Jan 27 2011

Egyptians Rise Up Threatening Mubarak’s 30 Year Reign

Feature Stories | Published 27 Jan 2011, 11:07 am | Comments Off on Egyptians Rise Up Threatening Mubarak’s 30 Year Reign -

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EgyptEgyptians, seemingly inspired by the revolution in Tunisia, have flooded their streets with major protests this week, threatening the power of President Hosni Mubarak. The actions started on Tuesday, dubbed the “National Day of Anger” and continued yesterday. Midan-al-Tahrir, or Liberation Square in the capital Cairo was filled with hundreds of thousands of people demanding exactly that – liberation from a repressive regime. The demonstrations have broken out in many different parts of Cairo, as well as all across the 85-million strong nation. The Egyptian government announced a ban on protests and public gatherings with a massive deployment of riot police. They have also restricted access to Twitter.com, and Facebook. So far at least 6 protesters and one policeman have been killed and hundreds rounded up. But protesters are not backing down giving Mubarak the biggest challenge of his 30 year reign. Young activists are at the forefront calling for an end to the regime, as well as for social, political, and economic reforms. Last June, a 28 year old man named Khaled Saeed was allegedly tortured to death by Egyptian police after he posted a video of police sharing confiscated narcotics. Activists have set up a website and Facebook page called We are All Khaled Saeed, which made a call for the demonstrations on Tuesday and seem to be playing a significant role in what is happening. The U.S. has historically considered President Mubarak an even closer ally than Tunisia’s Ben Ali. So far the White House has said that it was keeping a close watch on the situation in Egypt and that it respects the universal rights of assembly and speech of all Egyptians. White House Spokesperson Robert Gibbs said that Mubarak remains a “close and important ally.” Meanwhile, protests have also sparked in neighboring Jordan with major demonstrations in the capital Amman, and just today tens of thousands marched in Yemen.

GUESTS: Lamis Andoni, independent journalist and analyst with Al Jazeera, Alex Ortiz, a student at American University in Cairo

View Alex’s video stream coverage of Tahrir Square in Cairo at www.justin.tv/cairowitness

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