stands atop the military hierarchy -- along with the military's chief of staff, the chief of operations, and commanders of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Air Defenses.
The source pointed out that the transfer of power will occur "outside of the constitutional framework" because under the Egyptian constitution, Mubarak's resignation ordinarily would mean that the speaker of the house would become president and elections would be held within 60 days. In this case, the military council will "not be governing under the constitution or any legislation," the source noted. "So they will have to define the format under which they are taking power."
Are you old enough?
Will you be ready when I call your bluff?
Is my timing right?
Did you save your love for me tonight?
_ |=-=| _
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| - - - - |) )
Hosni Mubarak, Barack Obama, and Vladimir Putin are at a meeting together when suddenly God appears before them.
"I have come to tell you that the end of the world will be in two days," God says. "Tell your people."
So each leader goes back to his capital and prepares a television address.
In Washington, Obama says, "My fellow Americans, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I can confirm that God exists. The bad news is that he told me the world would end in two days."
In Moscow, Putin says, "People of Russia, I regret that I have to inform you of two pieces of bad news. First, God exists, which means everything our country has believed in for most of the last century was false. Second, the world is ending in two days."
In Cairo, Mubarak says, "O Egyptians, I come to you today with two pieces of excellent news! First, God and I have just held an important summit. Second, he told me I would be your president until the end of time."
2159: UK Foreign Secretary William Hague says it is still unclear what powers have been transferred by Mr Mubarak. Mr Hague once again reiterates his desire for a peaceful transition of power, adding: "The solution has to be owned by the Egyptian people themselves."
2156: Robert Danin from the Council of Foreign Relations in Washington tells the BBC World Service: "It seems to me that behind the scenes there must be some sort of power play taking place between the military and the president. It's really quite bizarre that the president would stand up, especially on a Thursday night, and essentially antagonise the crowd on the eve of a Friday, traditionally the most volatile day for protests in the Arab world. So tomorrow's going to be quite a day I expect."
9.51pm GMT: This is interesting: the BBC's Paul Adams reports that people in Cairo are receiving text messages from the high council of the army, saying that it is monitoring how events unfold and will decide how to act.
There seems to be huge confusion over what Mubarak really did say this evening, and exactly what power he handed over to the vice president, Omar Suleiman.
CNN is saying that it has now got a "precise translation" with Mubarak saying he was "delegating power" to Suleiman – not "the power" or "all power," but a frustratingly vague use of language.
The Associated Press also says it has a better translation of Mubarak's exact words, which it says read:
I saw fit to delegate the authorities of the president to the vice president, as dictated in the constitution.
According to AP, the Egyptian constitution allows the president to transfer his powers if he is unable to carry out his duties "due to any temporary obstacle," but it does not mean his resignation.
The Desmond Fitzgerald who was the CIA Wile E. Coyote to Fidel Castro's Roadrunner (meep meep) or the Desmond Fitzgerald who took part in the failed 1916 Easter Uprising in Ireland? Either way, not exactly people with a great track record at regime change.
Some factions of the military may have their own material interests in mind when forcing Mubarak out. As in many undemocratic countries, the military is more than just the military. Egypt's officer corps is said to own or operate vast networks of commercial enterprises, including water, construction, cement, olive oil, the hotel and gasoline industries—in all, about one-third of the country's economy—as well as vast chunks of seaside property. ...
To the extent the military does retain power in Egypt, the people's "rising expectations" may be frustrated, regardless of the outcome of this current clash. Whatever happens in the coming days and weeks, Egypt, once the emblem of Arab stability, might be locked in the dynamics of revolution for a long time to come.
Exactly, it was intended specifically to be a suicidal vanguard action. And it worked exactly as intended. Looking to 1916 for models for Egypt is a bad, bad idea.
A tumultuous crowd of people dancing around and chanting about shoes.
All starring in a disappointing and too-long ego-trip that's putting all involved tens of millions of dollars into the hole.
Coming to Cairo this March:
Sulie-Man: Turn Off Mubarak
(music & lyrics by U2)
All starring in a disappointing and too-long ego-trip that's putting all involved tens of millions of dollars into the hole.
I was among the million people who marched through London on February 15, 2003, to protest the imminent invasion of Iraq. ... What would have happened had we possessed the courage and commitment that the Egyptians are demonstrating today? What if we, like them, had refused to go home, and had stood our ground, thronged in the center of London, day after day...
... we simply melted away in the course of an afternoon. A single day; a few hours; a few speeches -- then nothing. ... We let it go. The moment passed. "And the war came."
That's why February 15 will remain nothing more than a brief footnote in a long, still-churning saga of atrocity and slaughter, while January 25, the day the Egyptians first took to the streets -- and stayed in the streets -- will be honored for generations as a landmark of human liberation.
9:51am An army officer joining protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square says 15 other middle-ranking officers have also gone over to the demonstrators.
"The armed forces' solidarity movement with the people has begun," Major Ahmed Ali Shouman tells Reuters.
[...]11:09am Massive crowds in Tahrir are chanting "the people and the army are hand in hand".
Rosemary Hollis, professor of Middle East policy studies and director of the Olive Tree scholarship programme at City University, London, said there was "a distinct possibility" the armed forces would now split. She said there were a couple of ways this split could go.
One would be a split between older, senior officers and younger ones from the middle ranks.
"The most senior ranks are the same age as Mubarak and Suleiman," she said. "The younger men are their [the demonstrators'] generation. They will identify less with Mubarak and more with the future of the country they want to be part of."
She said the other way the armed forces could split would be ideologically, between those who wanted to concentrate on "law and order" and a "managed transition under Mubarak and co" and felt this would be "preferable to the dangers of a transition to democracy" and on the other side those "embracing change with all its uncertainty".
She had been told that this ideological split could run along the lines of the air force (Mubarak's old service) and republican guard on one side, and "everyone else", including the regular army, on the side of change.
Hollis said: "Militaries aren't good at transitions to democracy. They're more comfortable with continuity." But, on the other hand, "the army has not been clearly on the side of Mubarak" during this criris.
Whatever happens, she said, "the army will have the final say".
AJE live blog: "...a former Israeli Cabinet minister who has long known Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, says Mubarak is looking for an honourable way out."
I went down and I said I am not coming back, and I wrote on every street wall that I am not coming back.
All barriers have been broken down, our weapon was our dream, and the future is crystal clear to us, we have been waiting for a long time, we are still searching for our place, we keep searching for a place we belong too, in every corner in our country.
The sound of freedom is calling, in every street corner in our country, the sound of freedom is calling.
We will rewrite history, if you are one of us, join us and don't stop us from fulfilling our dream.
The sound of freedom is calling.
Democrats should be wary of the traps that may be deliberately built into a negotiation process by the dictators. The call for negotiations when basic issues of political liberties are involved may be an effort by the dictators to induce the democrats to surrender
peacefully while the violence of the dictatorship continues. In those types of conflicts the only proper role of negotiations may occur at the end of a decisive struggle in which the power of the dictators has been effectively destroyed and they seek personal safe passage
to an international airport.
In these difficult circumstances that the country is passing through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to leave the position of the presidency. He has commissioned the armed forces council to direct the issues of the state.
Corn ears of the future,
You will break our chains.
Kill the opium in our heads,
Kill the illusions.
Don't read about our suffocated generation,
We are a hopeless case,
As worthless as a water-melon rind.
Don't read about us,
Don't ape us,
Don't accept us,
Don't accept our ideas,
We are a nation of crooks and jugglers.
Corn ears of the future,
You are the generation that will overcome defeat.
"The very conditions that make the State possible, in other words, constant capital (resources and equipment) and human variable capital, continually recreate unexpected possibilities for counterattack, unforeseen initiatives determining revolutionary, popular, minority machines...
An "ideological," scientific, or artistic movement can be a potential war machine, to the precise extent to which it draws, in relation to a phylum, a plane of consistency, a creative line of flight, a smooth space of displacement....
...If guerrilla warfare, minority warfare, revolutionary and popular war are in conformity with the essence, it is because they take war as an object all the more necessary for being merely "supplementary": they can make war only on the condition that they simultaneously create something else..."
"Politics is the continuation of war by other means."
In a message beamed simultaneously through the Stargate and Twitter, Ra said: "You have displeased me son of Osiris. Make way for a new son of Ra. Or the army. Or some other corrupt, tinpot Pharaoh. Or maybe even those crazy Muslim guys. Whatever."
Ra said that if Mubarak did not resign by Saturday 50 million inter-galactic soldiers wearing scary metal dog heads would storm through the Stargate and start fucking things up in scenes that would make Roland Emmerich look like Woody Allen.
A massive spaceship shaped like a pyramid would then land on top of a pyramid, crushing it like a paper cup, before Ra himself steps forth in all her majesty and starts firing deadly lasers from his white-hot eyes.
What is the use of keeping assets in Switzerland if you cannot use them after you've been deposed? I thought the Swiss treated that trade like a sacred trust.
Oh! pleasant exercise of hope and joy!
For mighty were the auxiliars which then stood
Upon our side, we who were strong in love!
Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive,
But to be young was very heaven!--Oh! times,
In which the meagre, stale, forbidding ways
Of custom, law, and statute, took at once
The attraction of a country in romance!
When Reason seemed the most to assert her rights,
When most intent on making of herself
A prime Enchantress--to assist the work,
Which then was going forward in her name!
Not favoured spots alone, but the whole earth,
The beauty wore of promise, that which sets
(As at some moment might not be unfelt
Among the bowers of paradise itself)
The budding rose above the rose full blown.
What temper at the prospect did not wake
To happiness unthought of? The inert
Were roused, and lively natures rapt away!
They who had fed their childhood upon dreams,
The playfellows of fancy, who had made
All powers of swiftness, subtilty, and strength
Their ministers,--who in lordly wise had stirred
Among the grandest objects of the sense,
And dealt with whatsoever they found there
As if they had within some lurking right
To wield it;--they, too, who, of gentle mood,
Had watched all gentle motions, and to these
Had fitted their own thoughts, schemers more mild,
And in the region of their peaceful selves;--
Now was it that both found, the meek and lofty
Did both find, helpers to their heart's desire,
And stuff at hand, plastic as they could wish;
Were called upon to exercise their skill,
Not in Utopia, subterranean fields,
Or some secreted island, Heaven knows where!
But in the very world, which is the world
Of all of us,--the place where in the end
We find our happiness, or not at all!
1811: But the US diplomatic cables also reveal that American diplomats find Field Marshal Tantawi "aged and change-resistant". "Charming and courtly, he is nonetheless mired in a post-Camp David military paradigm that has served his cohort's narrow interests for the last three decades," said one cable in 2008, referring to Israel's peace agreement with Egypt. He had "opposed both economic and political reform that he perceives as eroding central government power", it added.
1809: More on Field Marshal Tantawi, now understood to be running the country. US officials see him as an ally "committed to avoiding another war" with Israel, according to diplomatic cables published by the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks.
1814: Augustus Richard Norton, a Middle East specialist at Boston University, wrote recently: "Don't think for a minute that Tantawi and his subordinates will embrace a government that does not protect its interests." He noted that retired senior officers are present in nearly every ministry and agency in Egypt.
1813: Another US cable from 2008 reported that disgruntled mid-level Egyptian officers referred to Field Marshal Tantawi as "Mubarak's poodle". His leadership was also criticised, with Cairo embassy officials saying that under him "the tactical and operational readiness of the Egyptian armed forces has decayed".
In "The Looming Tower," his history of Al Qaeda, Lawrence Wright raises the possibility that "America's tragedy on September 11 was born in the prisons of Egypt." By visiting imprisonment, torture and exile upon Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, Mubarak foreclosed any possibility of an Islamic revolution in his own country. But he also helped radicalize and internationalize his country's Islamists, pushing men like Ayman Al-Zawahiri — Osama bin Laden's chief lieutenant, and arguably the real brains behind Al Qaeda — out of Egyptian politics and into the global jihad.
7.37pm GMT: Hosni Mubarak spent his last hours in office bitterly denouncing the US, according to a phone call he held with an Israeli politician.
Reuters reports that former Labour cabinet minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer had a 20-minute conversation yesterday with Mubarak: "He had very tough things to say about the United States," Ben-Eliezer told Israeli TV.
According to Reuters:
"He gave me a lesson in democracy and said: 'We see the democracy the United States spearheaded in Iran and with Hamas, in Gaza, and that's the fate of the Middle East,'" Ben-Eliezer said.
"'They may be talking about democracy but they don't know what they're talking about and the result will be extremism and radical Islam,'" he quoted Mubarak as saying.
R E V O L U T I O N
The program of this radio will be dedicated to Ahmed Basiony who died on the great egyptian revolution.
A great man, a great musician
Egyptian artist and musician Ahmed Bassiouni died on January 28, the fourth day of major anti-government demonstrations in the current Egyptian uprising.
There's a tiny, stability-loving Burke on my shoulder, and I'm afraid he's no devil. All the same, for now I'm not listening. Well, I did listen a little, but I've heard enough. It is partly due to my Burkean worries that I feel the pessimist in me should just stuff it for now. Whether or not Egypt flowers into a model democracy, whether or not Egyptians tomorrow live more freely than Egyptians today, today they threw off a tyrant. The surge of overwhelming bliss that has overtaken Egyptians is the rare beautitude of democratic will. [...] The tiny Dionysian anarchist on my other shoulder is no angel, but I cannot deny that there is something holy in this feeling, that it is one of few human experiences that justifies life—that satisfies, however briefly, our desperate craving for more intensity, for more meaning, for more life from life. Whatever the future holds, there will be disappointment, at best. But there is always disappointment. Today, there is joy.
Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.
Now, how scary is it that Lieberman wants an "on/off" switch for the internet?
One can imagine the scene in which Mr Mubarak’s generals, gesturing to television screens showing undiminished hordes of citizens baying for the president’s departure, convinced him that the game was up. Out of sight of cameras, the president and his wife flew discreetly to his favorite beach house, in the resort of Sharm el Sheikh. It is believed that as part of the army’s agreement with the fallen president, he is likely to be shielded in retirement from prosecution, and die on Egyptian soil.
Egypt’s military rulers are expected soon to issue more communiqués, outlining transitional steps to a permanent new order. For the time being, the head of the new command is likely to be the acting minister of defence, Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi. But Mr Tantawi, now 78 years old, is believed to be ailing and soon to retire. The figure many expect to emerge to prominence is the army’s chief of staff, Sami Anan, a professional soldier who is widely respected in the army. Reassuringly for Egypt’s Western allies, Mr Anan has cordial relations with the American military, the result of a close relationship built on three decades of generous American military aid.
The last time Egypt’s army took over, in 1952, it abolished pluralist democracy and installed the strongman system that Mr Mubarak inherited. But Egypt’s people, immensely bolstered by the success of their revolution, with its stunning exercise of peaceful power by great masses of citizens, appear broadly confident that this experience will not be repeated. What they expect, and appear determined to fight for, is a proper democracy.
It's worth listening to the audiobook version of Barack Obama's Dreams From My Father... His regular speaking voice is by now in all our heads, but in the spoken version of the book we also get something that has had to be put away from public display: Obama's uncanny gift for mimicry... To pull this off requires not just vocal ability but an intensity of observation of other people—a quality of attention, of absorption—so fierce it's as if one's life depended on it. And there is a sense, in the case of Obama, in which his life did depend on it, sociologically and psychologically. He had to imagine his way into the center of American society from a very unusual point on the periphery..."
Large numbers of police were deployed in central Algiers Friday ahead of a pro-democracy march planned by opposition groups in defiance of a government ban.
The head of the opposition Rally for Culture and Democracy (RCD), Said Sadi, said the authorities had ringed the capital in a bid to prevent people joining Saturday's march from outside.
"Trains have been stopped and other public transport will be as well," he said.
Sadi claimed that 10,000 police were being drafted into the city, to reinforce the 20,000 who succeeded in blocking the last protest on January 22, when five people were killed and more than 800 hurt in clashes.
Mohammed Abdul Ghedi, a lifeguard in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, where the former president and his family flew on Friday ... held up a sign in English that said:
"Mubarak you are nothing, you are heartless, without mind, just youkel, worthless, fuck off."
...ever since the late 1950s, the Egyptian regime has cracked down on its civil society, shutting down political parties, closing newspapers, jailing politicians, bribing judges and silencing intellectuals. Over the past three decades Egypt became a place where few serious books were written, universities were monitored, newspapers carefully followed a bland party line and people watched what they said in public. In the past 20 years, the war against Islamic terrorist groups — often genuinely brutal thugs — allowed Mubarak's regime to clamp down even harder on Egyptian society in the name of security.
Egypt has had some successes, and ironically, one of them has helped foment change. Over the past decade, Egypt has been reforming its economy. From the mid-1990s on, Egypt found that in order to get loans from the IMF and the World Bank, it had to dismantle the most inefficient parts of its somewhat socialist economic system. In recent years, Mubarak — persuaded by his son Gamal, a Western-trained banker — appointed a set of energetic reformers to his Cabinet, who embarked on an ambitious effort to restructure the Egyptian economy, lowering taxes and tariffs, eliminating regulations and reducing subsidies. Egypt, long moribund, began growing vigorously. From 2006 to 2008, the economy expanded about 7% a year, and even last year, after the economic crisis, growth came in at almost 6%. Long isolated behind protectionist walls, with media in the regime's grip, Egypt also became more connected with the world through the new communication technologies.
Why would economic progress spur protests? Growth stirs things up, upsets the settled, stagnant order and produces inequalities and uncertainties. It also creates new expectations and demands. Tunisia was not growing as vigorously as Egypt, but there too a corrupt old order had opened up, and the resulting ferment proved too much for the regime to handle. Alexis de Tocqueville once observed that "the most dangerous moment for a bad government is when it begins to reform itself." It is a phenomenon that political scientists have dubbed "a revolution of rising expectations." Dictatorships find it difficult to handle change because the structure of power they have set up cannot respond to the new, dynamic demands coming from their people. So it was in Tunisia; so it was in Egypt. Youth unemployment and food prices might have been the immediate causes, but the underlying trend was a growing, restive population, stirred up by new economic winds, connected to a wider world.
Twitter / Julian Borger: "Reports say Bahrain's King Hamad has offered a grant of $2600 to every family ahead of Bahrain's day of rage due on Monday. Panic spreads."
Al Jazeera English Seeks To Expand Audience In U.S.
"Many have lauded Al Jazeera for its expansive coverage of the protests in Egypt, but the network has also been accused of fanning the flames and urging on protesters.
Millions of people in the U.S. have tuned in to Al Jazeera’s English version for coverage of the protests on its website, since the channel is only available on American cable TV in Toledo, Ohio, Burlington, Vermont and Washington, D.C.
Al Jazeera English has now launched a campaign to convince cable providers that there’s a market for the network in the U.S.
We speak with Lawrence Pintak, dean of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. He’s also author of 'The New Arab Journalist: Mission and Identity in a Time of Turmoil,' he taught journalism in Cairo and he served as CBS Middle East correspondent in the 1980s."
"This is the power of human dignity, and it can never be denied. Egyptians have inspired us, and they’ve done so by putting the lie to the idea that justice is best gained through violence. For in Egypt, it was the moral force of nonviolence – not terrorism, not mindless killing – but nonviolence, moral force that bent the arc of history toward justice once more."
Cuba Welcomes New Internet Cable Link with Venezuela.
Protests in Egypt Spark Fears in Cuba Over Growing Internet Opposition Movements.
Causes and effects assume history marches forward, but history is not an army. It is a crab scuttling sideways, a drip of soft water wearing away stone, an earthquake breaking centuries of tension. Sometimes one person inspires a movement, or her words do decades later; sometimes a few passionate people change the world; sometimes they start a mass movement and millions do; sometimes those millions are stirred by the same outrage or the same ideal and change comes upon us like a change of weather. All that these transformations have in common is that they begin in the imagination, in hope.
The Republican party's most serious potential presidential contenders at the Conservative Political Action Conference today gave little more than passing reference to the most serious news of the day - the resignation of Egyptian's authoritarian President Honsi Mubarak.
Yet Rep. Ron Paul -- who's arguably the most popular politician at the annual conservative conference, but not considered a viable presidential candidate -- seized the news to blast American foreign policy and promote his well-known preference for isolationism.
The pro-democracy protests in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East, Paul said, show that "we need to do a lot less, a lot sooner -- not only in Egypt but around the world."
The protesters in Egypt are "upset with us for propping up that dictator for all those years," Paul said, noting that the U.S. has given Egypt close to $70 billion over the course of Mubarak's 30 years in office.
"I'm still against foreign aid for everybody," the libertarian congressman said, prompting loud cheers from an audience largely made up of Paul's college-age supporters. "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of rich countries and giving it to the rich people of poor countries."
The unrest in the Middle East will continue, Paul said, because of the United States' interference there. Yet, he said he doesn't expect attitudes to change. Many people in Washington, Paul said, are now asking, "What should our position be about finding the next dictator?"
"Temporary stability does not guarantee the stability that we need around the world," he said. "And besides -- we just don't have the money."
Ye who suffer woes untold,
Or to feel, or to behold
Your lost country bought and sold
With a price of blood and gold --
Let a vast assembly be,
And with great solemnity
Declare with measured words that ye
Are, as God has made ye, free....
Stand ye calm and resolute,
Like a forest close and mute,
With folded arms and looks which are
Weapons of unvanquished war,
And let Panic, who outspeeds
The career of armèd steeds
Pass, a disregarded shade
Through your phalanx undismayed....
And these words shall then become
Like Oppression's thundered doom
Ringing through each heart and brain,
Heard again -- again -- again --
Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number --
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you --
Ye are many -- they are few!
-- Percy Bysshe Shelley
"Meanwhile, gunshots rang out near Egypt's Interior Ministry during a wage protest by hundreds of disgruntled policemen, witnesses said. A security guard said they were warning shots fired in the air.
The police force was pulled off the streets when it lost control of anti-government protests last month. Some have held their own protests and sit-ins since Mubarak's overthrow on Friday, demanding higher wages and immunity from prosecution.
A low-ranking police officer who gave his name as Hisham said he had served for 21 years and was paid 800 pounds ($136) a month.
'The high-ranking officers are the ones who used to get all privileges and we were left to starve. We were told if we don't like it, we can take money from the people,' he said.
Egyptians say 'police worry if they can't take bribes anymore,' NBC News' Richard Engel said in a Twitter post Sunday, 'they can't survive on salaries, which are low.'"*
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's analogy on Hosni Mubarak's resignation—that Egyptians are "not going to put the toothpaste back in the tube"—showed the government is out of touch on foreign affairs, opposition MPs said Sunday.
...Most cases of sexual assault in Egypt are not as gruesome as Logan's experience, they are instead much like what happens to Hussein—a near constant stream of verbal harassment and the odd groping. A 2008 study found 83 percent of Egyptian women said they had been sexually harassed, while 62 percent of men admitted to harassing women; 53 percent of men blamed women for "bringing it on" themselves. But there's one thing the numbers don't spell out: the psychological impact of frequent minor assaults—too trivial to report on their own—is debilitating.
But according to Hussein and from what I observed, Midan Tahrir during the 18-day Tahrir encampment was different. Logan's assault is even more demoralizing for Egyptian women because it comes at a time when they truly believe things are changing for the better.
Harassment was at an all-time low during the protests. Many told me at the time that was because the square felt like a "family," withstanding attacks, first from the police, and then from regime-sponsored thugs. It all started on Jan. 25, the first day Egyptians took to the streets demanding their rights. "On Tuesday, I went out on the streets really considerate of what I was going to wear, really considerate," Hussein remembers.
All day as demonstrators attempted to march into Tahrir, people were apologizing when they bumped into her, something Hussein marveled at because "It's only normal for people to bump into you at a demonstration." And these people didn't just apologize. "It was, 'I'm sorry, excuse me,' " Hussein explained. "I'm thinking: 'Excuse me'? Where was that yesterday? And the year before? And the year before?"
After hours of fighting riot police barricades, she finally made it off side streets and into Cairo's central square, which would become the epicenter of Egypt's protests. "At that point, for the first time people would come up and talk to me like a human being and not like a woman; it was great!" Hussein gushed.
Other women I spoke with inside Tahrir at the time remarked on the same thing. Many hope their role in the revolt that removed Mubarak's 30-year regime has changed attitudes toward their gender.
...There's never a safer place to be as a woman in Egypt than with members of the Brotherhood. Their male supporters frequently form human chains around groups of women to protect them from being groped. They did it to me when I was covering a demonstration for one of their parliamentary candidates in November 2010. They did it again on Tahrir Square; men linked hands to cordon off Brotherhood women. But after a while, they let go, in a sign of how much trust they had in their fellow protesters.
One flyer being distributed on Saturday [after Mubarak was ousted] put it this way: "Today this country is your country. Do not litter. Don't drive through traffic lights. Don't bribe. Don't forge paperwork. Don't drive the wrong way. Don't drive quickly to be cool while putting lives at risk. Don't enter through the exit door at the metro. Don't harass women. Don't say, 'It's not my problem.' Consider God in your work. We have no excuse anymore."
For years, these thugs-for-hire have been a constant feature of protests in Egypt. On May 25, 2005, a day activists later dubbed “black Wednesday,” during protests held against amendments to Article 76 of the Egyptian Constitution, hired thugs sexually assaulted female protestors, including women journalists covering the protests.
The army in Egypt has passed a draft of constitutional amendments to be submitted to a national referendum.
Under the proposed changes, the president would only be allowed to serve two four-year terms, instead of unlimited six-year periods.
Deposed President Hosni Mubarak was serving his fifth six-year term when he was toppled by a mass uprising earlier this month.
The amendments would also reinstate judicial oversight of elections.
For the second time in as many days, Egyptian armed force stormed the 5th century old St. Bishoy monastery in Wadi el-Natroun, 110 kilometers from Cairo. Live ammunition was fired, wounding two monks and six Coptic monastery workers. Several sources confirmed the army's use of RPG ammunition. Four people have been arrested including three monks and a Coptic lawyer who was at the monastery investigating yesterday's army attack.
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