Saturday in the Egyptian Streets
[Ed.note: Protests against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak have resumed in all the major cities. Al Jazeera reports 50,000 protesters have gathered in Tahrir Square. At least 95 people have been killed this week in protests. Egyptian State TV reports an extended curfew from 4pm to 8am for the major cities.]
As I write this very late Friday night, the streets are mostly peaceful in Egypt – or as Al Jazeera notes
4:17am Al Jazeera’s Amyman Mohyeldin says the streets of Cairo are “still abuzz” but peaceful. The curfew, which thousands have defied since it came into effect at 6pm yesterday, is in place until 7am.
And there are already reports like this starting to circulate:
BBC Arabic: Al Masry Al Youm correspondent in Ismailia – hundreds peacefully protesting in industrial areas this morning.
as well as calls for blood donors for those injured over the past few days.
No one is sure what Saturday will bring. The army is out in force in all major Egyptian cities. Whether they will stand with the people or with the regime is not certain yet.
You can watch live at the FDL link to the Al Jazeera English news – click here to go to our full coverage of the Revolution in the streets of Egypt and you can sign on to our petition to Congress to end military aid to Mubarak by clicking here.
Around the world, people will be demonstrating at the Egyptian Embassies in their cities. Go here to get information on locations and times and join us.
And remember that other countries are protesting as well:
In Jordan, thousands marched in Amman and other cities to demand the prime minister, Samir Rifai, step down over rising prices and unemployment, in a protest after Friday prayers organised by the Muslim Brotherhood but including members of socialist parties and unions.
In Yemen, socialists, Islamists, and youth activists had shut down Sana’a yesterday to demand President Ali Abdullah Saleh resign.
…while the people of Tunisia continue to demand real reform and the ouster of all remnants of Ben Ali’s government rather than settling for half-measures.
The video above is from an Egyptian news source, Al Masry Al Youm, and it shows what the demonstrations look like from the street level. Here’s a translation of some of the protester’s comments in the video provided by “cnews:”
Assem Mahmoud: ” I am here because of the higher education they tell you about and then when you graduate there is no jobs, they say you’re not qualified, not qualified? but you’re the ones who taught me! You [the government] go and get workers from outside and we don’t work. I went into the army and lost one year of my life, when I came out there was no jobs. It’s just too much. This is why I’m here, I’m here demanding my rights. And we want fair elections. I don’t want to go down from my house to vote and find the security forces and the police standing and beating me up.”
Samira: “I would like there to be democracy in our country, and freedom, and that the youth may have a chance in life, instead of the corruption and the contacts. We want everyone to take what’s due to them [what is their right]”
Abu Ayman Iss, editor in chief (i think) of the newspaper “El Dostor”: I am sharing the youth’s demands and the demonstration. My position and my opinion is very clear which shows that the egyptian people refuse corruption, torture, rigged elections. This is the real voice of the people of egypt, the voice that is coming from the heart of Tahrir square. And the police is using extreme force.”
Old man with MASSIVE SMILE on his face Kamal Abou Itta chairperson of the Independent Tax Collectors Union: “OUR PEOPLE ARE HERE” (like finally, our people is here) We still have life, the smell of Tunisia came to us to free our country. Insh’allah, we will stay here until we change this system and we better the life in Egypt, and solve our problems, and until we restore the dignity of our people”
For all the words of pundits and reporters and us bloggers, the best words come from those marching in the Egyptian streets.