Quick thing for you tonight before I head to sleep, in case you haven't seen it:



Linked at AJE's Feb 4 liveblog.

The translation (lines are repeated):
Let's make Mubarak hear our voices. We all, one hand, requested one thing, leave leave leave ...
Down Down Hosni Mubarak, Down Down Hosni Mubarak ...
The people want to dismantle the regime ....
He is to go, we are not going ...
He is to go, we won't leave ...
We all, one hand, ask one thing, leave leave.


Fucking awesome--rough times turned into beautiful music. I wanna play it over and over; it's getting stuck in my head.

I don't think I knew a single word of Arabic before this all started... and now absolutely all of the Arabic I know is related to having a revolution.

Egypt #4

Feb. 3rd, 2011 10:39 pm
So, Egypt. This ain't a happy post. If you haven't been following it on your own, here's a rundown of the past couple of days. )

The reason I keep watching is that I want to make absolutely fucking certain that whatever happens doesn't happen in secret. Whether it goes beautifully, or whether everything goes to hell, I want to see it. I want to know that I saw it with my own eyes and that I will never forget it as long as I live.

Live feeds are really hard to find right now. It's not safe for journalists. I'm now getting most new info from Twitter.

Assortment of links. I'm sorry, I can't really write commentary, I feel numb from everything I have been seeing. I'm in information-overload and I'm so scared for these people.

The current livepost at ONTD_P.

The War on the Media in Egypt

Google doc of casualties (27 names right now)

A Guide: How Not To Say Stupid Stuff About Egypt

U.S. Lawmakers Weigh Ending Aid Until Mubarak Out

[eta: One more before I glue myself to AJE again. @Sandmonkey's account of why they're protesting & what's been happening. Heartwrenching & chilling. @Sandmonkey's twitter MAY have been regime-hacked--not sure but I saw a report he can't access it anymore. Who even fucking knows. They've played dirty before.]

As I write, it's 6:30 am in Cairo, 4th of Feb. After Friday prayers, which apparently are at noon, it's meant to be the "Day of Departure." (Mubarak's departure, that is.) Something big will probably happen. I hope to hell it doesn't get ugly, but for fuck's sake, it's already gotten ugly. I don't know what's going to happen.

I'm not sure what location this is, but it gives me hope and so I'm gonna post it.


Muslims, Christians, we are all Egyptians...


Love to you all. ♥ If you have any questions, ask... I have collected a truly insane number of links and might be able to help you out.
eta: New ONTD_P livepost just posted! Yay!

BAD SHIT GOING DOWN.

So, last night in Alexandria, there was an altercation between a pro-Mubarak group (who may have been plainclothes police and/or paid by the government to be there, said Al Jazeera) and the rest of the protestors. That was nasty enough.

Now it's gotten worse, this time in Cairo.

Cairo clashes fuel Egypt turmoil; "Hundreds injured as pro-Mubarak supporters attack protesters seeking president's ouster in Egyptian capital."
Protesters from both sides threw stones at each other in Tahrir Square, the epicentre of ongoing opposition demonstrations against President Hosni Mubarak for the past nine days.

Al Jazeera correspondents, reporting from the scene, said that more than 500 people had been injured in Wednesday's clashes that are still continuing.


Al Jazeera just reported that the offical numbers say one person has been killed and ~400 have been injured. (Witness reports say more people than that have died.)

[eta, 12 am Feb. 3 in Cairo: Now it's 1,500 injured & 3 dead.]

Military personnel in Tahrir Square are telling people to go home because of the attacks, but the person AJE was talking to who is in the square is afraid to leave because the thugs are outside the square, past the checkpoints. She believes it's safer to stay in the square because "The thugs are not that many; they haven't outnumbered us yet."

...omg. Witnesses have been taking ID cards from the attackers they capture, and it seems at least some really ARE government plants. Classy, Mubarak. CLASSY.

(Also, shots have been fired and the army denies it was them.)

eta: I wrote this bit yesterday, after AJE had showed some footage of pro-Mubarak demonstraters (whom I DON'T mean to say are entirely sent by the government! I believe they're real): Okay, they just showed some Mubarak supporters. And... I get that they're scared. It looks fucking terrifying to be there, in the middle of that uncertainty and stress and potential for violence. But... "if he were that bad, he'd have been forced out a long time ago"? Maybe people were too scared to try to force him out. (Y'know, because of the TORTURE he's been accused of) And it's great that Egypt didn't have any wars during his presidency, but what I'm hearing from the anti-gov people is less "yay, let's have some wars!" and more "dude, we need this fucking poverty shit to stop. ALSO THE TORTURE." So, yeah, I do feel for them, even if I disagree.


SOME HAPPIER NEWS.

Just as events in Tunisia helped spark the events in Egypt, now Egypt is effecting other changes:

Jordan's King Dismisses Cabinet After Protests
Jordan's King Abdullah II, bowing to public pressure, fired his government on Tuesday and tasked a new prime minister with quickly boosting economic opportunities and giving Jordanians a greater say in politics.

Yemen president not to extend term
Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Yemeni president, has backed down on a plan to rule his impoverished Arab country for life after mass protests demanding his ouster.

In an announcement on Wednesday, Saleh said he plans for elections in April had been scrapped along with constitutional amendments that would have seen him become president for life.


You know, just in case you thought the Middle East hated democracy or something. GO, MIDDLE EAST PEOPLE, GOOOO! \0/ Rock on with your bad icky-government-toppling selves! I love how these two rulers have apparently looked at Egypt, looked at their own just-starting-to-protest citizens, and gone OHHH FUCK, DNW, LEMME JUST...FIX SHIT RIGHT NOW. Hahaaaa.


NEWS OF ANNOYING PEOPLE FROM THE U.S. GOVERNMENT.

Mike Huckabee, a Republican who really really wants to be president of the U.S., is Worried About “Cascading Effect” Of Democracy Across Middle East. Translation: OMG WE CAN'T LET MUSLIMS RULE THEIR OWN COUNTRIES!!! They might hate America or something! (ONTD_P responded with LOLLL stop saying words. Good times.)


LINKS OF INTEREST.

Five Things You Need to Know about the Egyptian Armed Forces
Fascinating article on the structure and strategy of the Egyptian army, especially if you've been as curious as me as to why they haven't attacked protesters.

Translations of some of the Egyptians' chants. I know zero Arabic, but I adore languages and I've been dead curious to know what the protestors are saying. The rhythm of "Al Sha'ab yoreed isqat al nizam" always gives me chills whenever all of Tahrir Square starts shouting it. ♥

[WARNING: GRAPHIC PHOTOS.] Two gigantic galleries of fucking stunning photos: The Egypt Protests; The Egypt Protests Part 2. These are mostly photos of protesters vs. riot police earlier in the protests. The second link is not as bad as the first; the worst it gets are a couple of photos of injured, bleeding people. The first link, though, contains several up-close photos of a man who was shot and killed. They're numbers 21, 22, and 23 if you want to try to scroll past, but I warn that it's almost impossible not to see them. I think the rest of the galleries are worth seeing, though, so I'm linking them anyway.

source


I am SO glad I have a snow day today, because all I wanna do is watch Al Jazeera.

There was this plan for one million people to meet up in Tahrir Square before marching to the presidential palace tonight [Cairo time]. (NOTE: According to @sharifkouddous, the march to the palace may not occur today: link 1, link 2.)

...It's approaching 6:45 pm in Cairo, and there are currently about two million people in the square and surrounding areas. And more keep arriving, despite the fact that the gov STOPPED THE TRAINS to try to prevent it.

There are also enormous demonstrations in Alexandria (hundreds of thousands of people, I'm hearing), Suez (don't know how many, probably a lot), and presumably elsewhere as well.

State TV has been broadcasting quiet streets, pleas for people to stay home, and pro-Mubarak rallies. (Those rallies are kinda... small, in comparison.) I don't deny that there are people who are pro-Mubarak. To me, the issue here is that state TV is frantically insisting that NOBODY IS UNHAPPY, NOPE, NOBODY AT ALL!!!

But you don't pretend that two million people aren't shouting in Tahrir Square unless you're really quite worried about them.

I think it's incredibly smart of the army to stand by and allow the demonstrations to happen for the most part. They lack the numbers to end the protests by force, and they know it. More strikingly, they simply refuse to take offensive action against their own people, which is how it should be. This is counter to the riot police at the beginning of this who did NO GOOD AT ALL by shooting at protesters. IMO, the army/protesters dynamic is one of the most fascinating things about this. (According to Al Jazeera, the army is helping to prevent police from infiltrating the demonstrators.) Check it out:

Egypt army: will not use violence against citizens (Reuters)
"The presence of the army in the streets is for your sake and to ensure your safety and wellbeing. The armed forces will not resort to use of force against our great people...

Your armed forces, who are aware of the legitimacy of your demands and are keen to assume their responsibility in protecting the nation and the citizens, affirms that freedom of expression through peaceful means is guaranteed to everybody."


And now for an assortment of links I enjoyed:

Kragen @ Canonical || Why Egypt’s popular rebellion is the greatest historical event in a decade, and how Barack Obama missed the boat.
Three days ago, I read Barack Obama’s State of the Union address. He delivered it on the same day that the #Jan25 protests began in Egypt. I was dismayed that he didn’t mention the protests at all, because they’re more important than almost everything he did mention. This essay is an attempt to explain why they are so important, why Obama ignored them, and what the possible results of that choice could be.

Wikileaks || cable 07CAIRO1417, PRESIDENTIAL SUCCESSION IN EGYPT
Wikileaks bringing funtimes speculation from way back in 2007 on what could happen if Mubarak actually steps down. In short: expect "an anti-American tone" from the successor. Honestly, I think my ego can survive if that happens. It's not like my country hasn't spouted anti-Middle East sentiment for as long as I can remember. We dished it; we can take it. (P.S. If the all-caps hurts your eyes, use this handy tool to convert it.)

MediaBistro || Youth in Egypt Protect Libraries
THESE FUCKING EGYPTIAN YOUTH, YOU GUYS. They can organize protests, direct traffic, set up security checkpoints, and save the Library of Alexandria. Rock the fuck on!

Salon || Why can't we watch Al Jazeera?
Originally published in 2008, this article explains the difficulty of finding Al Jazeera anywhere that's not online, if you're in the United States. You can also read it here at [livejournal.com profile] ontd_political if you prefer their formatting.

YouTube || The Most AMAZING video on the internet #Egypt #jan25
Fucking makes me cry every time I watch it. Which I do, a lot, because I love it. Especially the dude who belives political rights are more important than your religion. FUCK YEAH.

HuffPost || Anderson Cooper In Egypt: 'Nobody Has Any Answers For What's Going To Happen Here'
Cooper said he did not know when he would leave Egypt. "I'm not even sure how to get out at this point." Anderson Cooper: STILL A BADASS.

If Twitter is your thing:
@AJELive, Al Jazeera's feed
@beleidy, freelance writer in Cairo
@monasosh, Egyptian blogger
@TheReal_Mubarak, for big lulz

And in case you somehow haven't seen it yet, or have not seen the big, beautiful version:


(click for very big)
If you are following Egypt news, today I'll be focused on:
• Al Jazeera live coverage of Tahrir Square
• @sharifkouddous, who is currently at Tahrir Square as well
• BBC live coverage in text

That's thousands and thousands of people ignoring the curfew. Holy crap. And they were getting buzzed by fighter jets about an hour ago. (They were unfazed by said fighter jets.)

And if you're wondering what the hell is going on anyway, I like this Mother Jones post.

eta: I'm just gonna keep dumping links here.

Live From the Egyptian Revolution by Sharif Kouddous
There is a great sense of pride that this is a leaderless movement organized by the people. A genuine popular revolt. It was not organized by opposition movements, though they have now joined the protesters in Tahrir. The Muslim Brotherhood was out in full force today. At one point they began chanting "Allah Akbar" only to be drowned out by much louder chants of "Muslim, Christian, we are all Egyptian."


HELL YEAH.

6:45 pm Cairo time: Al Jazeera estimating 1,000,000 people in the square; Mohammed Elbaradei has joined protestors there.

DO NOT FUCK WITH THE WOMEN OF EGYPT. hiiii, they're my heroes.

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